Back to bowling after lockdown - Our visit to Sunderland Bowl.
Before lockdown, you would regularly find us in one of our local bowling alleys. Tenpin bowling is something that Craig and I both took part in growing up, and now all 3 boys are enjoying it too, so that makes it a great activity for us as a family.
We were kindly invited along to Sunderland Bowl, our local alley, to see what we thought of their new procedures, now that they have been allowed to reopen. Obviously, we jumped at the chance, after going for almost 6 months without throwing a single ball!
We decided to book in for 12 midday, that way we could also have lunch while we were there. Also, with our visit being on a Tuesday, it also gave us the chance to take advantage of the "Eat Out to Help Out" discount.
On arrival, we noticed that things were certainly looking a little different from the outside, as the building is undergoing some renovations, but that had no effect on the bowling alley itself, so don't let that put you off. Once inside, there is a clearly marked one way system from the entrance to the reception desk, then onto the lanes.
We arrived slightly early, which meant that we were asked to wait while our seating area and bowling balls were being cleaned. The boys chose to use this time to check out the the selection of machines in the arcade area, including the world's biggest Pacman game. (This thing is seriously huge!). After a brief wait, we were shown to our lane.
As we were booked in for 2 games, we decided to order our food, just as we started our first game, that way we could take a break between games. We ordered using the handy app, which makes things so much easier, as you can order without leaving your game and have your food and drinks delivered straight to your lane. We chose the family sharing platter which comes with a selection of burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, onion rings and fries, enough for 4 people. As there were 5 of us, Elliot opted for a kid's cheeseburger meal. We also decided to try some of the loaded fries, which was enough for us all to share and came with cheese, bacon, chilli and sliced frankfurters. To drink, we chose to share a 4 pint pitcher of diet Coke and Elliot's meal came with a fruit shoot. We then ordered a second pitcher during our second game. Thanks to the government discount, the total we paid for all of this food was just over £20. Bargain!
In terms of social distancing and dealing with Covid-19, we think that Sunderland Bowl have done a great job. Most visitors seem to be following the one way system, only half of the lanes are open, meaning that it is pretty easy to adhere to distancing rules and we noticed that the staff were keeping on top of the extra cleaning duties they have been given. We saw a couple of families come and go from the lanes either side of us and the staff were there, pretty quickly, wiping down the area and cleaning the bowling balls, before the next people were allowed onto those lanes. Screens are in place at reception and both bar areas and there are plenty of hand sanitising stations dotted around the place. There are also plenty of clearly visible signs, reminding you of your responsibilities.
Overall, we definitely enjoyed our visit to Sunderland Bowl. A couple of enjoyable games, followed by a game of pool and quick spell in the arcades, accompanied by good quality, good value food and great service from the staff. Highly recommended!
141 High Street West
Nearest parking is Sunniside Multi Storey, right next door.
Nearest Metro Station is a 2 minute walk at Sunderland Central
Regular bus services on John Street.
Standard bowling is £6.50 per adult and £5 per child, but there are loads of offers making this much cheaper. There are also deals available allowing you to save money on food and drinks.
You can also use our exclusive discount code NEFAMILY25 to save 25% when booking online. (Code valid until 23/10/20. £20 minimum spend applies)
Click here for full pricing details and opening hours
**We were gifted our 2 games of bowling, in return for our honest review. We paid for our own food and drinks**