“ Address: 1-5 Lynn's Road / King's Lynn / Norfolk / PE30 4PR „
This weekend my boyfriend and I decided we needed something to do other than lay around all night watching television and playing playstation! We've spent a lot of time in our relationship, with his family or just spending weekends relaxing because we're both normally so busy him in the RAF and with me being a student nurse. This weekend we thought, why not have a go at doing something a bit different - given that in our 16 month relationship we've only ever been to the cinema once, this just had to be done!
~*~ Kings Lynn ~*~
Is a nice town in Norfolk, less than 100 miles from London and less than 50 miles away from Norwich. The town has both primary and secondary schools, a train station and all the extras you'd expect from a good size town that has around 50,000 inhabitants. The town has good shopping facilities, with a Primark, various high street clothes stores, a large Marks and Spencer - and lots of different shops like old fashioned sweet shops, which aren't something that are available in every town, so to me Kings Lynn is quite a nice place to visit. With the Quay, and a good café/environmental centre on the front, with car parking in front of the water and plenty of carparks in the centre of the town! Out of town you have large stores like The Range, a large Argos and even a Costa Coffee in the carpark, it's a town with a bit of everything including an RAF base 15 miles out of the centre of the town - so lots of Tornados flying around, if you know what you're looking for!
~*~ Strike's Bowling ~*~
Strike's Bowling is the first and only bowling alley I've ever been to in Kings Lynn, they have 12 lanes of bowling available, a bar, and a gaming area, with plenty of seating for family and friends that are not playing or taking a break from playing. The staff are all very accommodating and lovely, will bend over backwards to try and fit you in if they have space - considering we went on a Saturday night without booking, we got a lane straight away because the woman behind the desk decided to slot us in between parties, so they got a thumbs up straight away from me, as I'd not been bowling in a long time I was a bit excited!
~*~ Getting There and Parking ~*~
If you are visiting with a Satnav pop in the post code PE30 4PR, and it will bring you right to the door. For anyone using a road map, you need to find yourself on the A148 that runs through Kings Lynn, and follow the road through the town until you come to a JET petrol station and nip down the side, it is hidden behind the petrol station - so until you get there you'll not realise it's there. I was really surprised when Alex turned down the side of the petrol station and it was there - it is very well hidden, but now you know! Drive right down the side of the building and you will come across a good sized carpark, even on Saturday night in this kind of weather it was quite full, but it was really slippery. Which my lovely Alex decided to get the car and drive to me on the path to save me from falling on my bottom on the way to the car! On a normal day though, it would hold in excess of 20 cars so there is plenty of space if you are coming with a fair few people! There is also a bit of a lane down the side of the building which you can use to wait for people, if you are picking them up - but you'd only be able to get in and out on the driver side because you're parked up right next to a barrier.
~*~ Overall Look of the Place ~*~
This bowling alley looks really quite decent actually, from the outside it doesn't look anything special - looks like a bowling alley to be honest. When you first drive up to the place it's just any other bowling alley with a slope up the side for disabled visitors to Strikes. When you first walk in, you are immediately hit with the coin operated games to potentially win cuddly toys, and random other gifts. To the side you have a children's play area, which is separate from Strikes but is in the same building essentially, but walk forward and look to your left and you'll find the bowling area. Straight away you can see a pool table to your right, and shooting games that you might find at the seaside or in any amusement arcade, on your left is the toilets. In front of you, is the lanes stop off at the desk for 'Lane Booking' and you can find here where your lane is, if you can get one, and here is where the shoe exchange happens. Up the steps to your right is the seating area and bar, in front of the steps that go down to the lanes is a few more tables which is where they leave your drinks if you buy them, because you are not allowed drinks down in the lanes.
~*~ Offers ~*~
There are a lot of offers available for this bowling alley - I'll list you a few;
£2.95 per person, per game, 7 days a week up until 11am in the morning...
Unlimited Bowling 7 days a week 6pm until close for just £9.95 per person, which they don't tell you is actually just for 3 games unless the place is quiet - in which it is until close, we had a lane for 2 hours and managed to get 6 games in, and no one kicked us off the lane so we can't complain. That and the fact you get a free drink for your £9.95 makes it even more appealing; choice of Fosters, Bottle of Beer, VK, Glass of Wine, Spirit and a mixer, Pepsi or J20 means it's suitable for everyone - even the designated driver!
Student Bowling - £7.95 with valid student ID, 2 games of bowling with a drink included same as the unlimited offer there, excluding 1-5pm on weekends and bank holidays.
NHS and Emergency Services Bowling - £7.95 available all week at any time 2 games of bowling, and a drink as before - ID requested.
There are also many birthday party offers on the website but I'd be here forever listing them so have a look at the Strikes Kings Lynn site if you are interested in a birthday party here.
~*~ Booking the Lanes ~*~
Well we didn't book a lane..
Which was very naughty of us, but we were lucky enough to turn up and there be a lane available. It is suggested that on busy nights such as Friday and Saturday night that you should call in advance and book a lane, else you could be in for a bit of a wait while you wait for a lane to become available. The ladies at the bowling alley are lovely and they will try to squeeze you in, but if it's really busy there isn't much they can do about it!
~*~ When you get there ~*~
When you get there go to the desk and if you have booked a lane let them know, and they will tell you where you need to be. If not tell them what deal you'd like and they will tell you if they can fit you in, once you're all booked in you need to get your bowling shoes - the ladies behind the desk will ask what size you are, take your shoes from you and pass over your lovely bowling shoes... I just don't like them! When we went there were two girls on the desk, and after we had been asked which drink we wanted to go with our bowling, she nipped off and fetched it for us while we got our shoes on and started to play - she left them on the table closest to our lane, but since it's close to the desk I wasn't too concerned about not watching my drink constantly.
~*~ The Lanes, Bowling and Atmosphere ~*~
To start with, our touch screen where you need to put your names in the machine didn't work, so we quickly asked the lady behind the desk to sort it for us - so she switched the lane off then on again and it worked a treat. So apart from that tiny blip we got going really quickly, there are lots of bowling balls available along the back of the lanes so you can get the right ball for you, and there is plenty in each weight as well so you won't be fighting over a particular ball every time you want to take a bowl. To get the barriers up, you just need to ask the ladies behind the desk and they will get them popped up for you straight away - yes I needed the barriers up I'm shocking without them, I fought with Alex not to put them up but he didn't want to beat me too badly and make me feel bad - kind isn't he! Apart from that, you just get on with your bowling the balls return quickly and the pins are up and down really fast - until we got one stuck, don't ask! The television screen above the lane even shows you on your second bowl in the frame where to aim for to knock the pins down - it's very informative! Other than that it's like any other bowling alley, with lots of lanes it's got more than enough space for loads of people to play, and you do get a right mix of people in there from families, to couples like myself and Alex, to groups of teenage girls going crazy in the corner. I'm sure I was never like that! It also helps if you can laugh at yourself in this alley, because it's very friendly and light hearted so you need to have a sense of humour. Especially if you're me, because I happened to throw the ball backwards, and then eventually throw it forwards and ended up with a strike we were all laughing a lot around me, but hey if you can't laugh at yourself you'll cry. It all adds to the atmosphere here, there doesn't seem to be any negativity everyone seems to get on, even with the kids next door to us on the lanes we shared their table and it wasn't a problem at all.
~*~ Drinks and Food ~*~
The free drinks to start with were brilliant, a nice pint, who can complain at that - however when Alex sent me off to get some more drinks, we moved onto soft drinks at that point. It was £3.60 for two regular glasses of pepsi, and I hate to say it but the pepsi was flat, and it had got to that point where it needed a bit more syrup - so it wasn't worth the £3.60 at all. Total waste of time, the bar man was more interested in chatting me up than he was pouring my drinks. Now we didn't have any of the food, but looking at other peoples it just seemed to be the average pizza and chips menu that is in most bowling alleys, nothing spectacular but no doubt overpriced - but captive audience if you want it you have to pay for it unfortunately!
~*~ Other Games ~*~
In the area, there is also a pool table and shooting style games - a couple of arcade jackpot games are there too, but it is in quite a small area so if you are wanting to play - you might have to wait your turn. They are all about £1 a go, which is about average prices for these kind of games, and well Alex had to have his go, they aren't really my kind of thing but I'll let him play while I sat and watched as there is a table and chairs in the area for drinks and for people to sit down.
~*~ Toilets ~*~
The toilets were acceptable, on a busy Saturday night I wasn't expecting miracles - the toilets were clean, the toilet roll was wavering slightly, and in one cubicle the roll wasn't sticking through the holder so you'd not be able to get it out, when I first went in all 3 cubicles were taken, which for the size of the place isn't really enough. There is plenty of soap in the dispensers and the hot water was actually hot, which is a rarity in many places - there was a minimal amount of towels to dry your hands though which was a shame, but I think a word to the women running the place and they would soon be refilled. The gents were similar according to Alex, minimal toilet roll and towels but it's much easier for them to be in and out of the toilets than a woman might be. I think they need to be a little more on top of the toilet roll situation, but in peak times it's still nice for customers to let them know just in case they haven't seen yet.
~*~ Overall ~*~
This is a great place to bowl, the staff are lovely and find your shoes really quickly at the end of the night. It's not bad price either for unlimited bowling on not so busy nights, I have to say I really enjoyed myself despite making a fool of myself - and before we move away I'm sure we will go back, and hopefully this time we won't be quite so competitive, and Alex won't pop his shoulder out of joint, and I won't break two nails and strain a muscle in my forearm - it's all a part of the fun in the lanes!