Board Gaming Stores in the UK

Board Gaming Stores in the UK | Mystery Dice Goblin

In the land of knights and castles, tea and scones, there exists another thriving subculture, one where strategy, imagination, and camaraderie converge - the world of board gaming in the United Kingdom. Over the years, board gaming has grown from a niche hobby to a mainstream pastime, offering a rich tapestry of games and experiences. In this article, we'll delve into the history and evolution of board gaming in the UK, explore some of the top board games, and take a closer look at the enduring popularity of Dungeons & Dragons.

The Historical Roots

Board gaming stores in the United Kingdom has a rich history dating back to ancient times. Traditional games like chess and backgammon have long been beloved by Britons. The British Isles also gave birth to classics such as Monopoly, Scrabble, and Cluedo (known as Clue in North America). These games, which continue to enjoy popularity worldwide, laid the groundwork for the contemporary board gaming scene.

The Rise of Modern Board Gaming

While traditional games still hold a special place in the hearts of many, the past few decades have seen the emergence of a new breed of board games. These modern board games combine strategic depth, immersive themes, and intricate designs, appealing to a diverse and enthusiastic audience.

The UK board gaming community has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years. According to the UK Games Expo, the UK's largest tabletop gaming event, attendance has steadily increased, reaching over 45,000 visitors in 2019. This event showcases the vibrant board gaming culture in the country and highlights the growing number of enthusiasts.

Top Board Games in the UK

  1. Ticket to Ride: This railway-themed strategy game challenges players to build train routes across the country. It's easy to learn, quick to play, and suitable for all ages.

  2. Catan: A classic resource management and trading game, Settlers of Catan (Catan) encourages players to expand and develop their settlements.

  3. Pandemic: In this cooperative game, players work together to stop the spread of deadly diseases across the globe.

  4. Terraforming Mars: An intricate strategy game where players collaborate on the terraforming of the Red Planet, creating a sustainable environment for humanity.

  5. Wingspan: Focusing on birdwatching and conservation, Wingspan combines stunning artwork with engaging gameplay.

The Reign of Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), the iconic tabletop role-playing game, has witnessed a resurgence in the United Kingdom. With its rich narrative, limitless creativity, battle maps, and opportunities for social interaction, D&D has become a cornerstone of the board gaming community. Local game shops and gaming clubs often host D&D sessions, and the UK boasts a thriving online community, connecting players from across the country.

The Expanding Board Game Ecosystem

The growth of board gaming stores in the United Kingdom is not limited to the games themselves; it also extends to the infrastructure that supports the hobby. The number of board game stores, both brick-and-mortar and online, has risen significantly. London alone has numerous board game cafes, offering a cozy atmosphere where enthusiasts can gather to play and socialize. In addition to established stores, there are many independent retailers and Kickstarter-funded startups contributing to the diverse board game market.

Board Game Stores UK 

  1. Leisure Games (London) - A well-known and long-standing board game store in London.

  2. Travelling Man (various locations) - Travelling Man has several stores across the UK and has been serving gamers for years.

  3. Eclectic Games (Reading) - An independent game store in Reading, offering a wide range of board games.

  4. Chaos City Comics (St Albans) - This store not only offers comics but also a variety of board games and card games.

  5. The Games Shop (Aldershot) - A long-standing store with a selection of tabletop games.

  6. The Dice Cup (Nottingham) - A combination of board game cafe and store, offering a great gaming space.

  7. Fan Boy Three (Manchester) - A well-known game store and event space in Manchester.

  8. Forbidden Planet (various locations) - While primarily a comic book store, some locations offer a selection of board games and tabletop gaming supplies.

  9. Draughts London (London) - A board game cafe in London offering an extensive library of games.

  10. The Orc's Nest (London) - A specialty store in London catering to board gamers and enthusiasts.


Board gaming stores in the United Kingdom has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from a traditional pastime to a thriving, modern subculture. With the popularity of games like Ticket to Ride, Catan, and Pandemic, and the continued success of Dungeons & Dragons Metal Dice, the UK's board gaming scene is flourishing. The growth in attendance at events like the UK Games Expo and the increasing number of board game stores across the nation are a testament to the passion and dedication of board gamers in the UK. Whether you're a seasoned strategist or a novice looking to explore this engaging hobby, there's a place for everyone at the table in the United Kingdom's vibrant board gaming community.