Hands up who loves ‘penny falls’ or ‘coin cascades’, to give them their official title? The slot machines where you put in coins and hope that some get shoved off the bottom. Evoking childhood memories of rainy days at the seaside where 10p could buy you half an hour’s entertainment. Despite inflation, most penny falls arcades still have 2p machines and this is where we head clutching our cups of coppers.

My kids absolutely love the penny falls and it’s a key feature of seaside holidays for us. What makes a good penny falls arcade? One where you can win tickets, sweets or small prizes as well as money. Yes it may have cost you a small fortune to win that penny chew but the victory is all the sweeter for the minutes spent watching it perch perilously on the edge, hoping to hear the clatter of its tumble.

There have been a few heady occasions where we have had a go on the 10p machines, holding our breath for the big money. #unluckysofar.

Note from a 9 year old: ‘The best penny falls are at Stardust Amusements in Newquay because I won a rubik’s cube there!’

Long live this great British seaside tradition, as much a part of a day out as fish and chips, sea air and donkeys on the beach.


This post is dedicated to the F family #bornlucky


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  1. February 13, 2017 / 8:59 am

    I used to love the 2p machines as I used to call them. I remember holidays in Devon many moons ago where my brother and I would make friends and spend the entire time hanging around the 2p machines in the arcade. Probably because that’s the only place we could afford to hang out while on holiday between theach ages of 11 and 15 years old and of course back then we wouldn’t have been seen dead doing activities with our parents so it was THEE place to be lol. Thanks for reminding me of some great timesellers that I had actually forgotten about 🙂


    • February 13, 2017 / 5:47 pm

      Thanks for sharing your memories! When I was a kid it was just the fun of winning 2ps there were no other prizes. That was exciting enough!

  2. February 13, 2017 / 10:01 am

    I love 2p machines, each year we save all our 2ps ready for the summer holiday. We head to the beach arcades and spend our 2ps. The kids like the ones where you can now win tickets as well as 2ps so they can get extra prizes. #marvmondays

    • February 13, 2017 / 5:50 pm

      It’s a great idea to save up the 2ps in advance! Thanks for reading.

  3. February 13, 2017 / 11:09 am

    We love the 2p machines, as a child we never had holidays abroad, we had a holiday to the east coast every year and days out on the bus to seaside! So these machines bring back lots of memories for me and my little boy loves them!!


    • February 13, 2017 / 5:57 pm

      It’s funny how kids love them just as much as we did. Simple pleasures! Thanks for reading.

  4. February 13, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    Hi, you just can’t visit the beach and pop into the arcade and have a go on the 2p machines. They are great fun especially if you get a little prize as well #MarvMondays

    • February 13, 2017 / 6:19 pm

      What else can you do with 2p?! Thanks for reading.

  5. February 19, 2017 / 4:55 pm

    Literally my favourite arcade/amusement game ever. It evokes so many happy memories from my childhood, I really could spend a lifetime (or until the money ran out) dropping 2p’s into the machine praying for them to push all the coppers over the edge. You dont see many of them around now, but when I do, I definitely have a go 😉 Fab post that made me smile, thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily

    • February 19, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      It is a lot of fun for 2p! Thanks for your comment.

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