There are many and various reasons why people come to visit London – one of them being romance. Despite its reputation as a hard-nosed, business-oriented town, the UK capital can also be hopelessly romantic, full as it is with cultural and decorous delights, as well as thousands of lonely hearts. All of which makes it the perfect city in which to go on a date – and these are its perfect date venues…
Stroll along the Southbank – (SE1)
There are few more romantic things to do in London than going for a gentle walk along the Southbank at sunset – take in the book fayre as the bibliophiles thumb through its wares, view the lit-up London Eye and stop off for a drink and some snacks at the BFI’s bar.
Tube stations: Waterloo, Southwark and London Bridge
Make the most of the view from the Madison – (1 New Change EC4M 9AD)
A bar in the centre of The City may not sound that unique or special for a date, but this one’s located on the roof of 1 New Change andoffers a fantastic view of St. Paul’s Cathedral. It’s best enjoyed at sunset – especially with the tapas on offer.
Tube stations: St Paul’s, Mansion House and Bank
Or from the Shard – (32 London Bridge Street SE1 9SG)
Offering another terrific view – this time of the whole of London to the north of the enormous edifice itself, so packing a real wow factor – The Shard may be a tad pricey, but it’s worth it.
Tube station: London Bridge
Get to know one another in Gordon’s Wine Bar – (47 Villiers Street WC2N 6NE)
Secluded and discreet, this is the perfect atmospheric place in the West End for whispering sweet nothings over drinks and food.
Tube stations: Charing Cross and Embankment
Go picnicking on Primrose Hill – (NW1)
The big draw of North London’s Primrose Hill (on clear, sunny days) is the glorious views of the city it affordsyou, makingit an ideal daytime date venue, especially if you pack your picnic basket and a rug. You might even spot one or two celebrities; the area’s absolutely swimming with them.
Tube stations: Chalk Farm and St. John’s Wood
Straddle the Meridian line at Greenwich Observatory – (Blackheath Avenue SE10 8XJ)
Who wouldn’t like to stop time now and then? Daft question; we all would. Well, at the fascinatingly historical Greenwich Observatory you can do just that, as this is the site where the east is separated from west (timewise – think of how the Equator separates north from south). Plus, with fantastic views on warm, sunny days in the nearby Greenwich Park, great pubs galore and the cracking Cutty Sark Victorian ship, Greenwich is definitely among the best London date venues.
Tube station: Greenwich Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
Hire a pedalo in Hyde Park – (W2 2UH)
Can you think of a more pleasant way to spend a sunny afternoon than pedalling about on the lake in London’s most glorious expanse of green? Pedalos are hired by the hour, so expect there to be queueson summer days. And afterwards, of course, you’ve the whole of the magnificent Hyde Park to enjoy – you might be staying in one of the romantic hotels in Heathrow, but it’s certainly worth travelling into Central London for this terrific attraction.
Tube stations: Green Park and Hyde Park Corner
Get your film fix at theElectric Cinema – (64-66 Redchurch Street E2 7DP)
Many independent cinemas like to market themselves as offering something different, but this effort definitely does, given it boasts couches and blankets to go along with your movie-watching, making for a potentially cosy and snugglyexperience. All this and they let you bring wine – as well as food – into the auditorium. Awesome.
Station: Shoreditch High Street (Overground)
Have your case solved at Evans and Peel Detective Agency – (310c Earls Court Road SW5 9BA)
Don’t be deceived by the name nor the unassuming exterior, this is an eclectic bar for those in the know that throws in more than a touch of intrigue – effectively, it’s a ‘secret’ themed nightspot, the like of which are all the range in London right now. If all that sounds a bit of an effort, be assured the cocktails are well worth it.
Tube station: Earl’s Court
Step back in time at the Geffrye Museum – (136 Kingsland Road E2 8EA)
Another unique locale for a date, this little known museum’s claim to fame is that it allows guests to wander through different domestic environments through the ages. Its walled herb garden is exquisite and its coffee shop a great stop for refuelling. Especially recommended is its ‘Christmas Past’ exhibition, which has become something of an institution at the end of the year.
Station: Hoxton (Overground)
Muse on artefacts at Museum Lates
A marvellous incentive to get historical or cultural, not least on a date, as the ‘Albertopolis’-located Natural History Museum,Science Museum andV&A remain open after-hours. The perfect opportunity then to peer at exhibits, get involved in crafts and enjoy a drink and some food.
Tube stations: Various (but especially South Kensington)
Shoot over to ZSL for Zoo Lates – (Regent’s Park NW1 4RY)
Are the penguins still playful after closing time? What do the gorillas get up to after dark? If you’ve ever wondered about such burning questions then in the summer London Zoo (ZSL) keeps its doors open until late for adults, throwing food trucks and dancing into the bargain too.
Tube station: Camden Town
Scale the O2 – (Peninsula Square SE10 0DX)
And finally, one for the physical and adventurous out there – it’s entirely safe, but you’ll need a head for heights to climb the side of the O2 (formerly known as the Millennium Dome). Let’s be honest, it’ll make for a date you’ll never forget.
Tube station: North Greenwich