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20 First Date Ideas in London
- Monday October 16th 2023
- Big City Saver
- first date, secret london, date night
20 first date ideas in London; whichever part of the city you’re in
• Looking for some date ideas in London? We’ve got you covered
• Date Ideas in Central London
• Date Ideas in North London
• Date Ideas in West London
• Date Ideas in East London
• Date Ideas in South London
• Date Ideas in London FAQs
Looking for some date ideas in London? We’ve got you covered
As proven by many a fantastic British ‘Rom-Com’, London is absolutely a place for romance, chance meetings and love at first sight. In fact, according to the Global Proposal Index, London is one of the top 3 cities to propose in, after Rome and Paris. So, when love is in the air and the butterflies are fluttering, you’re rather spoilt for choice if you want to find the perfect place for a first date. However, the city of London is also a pretty big place (it covers an area of about 607 square miles) with a lot of people (over 8.5 million). So, we understand that it might be a little difficult (or overwhelming) to find ‘the perfect’ place for a first date. So, with so much choice and so much changing all the time, we thought we’d try and help you out a bit with our guide to first dates in different parts of London.
Date Ideas in Central London
With so much happening in the heart of London, there are definitely plenty of options to do something a little extra to impress on a first date.
1. A Picnic on Primrose Hill
Of course, a picnic is a classic but it’s a classic for a reason. And on Primrose Hill, you’ll see the most spectacular views of London. There are also a number of very pleasant bars nearby, so if it gets too cold or your picnic turns into dinner, you’ll have plenty of places to go eat and drink.
2. The Crystal Maze Experience
Now for something not so classic, but equally as good as any other cool date idea (if not better). For anyone born in the 90s (or for fans of the Rocky Horror Picture Show), a date at the Crystal Maze Experience in Piccadilly Circus is by far one of the most fun things you can do in Central London. Plus, it’s perfect for double dates and group dates.
3. Take a Spin on the London Eye
Known today as a modern classic and with around 5,000 proposals to date, South Bank’s own cantilevered observation wheel, better known as the London Eye , is a great location for a romantic first date. You can also spring for their champagne experiences or Cupid’s Pod, which includes a glass of chilled Pommery Brut Royal Champagne (served by a host), a luxury box of Hotel Chocolat Pink Champagne Truffles, a private pod and Fast Track boarding.
4. SEA LIFE Aquarium London
There’s nothing quite as endearing (or cute) as penguins going about their day and turtles floating gently in the water. That’s why the wonderfully relaxing SEA LIFE Aquarium on Westminster Bridge Road is an ideal location for a first date. No pressure, no nerves, just beautiful creatures from the ocean blue. Fancy visiting more than one Merlin Entertainments attraction? Check out the Big City Saver multi-attraction pass for amazing savings.
4. Tower of London
If you and your partner are interested in London’s history, then the Tower of London is the perfect date location! Step back in time at the Tower of London, a secure fortress, royal palace, infamous prison and a place of execution. Delve into fascinating stories, from the Yeoman Warders (popularly known as “Beefeaters”) and it’s time as a royal menagerie, then enjoy seeing the breath taking Crown Jewels.
Date Ideas in North London
If you’re looking for something a little more hands on and rustic, North London is the perfect place for a date.
1. Cheese Making
A quirky date idea and certainly something outside of the norm for a first date (or any date for that matter, cheese making offers a unique and different first date experience. At Wildes Cheese, that’s exactly what you’ll do: make some of your own cheese. Apart from getting to sample a selection of tasty cheeses, there are an array of events and classes to choose from. We recommend the evening classes for a first date.
2. Phoenix Cinema
Based in East Finchley, this is one of the oldest cinemas in the country. Now a not-for-profit community cinema, its cosy and retro Art-deco interior is perfect for a first date. It’s also nice to know that you’re in good company at the Phoenix, as its patrons include Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Judi Dench and Michael Palin.
3. A Trek through Highgate Wood
One of the four ancient woods located in the area, Highgate Wood in Highgate, North London, is a magnificent woodland escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Teeming with flora and fauna, its biodiversity has been well studied by scientists and nature enthusiasts alike. What could be more romantic than picturesque woodland and ancient flowers on a summer’s day?
4. A Walk around Ally Pally
Speaking of areas of romance and beauty, a good go-to date idea in North London would be a summer’s stroll around Ally Pally. Known also by its original name Alexandra Palace, you can treat your date to a bite to eat at the charming lakeside café or a boat ride on the lake itself. There’s also a great farmers market nearby, the award-winning Alexandra Palace Farmer’s Market, in case you’re both still peckish after your walk.
Date Ideas in West London
A date in West London is perfect for nature lovers and those who don’t mind doing something a little more ‘rural’ on their first date.
1. A Stroll in Kew Gardens
What better way to spend a first date than walking through the magnificent Kew Gardens. Come rain or come shine, the rare and unique plant life that makes up the beautiful botanical gardens will make your date here truly unforgettable. We recommend a spot of cream tea at its on-site restaurant, aptly named The Botanical.
2. Afternoon Tea and a Mystery
For a first date that’s as charming as it is quirky, you should head over to Shepherds Bush and take a seat at Sherlock Holme’s secret speakeasy, The Mind Palace. There, you’ll enjoy a scrumptious afternoon tea, including scones and clotted cream, and the chance to don your deerstalkers and solve a mini-mystery quiz together. Who knows, you might very well have found the Watson to your Holmes.
3. A Walking Tour of ‘Notting Hill’
To really capture the charm and romance of a first date in London, we recommend doing a walking tour of the locations made famous by the best British Romantic Comedy of all time, Notting Hill. At the end of your tour, you can also take a stroll to the Notting Hill Farmers Market to have some of the freshest and tastiest food you’ll find in the whole of West London.
4. Deer Spotting in Richmond Park
Although anywhere in the stunning Richmond Park is a genuinely fine spot for a first date, we think adding some wild deer to the mix makes it extra special. So, if you’re looking for some of these beauties to watch on your date, you’ll need to take the Tamsin Trail that covers the edge of the park. A picnic is also a nice touch for this free date idea, but remember not to get too close to the deer with food or you may find some extra guests at your picnic.
Date Ideas in East London
If you’re thinking about doing something a little different and rather romantic at the same time, we recommend a date in East London.
1. Greenwich Observatory
For a first date where romance blossoms under the stars, you should probably try a romantic evening of stargazing in the Greenwich Observatory. Peering through the Great Equatorial Telescope, you’re sure to get that fuzzy feeling viewing the beauty of the solar system. And if that wasn’t enough, you can finish your date with a tour of the night sky at the Peter Harrison Planetarium.
2. Climb the O2 Arena
For an active first date idea with a rather large adrenaline rush, we think that you’ll enjoy an exhilarating 90-minute climb over The O2 Arena’s roof. Not for the faint of heart, this is a first date idea with a bit of edge and some truly incredible views of East London. Just make sure that your date isn’t afraid of heights first, or this could be a bit of a disaster.
3. A Bite to Eat at Greenwich Market
A favourite of many Londoners, Greenwich Market has a little bit of everything and an unmistakeable friendly atmosphere, which makes it an ideal first date spot with a difference. From their 47 food stalls to their pubs, delis, handmade arts and crafts and more, Greenwich Market is a good way to add some variety to a first date, especially if you or they are a fan of shopping.
4. Genesis Luxury Cinema
At Genesis Cinema’s Studio 4 and 5 in the Tower Hamlets borough, you can treat your first date to a truly luxurious cinema experience. Whilst watching your film, you’ll recline in the comfiest of sofas and armchairs, which come complete with blankets and Ottoman foot stalls for your pleasure. Paired with a glass of red wine and some bespoke snacks, you’ve got yourself a rather perfect first date.
Date Ideas in South London
South London offers a bit of everything, the chance to relax, the chance to play a game and the chance to try something new.
1. Four Thieves Pub
A pub may not sound like the most romantic first date, but the Four Thieves in Battersea is something quite special. Equipped with VR booths, craft beer, retro arcade games and live comedy on Wednesday nights with the popular Laugh Train Home, suddenly, this pub doesn’t look like a bad idea at all for a first date.
2. Putt in the Park
Another classic for a first date, but in a particularly beautiful and scenic part of South London (especially in the summer), Battersea’s Putt in the Park is a great way to pass an afternoon with someone special. The course offers a variety of different levels for any kind of player, and you can also indulge in some delicious stone-baked pizzas and a glass of wine (or two) whilst you’re there.
3. Tooting Market
As one of the oldest outdoor markets in South London, Tooting Market plays host to a variety of different foods from around the world. From Greek to Guyanese and Brazilian to Chinese, this is a great place to have a sit down and try something new for your first date. There’s also a great selection of drinks and dessert vendors for after, so make sure not to fill up on the main course.
4. Gravity Wandsworth
If you’re unsure on what your date is going to like, it’s best to cover all the bases. At Gravity in Wandsworth, there’s so much to do, you’re sure to find something they’ll love. From E-Karting to Esports, Urban Street Golf to Shuffleboard and Arcades to VR (and bowling), we won’t be surprised if this is where you go for your second date and third date too.
Date Ideas in London FAQs
In South London, there are many places to go on a date. If fun and games are what you like, you should try Gravity in Wandsworth. However, if it’s some comedy that you’re after, we recommend the Four Thieves Pub in Battersea on a Wednesday night.
There are many locations to go on a double date in London, including the London Eye, where you can enjoy a champagne experience for four, the Crystal Maze Experience, where you’ll team up to take on their legendary puzzle challenges, or the SEA LIFE Aquarium for a peaceful walk under the sea.
Depending on which part of London you’re in, there are lots of things to do on a date in London. From mini-golf, independent cinemas and comedy nights to famous attractions like the London Eye in the South Bank, the SEA LIFE Aquarium or the new escape room at the London Dungeon.
There are several ways to spend a romantic day in London. From cosy independent cinemas, relaxing walks through one of London’s Royal Parks or the SEA LIFE Aquarium (and dinner in one of the city’s many restaurants) to an exciting view of London’s skyline with a glass of champagne on the London Eye.