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Top 50 London date ideas

Plan the ultimate date night in London with these fun and romantic ideas.
Couple smile at each other as they walk down road past Shoreditch street art on a date.
Check out street art in Shoreditch for a fun date in London. Image courtesy of Jon Reid.

Impress your sweetheart with thoughtful Valentine's Day ideas, a memorable dinner at a romantic restaurant or an adrenaline-fuelled adventure with this guide to the ultimate dates in London.

Fun date ideas 

  1. London's bowling alleys have an old-fashioned charm that makes for a fun and alternative date night. 
  2. Spice up your date with some competition at Swingers: a crazy golf hub boasting nine-hole courses, cocktail bars and street food vendors.
  3. Show off with a game of ultraviolet table tennis at Bounce, enjoy a slice of pizza between matches and dance the night away to live DJs.
  4. Take an exhilarating speedboat ride down the Thames.
  5. Go horse riding together through Hyde Park.

Inspiring date night locations 

A woman and man walk along the South Bank, wearing wintry clothing and holding hot drinks, with lit market stalls in the background.
Stroll along the South Bank © Pipe Photography.
  1. Explore Sir John Soane’s Museum’s collection of antiquities and exquisite paintings by candlelight.
  2. Snuggle up on Electric Cinema’s front row bed, as you watch your favourite films while sharing a bag of popcorn.
  3. Go on a cultural date at one of London’s exciting late museum openings, then grab a glass of chilled bubbles at one of London’s best champagne bars.
  4. Take your date to see a ballet or a classic romantic opera at the magnificent Royal Opera House.
  5. Stay a stone's throw from London's magical landmarks at these romantic hotels.
  6. There’s nothing more romantic than taking a stroll along the river on the South Bank, with magnificent views of the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye as a backdrop.

Date night restaurants

  1. Dine at The Gallery at Sketch, one of the most extravagant restaurants in town or splash out at three-Michelin-star Lecture Room and Library in the same building.
  2. Feast on oysters at Wright Brothers, or go celeb-hunting at J Sheekey oyster bar.
  3. Soak up breathtaking views from Sushisamba as you taste refined dishes combining the flavours of Japan, Peru and Brazil.
  4. At Bob Bob Ricard, you can order bubbles without losing eye contact with your date, by pressing a champagne button.
  5. Treat your date to dinner at Galvin at Windows, on the 28th floor of London Hilton on Park Lane.
  6. Spend a magical evening at Boundary’s heated rooftop orangery, with a menu featuring finger food and grill specials.
  7. Dine in a greenhouse, surrounded by luxuriant plants and flowers at Petersham Nurseries.

Cheap date ideas

One of the Emirates Air Line cable cars rises high above the Thames at sunset, with The O2 in the background.
Emirates Air Line cable car © Reid.
  1. What’s more romantic than a picnic in one of London’s most beautiful parks? Hampstead Heath, Greenwich Park and Primrose Hill offer some fantastic views of London.
  2. Browse stunning flower displays hand-in-hand at Columbia Road Flower Market.
  3. Catch some Shakespeare at The Globe. Standing tickets cost just £5.
  4. Hire a Santander bike and cycle around London’s most beautiful hidden routes.
  5. Sip a flat white as you spend some quality time together at one of the capital's independent coffee shops.
  6. Share some mouthwatering street food from one of London’s many stalls and vans.
  7. Go on a lunch date at Borough Market and sample small bites from different vendors.
  8. Glide above the Thames and enjoy amazing views from the Emirates Air Line cable car.
  9. Visit the free Sky Garden and be amazed by wonderful views of London’s skyline.

Cool places for a first date in London

  1. Take a journey back to the Prohibition era at speakeasy cocktail bar Nightjar, and enjoy live swing and jazz music performances.
  2. Hear some live jazz at the legendary Ronnie Scott's in Soho.
  3. See a show at fascinating Wilton’s Music Hall, the world’s oldest and last surviving music hall.
  4. Enjoy cocktails in the summer at cool rooftop bar Frank’s Cafe in Peckham.
  5. Feast on champagne and cheese at Champagne + Fromage bistro.
  6. Stargaze, touch a 4.5 billion-year-old asteroid and straddle different hemispheres on the Meridian Line at Royal Observatory Greenwich.
  7. Show off your sensitive side as you coo over the cute animals at a city farm.
  8. Drink in an atmospheric cave at Gordon’s Wine Bar.

Unusual dates

Looking into one of the aquarium's fish tanks from the side, with a large shark and three smaller fish inside.
SEA LIFE London Aquarium. Image courtesy of Stripe Communications.
  1. Take your date to a special after-hours tour of the Tower of London’s spookiest spots.
  2. Head to SEA LIFE London and discover the aquarium's most magical sea creatures.
  3. Link arms and stroll through fields of flowers at Mayfield Lavender Farm.
  4. Gaze into far away galaxies between gazing into each other's eyes at Peter Harrison Planetarium.
  5. Explore the Barbican Conservatory’s hidden tropical oasis on selected dates, and grab a drink at the bar.
  6. Magic up some romance at Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter. No need for love potions.

Date activities

A woman and man walk down the side of The O2, hanging onto a rope and wearing harnesses, during the Up at The O2 experience.
Up at The O2 © Buchet
  1. Embark on a cruise in a century-old canal boat from Little Venice to Camden with Jason’s Trip.
  2. Go indoor skiing at Chel-ski.
  3. For a special occasion, fly over the London’s iconic sights with The London Helicopter.
  4. Discover creativity flourishing in Shoreditch on a street art tour
  5. For an adrenaline-fuelled date, climb up the famous entertainment centre and enjoy amazing views with Up at The O2.
  6. Trust your partner with your life at indoor rock climbing centre Clip ‘n Climb Chelsea.
  7. Hire a pedalo on Hyde Park’s beautiful Serpentine lake.
  8. Climb the 311 steps up to the top of the Monument and take in spectacular views of London.
  9. Take your partner to a swing dance class.
For more romantic ideas, check out 101 romantic things to do in London, take a look this guide to Valentine's Day or discover fairytale locations.