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.

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Impress your sweetheart with thoughtful Valentine's Day ideas, special tours and attractions, a must-see show or a memorable dinner at a romantic restaurant with this guide to the ultimate dates in London.

Fun date ideas 

A woman sitting in the co-pilot seat, next to the pilot with a glass of Champagne
A Champagne helicopter flight © Adventure 001. Image courtesy of Adventure 001.
  1. For the ultimate date night show, check out London’s top 10 musicals: Cosy up to romantic tales or enjoy hilarious stories that will have you laughing all night.
  2. Treat them to the quintessential treat of afternoon tea: Try traditional or quirky options. impress with champagne teas or save with a cheaper option (we won’t tell).
  3. Really impress by booking a helicopter tour: Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime view of London from above.
  4. Be amazed by immersive experiences: Choose from theatre shows, attractions and more – a date that’s sure to live in their memory.
  5. Glam up for a luxury train journey from London: Enjoy a five-course meal aboard a classic British Pullman train* with champagne or join a special Murder Mystery trip*.
  6. Spend some quality time together with London’s best spa days: Relax with special treatments for two.
  7. Take your date to one of London's bowling alleysThey have an old-fashioned charm that makes for a fun and alternative date night. 
  8. Take an exhilarating speedboat ride down the Thames: Get the adrenaline flowing with an exciting London speedboat experience.
  9. Go horse riding together through Hyde Park: Explore one of London's most iconic parks.

Sightseeing ideas to impress

An aerial view taken from one of the London Eye's pods, across to another, with the river Thames, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in the background.
The lastminute.com London Eye. Image courtesy of The lastminute.com London Eye.
  1. Enjoy a special moment looking over London: The Emirates Air Line cable car, iconic London Eye and The View from The Shard all provide amazing views of the city.
  2. Go for a stroll among all rare and ancient plants at Kew Gardens: Perch under the pagoda or cosy up in the palm houses.
  3. Dates need not just be a few hours, make a day of it with a day trip from London: Visit Windsor Castle, Stonehenge or explore the romantic city of Bath.
  4. If you’re looking for a summer date idea, Buckingham Palace opens its doors every July to October: See the State Rooms and explore the special exhibition.
  5. Are you both Harry Potter fans? enjoy a Harry Potter-themed date: See props and sets from the films at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, or bond over Butterbeer at the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition.
  6. See city highlights: Explore in your own time on a hop-on hop-off bus tour or enjoy a day-long date with the Total London Experience.

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 © visitlondon.com/Antoine Buchet
  1. Conjure up some top tipples together at cocktail masterclasses*: Shake up everything from classic drinks to your own creations.
  2. Work together to solve clues on a London Treasure Hunt*: Pick from locations across London and try to beat other teams.
  3. Break the ice over a G&T during a fun gin experience*: Go gin tasting or even make your own spirit.
  4. Cook up a storm with cooking masterclasses* for two:  Will you impress them with your culinary skills?
  5. Take a self-guided street art tour*Discover creativity flourishing in Shoreditch and snap some selfies with your date.
  6. Go on an adrenaline-fuelled date with Up at The O2Climb up the famous entertainment centre and enjoy amazing views.
  7. Hire a pedalo in Hyde Park: Glide along the beautiful Serpentine lake.

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 © visitlondon.com/Ben Pipe Photography.
  1. See London twinkle at night with a special London by Night bus tour: Glimpse the likes of the London Eye, Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral lit up come nightfall.
  2. Explore Sir John Soane’s Museum by candlelight: Discover a collection of antiquities and exquisite paintings.
  3. Snuggle up on Electric Cinema’s front row bed: Watch your favourite films while sharing a bag of popcorn.
  4. Go on a cultural date at one of London’s exciting late museum openings: Grab a glass of chilled bubbles at one of London’s best champagne bars afterwards.
  5. Bag tickets to a show at the magnificent Royal Opera House: Take your date to see a ballet or a classic romantic opera.
  6. Book a stay at one of these romantic hotels: Stay a stone's throw from London's magical landmarks. 
  7. Take a stroll along the river on the South Bank: Enjoy magnificent views of the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye as a backdrop.

Date-night restaurants

  1. Ramp up the romance with a dinner cruise or a lunch cruise: Or add some pizzazz with a jazz cruise*
  2. Start the date early with a brunch at Ballie Ballerson*: End in fits of giggles in the adult ball pit.
  3. Get loved up in Clos Maggiore: The charming French restaurant is decked out in flowers for an extra special touch.
  4. Dine at the extravagant Gallery at Sketch or splash out at three-Michelin-star Lecture Room and Library: Pick from two great dining spots in the same building.
  5. Feast on oysters: Don't be shellfish, make sure to share at these seafood restaurants.
  6. Soak up breathtaking views from SushisambaTaste refined dishes combining the flavours of Japan, Peru and Brazil.
  7. Book a table at Bob Bob Ricard: Order bubbles without losing eye contact with your date by pressing a champagne button.

Cheap date ideas

A small group of people, wearing face coverings, gather in front of the stage at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
Shakespeare's Globe Tours © Pete Le May. Image courtesy of Shakespeare's Globe.
  1. Catch some Shakespeare at The GlobeStanding tickets cost just £5. Or join a special tour of The Globe.
  2. Have a picnic in one of London’s most beautiful parksHampstead Heath, Greenwich Park and Primrose Hill offer some fantastic views of London.
  3. Browse stunning flower displays at Columbia Road Flower Market: Stroll hand-in-hand and take home some beautiful blooms and gardening essentials.
  4. Hire a Santander bike: Cycle around London’s most beautiful hidden routes.
  5. Take your date to one of the capital's independent coffee shops: Sip a flat white as you spend some quality time together.
  6. Visit the free Sky GardenBe amazed by wonderful views of London’s skyline.

Cool places for a first date in London

  1. Hear some live jazz at the legendary Ronnie Scott's in Soho: Don't miss one of the city's most famous jazz venues.
  2. See a show at fascinating Wilton’s Music Hall: It's the world’s oldest and last surviving music hall.
  3. Make your way to the Royal Observatory Greenwich: Stargaze, touch a 4.5 billion-year-old asteroid and straddle different hemispheres on the Meridian Line.
  4. Enjoy drinks at Gordon’s Wine Bar: Drink in an atmospheric cave in central London.

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. Head to SEA LIFE London: Discover the aquarium's most magical sea creatures.
  2. Spice up your date with some competition at fun activity bars: Play urban golf, shuffleboard or even try axe throwing!
  3. Stroll through fields of lavender: Link arms and enjoy the gorgeous scenery at Mayfield Lavender Farm.
  4. Explore the Barbican Conservatory’s hidden tropical oasis: Visit on selected dates and grab a drink at the bar.
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.