8 Romantic Things to Do in London
Paris, Rome and Florence always get the credit for being the cities with the most romantic views, locations and ambiance, but don’t underestimate good old London; this city also has some wonderfully romantic spots which are perfect places to soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant city. So when love is in the air and you fancy whisking your Valentine away on a special break, or just want to celebrate a special occasion, head to London and experience another side to England’s capital. Here are some suggestions on where to experience romantic London at its best.
1. Take a flight
A trip on the London Eye with your loved one is high on the list of top romantic experiences in the city. Take an evening ‘flight’ when the city is beautifully illuminated below, and watch the tiny boats on the Thames drift by whilst gazing at the iconic structures of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament lit up in gold. Enjoy breathtaking views stretching as far as 25 miles (40 km) from 135 meters high in the air. However decadent you want your experience to be is in your hands: you can simply book a place in a main capsule which holds up to 28 people, or perhaps take a Champagne Experience to treat your beloved – or to really push the boat out book a private capsule with champagne, truffles, and a private host for your 30-minute ride.
2. Head for the hills
Primrose Hill, an exclusive and fashionable residential area on the northern side of Regent’s Park, is filled with cute cafes, yummy mummies, cosy traditional pubs and eclectic shops. This is home to many celebrities, with past and present residents including Daniel Craig, Kate Moss, Sylvia Plath and Boris Johnson. From the top of Primrose Hill itself, at 78 feet high, there are magnificent views of the London skyline, and visiting this spot during the cooler months is a good excuse for cuddling up close to your date – especially after sunset. Wrap up warm, gaze out across central London, and take in the sights of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Gherkin and the London Eye. To reach Primrose Hill take the Tube to Camden Town and walk hand in hand along Regent’s Canal, or for a longer stroll take the Tube to Baker Street and walk through pretty Regent’s Park.
3. Park life
For another fantastic view (if you can tear yourself away from gazing into the eyes of your loved one) head to Richmond Park in West London. This park is the largest of the eight Royal Parks, and is a National Nature Reserve. It was once a deer-hunting park, and today still has around 350 fallow deer and 300 red deer roaming freely. From the top of King Henry’s Mound, a planned vista from which Henry VIII allegedly watched hunting, you can see the skyline of the City of London ten miles away. Hire a horse and go for a romantic ride together, take a stroll amongst the flowers at the Isabella Plantation, or take a blanket and a champagne picnic for lunch in the ultimate setting.
If the weather is misbehaving then have lunch or afternoon tea in Pembroke Lodge, a wonderful Georgian mansion located at the highest point in the park. Take the train to Richmond and then take bus 371 or 65 to the pedestrian Petersham Gate.
4. Waterloo sunset
The Kinks wrote about it, there was a play and film made about it, and Jools Holland and Louise Marshall wrote a song about it, so it must be special. See what all the fuss is about yourself by taking a sunset stroll along Waterloo Bridge and see if you can feel the romance in the air. Even though the bridge itself is nothing special in appearance, the views from it more than make up for it and are arguably the best in London from ground level – landmarks such as the National Theatre on the South Bank, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye are visible from the bridge. Take the Tube to Waterloo or Embankment to reach the bridge.
5. Cocktails in the clouds
For high-flying cocktails accompanied by a bite to eat, take in one of these two sky-high establishments, Vertigo 42 and Sushisamba. Vertigo 42 Champagne Bar is located in Tower 42 on Old Broad Street – take the elevator up to the 42nd level and enjoy breathtaking 360 degree views of the city whilst sipping your drink. Reservations are necessary, and bar food is available Monday to Friday, with cold bar snacks available on Saturdays. It costs around £14 for a cocktail, and considerably more for Champagne. For bird’s eye dining, visit Sushisamba on the 38th and 39th floor of Heron’s Tower on Bishopsgate. This restaurant offers Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine, and there are also two outdoor terraces offering spectacular views. Reservations are required for the restaurant, but not for the bar. The nearest station to both establishments is Liverpool Street.
6. Adrenaline buzz
If you’re looking for a more fast-paced and exhilarating experience for your date, why not hop aboard a speed boat and let the sights of London pass you by in a blur. Take a River Thames High-Speed Cruise where you will zoom past the attractions faster than any other boat on the river – this is sure to get your hearts racing! The tour guides are not your standard guides – they are actors and stand-up comedians who keep you thoroughly entertained with their witty banter on this hour-long ride. Boats travel from the London Eye pier to Canary Wharf, and special Valentine trips are available.
7. Chill out
For a chilling date with the macabre and the opportunity to embrace the atmospheric streets of Old London Town after dark, take a London Ghost Walk. Although not romantic in the most conventional sense, this date with a difference allows you to cuddle up nice and close to your beloved whilst exploring the narrow alleyways and haunted streets of the City. The guides will conjure up an eerie atmosphere whilst telling tales of ghostly goings-on around ancient churches and Dickensian locations. You can take a tour on foot or in one of the city’s iconic Black Cabs. But the question is – are you both brave enough?
8. Dining in the dark
If you’ve seen an excessive amount of romantic views while in London and are feeling slightly overwhelmed, then this final way to experience the romance of London is the perfect antidote – you won’t see anything at all. Literally. A visit to the restaurant Dans le Noir? (In the Dark) makes for an unusual but memorable date – you’ll be dining together in complete darkness. When the sense of sight is removed other senses are heightened, and this sensory experience will take you to another dimension – there’s no room for shyness here!
Food is served by blind waiters who will act as your guides, and you will eat your mystery meal in the pitch-black Dark Room. There is also a lit bar where you can enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail and then a coffee afterwards when you will find out what you’ve been eating. Dans le Noir? is located in Clerkenwell, close to Farringdon Tube. A special Valentine’s Day offer is available, with lunch at £67 per person and dinner at £80 pp, including champagne and wine; special dietary requirements are catered for. We can guarantee that this is one romantic experience you won’t forget.
8 Romantic Things to Do in London England , London , romantic travel