Summer nights are so synonymous with romance that there’s an entire song dedicated to them.
Whether it’s the balmy climes, the enchanting sunsets, or – if you live in the UK – the surprising semblance of sunshine, there’s just something about this time of year that sets the scene for love.
But before you start planning picnics, consider taking a more creative approach by planning a stroll over Bristol’s famous suspension bridge, or going to see some opera in Leicestershire, or enjoying one too many Aperol Spritz’ on a rooftop in London.
Outdoor dating offers an eclectic mix of culture, sport, and a whole host of miscellaneous bonding activities – think fishing for chub on the River Lea.
Here’s our pick of the best outdoor dates ideas around the UK for a summer full of loving.
Head to a waterpark
If slipping and sliding on a range of inflatable obstacles on the water sounds like your idea of fun, take your beloved to one of Aqua Park’s three sites in Suffolk, Cardiff and Rutland.
With slides, chutes and plenty of floats to climb over and under, the outdoor water park is akin to the kind of course you’d see on popular game show, Total Wipeout.
Prices range from £20 to £22 (for a 50 minutes session) and you can book online here.
Visit an opera festival
Opera isn’t for everyone, but sitting in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside and soaking up the sunshine while listening to Mozart sure sounds romantic, regardless of your musical tastes. The Nevill Holt Opera summer festival takes place every year in a 400-seat theatre
Overlooking landscaped gardens and sculptures. You can eat there too, either
The festival runs from 12 June to 2 July and opens with a new production of Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece, A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Anna Morrissey.
Prices start at £110 and you can book online here.
Take a hike
Hiking might sound daunting, but it really is just a fancier-sounding version of walking. And it can make for a perfect date if you find the right route. Cult US snack brand LÄRABAR has teamed up with London-based fitness influencer Adrienne Herbert to create a series of so-called “Urban Hiking” routes across the UK for summer. The routes are designed to help Brits discover new spots and hidden national gems, such as Regent’s Canal in London and Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Eat your way through an outdoor food market
Food markets have been around for a while, but they’re a perennial source of fun for singletons and couples alike. Sample a selection of artisan goods at Lewisham’s Model Market, which is conveniently located on a rooftop that offers stellar views of the city. Or make your way around the vibrant Dinerama in Shoreditch for a smorgasbord of street food stretched across two levels in an open-air arena in the heart of east London.
Both are curated by street food aficionados, Street Feast. Entry is always free, prices vary from stall to stall. Read more here.
Sip on an Aperol Spritz from a rooftop bar
They might’ve once been seen as a kitschy New York City import, but rooftop bars are now ubiquitous in Britain. With photogenic views and copious cocktails on tap, they make for an ideal date spot, particularly at sunset. For Londoner’s, head to Frank’s Cafe in Peckham or Culpeper Roof Garden in Whitechapel. Those in Manchester should venture to the foodie haven that is Hatch while Edinburgh daters should assemble in SKYbar, if not for its diverse cocktail selection than at least for its beguiling view of the city’s famous castle.
Frolic around a botanical garden
Roaming around the enchanting Kew Gardens in Surrey is ideal for a first date and not just because of the idyllic surroundings, but because it gives you plenty to talk about when you find conversations running dry – perhaps you’re discussing whose commute is more efficient. From the incredible powers of plants to the fascinating science behind biodiversity, there’s much to learn at Kew. And when you’re done exploring, you can head to one of Richmond’s famous riverside pubs to continue the fun. Tickets start at £13.95. Book online here.
Fishing is one of the most underrated date activities. Sure, the pungent scents of salmon and sea bream might not exactly scream romance, but sitting together, side-by-side, while patiently waiting for something exciting to swim along is a brilliant way to enjoy each other’s company. There are great fishing spots all around the UK (the River Lea is one of the top), but find one close to you using Fishbrain, the Swedish-born outdoors app that helps connect people to local fishing locations in Britain.
Click here for more info.
Take a segway tour
They may look incredibly dorky, but segways are a great way to get around speedily while seeing the sights. Buyagift.co.uk offers hour-long segway tours across the UK, with some routes taking you through verdant forests beautiful enough to make you and your date feel like you’re in a Richard Curtis film.
Prices start at £39. Click here for more info.
Take a ride down a London canal
Show off your nautical skillset by setting sail with your date and venturing down the London canals in a self-driven electric powerboat. Red Letter Days offers river-based excursions for up to two hours where you’ll receive full training about how to drive the boat and be able to take it out yourself. You begin in Merchant Square before sailing up through Little Venice and up to Camden Lock.
Prices start at £85 for two. Click here for more info.
Watch a film under the stars
Popcorn, blankets, snuggles...it’s the classic outdoor date for a reason. Outdoor cinemas have become a summertime staple in recent years, with screenings popping up on rooftops and in car parks across the country. Rooftop Film Club hosts screenings all over London, with 1990s classics such as Pretty Woman and She’s All That on this year’s lineup, while the Luna Cinema screens films at lavish locations around the UK, including Belvoir Castle and Stonor Park. Prices vary depending on the venue, but tickets sell-out quickly, so get booking sooner rather than later.
Help prevent hay fever symptoms
While spring brings warmer weather it also marks the start of the hay fever season. If you’re one of the 18 million people affected in the UK, it makes sense to try to help prevent the symptoms of hay fever. A single dose of Pirinase Hayfever Relief For Adults 0.05% Nasal Spray in each nostril once a day could help relieve sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, and itchy and watery eyes. Find out more here, or click here to buy online
For the relief of allergy symptoms. Pirinase Allergy 0.05% Nasal Spray contains fluticasone. Always read the label.
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