Whether you’re single or in a relationship, summer is hands down the best time of year to go on a date in London. The city is host to hundreds of different options for date night, both inside and out. You’ll have a multitude of choices – whether you’re driving over for a daytime jaunt, or leaving the car at the hotel when you head out into the night. To help you choose what to do, we asked seven of London’s top dating experts for their favourite London date ideas.
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Caroline Brealey is an award-winning matchmaker at London-based dating agency Mutual Attraction. She recommends Greenwich for a day-time date.
You just can’t beat Greenwich when the sun is shining. It has a carefree and relaxed vibe, without the intensity of the uber cool places in London, making it the perfect spot for a date. Mooch around the Cutty Sark or the recently renovated market, before passing the little shops and boutiques to make your way to the top of Greenwich Park. Stop off en route for an ice cream from Black Vanilla Gelato. Or to make it even more romantic, head up there with a homemade picnic, pack a bottle (or two!) and watch the sun set over the Capital. It’s the perfect backdrop for a kiss…
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James Preece is one of the UK’s most experienced dating coaches. The author of six dating books, he’s been helping singles find love for over a decade. He recommends the Southbank Centre for either a daytime or evening date.
If you’d like to take your date somewhere fun and interesting, then look no further than the Southbank Centre, near Waterloo. There’s an ever-changing array of shows, exhibitions and talks, so no two dates will ever be the same.
If the weather’s good, check out the outside bar. Otherwise the Skylon bar on the first floor has wonderful view of the River Thames. When you start to feel hungry, there’s a wonderful food market that runs on Friday afternoons and evenings, and across the weekend.
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Saskia Nelson runs the UK’s first and coolest dating photography business, Hey Saturday. She’s a big fan of Battersea Park for a park date.
My favourite place for a summer date in London is Battersea Park – London’s prettiest park (in my humble opinion). I love heading there with my boyfriend and a picnic. We usually hire some banana bikes first – bikes that mean you’re practically lying down as you ride them – perfect for a lazy summer day.
Once we’re hungry, we find a cool spot for our picnic – usually in the shade of the peace pagoda, which is in a great spot right next to the river. Then, before the sun starts to go down, we’ll walk over to the boating lake and hire a pedal boat for half an hour. By then we’re usually ready for a drink so we head to the nearby Magic Garden for live music and some outdoor drinking. The perfect summer date.
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Jordi Sinclair is the award-winning blogger behind dating blog 30 Something London. Jordi recommends a rooftop bar for a summer date.
Although there are tons of London rooftops that come out of hibernation for the summer, when it comes to taking someone on a date, Roof East in Stratford is definitely my favourite. There’s a relaxed vibe, with big cushions and chairs scattered everywhere. The music is cool and the great bar make it a lot less intimidating than just meeting somewhere randomly for drinks. And if you get bored just lounging around and chatting, there’s always a 9-hole mini golf course to take on.
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Rachel Vida MacLynn is the founder of the Vida Consultancy, a London-based matchmaking agency. She is an award-winning matchmaker and a chartered psychologist. Rachel’s favourite place for a dating in London is Richmond.
For a weekend date in the sun, head out to Richmond. The town offers one of the most beautiful stretches of the London riverside. Meander along the towpath until you stumble across Petersham Nurseries for a Michelin star quality lunch, amongst garden pots bursting with colour that will bring out the Mellors and Lady Chatterley amongst you. Alternatively, hire a boat and row along the river to see things from a different perspective.
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Relationship and dating expert, Katy Horwood, is founder of the award-winning blog All Sweetness and Life, which is seen as one of the leading platforms in the sex & dating industry. Katy reckons you should head to Camden.
What better way to spend a Summer date than with a walk around historic Camden Market. Start the day with a wander through one of the seven markets, conversation guaranteed while you’re browsing the fabulous antique shops, unique clothing stores and stalls selling quirky one offs unique to the market.
When you’re all shopped out, pit stop in the West Yard for some street food, which is fast becoming one of the go-to food markets of Europe, then while away the afternoon with a cold beer by the canal before the funky beats start at one of Camden’s infamous nightlife hotspots. Whether you kick back in the outdoor wonderland at Proud Camden or get steamy with some salsa beats at The Cuban Bar – a date at the market guarantees never a dull moment and the perfect setting for romance!
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Charly Lester rose to fame as the blogger behind 30 Dates, one of London’s most successful dating blogs. She is the founder of the UK, US and European Dating Awards.
Wherever you are in London, the new app Crumbs is a treasure hunt app which can help you see the city in a new light. Select a trail, and set off around the capital with your date. There are multiple-choice questions along the way – so you can either work together as a team, or tackle the same trail on separate phones and introduce a bit of competition to your afternoon! The app is free to download and comes with a free taster trial. AVIS Inspires readers can also claim a second free trail of their choice by using the code ‘avis16’.
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