15 of the most romantic things to do in London

July 6, 2022Amy Hughes0

From celebrating a special occasion to simply treating your loved one to a romantic getaway in London, the capital sure has plenty of hidden gems that are sure to turn up the feel-good factor on any date night


Notting Hill
© Shutterstock

With its pastel-coloured houses, quaint cafés and boutiques to explore, it’s no wonder that the iconic 90s rom-com was based around here. Whether you’re a fan of the film or not, Notting Hill is one of the most romantic spots in London. Is there anything better than slowly wandering around markets and gardens with your beau by your side?


Little Venice
Stumble across canal boat cafés in Little Venice © Shutterstock
Venice in Italy is one of the most romantic cities in the world, but avoid the crowds here in London and visit Little Venice, a beautiful canal area. Home to waterside cafés and pubs, enjoy a stroll along pretty streets and sit canalside while refuelling. You can also take a relaxing boat trip to ZSL London Zoo or Camden.


Outdoor cinemas
© The Luna Cinema at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Cosy up in front of the big screen at outdoor cinemas in London this summer, as they pop up at cool rooftop locations and in historic estates and parklands around the capital. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre will host screenings this summer as part of its 90th-anniversary celebrations, and the Floating Film Festival will return to St Katharine Docks from 12-24 July. What could be more romantic than a waterside screening of Pretty Woman? Find out more.


Kensington and South Ken
Lay on the lawn in Kensington Gardens © Shutterstock

Wander around iconic museums, cobbled mews and beautiful green spaces in one of London’s wealthiest areas. At the V&A Museum, explore the 100-year history of the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance, and discover the beauty of fashion at Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear and Africa Fashion. Of course, no visit to the area would be complete without a walk around Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace. While away the hours in the gorgeous gardens or see the Jubilee Blooms, Life Through a Royal Lens exhibition (to 30 Oct) or a film screening (3-7 Aug) at the Palace.


Places of worship
© Jacob Hilton via unsplash.com

The scene of royal weddings and Coronations gone by, Westminster Abbey is an iconic Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster. The Abbey’s five-manual Harrison & Harrison organ takes centre stage at the Summer Organ Festival (12 Jul-9 Aug) which is a unique experience. Across town, St Paul’s Cathedral is another icon of the skyline. Marvel at the incredible architecture and historic artwork, and climb the dome for unrivalled views across the capital.


Keat’s House
© Shutterstock

Once known as Wentworth Place, this north London home was where romantic poet John Keats lived from 1818 to 1820. It is where he was inspired to write some of his most memorable poetry. It is now a museum devoted to the poet’s life and work, with the collection including paintings, prints and relics belonging to him and his contemporaries.


The Meeting Place, St Pancras International Station
The Meeting Place by Paul Day © Shutterstock

Known as The Lovers by many, this 30-foot bronze statue was installed at the station in 2007. Created by the sculptor Paul Day, it was installed when the station was renovated in 2007. It stands proudly on the Grand Terrace and is often the first thing you see when you step off the Eurostar. While at the station, pay a visit to Europe’s longest Champagne Bar, St Pancras by Searcys.


Hampstead Heath
© Shutterstock

For romantic walks in London, you can’t beat Hampstead Heath. Located just four miles from Trafalgar Square, it is one of London’s best-loved green spaces. The heath has some of the best views and highest points in London for everyone to enjoy. It includes Parliament Hill, Golders Hill Park (with a zoo and butterfly house), an open-air lido, swimming ponds, a stunning listed pergola and hill garden and enough green space to really feel like you have escaped the capital. Hampstead Heath’s remarkable range of natural habitats also includes wide expanses of grassland and ancient woodland.


View of Royal Observatory situated on the hill in Greenwich Park © Shutterstock

One of the most romantic parks in London, time seems to stand still in Greenwich. The riverside Royal Borough of Greenwich offers a number of outdoor treats. Walk to the top of the hill in Greenwich park to reach the Royal Observatory and stand on either side of the Prime Meridien line, take a look at the 19th-century tea clipper Cutty Sark or stroll around the beautiful grounds of the Old Royal Naval College – a UNESCO World Heritage Site which you might recognise from Four Weddings and a Funeral and the 2012 film of Les Misérables.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
© RBG Kew

Stroll on a walkway in the canopies at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visit the Waterlily House and the Princess of Wales Conservatory to see the newly declared species of giant water lily, victoria boliviana. Having hidden in plain sight for 177 years, it’s scooped up the record as the largest water lily, thanks to its leaves that grow to more than 3m (10ft) wide.


Art galleries
Tate Modern © Maria Teneva via unsplash.com

Love has inspired some of the world’s best artists. Take your valentine to one of London’s many museums to admire priceless works of art. Head to the National Portrait Gallery to visit many artists’ muses throughout history. Travel back in time to the Romantics era in Tate Britain’s Romantics room, a time when emotion was celebrated in the arts. Prefer contemporary art? Tate Modern will be right up your street. See Lubaina Himid’s bold, figurative paintings (to 2 Oct) or Paul Cezanne’s still lifes, landscapes and paintings of bathers at The EY Exhibition (from 5 Oct).


The Shard

Head straight to the top of the 72-story skyscraper that towers above London Bridge and gaze out across the capital. Enjoy the panoramic views while sipping Champagne at the Level 69 observation deck, or spend time spotting the famous landmarks below from the open-air sky deck on Level 72, which is open to the elements and allows you to take in the atmosphere and sounds of the city below. On the floors below, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from for the perfect date night: Aqua Shard, Oblix, Hutong and Ting. Make a night of it and stay at the Shangri-La The Shard hotel, which offers 18 floors of luxury. Find out more.


Gordon’s Wine Bar
Gordons Wine Bar, London

A great place for date night, Gordon’s Wine Bar opened in 1890 and is considered London’s oldest wine bar in London. This hidden gem is just minutes aware from Covent Garden, Theatreland and Trafalgar Square. There’s outdoor seating under heated awnings, or you can tuck yourself away at a romantic cellar table. Though the wines are of course the stars of the show, the food menu consists of more than 15 different cheeses, a selection of charcuterie and vegetarian and vegan options too. There is no pairing quite like world-class wine and cheese boards, charcuterie and homemade dishes. 47 Villiers St, WC2N 6NE. T: 020-7930 1408. www.gordonswinebar.com


St Dunstan-in-the-East
© Chrispictures / Shutterstock.com

One of the best hidden gems of London, St Dunstan-in-the-East has a certain melancholic romance to it. The ruins of this medieval church are a peaceful haven from the buzz of the city and are popular with locals and tourists alike. The church was bombed during the Second World War, however, the tower designed by Sir Christopher Wren and the north and south walls still remain.


Take to the sky
Emirates Air Line Cable Cars via Shutterstock

For couples who aren’t afraid of heights, these exhilarating activities will take your breath away. Scale the roof of the world-famous arena at Up at The O2. Attempt this challenge together, and your relationship will certainly come out stronger after completing the climb. Toast your achievement with Champagne Lanson as part of the Celebration Climb. For those who would rather sit back and enjoy aerial views of the city skyline, soar above the Thames in an Emirates Air Line cable car. Spend quality time with those you love as you travel from the Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks.


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