Struggling for refreshing date ideas? Planning the exciting first date? Take a look through these 10 unique London date ideas for something that takes your fancy!
Whether you’re planning the exciting first date or you’re just craving a refreshing change from the usual Netflix night in, London is full of awesome places to explore hand-in-hand with your loved one.
Whilst some are content taking a stroll together through Hyde Park or having (yet another…) meal at their favourite restaurant down the street, there’s always something refreshing and intriguing about unusual, unique date ideas! It doesn’t always have to be poems and roses, so long as you’re both having a great time in each other’s company. What better place to start with than London!
When exploring London, you’re bound to find something cool to do on every corner of every street. Below are a few of my favourite ideas for you to try. There should hopefully be a few unique London date ideas which you like the sound of – I’ve hand-selected options for those looking to completely splash the cash or save the pennies. Looking for ideas for adventurers and introverts alike? Perhaps you’re after activities for foodies or the culture craver? Read on for only the best unique London date ideas…
1 – Bloomsbury Vintage Bowling Lanes
Go for an old-school classic and head to the lanes with your date. If you follow me on Twitter, you might remember I tweeted super excitedly about watching a certain movie for the first time (Simon Pegg’s ‘Man Up’). I was apparently quite late to the party as a lot of you shared my enthusiasm and it was even RT’d by Zoë Ball who it seems is a huge fan of the movie. If you haven’t seen ‘Man Up’, go watch it immediately after reading this post… Part of the movie is shot in Bloomsbury Vintage Bowling Lanes. I’ve personally always thought this place would be an epic setting for a unique London date! It may feel like a super cringey idea at first but this location is far from the nights spent at the bowling alley during your high-school years… Hidden away under the Tavistock Hotel, the retro alley boasts eight lanes, plus karaoke rooms, a diner, arcade and a full-on bar. Providing the date is going well, you’ll be bowling well into the night with the lanes open ’til late every night. Their diner even boasts the ‘2nd best burger’ London has to offer – who can argue with that?! Now, book a lane and go watch ‘Man Up’. Let me know in the comments if you’re a fellow fan of the rom-com!
Check out the Bloomsbury Vintage Bowling Lanes website for more information.
2 – Rooftop Cinema club
I’m personally a sucker for a quirky cinema experience – Luckily for me and fellow fans, unusual movie-screenings are on the rise in recent years. Whilst I’m more accustomed to sitting in the middle of a field with a bunch of strangers all staring at a huge screens (must be the festival-lover inside of me), I’ve always wanted to go to a rooftop cinema. Rooftop Cinema Club put on showings of all the classics with top food and deckchairs all prepped for you to kick back and relax with your beau beside you. Whether you go for an action movie to please your man or push for your fav rom-com, there can’t be many things better than watching a movie on a rooftop with the sun setting.
To check when your date’s favourite film is showing, head to Rooftop Cinema Club.
3 – Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
Climb aboard a double-decker bus with your love and indulge in sandwiches, cakes and other delights thanks to B.Bakery. Whilst I appreciate afternoon tea isn’t exactly unusual in London, afternoon tea served on an iconic, red bus is a whole different game. Look out for all the city sights as you tour the hotspots from the comfort of the tea bus. Exploring the likes of Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, The Royal Albert Hall and Notting Hill, you can completely relax on the classic route-finder bus whilst enjoying the afternoon tea with a French twist.
For more on this idea, head to their site here.
4 – Thames Lates (limited dates!)
Hop on board a speedboat rib on the river Thames. Enjoy an exhilarating experience spotting all the famous landmarks. Hold on tight as the skipper rips through the water towards Canary Wharf. Only the best summer soundtrack tunes will be blasting as you enjoy the ride, thanks to DJ Mike Snooze. As the boat drifts back down the river, you’ll also sip on a cocktail courtesy of London Cocktail Club. The Thames Lates trips are a perfect way to take in the sights from a completely different perspective, not to mention a perfect excuse to grab hold of your date’s hand (for safety reasons, of course)!
The Thames Lates events are limited so to check availability and for more info on this idea, head to their page here.
5 – Escape the City Smoke at Hollow Ponds
Every time I picture a ‘boat on the lake’ date, I secretly hope it’ll be just like the pedalo scene from 10 Things I Hate About You (my allllll-time favourite film – Have a sneak peek at my other favourites here). The lush Hollow Ponds is in Snaresbrook, on the edge of Epping Forest, close to Wanstead Flats. Hire a rowing boat for around a tenner and breathe in some fresh(er) air. Whilst it’s not a complete escape to the country, it’ll hopefully feel like a massive change of scenery compared to what you’re used to if you’re a city dweller.
You can find more information on the boating lakes and boat hire on the Hollow Ponds Rowing Boat Hire website.
You’re halfway through my list of unique London date ideas. Don’t forget I wrote a post of the ULTIMATE things to do in London!
Ready for some more? Of course you are! Keep scrolling…
6 – ‘Swingers’ Crazy Golf
A word of warning – Maybe don’t tell your man you’re taking him for a night ‘swinging’… Certainly in the UK, this means a totally different thing to just playing golf.
Set at the foot of The Gherkin, Swingers boasts 18 holes of super creative putting fun. Packed with tonnes of obstacles and challenging adventures to explore as you work your way around the course, you can get help from the course experts if needed (Or, y’know, ask your date to be a gentleman and help you!) With three snazzy restaurants on site and a range of bars too, you can look forward to drinks and pizza, Mexican food or a good ol’ Patty & Bun after you’re all golfed out. Scroll through their Instagram feed for some serious drool-worthy food snaps!
For info on how to book, head to their (brilliantly designed!) website here.
7 – Shoreditch Street Art Tours
There’s so much to explore in Shoreditch. Instead of just following the crowd, actually follow the crowd in the form of a street art tour. Explore with the help of a guide who knows all the perfect spots for unearthing street art treasures. If you thought you knew Shoreditch pretty well, think again. You’ll discover hidden-away streets and fantastic, little-known street artists too! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for pieces by Banksy, Eine and Shepard Fairey. A street art tour delivers a serious culture boost and is a pretty informal option – Ideal for a first date.
For more on this unique London date idea, head to their site here: Shoreditch Street Art Tours.
8 – Go Starry Eyed at the Royal Observatory Greenwich
What’s more romantic than gazing at stars with your loved one?… Not much, that’s what! Lean back in your seat at the Greenwich Observatory and look out for all the famous constellations above you. Tour galaxies and explore solar systems, travelling lightyears in mere moments with your date or other half. There’s something I find so overwhelming about looking at the stars. The starry night sky serves as a perfect reminder that not only are we inferior, puny humans, we’re also just 1 person amongst 7 billion others. Lucky you – You’ve found your very own 1 in 7 billion and they’re right there with you. Don’t share that moment of overwhelming existential crises for too long… There’s also an awesome view outside of the Observatory over the land at the top of the hill – Just by the Meridian Line! If you visit in the evening, keep your eyes peeled for shooting stars. Don’t forget to make a wish.
For more on this idea, head to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. (And for any existential crisis help, feel free to drop me a message and I’ll try and ease the panic).
9 – Electric Cinema, Notting Hill
Did I mention I love quirky cinemas? 😉 It’s only fair I include another. The Electric Cinema in Notting Hill is another one of my awesome unique London date ideas. With dinner and refreshments delivered to your sofa seats, you can completely relax and unwind with your date. Unlike the chains of sofa cinemas and quirky copycats cropping up here there and everywhere, this particular cinema has actually been a working cinema on and off since 1910. With rolling red curtains and beautiful architecture, you’ll feel instantly transported back to its early days of Avant Garde screenings.
These days, there are tonnes of movies available to watch at the Electric Cinema – Check out the Electric Cinema for screening times and more information.
10 – LateS at the Tate with uniqlo
Finally on my list of unique London date ideas…
Explore the Tate Modern until 10pm on the last Friday of every month. Avoiding the hustle and bustle of tourists and school trips, you’ll have so much more time to wander around the galleries and explore all the fab artworks. On these fab late night sessions, Unique and the Tate Modern put on workshops, music and film experiences and pop-up talks (not to mention delicious food options!) Grab a few drinks, listen to the DJ sets and see how many art pieces you recognise.
Fancy checking out the Tate Modern on one of their late nights? You can find more info here.
If you plucked up the courage and went for one of these unique London date ideas, well done! I hope your date was left with dazzling eyes full of compassion and adoration for you – and, of course, craving the next time they get to spend by your side.
Are you looking for something else to do in London? I wrote a post which you can read here on the ULTIMATE things to do in London! Have a read and get planning a day out!
Don’t forget to let me know which of my unique London date ideas you’ve tried! Do you recommend anywhere? Is there anywhere you’d absolutely not go on a first date? Let me know! Comment below, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @gracefulblogcom.