London is one of the most vibrant and varied cities in the world, with a feel and energy you just don’t find anywhere else. You could be forgiven for thinking that dating in such a diverse and exciting place would come with a towering price tag, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t forget that it’s not all about flashing the cash when you’re dating; be more dashing by showing your date a good time without emptying your wallet.
The next time you’re trying to decide on something a bit off the beaten path, try one of these suggestions:
The Serpentine Gallery
London is blessed with many Royal Parks, and this hidden gem can be found if you stroll through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens along to the Serpentine. Quite aside from the beautiful surroundings, the Gallery is open every day between 10am and 6pm and shows a range of contemporary art that you can get in to see for free. Every summer sees a new installation in the neighbouring Serpentine Pavillion, and new features and exhibits are opening all the time. The gift shop is well stocked, and even better there’s great food to be found at the nearby Serpentine Bar and Restaurant.
The riverside walk along the South Bank between London Bridge and Tower Bridge is known as MoreLondon, and contains City Hall. That might not sound very promising, but it also contains The Scoop, which hosts free open air theatre performances, cinema showings and music just by the river. The amphitheatre seats around 800 people and benefits from the striking surrounds and easy access to shops, restaurants and public transport. This makes for a good casual date because you can just wander up to it and move on without being tied to any schedules if you don’t want to be.
The Victoria and Albert Museum
London hosts many free museums, and where the V&A wins points is that it does not attract so many younger visitors. These tend to migrate to the Natural History and Science Museums, leaving the more civilised and refined surroundings of this attraction to explore with your date. No matter what your tastes are, you’re likely to find something in the collections here to admire and discuss. The ground floor tends to be the busiest, with the newest temporary exhibitions here, while upstairs you can find photography and glass installations. Even better, if you become a member, there’s a hidden members-only tea room with scones and art books behind a mirrored door.
Bike Ride Along the Thames Towpath – Hampton Court Palace is an amazing place, but tickets to explore it are a bit pricey if you’re minding the pennies. What not so many people realise however is that there’s a great cycling path along the Thames that makes for a great active date. Start out across Kingston Bridge and along to Teddington Lock past Ham House. You can take a ferry across the river on Hammerton’s ferry and carry on to Bushy Park, which is an amazing place to explore. There are enclosed gardens, eateries, ponds and cycle paths criss-crossing the Park. In fact, if you park up in Bushy, you can make a loop of your cycling and try the local pub when you’ve finished.
Discount West End Theatre Tickets
If you’ve had a busy day doing all these free activities, you may have saved a few pennies and want to do something with a bit more pizzazz. Why not explore the West End and its famed Theatreland. If you head to the TKTS booth right in the heart of Leicester Square you’ll be able to buy discounted tickets at up to fifty percent off, both for on the day and up to seven days in advance. If you prefer not to queue, you can also book theatre tickets online in advance. Finish your day in London with something a bit special, without breaking the bank.