Valentine’s Day Dates in London at Different Budgets
Valentine’s Day can put a lot of couples (whether long-term or newly dating) under huge pressure. Whether you choose to even go on a date to celebrate the occasion in the first place, or knowing how much to spend, there’s a lot to factor into your plans. You might see extravagant posts from friends on […]
Valentine’s Day can put a lot of couples (whether long-term or newly dating) under huge pressure. Whether you choose to even go on a date to celebrate the occasion in the first place, or knowing how much to spend, there’s a lot to factor into your plans.
You might see extravagant posts from friends on social media, bragging about expensive gifts they received from their partner, or lavish Michelin-starred meals set to the backdrop of the London skyline. Not only is this often unattainable, it’s also not a true reflection on the success of the relationship, so try not to compare your date night to those you see while scrolling.
Whatever you choose to do, make it personal to your relationship and make sure you plan something you’ll both enjoy.
We’ve put together the ultimate list of Valentine’s Day date ideas, handily separated into different budget brackets, so you know what you’ll be doing and how much you’ll be spending.
Date ideas that are free or less than £10
As a couple or independently, you might be saving your money – maybe you plan to go on holiday together later in the year, or are still recuperating funds after a particularly full-on Christmas.
You might want to mark the occasion in some way, but are considering a more budget-friendly option.
For the couple that enjoys quality time, consider a cosy night in together. It might be a rare occasion that you take time out for each other and have a meaningful conversation. While it seems like the obvious choice, you can make it extra special – dim the lights, light some candles or string up some fairy lights, stock up on snacks, and make your location of choice super cosy. Find a film you both enjoy (or compromise and choose one each!), and settle in for the night.
If you want to get out and about for Valentine’s Day (January wasn’t exactly the most sociable of months for most!), there are plenty of lovely walks to do together around London. A cable car to Greenwich is £12 each, and from there you can explore the historic Greenwich park. If you aren’t South-East based, check out a park in your area – Battersea Park boasts beautiful ponds and a tropical garden, St James’ Park has views of Buckingham palace – look out for the pink pelicans that can be spotted perching by the lake, and Hyde Park, where you can take a pedalo across the iconic Serpentine Lake.
For the culture-hunters, many museums around London are completely free to enter. One option is the Natural History Museum – whether you’re looking to scout out your engagement stone in the gems and minerals section, or check out the dinosaurs (and shout “that’s you!” while pointing to a particularly cute prehistoric creature).
If you’re looking for some entertainment, a standing ticket at The Globe theatre is only £5! You might think that standing to watch the show will get tiring (and for some, it might), but if you arrive early, you can grab a spot near the stage. Here, you can actually lean on the stage and take the weight off your feet throughout – plus you’ll be in the prime spot to see the action and engage with the actors if they’re looking for audience interaction!
Date ideas that cost less than £20
It seems like just leaving the house costs around £15 at the moment, so there are plenty of date-night options that fall between the £10-£20 range.
If you’re looking for an experience similar to the cosy night in option above, but a little more elevated, why not plan an indoor picnic? It’s far too cold to be picnicking outdoors this (or any) February, but it’s a date cute enough to bring indoors. Lay out a blanket in the living room (or the largest space you have), fill a basket with your favourite foods (for added pzazz, why not have a go at making them yourself, or put a Valentine’s Day themed spin on each of the food items), and dig in.
The cinema date – it’s a classic for a reason! With Hollywood gearing up for the Oscars next month, there’ll be loads of films hyped up as being nominated for awards. Now’s your chance to watch them! Some cinemas have the option to recline on a sofa chair, or have waiting staff ready to serve you drinks and snacks throughout.
Want something simple and no fuss, but still want to celebrate the occasion with your loved one? A simple coffee date is a chance to catch up with minimal distraction. Find a small cosy spot for intimate conversation, or impress with an elaborately decorated, Instagrammable spot.
Feeling brave? Take your chances at an open mic night! It’s win-win, right? You either impress your date, or they feel so sorry for you that they spend the evening trying to commiserate you for your poor performance. If neither of you are star-quality, you can still spend a lovely evening watching other performers.
Date ideas that cost less than £50
Looking for an option that pushes your date above the everyday and into that extra-special Valentine’s experience?
For a truly special dating experience (we’re not just saying that!), Swingers is a prime choice. Challenge your partner to a putt around the courses – guaranteed to amp up both of your competitive sides! Indulge in our bottomless brunch option for cocktails, frozen tipples, beer, wine, and more. If you’re looking to celebrate on Valentine’s Day itself, we’re holding a Valentine’s Day mixer event, which may be of particular interest if you’re looking to stay sober.
If you fancy a drink, some live music, and potentially some dancing, check out Piano Works in Farringdon. With live musical performances from 5:30pm ‘til late, you’ll be singing all night long. Song requests are encouraged, so if the two of you share a favourite song, slip the musician a note.
Want a meal out, but don’t want the hefty price tag? Go out for some street food – there are plenty of markets around the city that cater to those looking for an elevated experience. Check out Mercato’s various locations (Mercato Metropolitano, Mercato Mayfair, or Wood Wharf) – you can find independent vendors offering cuisines from around the world. There’s something for everyone, so if either of you are a fussy eater, you’re guaranteed to find something!
For a different kind of “speed” dating, take your date go karting. Get your blood pumping and adrenaline racing as you battle out to overtake each other and win (or tactfully take your foot off the accelerator to make your date think they’re doing better than they really are).
Date ideas that cost less than £70
For a Valentine’s date night that you can fully immerse yourselves in, why not check out one of the immersive exhibitions in London?
The BBC Earth experience, narrated by national treasure, David Attenborough, allows you to surround yourself with nature. Huge screens display animals from across the seven continents.
Fans of sci-fi? Check out the War of the Worlds immersive exhibit. With holograms, special effects, and a guided alien invasion experience, this immersive theatre production has it all.
If you’d rather immerse yourselves in the real world, take your loved one on a tour of Kraft brewery. You’ll learn about the brewing process, and even get to sample the range of beers produced at the brewery, with expert explanations of each taste profile from the brewers themselves.
Date ideas that cost less than £100
If you’re looking to splash the cash on a Valentine’s Day date night, there are certainly a lot of options to choose from.
With a loftier budget, you could combine a few of the above options into a full day of celebrations.
For a spin on a classic, take your dinner date to the water with a meal on a barge. Dine at Darcie & May Green on Regent’s Canal, a barge decorated in art by the “godfather” of British pop art, Sir Peter Blake. Catch each other’s eye across delectable veggie options, location appropriate fish dishes, or meatier steak or chicken options.
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