10 Free Or Cheap Valentine’s Dates In London
As a student living in London, I’m always on the hunt for a bargain. Free food, free shows, free films, if it’s free I’ll be there! However, dating doesn’t come cheap and you want to put your best foot forward, especially in the beginning of a relationship, but is this possible to do on a budget? And let’s be honest, in this flimsy age of dating apps and situationships, nobody is looking to drop a pay check on one date. So here are my 10 favourite free places in London that will make you look like a dating whiz without breaking the bank.
- Exhibition Road Museums
There are museums all around London and they are a great free date idea. If you do some research before you can make yourself look like the cultured and refined being you’ve always believed you are. South Kensington is the home to the Victoria and Albert, Natural History and Science museums, all on the same street and it has the added bonus of being just a stone’s throw away from Hyde Park. Which is why it is the perfect place to go museum hopping and then taking a stroll around the beautiful south west London.
2. Epping Forest
Forget about the Epping Forest you remember from your year 8 geography school trip (yes will all had to do it), it’s a beautiful landscape. Go looking rare insects and plants all across the forest. This date is perfect for nature lovers. http://www.visiteppingforest.org/
3. National portrait gallery
Take your king or queen to party with other royals, socialites, film stars and musicians at the national portrait gallery. It houses the world’s largest collection of faces and personalities and boasts a rooftop restaurant with stunning views of London. https://www.npg.org.uk/
4. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
QEQP is home to the London Stadium, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the London Aquatics Centre, the Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre – as well as parklands, waterways, playgrounds and cafes. It’s free to enter the park on every day of the year, however most of the events and activities in the park will cost you. Even if you don’t pay for any activities, just exploring this park is enough to capture your interest all day. For more information about the park visit www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk
5. Sky Garden
You can book your free tickets to this top of the world indoor tropical jungle with dreamy 360 city views. The restaurants and bars aren’t exactly cheap, however these gardens are just so striking it would be worth going to the top just for the atmosphere. My advice would be to book ASAP, spaces are filling up quickly!
6. Primrose hill
This NW3 park has some of the best views in London, sunset at the top of the hill is not to be missed. So wrap up warm, pack a cute picnic and some bubbly and get cosy. And if that isn’t romantic enough, end the night at the oak tree named “Shakespeare’s Tree”, what’s more romantic than a well-lit park and the most romantic play writer of all time?
7. South bank stroll + performances at the centre
Not only does south side of the river have some of the biggest attractions in London, such as the London Eye and Sea Life London Aquarium, but it’s also a hotspot for culture. The Southbank centre has year round arts events and on Feb 14th there are numerous shows on. For more information check out: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/Whats-on
8. Little Venice
Located just north of Paddington, Little Venice is a serene canal with quirky waterside cafes, cosy pubs and charismatic restaurants. By foot, you can explore regent’s canal and pass the likes of London Zoo and Camden Town, or you can take to the water and go on an exciting narrowboat trip taking you from Little Venice to Camden Lock Market.
9. Barbican conservatory
The Barbican is Europe’s largest Arts centre and home to the second conservatory in London. Home to exotic fish and over 2000 species of tropical plants and trees, it’s the perfect way to spend a romantic weekend. Discover how a tropical world exists inside the heart of London on the guided tour and then treat yourselves to an afternoon tea.
10. Comedy club
Everybody loves a good laugh and what better way to spend an evening than at a free comedy show. Both The Top Secret Comedy Club and Angel Comedy Club offer nightly free shows starring professional and amateur comedians. Granted these shows can be hit and miss, but in the past they have starred well- known comedians such as Amy Schumer, so I’d say it’s well worth it!
So there we have it, views, comedy, culture, nature- everything to make your February 14th romantic without spending a penny. London has so much more to offer, I’ve only scratched the surface, so no excuse guys (and girls) I’m expecting Instagram worthy dates!!
By Temi Olonisakin