Need a bit more romance in your life? Look no further.
Lockdown or not, love is in the air. Rumour has it Cupid is working overtime to ensure that this month is as romantic as ever. If you’re looking for some inspiration for Valentine’s Day or planning a couples date for when lockdown the third is finally over, we’ve got you covered. Here are 8 London spots that are perfect for afternoon stolls, ‘candid’ couple pictures and stealing your other half’s kisses – even when it’s bloody freezing.
1. Petersham Nurseries, Richmond
Aside from boasting a lovely park, a host of deer, and one of the prettiest cafes in the capital, Richmond is also home to the charming Petersham Nurseries. Ideal for any budding romance, this tranquil garden centre in Richmond is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Nature lovers (and lovers in general) will easily find themselves in awe of this horticultural haven and more enamoured than ever. While their restaurant is currently closed due to the pandemic, the insanely Instagrammable Teahouse remains open, serving a selection of nourishing soups, bites and homemade cakes to takeaway.
2. Primrose Hill
There’s no better way to feel like you’re alone with your loved one than while gazing at London’s dazzling skyline from on top of a hill. Just a stone throw away from Regent’s Park is Primrose Hill and it is one of the most picturesque spots in London. Head there first thing to see the sun rise over the Big Smoke or venture to the gorgeous park after dark to watch the stars with that special someone.
3. Kyoto Garden, Holland Park
Set amidst 22.5 hectares of Kensington and Chelsea’s biggest park, the colourful Japanese garden is a peaceful pocket in the heart of the city. The grass is definitely greener in this garden. The waterfall, lanterns, fish and peacocks all come together to add a bit of tranquility to your day. Come here with your partner if you feel the need to escape overseas for an hour or two (without the airfare, of course).
4. The South Bank
The South Bank may be up there with the most romantic places in the country. A stroll along the river with London’s iconic Landmarks to feast your eyes on and many eateries to actually feast on will make for a pretty unforgettable date, take it from me. While the South Bank is a popular summer hangout, if you venture here this month, you’ll also get a sneak peek of the Winter Light exhibition. Read all about it here.
5. Conservatory at the Barbican (currently closed)
This indoor haven contains tropical plants, trees, birdlife and over 2000 species of exotic fish. Under the safety of its glass roof, you can (almost) pretend that you’re on a romantic getaway in a faraway country. Hidden behind the leafy shrubbery, it’s easy for the two of you to hold hands and wander around uninterrupted. You’ll find the conservatory inside the Barbican Centre in Moorgate and it will be open to guests one again after lockdown 3.0.
6. Hampton Court Maze
Yes, we know Hampton Court is technically in Surrey, however its beautiful garden maze is definitely worth heading to Zone 6 for. Covering a third of an acre, you’ll easily get lost (in love) as you make your way around the UK’s oldest surviving hedge maze. Pretend you’re in a romantic Tudor drama or your own Bridgerton spin-off, as you work your way through this never-ending garden. Tickets to the Hampton Court Palace Gardens cost £8.00 per adult and you can book them here.
7. Syon Park
Speaking of Bridgerton, eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed Syon House in the Netflix hit series! The gorgeous building is located just beyond Kew Gardens and is somehow just as breathtaking in person. While Syon House is currently closed, the glass conservatory is definitely worth admiring from the outside. The good news is the gardens and visitor centre are open every weekend and provide a perfect oasis of calm for you and your partner to escape to. Head to their website for more info.
8. BFI Drawing Room (currently closed)
Within the British Film Institute on the Southbank lies, what appears to be, a pleasant, yet seemingly ordinary restaurant. Behind the secret bookcase door, however, you’ll find the more intimate Drawing Room bar. Here you can retreat with a cocktail (or two) and soak up the sultry speakeasy atmosphere. It is currently closed but well worth the visit post-lockdown. More info here.
For more romantic ideas, here are 14 of the most romantic things to do this Valentine’s Day. If you’d rather travel solo, here’s our rundown of the best things to do alone in London.
Featured image: Kyoto Garden, Shutterstock