From seeing the animals at London’s most central farm to walking around the city’s eerily beautiful cemeteries, here are some alternative first date ideas that don’t break London’s current lockdown rules.
Bars and restaurants in London are currently closed under the current lockdown rules but from 29th March 2021, it has been legal to meet up to 6 people in an outdoor setting, albeit, while maintaining social distancing.
This means that the “let’s grab a few drinks at the pub” date, along with that tipsy midnight snog, is well and truly dead and other usual first date options like the cinema, a coffee or even going to a museum are out the window.
So what can we actually do on a first date in London? It’s time to get creative, embrace a bit of romance and think of new ways of getting to know that person you just matched with.
Walk around a cemetery
Sure, walking around a bunch of old gravestones might not sound like the most romantic thing to do. But London is home to some pretty magnificent cemeteries that are actually eerily beautiful and fascinating to walk around. You can stroll around one in famous spots like Nunhead, Highgate, Kensal Green, Brompton and Abney Park.
Spot deer at Richmond Park
No matter how old you are, there’s still something special and exciting about spotting the deer around Richmond Park. And, let’s be honest, it’s also pretty romantic. However, you need to keep your distance during rutting season and stay at least 50 metres away from the deer.
Discover Epping Forest
First things first: you absolutely are not allowed to pick mushrooms in Epping Forest. But it can be fascinating walking around and spotting all the different types in this ancient, vast forest – especially when the trees you’re getting lost among boast an autumnal palette.
Meet in the Horniman Museum and Gardens
The Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill is home to 16.5 acre gardens, including the Grasslands Garden, Sunken Gardens, Medicine Garden and Prehistoric Garden. You can also discover the Clocktower, the Conservatory and more on the Architectural Walk. You’ll of course have to meet and stay outside, but you can easily spend a couple of hours exploring.
Stroll around Hampstead Heath
Pandemic or no pandemic, walking around Hampstead Heath is always a great idea for a first date. Make your way up to Parliament Hill for a view of the city below, watch the brave souls taking a dip in the cold ponds and do some serious dog-watching.
Indulge at a street food market
Maltby Market. Broadway Market. Borough Market. Berwick Street Market. Camden Market. Boxpark Shoreditch. Netil Market. Pop Brixton. London has got all the best food markets, and many of them are open for takeaway under current lockdown restrictions. Soak in the atmosphere, browse the stalls, and people watch and chat.
Of course, you should remember to wear your face mask, keep your distance, and stay safe. Socially distanced first dates aren’t exactly ideal, but you can still have fun and, if you think about it, they’ll definitely be memorable.
Top image: Getty
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…
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