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Birthday ideas for girlfriends in London

So it's your girlfriend's birthday. Here are all the birthday ideas you need for an extra-special celebration in London

By Kate Lloyd
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Planning a birthday for your girlfriend is a stressful task. Thankfully we've come up with eight fool-proof birthday ideas for girlfriends. From art passes and giant ball pits to cheese workshops, fancy brunches and day spas, follow our advice and you'll earn some serious brownie points.

Birthday ideas for girlfriends

The Barbican
The Barbican
Kiev.Victor/Shutterstock.com

1. Give the gift of a whole year of art

If your girlfriend loves to spends her Saturdays in galleries, then membership to one of London’s best art institutions is a pro way to get her a gift that she’ll actually use for the whole next year. Tate membership starts at £70 and gets holders free unlimited access to exhibitions. Barbican membership is £50 and gets you free access to exhibitions, priority booking and 20 percent off the cinema for them and a guest. (You, obvs.)
Seaworld London
Seaworld London
Rob Grieg

2. Go snorkelling with sharks

If you want to treat her to a Caribbean snorkelling holiday but your bank balance is more Bognor Regis, Sea Life London has the solution. The riverside aquarium offers daredevils the chance to snorkel with sharks including sand tiger sharks, black tip reef sharks and brown sharks. The experience costs £130 and also includes a behind-the-scenes tour. There’s also a cheaper shark-feeding experience for landlubbers.
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Neil's Yard Dairy
Neil's Yard Dairy
Ming Tang-Evans

3. Say cheese!

Skip the birthday cake this year and go cheese and wine tasting with your girl. Neal’s Yard Dairy runs a two-hour course that costs £60 and includes a talk from an expert, a plate of seven cheeses, bread and five samples of wine. Or up the fancy points with cheese and champagne tasting at Champagne + Fromage for £50. Perfect for any couple who are slutty for cheese.
Roka
Roka

4. Have a big brunch

Brunch may have a basic reputation, but Roka – one of London’s best Japanese restaurants – does a £39 deal that includes a bellini, ten starters to share, a main course, and a dessert selection. Plus a chocolate Buddha. It’s the perfect way to soak up the booze post-birthday night out, or keep up stamina pre-party.
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birthday ideas for girlfriends
birthday ideas for girlfriends

5. Have a couple’s spa day

This is one of those birthday treats that make you look generous while really you’re booking a gift for yourself. London’s got loads of great spas that offer luxurious day visits. If you’re on a tight budget, try going for a steam together at York Hall in Bethnal Green. If you’ve got cash to splash, it’s all about the Dorchester. We recommend letting your girlfriend pick her own treatment. See our best spas here.
Castle Climbing
Castle Climbing

6. Go climbing in a castle

If your girlfriend’s ever imagined herself as superhero and/or ‘Game of Thrones’ heroine, why not book the two of you an afternoon climbing at The Castle in Finsbury Park? The climbing centre’s in a literal castle, and as part of their Taster Plus day you get to climb, boulder and abseil down an actual turret. It’s all very ‘Tomb Raider’.
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Ballieballerson
Ballieballerson

7. Be big kids for the night

The easiest way to help her forget she's getting a year older? Spend an evening full-on regressing. Go to adult ball-pool bar BallieBallerson, and take a deep dive into their ball pit. Sink one of their super-sweet nostalgic cocktails, then maybe make out like you’re behind the bike sheds.
Printworks
Printworks
Scott Chasserot

8. Go daytime raving

London's huge new 5,000-person capacity venue Printworks may not be the most romantic destination for a birthday celebration, but if your girlfriend loves a big night out then a daytime dance there is the perfect out-of-the-ordinary treat. They’ve got huge line-ups most weekends, with doors opening from noon until 10.30pm so you can meet your mates in the pub after.

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