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Hampstead Heath, London
Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Embrace summer with these five itineraries for couples

Spend your weekend exploring London with these fresh and fun date ideas

By Time Out editors
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If you know where to look, London is home to plenty of lovely, lesser-known experiences perfect for couples. A cinema trip for two is a classic date idea, but why not make the most of the last few sunny weekends this summer and go and try something else? We’ve teamed up with Transport for London to create five alternative, imaginative itineraries for dreamy date days in London. Many of these spots and activities are accessible, and the best way to experience them is through the wonderful world of off-peak.

Thanks to TfL’s off-peak prices – starting at just £1.50 for a single adult pay as you go fare – getting out and about to these date destinations is super-convenient and affordable. Off-peak applies on weekends, so you can spend your Saturday and Sunday spending sweet one-on-one time with your partner.

Remember to check TfL Journey Planner before you travel. 
 

              

Burgh House & Hampstead Museum
Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

1. For culture-seekers

Want to get out of the centre of town? Start your day with a classic London experience: climb Parliament Hill (free) with the kite-flyers and snuggle up on a bench to gaze at the city skyline through the leaves. Then, head to Keats House (£6.50) on the edge of Hampstead Heath, where the famous poet lived and wrote some of his most celebrated works. Afterwards amble on over to the National Trust’s modernist icon 2 Willow Road (£7), look out for painter John Constable’s blue plaque on Well Walk (free) and drop by Burgh House & Hampstead Museum (free) for exhibitions and arty events.

Getting there Overground to Hampstead Heath.
Local bus routes 46, 210, 268, 603.

Azaleas at Isabella Plantation
Shereagh Dunphy

2. For nature-lovers

The best way to explore the rural wilds, grasslands and ancient woodland of Richmond Park (free) is by spending a day traversing the park's vast network of walking trails. Make sure you pause at the Isabella Plantation – the 40-acre woodland garden is known for its lush azalea-edged ponds and streams. Next up, set off to Petersham Nurseries to buy your own plants in their beautiful, vintage greenhouses (leave time for a cup of tea, too) before strolling hand-in-hand down the verdant Thames riverside back into the centre of Richmond.

Getting there District line to Richmond, then 33, 337 or 493 bus.
Local bus routes 33, 65, 190, 337, 371, 391, 419, 490, 493, H22, H37, R68, R70.

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Kayak to Crate Brewery

3. For adventurers

Apparently getting out of your comfort zone on a date can actually bring you closer together. With that in mind, guarantee a mini-adrenaline rush by renting a tandem kayak from Moo Canoes (prices vary) and setting off on an adventure around the waterways of London together. Paddle for anywhere between two hours and a full day, via Hackney Wick, Victoria Park or all the way up to the edge of Walthamstow Wetlands. When your feet are firmly back on dry land, head into Canary Wharf for a wander around the Museum of London Docklands (free) or grab a seat with a view of the Thames for a well-earned rest at the Prospect of Whitby.

Getting there DLR to Limehouse.
Local bus routes 15, 115, 135, D3.

The Castle Cinema
Photograph: Andy Parsons

4. For film buffs

Swerve the big chain cinemas for an afternoon cosying up on plush velvet armchairs at The Castle (£6-£14.50). The historic art deco picturehouse was recently restored to its former glory thanks to a local couple, and it’s a total stunner. Afterwards browse Chatsworth Road Market for organic skincare, vintage accessories and art prints, or buy each other blooms from cute plant and homewares store Botany.

Getting there Overground to Homerton.
Local bus routes 30, 236, 242, 276, 308, 394, 425, 488, W15.

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brockwell lido
© N Gentilli

5. For sporty types

Couples who sweat together, get together (probably) so get your collective heart rates up on this active day out in south London. Begin at Brockwell Park (free), where you’ll find plenty of lush green space, tennis courts, a bowling green and Brockwell Lido (from £3.20). Done your lengths? Sit around in the sun on the Lido Café’s pretty terrace. Finish the day by getting stretchy at Hotpod Yoga in Brixton (£12-£14). The otherworldly inflatable yoga space is heated to a steamy 37 degrees celsius. Step inside for flows to suit all abilities; just remember to bring a towel.

Getting there Victoria line to Brixton.
Local bus routes 2, 3, 35, 37C, 45, 59, 109 ,118, 133, 159, 196, 250, 322, 333, 345, 355, 415, 432, P4, P5.

T001-00775
David Potter

6. Get there for just £1.50!

Yep, TfL’s off-peak fares mean that journeying to your summer dates won’t blow your budget. Off-peak fares apply on weekdays before 6.30am, between 9.30am and 3.59pm, and after 7pm, plus all day at weekends and bank holidays. To check your fare, search TfL Single Fare Finder.

Fare shown is for an adult off-peak pay as you go journey not going via Zone 1 on Tube, DLR and most London Overground services.

Always touch in and out with the same card or device to pay the right fare.

And let’s not forget the Hopper fare, which lets you take unlimited bus or tram journeys anytime, anywhere within one hour of first touching in for £1.50.

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