Romantic London

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Romantic London
From romantic strolls along the river, to private capsules on the London Eye, to strolling around a picturesque castle or among fields of lavender, London and its environs have a range of activities to set fire to even the coldest of hearts.
By Savi and Vid, AFAR Local Expert
Photo courtesy of VisitBritain
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    London after Midnight
    London is fascinating by day, but truly enchanting after midnight. The crowds might have dispersed but street musicians linger on. Revisit all the landmarks of the city and soak in the magic that surrounds them at this time of day. Alternatively, escape to the Millennium Bridge for a spot of stargazing or catch an all-night film marathon at The Prince Charles Cinema. If you're planning on proposing to your beloved, it is said that doing so right on the stroke of midnight at the Statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus will bless your marriage with good fortune.
    Photo courtesy of VisitBritain
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    Romantic Castles
    Windsor Castle provides a perfect romantic retreat for heritage lovers. Escape the chaos of the city and spend your day exploring the magnificent rooms of the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. You can take in the expansive gardens and grounds on foot, or even indulge in a spot of horseback riding. Laze away the afternoon alongside dreamy stretches of the Thames in the neighboring village of Eton, or go for a private boat trip offering stunning views of Windsor Castle. End your day with a dinner for two—and some superb people-watching—at a local English pub.
    Photo courtesy of VisitBritain
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    Luxurious Pampering at the Spa
    Take a break from all that sightseeing and treat yourselves to a day of romantic pampering at one of London's premier spas. High-end options just a stone's throw from Central London include Ajala Spa City in the Grange City hotel and the Spa at Four Seasons Park Lane. Both offer a luxurious retreat from the pace of the city; facilities on offer include swimming pools, Jacuzzis, massage rooms, and hot tubs. Spa London offers a similarly invigorating experience at a more affordable price. Bailiffscourt Spa in Sussex and Barnsley House in Gloucestershire are perfect for an overnight spa break, and both prioritize well-being and relaxation over all else.
    Photo courtesy of VisitBritain
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    Romantic City Strolls
    London is the perfect place for romantic city walks. Start at the London Eye, a gigantic Ferris wheel that boasts soaring views out over the city. Continue along South Bank until you reach Tower Bridge. Time it right and you can snuggle up and watch the light of the setting sun play over the water. Another good route stretches from Waterloo Bridge to the Houses of Parliament along the Victoria Embankment. Explore the farmers' markets and pop-up stalls along the way, and enjoy the panoramic views and people-watching. To wander around a different stretch of water head to the canals of Little Venice—one of London's best-kept secrets—just north of Paddington; there are plenty of places to eat and drink next to the water.
    Photo by Tim Gartside/age fotostock
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    Cozy Up on the London Eye
    London's iconic Ferris wheel on the South Bank, the London Eye, allows anyone looking to make the ultimate romantic gesture to book a private capsule named Cupid's Capsule. The intoxicating combination of chocolates, champagne, and your loved one is complemented by the equally-heady views of London. See how many of the city's major sights you can spot as your capsule paints lazy circles in the sky. It is a wonderful way to spend a special occasion, and your own personal host ensures you will have an unforgettable experience, whether it's an anniversary, a birthday, or just another day.
    Photo courtesy of VisitBritain
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    Movie Time under the Stars
    If you’re visiting London in the summer don’t miss the chance to watch a film under the stars. The mattresses, dip-dyed bed sheets, and food stalls, all combined with the romantic setting, make for a unique and fun date night. There are a number of locations that host open-air cinema events. Some of the most popular include screens at Somerset House, Chiswick House, the Scoop amphitheater at South Bank, Hoxton's Rooftop Film Club, and Dalston Roof Park. There's even a floating cinema among the canals of East London. Be sure to check the screening schedules to choose a movie that suits your taste—or just go anyway to enjoy the experience.
    Photo courtesy of VisitBritain
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    Take In a West End Show
    London's dazzling array of plays and musicals has been wowing audiences for years; watching a musical in London's West End is a great way to spend some quality time with your loved one. Check out the intense historical and political romance of Les Misérables, the timeless love of The Phantom of the Opera, the energetic rhythm of Mamma Mia, or the stunning choreography of Swan Lake. Whatever your choice, taking in a show with your beloved is sure to get your heart pounding, and is a classic and romantic London date.
    Photo courtesy of VisitBritain
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    Drinks with a View
    There is always something special about drinking at a terrace bar. The romantic ambiance and breathtaking views help, and the bottle of champagne never hurts. Madison Restaurant at One New Change has an amazing view of St. Paul's Cathedral, while Vista at the Trafalgar Hotel offers a panorama of London's most prominent landmarks, including Nelson's Column and Big Ben. Radio Rooftop Bar at the ME Hotel has some seriously dizzying 180-degree views, along with a formal dress code. After a long day of sightseeing these bars are perfect to curl up with a sundowner—and continue your sightseeing, but this time from up high.
    Photo courtesy of Trafalgar Hotel
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    A Rendezvous among the Flowers
    Escape the city for a romantic rendezvous at the Mayfield Lavender Farm in Surrey. There, you will find thousands of stems of powdery lavender dancing in the sunshine; endless rows of blue, mauve, and purple perfuming the air as bumblebees wobble buzzily from stem to stem. Just 15 miles from Central London, the farm is an otherworldly escape from the city. Pick up a lavender food hamper and have a picnic for two amidst the flowers. The farm is also a good spot for souvenir shopping: wreaths, bath oils, satchels, tea, and shortbread are all available. Summer is best for capturing the lavender at its most colorful, but the farm is photo-friendly year-round.
    Photo by Savi and Vid
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    Dining on the Thames
    You’ll spend plenty of time around the Thames while visiting London. Take your river experience to the next level with a dinner cruise. Lunch options are available, but the most romantic option is to dine by candlelight whilst watching the nighttime lights of London drift past. Most cruises have multiple dinner package options available, so you will find one that meets your preferences. The romance of the setting is a given; live music and champagne will make it even better. After dinner you can dance the night away while cruising past the city's riverside landmarks.
    Photo by Steve Vidler/age fotostock