Valentine’s Day is always a special time, but if you’re trying to stick to a budget then it can feel tough to treat your date to an experience they’ll really enjoy. Luckily, when you’re in London there are plenty of wonderful things to try out when you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style, without needing to spend a fortune.
To help you out, we’ve got some great ideas on what you could do on Valentine’s Day, for a loved up day to remember. Check out the great value London hotel packages on offer, and start planning your perfect romantic trip to the city.
Revisit a special memory
For couples who have special memories of being in London together over their relationship, heading back to the place where you enjoyed these moments the first time can be a truly wonderful experience. Perhaps there was a particular first date or coffee at a special café, a delicious meal that you’d enjoyed at a local restaurant, or even a magical walk alongside the banks of the river.
To bring the moment back to life and recreate some of that magical feeling from the first time, be sure to keep it a surprise. Treat your Valentine to some other little fun things beforehand, such as a stay at the Barbican Rooms Hotel to soak up some contemporary style first, or a charming little gift that ties in with your personal memories.
Enjoy a romantic brunch
A meal out together is always a Valentine’s Day staple, but if a fancy dinner at a candlelit restaurant doesn’t appeal or is beyond your budget, don’t worry. London has plenty of fantastic alternatives with great value places to eat across the capital, and close to the Barbican Rooms Hotel, you’ll find some excellent eateries to enjoy a delicious and romantic bite together.
Instead of an evening dinner at the end of the night, try a fun and charming brunch date instead. It’s the perfect way to start a long, romantic weekend together, and with some brilliant London hotel packages available around Valentine’s, it’s the perfect way to spoil your special someone, without having to blow your budget.
Head out to the great outdoors
While February can be a little bit cool still, London still has some wonderful places to experience nature and the great outdoors, without venturing very far from the city.
The capital has several exceptional parks and gardens, which provide the perfect setting for a romantic amble. One of the best places to visit for Valentine’s Day is Richmond Park, with ample space to walk and enjoy a little privacy, as well as its beautiful wild deer. Alternatively, enjoy a gentle stroll alongside the canals, with plenty of lovely scenic routes to explore.
After all that walking, you’ll most likely want to get cosy and warm, so enjoy a stay at a spa hotel near Barbican London, where you can unwind together in sumptuous style.
Take a trip to the skies
London has plenty of places to enjoy a view from up top, from the iconic London Eye, to the stunning Shard building. For a low cost and sweetly romantic experience in the city though, skip the usual activities, and instead, discover London by cable car.
The Emirates cable car, or Air Line, takes you a breath taking 90 metres high above the city, and runs between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. You’ll get to see some of London’s most well known landmarks from above, including St Paul’s Cathedral and Canary Wharf, while an evening visit will treat you a glimpse of the city lit up after dark.
To make your ride even more special, you can also opt for a special champagne experience, which includes a private ride, and a glass of champagne to sip on each, while you glide across the capital.
Immerse yourselves in the city’s culture
For fans of the arts and culture, a day out in some of London’s exceptional and world-renowned museums or art galleries can be a pretty perfect date idea in itself. Best of all, for those looking for a budget-friendly activity idea for Valentine’s, many of them are also free to enter and explore.
Depending on your particular tastes, there are some great museums to enjoy a lovely wander around together in. History buffs might want to take in the magnificent artefacts in spaces such as the British Museum or the Victoria and Albert Museum, which both boast thousands of pieces gathered from all over the world, giving you a priceless glimpse into human history over the centuries, and plenty to enjoy for hours.
For art lovers, a day out at the Tate Britain or Tate Modern is a wonderful spot to relax and chat in. Absorb yourself in the spellbinding colours of JMW Turner’s collection in the Tate Britain, or explore more contemporary work at the Tate Modern. Afterwards, head to the rooftop restaurant for a lovely treat, while taking in fantastic views overlooking the city, or a laidback café to relax with.
Nibble on some picture-perfect pastries
For lovers with a sweet tooth, nothing sums up Valentine’s Day’s spirit better than a delicious sugary confection, and there are plenty of delicious places to indulge your significant other in across London.
You’ll find some exquisite pastries and cakes in some of London’s most renowned cafés and patisseries, including the sublime Dominique Ansel and Peggy Porschen, where the offerings look simply too good to eat. For those who love to snap and share their foodie treats, the pristine creations at L’Eto café will never fail to impress, and their delicately flavoured baked sweets are as delicious as they are pretty.
Or if you’re a serious chocoholic, make your way to SAID dal 1923 in Soho, where you can discover some heavenly hot chocolate, desserts and coffees, all oozing with warm, gooey chocolate and topped off with decadent servings of cream or even more chocolate.