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Move over Paris, it seems Brits now think that London is the city of love, according to a recent study by Away Resorts, New Forest Holiday Park operator.

It revealed that 27% of UK couples consider the capital the top spot in Britain for a romantic break. Although it is natural to want to spoil your loved ones, a break in the big smoke doesn’t need to cost the earth.

While you are splashing the cash on dining and a lavish hotel stay, you can save money by benefitting for all the wonderful free activities London has to offer.

Here are a few romantic ideas that won’t cost you a penny. 

Comedy Nights

“A day without laughter is a day wasted” – Charlie Chaplin.

It is a scientific fact that laughter releases good brain chemicals. So ensuring your date is full of laughter can only be a good thing.

Comedy shows can come with hefty price tag, particularly if you are planning to see one of the heavy weights like Jimmy Carr and Michael Macintyre. Luckily, if you are happy to see some unknowns there are a few comedy venues in London that offer free entry.

Top Secret Comedy Club

This venue boasts being the UK’s highest rated comedy club. It regularly puts on shows that feature a ‘secret celebrity guest’ which could be any big name in comedy. These shows are unfortunately not free. BUT if you come to the club at 6.30pm on a Thursday you can watch a free show, often involving up and coming comedians previewing new material. A fantastic way to start the evening with laughter before moving onto another activity. And who knows, you could witness the next great.

Angel Comedy Club

The Angle Comedy club at the The Bill Murray in Islington also offers a chance for comedy mad couples to sit in and watch some stand up for free, every night of the week! 

Due to venue capacity it is a first come first serve basis, but if you arrive in plenty of time you could enjoy an evening of laughter on the house.

A Visit to Urban Gardens

The sub-zero temperatures that the UK can experience are enough to put anyone off leaving the comforts and warmth of home. The Barbican Conservatory, found on Silk Street, offers visitors a tropical oasis with over 2,000 species of plants and trees, as well as exotic fish. 

A romantic walk around the conservatory will offer a peaceful setting for conversation, the only distraction being the exotic nature that surrounds you both. What’s more, you won’t need deal with teeth chattering, thanks to the tropical climate.

If you are planning a romantic weekend break in the city, the conservatory is open on Sundays. Admission into the Conservatory is free and there is no need to book. It is open between 12 noon and 5pm.

If Sunday doesn’t work, never fear. There is also the Crossrail Place Roof Garden, described as an oasis of calm amongst the hustle and bustle of London’s financial hub, Canary Wharf.

Like the Conservatory, the Crossrail Place Garden is free to enter. It features shrubs, trees and flowers from all over the world, and is split into hemispheres. This means you can take your loved one on a trip around the world, well, sort of. 

If you find yourself peckish there is a street food hall called Giant Robot. The hall is free to enter, but obviously the coin purse will have to come out when ordering the food. 

Nothing Beats the Blues

Live music gigs may not scream romance to many, and if you were referring to a rock concert at an arena, you would be right. However, there are certain genres of music that allow for some slow dancing and can be great background music.

‘Ain’t Nothin’ But’, London’s original blues bar, is said to be the best blues bar this side of the Atlantic. Based in Soho this bar offers customers the opportunity to listen to talented blue musicians live in a moody, atmospheric setting with a few drinks. 

No booking is necessary and Sunday to Thursday shows are free of charge. Friday and Saturday are only free before 8.30pm. 

Romantic Strolls

The weather in Britain is unreliable and the temperatures can be low, which makes planning an outdoor activity difficult. But, this is the beauty of a free activity, if you get snowed in or the rain is too heavy, no money has been wasted. If however the sun is shining or frosty cobwebs are your thing, there are a few London locations that may the perfect backdrop for a romantic stroll. 

South Bank

The South Bank walk is a more secluded part of London. Many tourists stick to the centre to see the sights, leaving this idyllic walk along the river Thames crowd free. Being away from the commotion however won’t leave you missing out. This walk allows you and your better half to observe iconic landmarks like Big Ben, the London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral.

The riverside walkway is lined with restaurants and historic pubs, leaving you with no shortage of places to stop for refreshments.

Hyde Park

What can be considered London’s Central Park, Hyde Park is the largest of four royal parks. It is grade 1 listed and divided by the Serpentine and Long water lakes. This isn’t an unimpressive, bog standard dog park though, your date will be impressed with the many sights worth seeing in this spot of London greenery. This includes, Decimus Burton’s Wellington Arch, the Jelly Baby Family, Rima and Princess Diana’s memorial. The park is steeped in history dating back to Henry VIII so if you are both history nuts, it is well worth the visit.

Culture Trip 

London is a hub of culture. There are museums and galleries galore, most of which are FREE. If you and your date are the type that love to absorb as much as possible, a trip to one or all these places should definitely be on your date itinerary.

Tate Modern

From the incredible work of Picasso to the slightly more obscure Breath 5 sculpture by Giuseppe Penone, there is a huge collection of varying modern artworks from some big names, like Degas, Money and Dali to perhaps some lesser known artists. Some awe-inspiring and some just plain confusing, art is subjective after all.

V & A

Although special exhibitions require tickets to be purchased, the main collections of the V&A are free. From fashion, to architecture and art there is something for all interests. See Andy Warhol’s screen print of the great Marilyn Monroe and Vivinenne Westwood’s Sex Pistols top that was altered by Jonny Rotten himself, all under the same roof.

Natural History Museum

If art isn’t your date’s thing then maybe a T-Rex will be more impressive. Invite them to view thousands of species, amongst other displays at the Natural History Museum. Nothing says romance like a blue whale suspended from the ceiling, but maybe that is their thing.

Heady Views

Dates can make couples feel as if they are on cloud nine, and at many locations in London, you can actually take a loved one high enough to see cloud nine as well. Although many of these experiences come with a price, the London Eye for example, there is a beautiful spot that allows you and your partner to the heady height of 509ft above the capital for free.

This spot is the Sky Garden, located at 20 Fenchurch Street, boasts three storeys of public gardens and 360 degree panoramic city views. The highest garden being 35 floors up!

You will need to book your visit online, opening times are between 10am and 6pm on weekdays, and 11am and 9pm on weekends, but admission is completely free.

Stately Home

A little out of the centre, you can live your best Jane Austen romance life by visiting Kenwood House. This stately home is surrounded by tranquil gardens and 112 acres of parkland, giving it a peaceful backdrop. Visitors will find breath-taking interiors and a range of stunning artwork from the likes of Rembrandt to Vermeer. 

The romantic setting of this impressive home will have you declaring to your significant other “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” before the day is out.

Kenwood House is open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm, and like everything else on this list, it is free.

So, for the 1 in 4 Brits wanting a romantic break in the capital, don’t feel you need to splash that cash on every aspect of your trip!

7 Free Date Ideas In London
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