8 Romantic Things To Do in London

Rose is a freelance travel writer, born and raised in London, who seeks to showcase travel as a part of everyday life. Find out more

Paris has been known as the City of Love for decades, but London is stiff competition. Often provided the backdrop for many romantic comedies (here’s looking at you, “Notting Hill”) and literary love stories, London is still a hot pick for honeymooners. The Big Smoke might be a much less romantic moniker than the City of Love, but there is no shortage of romance to be found in the English capital. Here are some of the most romantic things to do in London.

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Gaze up at the stars at the Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory

What could be more romantic than journeying through space with your loved one? The Royal Observatory takes pride of place on top of the hill in Greenwich Park, with a panoramic view of the National Maritime Museum and the London skyline laid out before you. Learn how astronomers studied the skies and the seafarers navigated the oceans, then watch the River Thames glow in orange light if your visit to the Royal Greenwich Observatory coincides with sunset, which it definitely should. You shouldn’t miss the astronomical light show, a digital illumination of the night sky projected across the dome of the Peter Harrison Planetarium.

Stroll along the South Bank

View from the South Bank

For the ultimate romantic vibe, take a nighttime walk along the South Bank, London’s lively riverside promenade. Animated in all seasons, the South Bank is home to the National Theatre, cafes, restaurants, and Shakespeare’s Globe, rebuilt on the site of the original theater that was destroyed by fire in 1613. Add an extra pop of romance to your evening and book to see a performance of a Shakespeare classic, and cross the Millennium Bridge for a charming view of the dramatically lit St Paul’s Cathedral. Along the Thames, you’ll come across the Tate Modern and the Oxo Tower, with views of the Victoria Embankment opposite. End your night in one of the many bars by Festival Pier, or enjoy a magical riverside ride on the resident carousel.

Picnic in Kew Gardens

A picnic view from the Kew Gardens

Pack up your best blanket, fill a basket with goodies, and head to Kew Gardens to see the exotic blooms. Just a short walk from the quaint London village of Kew on the District Line, these Royal Botanical Gardens are a divine place for an afternoon stroll through the tropical glasshouses, before pitching up beneath the Great Pagoda or terracotta façade of Kew Palace for a picnic. If you haven’t packed your best picnicware, there are delicious picnic delivery services like Pique, who set up a picnic in your desired location ready for your arrival. Perfect for a romantic surprise. A general Kew Gardens admission ticket gives you access to the entire 326 acres of garden, with no time limit! Don’t miss the Treetop Walkway, an 18-meter long elevated platform that gives scenic views of the park and the Victorian temperate house.

Explore the charming Little Venice

The canals in Little Venice

Little Venice, on the Grand Union Canal, is frequented by lovers seeking romantic respite from the busier parts of the city. Little Venice actually looks nothing like its namesake, but it is quaint and charming. Whether you come for the alfresco dining or the floating bars, you will feel a world away from London. Be sure to take a trip on the London Waterbus to Camden, sailing under pretty bridges and through Maida Hill tunnel, along the serene Regent’s Canal. Book your ticket well in advance, and go off-season for the best chance of having the barge to yourself.

Get a breathtaking view of the city on Primrose Hill

View from the Primrose Hill

Head to Primrose Hill at dusk to join lovers and friends who have also come to share romantic moments and make memories together. There may be very few primroses there today, but there sure is one heck of a view. Take the steep climb up to the top of the hill, bringing speakers and a blanket, to admire the vista of London stretched out before you. At night, the city lights illuminate the sky like a hub of stars, and the best thing about it is that it’s free!

Have lunch in luxury aboard the Bustronome coach

Combine sightseeing with a romantic lunch

Be the envy of the city by taking your significant other on a luxury lunch tour of London with Bustronome. The glass-roofed coach provides an immersive dining experience, as you are transported past some of the best sights and views in London, eating seasonal gourmet dishes prepared by talented chefs. Whilst the lower deck still offers a great view, the top deck is best. To turn the romance up, book tickets for an dinner slot and watch London change from day to night.

Take tea on the Thames

Cup of tea on the Thames

Take afternoon tea with a twist and you sail upstream, past iconic London landmarks, whilst enjoying a traditional afternoon tea of cream scones, dainty cakes, sandwiches, and tea. Drift past the London Eye, the lofty trees of Battersea Park, and underneath the iconic Tower Bridge, all while you nibble away at the Queen’s rumored favorite meal.

Glide along the Emirates Air Line

Time your cable car ride around sunset

Get a bird’s eye view of London from the Emirates Air Line at North Greenwich. The dangling cable cars, which reach a dizzying height of 300 feet, slowly cross the river, giving spectacular views of The O2, Canary Wharf, and far beyond. You could board one of the Thames clippers and sail downstream to Greenwich, before a return trip on the cable car at sunset. Buy tickets in advance early if you plan to ride at golden hour, as you won’t be the only one with that idea. After 7:00 PM, the journey time increases to 25 minutes for you to really enjoy the view, and you can make a return trip. Snuggle up and enjoy the show.

Rose is a freelance travel writer, born and raised in London, who seeks to showcase travel as a part of everyday life. Her digital magazine, Wonder Where I Wander, is dedicated to documenting accessible experiences for Gen Z and Millennial audiences who want to travel in style. Keeping travel diaries since she was 4 years old, her research informed itineraries, topical blog posts and visual content inspire others to stay home less, and see the world.

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