Move over Paris, London has more than enough romantic hangouts to compete with the self-styled City of Love – these are our suggestions for the best ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in London.
Catch the Vauxhall Village Presents: Tunnel Of Love
Forget expensive restaurants and the overpriced red roses this Valentine’s Day and cuddle up with a classic film screening instead. The pop-up Vauxhall Village presents the Tunnel of Love over Valentines weekend – 13 to 16 February where classics such as Top Gun, Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrmann’s version) and Lost in Translation will be shown. It’s hosted outdoors so get in the spirit by bringing along a cosy blanket and don’t miss the gooey chocolate fondue and champagne cocktails. Tickets cost 7.50 GBP.
Take a London Helicopter Tour
Splash out on your loved one this Valentines with an awesome journey around London onboard a helicopter. The spectacular ride gives you an incredible bird’s eye view over the famous landmarks of the capital. Experience the city from a completely fresh perspective. Prices start from 129 GBP per person.
Immerse yourself in The Drowned Man by Punchdrunk
Immersive theatre has really taken London by storm for 2014 and the most famous example of this innovative genre is undoubtedly the incredible Drowned Man performance by Punchdrunk. Five floors has been converted into the fictional ‘A Hollywood Fable’ film sets and the audience are encouraged to don masks and wander the sets to uncover the story as it waves through madness, murder and intrigue. Tickets start at 39.50 GBP (concessions available). Check out the YouTube video below...
Hop onboard the Number 9 Bus
What could be more romantic than riding the iconic red London bus – the Routemaster double decker has traversed London streets for more than 50 years. And the number 9 is only one of two routes that still utilise the old-school Routemaster buses. Pick up the bus from Hammersmith and pass Kensington Palace, the Royal Albert Hall and Prince Albert’s monument, which broken-hearted Queen Victoria commissioned when her beloved husband died of typhoid in 1861. The number nine also passes by the museums of Kensington, as well as Harrods and Hyde Park corner. Then the journey continues on past St James’s Palace, Trafalgar Square and the Savoy hotel.
Meet the sloths at London Zoo
If the current raft of nature and wildlife TV programmes on the BBC has inspired you, then take a trip to the tropical indoor exhibits at London Zoo, which include the adorable sloths. It’s the prime place to escape the London chills this winter as you explore Rainforest Life and the Colourful Butterfly Paradise. Amidst the urban rainforest, sloths, monkeys, armadillo and anteaters forage. Entry costs from 20 GBP for online booking on 14 February itself which is classed as the winter season. From 15 February entry is 24 GBP.
Ride the London Eye
Now in its fourteenth year, the London Eye remains ever popular. And what better way to spend Valentine's Day in London, as over the weekend, 13-16 February, the wheel will be bedecked in red, with capsules adorned with romantic fairy lights and red roses. Opt for treats such as chocolates, champagne and red roses to set the mood. Packages start from 22.50 GBP per person for the Chocolate Treat package.
Go boating in Little Venice
If your budget can’t quite stretch to gondolas in Venice this season, don’t despair, as London’s Little Venice network of canals is the next best thing! Glide along the pretty waterways watching other canal boats meander past and soak up the laid-back vibe – in fact the only thing that missing is the balmy weather! Incidentally it was English poet Robert Browning who coined the phrase ‘Little Venice; to which he was referring to the meeting point at the Grand Union Canal and the Regent's Canal, although today the term largely applies to the whole section of to the south of Maida Vale.