Traditional date ideas, like going out for a fancy dinner or heading to the theatre, are classics for a reason, though they can be quite expensive. So while you might want to indulge occasionally, perhaps you’re keen to explore new ways to date without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re on your first date or 100th, the secret to a memorable and enjoyable romantic experience is to do something that helps you connect with your partner. And, wherever you live, there are plenty of things to do that cost little to no money at all.

To give you some inspiration, we’ve put together this list of 20 affordable date night ideas.

1. Go fruit picking

The UK is home to hundreds of ‘pick-your-own’ farms, where you can wander amongst orchard trees or along hedgerows, and collect your own produce. Perfect for a date in the sun, you can pick all kinds of fruit and vegetables – from plump pears to succulent strawberries.

Check out this list of 10 of the best pick-your-own farms from Country Living for inspiration. Alternatively, why not head out for a hike and pick some wild blackberries?

2. Start a two-person book club

Book clubs don’t have to be big. In fact, if you and your partner love to read (or perhaps you’re aspiring to read more), why not start a two-person book club?

Book club sessions make for perfect date nights because they provoke engaging and interesting conversations – whether you’ve been together for 10 years or 10 weeks, you may learn something new about your partner.

To start a two-person book club, all you need to do is choose a book, read it (or part of it; say, a chapter at a time), and meet to discuss it. This is a particularly good date idea if you’re in a long-distance relationship, as you can host sessions over video calls.

3. See a comedy show

Getting tickets to a big-name comedy tour can set you back a fair bit. But, luckily, there are many spots up and down the country where you can see hilarious shows for just a few pounds, or even for free.

From newbie comics looking to get their start to veterans testing out new material on unsuspecting audiences, you might be surprised by how much is on offer.

Use Chortle’s handy search engine to find cheap stand-up gigs near you.

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4. Dine out at a food truck

Food trucks are becoming more and more popular across the UK. And while their food is typically no less tasty than what’s served at a restaurant, they’re usually a little easier on the wallet.

Whether it’s a fish and chip van that stops in your village every week or a fleet of trucks at your local food festival, dining out at a food truck can be an excellent affordable date night idea. So, why not grab some food on the go and enjoy it at a local romantic spot like a beach or lookout point?

Dine out at a food truck

5. Go on a city walking tour

A city walking tour can make for an adventurous date. Amusing and intriguing, walking tours can offer you the chance to learn something new with your partner – whether you’re familiar with the city or not.

You can look into guided walking tours, which either have a fixed price or take donations (so you pay what you can). Alternatively, if you’d like something completely free of charge, why not download the GPSmyCity app, which has an impressive collection of self-guided city walking tours?

6. Take part in a pub quiz

Win or lose, pub quizzes are always a laugh. From coming up with a unique team name to working together to figure out the answers to all kinds of cryptic questions, they can also be an entertaining way to bond with your date.

Lots of pubs run weekly pub quizzes that are only a couple of pounds to enter, so it’s worth using this handy tool from Pub Quizzers to find your local quizzes.

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7. Visit a lookout point

A good lookout point inspires both quiet contemplation and interesting conversation. And it’s this delicate balance that makes staring out over a stunning vista one of the most romantic things you can do.

Whether you want to admire unrelenting natural beauty or an impressive cityscape, there are plenty of places to catch a great view here in the UK – most of which are free. For some inspiration, take a look at this article from Hotels.com.

8. Get creative at home

If you’re looking for a fun night in, having a creative date can be entertaining. Not only is this option relatively cheap, but doing arts and crafts can help you to express yourselves, which can create deeper conversation and bring you closer together.

Whether you’re learning an entirely new craft together or simply having a go at something like drawing, painting, or collage-making, you’re sure to have a date to remember. Why not take a look at the art section of our website for some inspiration?

Get creative at home

9. Attend an open mic night

A beloved tradition, open mic nights give unknown musicians a chance to perform in front of a live audience.

The atmosphere at an open mic night is generally warm, friendly, and inclusive. Plus, it’s typically free to attend – so it can be a good idea if you’re into live music but want to avoid the hefty price of a typical gig. Plus, you or your date can always step onto the stage and have a go!

Interested in finding an open mic night near you? Why not use this search engine from Open Night Finder?

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10. Play mini-golf

Inexpensive, lighthearted, and entertaining, mini golf is a date night classic for a few reasons. For first dates, it can give you a chance to get to know one another while focusing on an engaging activity – which takes the pressure off the conversation.

And for long-time partners, mini-golfing is a very ability-inclusive game, so whatever your sporting skills, you can always give your loved one a run for their money!

Use this handy tool from Find Mini Golf to find courses near you.

11. Volunteer together

For a slightly more unconventional date, why not use your time together as a way to do some good? By volunteering, you’ll not only feel a sense of achievement and reward, but working towards a common goal can help you to develop a deeper connection.

For some popular volunteering date ideas, take a look at this article from Good Deeds Day. And to search roles, why not head over to the volunteering section of our website?

12. Go stargazing

Spending time looking up at the stars can make for a memorable date. It can be fun to spot planets, constellations, and other phenomena, or simply to sit back and admire the overwhelming beauty of our universe together.

Our introduction to stargazing will hopefully give you some tips for making the most of the experience.

Go stargazing

13. Go for a scenic drive

There’s something comforting and intimate about a driving date. In a car, we can often feel like we’re in our own little world and watching the world go by can inspire interesting conversations.

Here in the UK, you’re never too far away from a scenic driving route – whether it’s through twisting country lanes or along windswept coastal roads. To get inspired, check out our article on some of the best UK road trips.

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14. Visit a museum or gallery

From the Natural History Museum in London to the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, the UK is home to some of the most fantastic museums and galleries in the world – many of which are completely free to enter.

Whether you’re learning about ancient Egyptian artefacts or admiring Impressionist masterpieces, there’s no shortage of things to talk about when visiting a museum or gallery. Plus, you’ll most likely feel a little more knowledgeable by the end.

Our articles, 14 UK museums you won’t want to miss and 11 of the best art galleries to visit in the UK, will hopefully give you some ideas for where to go.

15. Learn a new skill together

Who said you can’t use your date time for self-improvement? Learning a new skill isn’t just beneficial for our brain health, but it can also be a unique and enjoyable way to forge a meaningful connection with someone.

What you learn is completely up to you. There are loads of free online courses out there which you can find on the learning section of our website. You could start learning a new language together or give creative skills like crochet, origami, or drawing a go.

Take a look at these 9 free resources for learning new skills at home for more information.

16. Head to the beach

Sun, sea breeze, and the sound of the surf; what’s more idyllic than time spent at the beach? One of the benefits of living on a little island like the UK is that wherever we are, we’re never too far away from a stunning coastal spot – whether that be a shingled cove or a white stretch of sand.

Pack a picnic and time your visit for sunset for some extra romance.

To help you decide where to visit, you might like to look at our article; 16 of the best beaches in the UK.

Head to the beach

17. Go for a hike

Hiking is a fun, free, and uncomplicated date activity. Not only does it boost our mood and bring a sense of adventure, but according to scientists, the increased blood flow to our brain when we walk can make us better communicators. This can lead to interesting conversation and help to develop a strong(er) bond with our companion.

So why not put on your hiking boots and explore an area of natural beauty on foot with your date?

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18. Have a game night

If you’re looking for something to do for an evening in, you could consider playing a few games.

There are loads of board and card games out there that are specifically designed for two people – this list from Dicebreaker suggests some of the best.

Or, if you’d like to keep things especially cheap and don’t want to invest in a new game, why not try one of these ideas from Mom Junction, which use objects from around the house?

And for those who enjoy murder mystery games and puzzles, case file games like these are a favourite amongst the Rest Less team. In these packs, you’ll be presented with a murder scenario and provided with lots of evidence to sort through. It’ll be up to you and your date to work together to uncover the killer. It’s an ideal activity to get stuck into over a glass of wine.

19. Visit a public garden

If you’re looking to spend some time outside amongst nature, you could plan a visit to a public garden for your next date.

There’s something enchanting about sharing a stroll between dazzling flower arrangements and under looming trees. Plus, if allowed, they’re a perfect place for a romantic picnic!

Some public gardens charge a small fee for entrance, while others are completely free. Check out this article from The Guardian to find out about some of the best free ones.

20. Dine out with a discount code or voucher

If you’re looking to keep things conventional while sticking to a budget, why not dine out with a voucher code?

There are hundreds of voucher codes available online that’ll knock a good sum off your cheque at high-street restaurants like Bella Italia, Café Rogue, Las Iguanas, and many more.

Popular discount websites include VoucherCloud and VoucherCodes.

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Final thoughts…

From fruit picking to mini-golf, we hope that this list of affordable date ideas has given you some inspiration for your next romantic date.

For more tips, why not visit the dating and relationships sections of our website? Here, we have a variety of articles, including 7 tips for a first virtual date and 10 recipes for an at-home date night.

What’s your favourite affordable date idea? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!