Now that summer’s almost here and the days are getting longer, we can look forward to enjoying the sunshine, fresh air, and warm, light evenings. And while strolling solo in the sun can be a pleasurable way to spend a few hours, it can also be fun to share an outdoor experience with someone special.
Whether you’ve just started seeing someone or have been with your partner for years, the coming months are the ideal excuse to plan some dates outside.
So, to get you inspired, here are 15 outdoor date ideas to try.
1. Go river rafting
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not plan a day of river rafting?
Donning a helmet and buoyancy aid to rush down some churning white water rapids gets everyone’s blood pumping, and wherever you’re based in the UK, you won’t be too far from some rapids. You can check out some of the best rafting centres on the Much Better Adventures website.
If you’re been with your partner for a long time, all the adrenaline and excitement of white water rafting is a great way to reignite the passion in your relationship and strengthen your bond. Similarly, if you’re in a new relationship, the thrill of this unique experience is a fun way to bring you closer to your partner, and to get to know them better.
2. Watch a film outdoors
In the warm, summer months, it’s a shame to spend an evening in a stuffy, dark cinema. So why not take your date for an outdoor experience, and watch a classic film at one of the UK’s open-air cinemas?
While drive-ins were traditionally an American concept, they’ve caught on in the UK in recent years – and there are also many other excellent outdoor cinema venues all across the country. Snuggling up together to watch a film under the stars, perhaps with some popcorn (and maybe a blanket!), is a magical way to spend an evening.
To find out more about watching a film outdoors, have a read of our article, 8 open-air cinemas across the UK.
3. Go to the beach
If the day is hot and sunny, why not head to the beach with your beau?
No matter where you live in the UK, you’re never more than 70 miles from the coast, so a beach day shouldn’t be too tricky to plan even if you live inland. If you don’t fancy travelling that far, you could find the nearest lake instead, and pack your bathing suit and towels for a day lazing by the water.
If you visit the beach and fancy getting active, there are all sorts of activities you can enjoy as a couple, from surf lessons to ping pong – but lying in the sun in quiet companionship can be just as enjoyable.
If you’re looking for a romantic atmosphere, try heading to the beach after 5pm, when it’s less crowded and most kids have gone home. Plus, then you can enjoy watching the sunset later on!
Check out our list of 16 of the best beaches in the UK to get inspired.
4. Do a walking history tour
Wandering around museums and galleries can be fun, but so can exploring your town or city through the eyes of a curious local during an outdoor history tour.
You can take a walk over a famous bridge, stroll through some pretty gardens, or simply walk through the oldest parts of your neighbourhood, learning about the local history as you go.
If you don’t have any particularly interesting or historic areas in your neighbourhood, why not head out to a stately home? The UK is home of splendid historical houses that also boast gorgeous gardens that are perfect for exploring, picnicking, or even sunbathing in.
For inspiration, you might want to read our article; 14 stately homes to visit across the UK.
5. Have a picnic
If you’re after a more leisurely date, few things beat finding a nice sunny patch of grass, laying down a blanket, and enjoying a picnic together.
A picnic is an especially good date idea for new couples, as this casual setting allows you to get to know each other in a chilled, low-pressure manner – but it’s still a lovely way to spend an afternoon if you’re a long-established couple!
Picnics can be as simple or elaborate as you like; you can simply bring a few bottles, a baguette, and some dips, or you can put together an elaborate spread and spend the day feasting on indulgent food!
If you’re looking for some tips on planning the perfect romantic picnic, you might want to read our article; 10 picnic recipe ideas.
6. Go to a rooftop bar
If you’re interested in a more classic date activity that’s known to help break the ice, you might want to head for a few drinks. But, rather than squeezing into a stuffy pub – or even a beer garden, which are often overcrowded and noisy – a rooftop bar could offer plenty of fresh air, space, glamour, and romance.
Most cities have a few rooftop bars perched on the top of tall buildings, and the brilliant thing about a rooftop bar date is that they’re just as fun in the day as in the evening.
In the day, you can sip an iced coffee or Aperol spritz while chatting and catching some rays, and in the evening you can admire the glittering cityscape while toasting your romantic evening.
7. Go hiking
Hiking is one of those activities that’s just as beneficial for the mind as the body, and hiking with your significant other is a wonderful way to spend quality time together. Not only will you be able to enjoy beautiful views, fresh air, and a lovely sense of peace, but you’ll also be able to experience a unique sense of companionship too.
Setting off on a hike together feels like the start of an adventure, and no matter how long you’ve been together, it can make you feel much closer to your partner.
Another great thing about hiking is that your walk can be as leisurely or as challenging as you like. You can go for a gentle stroll among rolling fields, or trek up a rugged mountain – the choice is yours!
8. Take a boat ride
If you like the idea of hitting the water for a date but don’t fancy taking the plunge into our rather chilly waters, why not think about taking a boat ride with your partner?
Whether it’s taking a low-key rowboat out onto a lake, going for an adrenaline-pumping ride on a speedboat, or even taking a boat tour, getting out on the water is a great outdoor date activity.
If you haven’t been with your date very long – or you’re planning a first date and are nervous about making conversation – then you could book an organised boat tour. This is a wonderful way to explore a coastal area and, because the crew will be telling you all about the sights, there’s less pressure on you to have to come up with things to talk about.
From sunset wine cruises to foodie cruises, there’s a boat ride to suit every couple!
9. Go camping
While suggesting sharing a tent with someone you’ve only just started dating might not be the best idea, for more established couples, taking a camping trip can be a wonderfully special date.
Being truly immersed in nature, and unzipping your tent in the night to see nothing but sparkling stars above, can really bring couples together.
This doesn’t have to be a big trip – you could just find a pretty campsite near you and pitch a tent for a single night. Or you might like to check out our list of 10 of the prettiest camping destinations in the UK.
Sitting around a campfire or sipping hot soup out of a thermos while appreciating everything that nature has to offer is a great way for couples to escape from the monotony of normal life, and bring them back to the joy of their relationship.
10. Rent a convertible
If you’re interested in doing some sightseeing with your date, why not rent a convertible for the day?
Arriving in a convertible car will probably be a huge surprise for your date and will also allow you to see the sights while feeling the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. Plus, hiring a car for just a day shouldn’t break the bank.
You can plan a route in advance, stopping off to explore sights and enjoy meals in different places, or you can just drive and see where the mood takes you.
While it’s good for us to try to do our bit to live more sustainably, it’s important to bear in mind that there are many eco-friendly convertible cars, so you definitely don’t have to hire a gas-guzzler to enjoy this special experience!
You can check our Hiyacar’s website to see what cars might be available to rent near you.
11. Go to an outdoor concert
If you enjoy listening to live music (and most of us would probably say we do!), then a great outdoor date idea is to head to an outdoor concert.
During the summer months there are usually all kinds of outdoor musical events, from free performances in parks, fairs, and street festivals, to ticketed concerts in outdoor venues and amphitheatres.
Spending a balmy summer’s evening with your special someone listening to live music, singing along, and sipping a beer or cocktail (even if it is in a plastic cup!) isn’t only enjoyable, it’s also a really meaningful way to connect. After all, music brings us together, and you may leave the concert feeling more connected than ever.
12. Visit a country park
If you’re not that fussed about visiting a stately home or its gardens, but you also don’t fancy trekking out to the countryside, you can explore the Great Outdoors and soak up the sun by visiting a country park instead. Most country parks are located just outside cities, too, so this means you won’t have to travel far.
Another perk of visiting country parks over more remote countrywide or national parks, is that there are lots of facilities – whether it’s cafes, visitor centres, or activities you and your partner can have a go at. Having loos around always makes dates easier, too!
Country parks are really accessible ways to enjoy beautiful walks and gorgeous grounds, and no matter where you’re based, you won’t be too far from one.
For more inspiration, you might want to check out our article, 8 of the best country parks in the UK.
13. Have a BBQ
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, patio, balcony, or even a roof terrace, then why not put it to good use and have a BBQ?
Grilling up burgers, stuffing sausages into hotdogs, and spooning out crisp coleslaw is a fabulous way to spend an afternoon if you have a passion for food – and playing music while you’re at it and sipping chilled cocktails or mocktails makes it even more special.
While you can easily enjoy a romantic BBQ with your other half, it’s also a great idea for a double date – or even a triple date! So, if you haven’t been dating your partner long and want to take the pressure off, or you just want to share this fun outdoor activity with friends, there are few more enjoyable ways to spend a summer afternoon or evening.
14. Go to an outdoor sporting event
Spending a day in the sunshine while watching an outdoor sporting event can make for an exciting date – and even if you’re not particularly interested in the sport in question, it’s difficult not to get caught up in the enthusiasm, adrenaline, and energy of the crowd once you’re there.
Whether it’s football, tennis, rugby, cricket, or athletics – or any other sport – watching competitive sport isn’t only fun, it’s also inspiring. Who knows, it may inspire you and your partner to take up tennis lessons together, or get a group of friends together to play cricket or rounders in the park.
15. Go cycling
Just like going for a hike together, cycling together is a great way to spend quality time with your partner while also getting some fresh air and vitamin D.
Cycling dates should be leisurely affairs – rides where you can chat companionably as you cycle along, and stop off along the way for some food, drink, and people-watching.
You can choose to cycle along your favourite cycle route in town, or head out of the city to explore the countryside. Discovering new places together provides a fun shared experience, and cycling through pretty surroundings in the company of a special someone is something you’ll probably remember for years to come.
To get inspired, take a look at our list of 9 beautiful cycle routes in the UK.
Whether it’s a first date with a new partner or your one-thousandth date with your spouse, when the days are long and warm, the whole country takes on a new perspective – and it’s perfect for exploring with your special someone.
Whether you want to get active and go hiking, cycling, or river rafting; soak up some culture and history together; or enjoy a food-and-drink based date like a BBQ, picnic, or evening on a fancy rooftop, we hope this article has inspired you.
While some date ideas, like camping, are perfect for longer-established couples, there are all kinds of fun ideas for outdoor dates that can help take the pressure off new relationships, and help you both feel relaxed.
If you haven’t dated for a while and would like to get back into it – or perhaps are interested in dating for the first time – you might want to join our own Rest Less dating site.