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A Complete List Of Cool Date Ideas In The UK

I’ve got the lowdown on cool date ideas in the UK. 35 of the very best. Grab your other half, friends, travel companions or even your own self + make those reservations…

Buckle up, I’m inviting you on a virtual tour to scoop out the best date ideas across the UK.

Dates ideas which aren’t solely limited to couples, though. I’m talking work dates, friendship dates, group dates, double dates, solo dates even. Enjoyment is for everyone, after all. Over the last few months, I’ve made it my mission to see exactly what the UK has to offer when it comes to activities.

Now, I’m sharing all my findings with you.

Not only have I verified pretty much all of the below in-person, but I’ve placed specific emphasis on date ideas which mostly occur indoors. I’ve also curated a list which is mindful of varying budgets. That’s a detail often missed out with other search result findings.

Craving a teaser? How about an arcade where you can try your hand at baseball, a bingo spot with a high-tech influence, or an adult-only fairground to release every ounce of nostalgia. If it’s fun you’re after, it’s fun you’ll get…

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35 Entertaining Date Ideas In The UK:

Disclaimer: Some links are affiliates, which help me fund this blog. They don’t cost you a penny nor do they change the page content in any way.

When it comes to planning things to do, visions can get a little repetitive if you’re severely stuck for inspo. This post aims to put a stop to that.

You’ll find everything from afternoon tea with a RnB twist in Manchester, to an all-day climbing option up north, to an independent UV golf venue in Brighton. Don’t mind travelling a little further? Browse the list of chain activities to find the closest to your permanent location.

As mentioned above, these date ideas in the UK aren’t exclusive to purely romantic relationships. However, understandably, some of the suggestions featured on here are best enjoyed in groups, rather than alone. Nonetheless, I’ve made sure there’s something for everyone.

If you’re in desperate need for a short trip abroad though, allow me to tempt you with a weekend in Lisbon. Even shorter? Half a day in Barcelona will satisfy your wanderlust. For those souls who crave long distance, a NYC guide for first-timers makes perfect sense. Although, after this post, I don’t blame you for deciding to stick out a few more months in the UK…

The Floodgate Venue, Birmingham. Date Ideas In The UK

Activities With Chains Across The UK:

Even if you don’t reside in a larger, or better-known, city scrap that feeling of FOMO. With immediate effect. The below date ideas have solid presences across multiple UK regions…

OTHERWORLD

When it comes to VR, OTHERWORLD feels more ‘luxe’ than similar offerings. A quick peak into the spaceship-like bathrooms or futuristic waiting room, and you’ll agree.

Once you’ve completed a short induction, you’ll be taken to a designated pod to officially start your VR experience. Whilst I seemed to settle for a fairly tame one-player ‘Fruit Ninja’ for the duration of my 60 minutes, there’s no shortage of multi-player gaming options.

Some things to note though, it’s actually pretty confusing if you’re not familiar with gaming, as I swiftly found out, however if something isn’t functioning you’re instantly connected to a specialist at the tap of a button. At this point, any lost time is added back into the game, which should offer some reassurance if you’ve been left with a temperamental device.

Price: Dependant on time and day, but as low as £11 for a 40-minute session.

Locations: London + Birmingham.

Boom Battle Bar

Axe throwing, beer pong, electric darts and karaoke booths make up just half of the amusement you’ll find here.

‘Boom Battle Bar’ is definitely a place you’d best enjoy with company, but there’s logic to the statement too, as most activities are pay per lane/table. Even if you flunked maths hard you’ll work out that more people = a more affordable session.

Location: 20 locations, including Norwich, Stevenage + Canterbury.

F1 Arcade

You’re in for a proper racing experience to rack up scores at ‘F1 Arcade’. Yet, these ‘points’ aren’t irrelevant add-ons, as your skills are eventually compensated in the form of drink-or-game tokens.

Personally? This was my least favourite activity from my research, but only because I dislike driving. Everyone I attended with seriously loved it, though.

Location: London, with an opening in Birmingham from November.

Ninja Warrior

For a uniquely different date idea, you’ve got to try the UK ‘Ninja Warrior’ obstacle course.

A nod to the popular ITV show, ‘Ninja Warrior’ venues get fitness levels tested. Upon first glance, you’d be correct in thinking the inflatables are more suited to children. However, once you actually delve into the bulk of the challenges you’ll soon be inclined to pass on obstacles even gymnasts struggle to master. This is no playground.

Side note: I felt 60 minutes of running around was more than enough, so the 2 hour slot might feel overly-lengthy.

Location: 18 venues around the UK, including Milton Keynes, Southampton + Chelmsford.

Immersive Gamebox

For a more chilled introduction to VR, I’d suggest Immersive Gamebox. The reason? Up to 6 people can move around in the same room, as you aren’t assigned your own individual booth like in OTHERWORLD.

You’re also free to select the theme of your 60 minutes. My preference, for investigation purposes, was the ‘Squid Game’ package, which featured adaptations from the original series, interactive touch screens, motion tracking and ruthless multi-player elements. Unsurprisngly, the concept of ‘Immersive Gamebox’ could not be faulted. Sure, some levels were slightly less enjoyable when repeated multiple times, but this is perhaps less of a concern when you’re gaming with more than one other person.

Price: Dependant on time and day, but you’re looking at a minimum of £29 for a 60-minute game.  

Location: Multiple sites across the UK, including Essex, Liverpool + Yorkshire.

The Big Bake

Inspired by the likes of the ‘Great British Bake-Off’, you’re given a personalised kitchen bench, a set of instructions, and pre-measured ingredients to flex your baking skills. There’s a catch though – you’ve only got 90 minutes.

This UK offering perhaps falls into the ‘once you’ve tried it, you won’t need to do it again’ category, but you’ll have a fun night with this ‘Bake-Off’ replica. Whether your baked goods turn out according to plan or not…

If you have any allergies, you’re also able to request vegan or gluten-free alternatives. I was given gluten-free flour for choux pastries, but this set me up for failure as gluten-free pastry is near impossible. Or so I like to tell myself.

Price: Dependant on time, day and location, but the average seemed to be 40£ per person.

Location: London + Birmingham.

Junkyard Golf

For an enjoyable motive which isn’t going to break the bank, try ‘Junkyard Golf’.

Essentially, the venue is home to quirky 9-hole golf courses, with the possibility to ‘preview’ inside the themes prior to booking. Spoilers are good sometimes.

Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to be in possession of a student card, there’s an option to secure half price games during off-peak days/hours. That’s right, sessions for less than a fiver.

Location: Multiple sites, including Oxford, Liverpool + Manchester.

The Cauldron

You know what’s admired when it comes to date ideas in the UK?

The inclusion of sober lifestyles amongst alcohol-fuelled lifestyles, within the same group. Take ‘The Cauldron’ for example. A potion-making and science-faking mixology class, with mocktail alternatives if that’s a preference of yours.

Price: Dependant on day and time. Generally, you’re looking at less than 45£ at the highest of peak hours.

Location: London, Brighton + Edinburgh.

Everyman

‘Everyman’ adds razzle dazzle to the cinema experience.

Welcomed is the ability to feel like you’re watching a range of mainstream, independent, and classic films from the comfort of your own home. Or, the comfort of your own sofa, should I say. Hold the popcorn though, as ‘Everyman’ lets you get pizza and cookie dough, amongst other snacks, delivered directly to your seat.

Location: Multiple spots across the UK, including Plymouth, Edinburgh + Stratford-upon-Avon.

NQ64

Are you someone who screams ‘they don’t make music like the 00’s anymore’?

You’ll love ‘NQ64’ if you answered yes to that. Not only are the retro games and consoles designed with 90’s babies in mind, but the neon splashed interior does a solid job of creating a nice little backdrop whilst you game. When options include Space Invaders, Ninja Turtles and Pac-Man, you know this is going to be a trippy return to the past.

Annoyingly, the games work on a token-based system. You can’t just tap away with your contactless card, but there are a handful of options which don’t require the use of tokens. People seem to hog these though, so be quick.

Location: Multiple cities, including Glasgow, Newcastle + Cardiff.

Substation

The type of person who wants date night to feel like a PE lesson? You’re mad, but I’ll help you.

This rock climbing venue appeals to both newbies and seasoned professionals, however the convenient thing about ‘Substation’, is the freedom to scale rocks without time constraints. At the time of writing, even during peak hours, you’ll only be parted with a mere 16£ for a day pass.

There’s also something refreshing about supporting a company who’ve plastered ‘We’re a living wage employer’ across their booking page. *Claps*

Location: London + Macclesfield.

Roxy

Similar to ‘Boom Battle Bar’, but different.

‘Roxy’ probably sits in second-place when it comes to the activity factor between the two, but my group seemed to have mixed opinions on this statement. You can be the judge.

However, to prevent confusion it’s worth pointing something out. Roxy ‘Ball Room’ isn’t directly fixated around bowling, whereby Roxy ‘Lanes’ is. Make sure you choose accordingly if it’s bowling you’ve got your heart set on.

Location: Multiple cities, including Leicester, Manchester + Birmingham.

Alcotraz

Name ring a bell? We’re only talking about a notorious prison across the globe.

‘Alcotraz’ bar functions on the basis that you’re smuggling drinks into a physical cell block, underneath the provided orange jumpsuits. It’s like an escape room, without actually having to umm, escape.

Location: London, Manchester, Liverpool + Brighton.

All locations closed on Monday.

Point Blank

Sticking with the American theme, I guess you could say ‘Point Blank’ makes you feel like you’re in the US. In more ways than one.

Stimulated shooting range with hotdogs and unusual cocktail combinations? From a private booth? Sounds lively. Hold up though. Every Sunday, you can get your hands on bottomless beer, unlimited pizza and shooting for 35£. Not a bad way to spend a weekend, if this is your type of vibe. Failing that, there’s the possibility to get 1kg of wings to your table.

Locations: 3 in the UK. Manchester, Newcastle + Liverpool.

Tonight Josephine

Tonight Josephine is exactly the type of drag-inspired brunch that gets your party standing on tables. Comparable to an adult slumber party, there’s glitz, there’s glamour, there’s bingo, there’s lip syncs, and most importantly, there’s a delivery of high-energy performances at all times. Think RuPaul’s Drag Race on a night out.

Whilst ‘Tonight Josephine’ is not limited to females, this spot does have a largely female audience. Just a heads up.

Locations: Multiple cities, including Cardiff + Bristol.

Paint A Pic

If it’s wholesome moments you’re after, take note.

The idea behind ‘Paint a Pic’ is to get everyone embracing their artistic side. Over the course of 2 hours, the class follows a step-by-step ‘tutorial’ to recreate an image based on the pre-determined theme. No prior experience needed, so expectations are realistic.

Location: Again, multiple cities, including Manchester, Bristol + Leeds.

Flight Club

A date night idea for large groups, work socials or people who prefer very lowkey birthdays.

Flight club is a mash-up of food and darts. A combo perhaps you’d never initially match up. However, the biggest pull factor is ‘Brunch Social’, where you’re given unlimited pizza amongst the dart throwing. This initiative takes place every Thursday to Sunday, with vegan cheese and gluten-free bases available should you need.

Location: You guessed it. Multiple, including Leeds, Birmingham + London.

Activities Specifically Based In London:

Nearly all of the above are available in London in some shape or form, but for date ideas specifically found in the UK capital it’s in your best interest to look into the below!

The Other Art Fair

Calling all creatives.

If you’re looking for an activity that’s a bit more unusual, head to ‘The Other Art Fair’. You’re able to mingle with independent artists, purchase visual aesthetics, hit up the in-house bar, and head-nod to the sounds of the DJ set. London actually hosts the only version in the UK, FYI.

Location: The Old Truman Brewery, 95 Brick Ln, London E1 6QL.

Open Thursday through to Sunday.

Hijingo

Forget everything you associate with bingo, because ‘Hijingo‘ is about to elevate things 100 times over.

Upon checking into the Shoreditch venue, you’ll be given a paper bag with a table number. You probably won’t pay too much attention to the contents though, as the sensory-overload will grip you first. When it’s eventually time to make your way into the bingo hall, you’ll be met with dancers, flashing lights, and a personal waiter. Then the game starts…

As a spoiler, the best prize I witnessed was 250£ and the worst was a light-up umbrella lol. Yet, if you’re shy, you might not like the process of winning a prize. You’re asked to go on stage and participate in a dance-off, if there’s a tie.

Price: Dependant on package, but as a ‘walk-in’ I paid 20£ for a 90 minute session. This included 6 games of bingo.

Location: 90 Worship St, London EC2A 2BA.

The Secret Comedy Club

When a destination has the label of ‘Highest Rated Comedy Club In The UK’, you know it must count for something.

And it does.

At ‘The Top Secret Comedy Club’, daily stand-up shows in an undeniably intimate atmosphere provide a flavour of consistently funny entertainment. However, one might consider the cherry on the cake to be the notoriously affordable bar and BIG names which have graced the stage. The website has a full list of past talent, if you’ve got the time.

Oh, and you can bring takeout into the club…

Location: 70a Drury Ln, London WC2B 5PD.

Jack + Beyond

There’s a good reason this bottomless cake spot has gone viral.

The rules at ‘Jack + Beyond’ are simple, eat as much cake as you can within 90 minutes, from the 7 flavours available. Repeat the ones you like, leave behind the ones you don’t. Apparently, the leading champ scoffed down 21 slices. Sadly, it wasn’t me.

Price: 22£ for bottomless cake, or 28£ for bottomless cake AND unlimited hot drinks.

Location: 146 Battersea High St, London SW11 3JR.

FAIRGAME

An adult-only themed venue to give you all the fairground feels. You’re given 75 minutes to master 9 different carnival games, with success rate counting towards your overall score. The make-or-break factor to determine whether you win a prize. Suddenly, knocking down cans becomes playfully stressful.

Location: 25 Fishermans Walk, London E14 4DH.

Roller Nation

This is not your standard nightclub.

‘Roller Nation’ gives you a chance to skate around in true disco fashion. Like in the movies. You can even sign up for lessons if you feel like you’ve discovered a new-found hobby. Fun, but not for the faint-hearted.

Price: Costs vary, but generally you’re looking at less than 20£.

Location: 117 Bruce Grove, London N17 6UR.

Closed Tuesday + Wednesday.

Swingers Golf

When it comes to the best date ideas across the UK, ‘Swingers Golf’ comes out near the top. Of course, there’s the golf side of things, but you’ll also find a buzzing environment where you can create your own GIF, dribble over burgers, and snap away for the gram within a bar setting.

Although, one thing needs to be pointed out. ‘Swingers Golf’ has the security of a nightclub. Like, large bags have to be put into the cloakroom. I nearly got tackled for trying to bring up a birthday cake…

Price: Even during peak hours, it’s less than 15£ for a round of golf.

Location: 2 venues in London.

Silent Sounds Boat Party

At that stage where you don’t mind looking like an idiot in front of other people? Sign up to ‘Silent Sounds Boat Party’.

Sightseeing guaranteed. Choice of music? Also guaranteed. In-tune singing? Ummmm. But who cares? You’ve got more important decisions to make. Like which music genre you’ll settle on.

Location: Tower Millennium Pier, London.

Date Ideas/Activities Specifically Based In Birmingham, UK:

Naturally, as you’d expect from the UK’s second largest city, many of the date ideas in the ‘multiple locations’ section appear in Birmingham. For example, ‘Everyman’, ‘Roxy’ and ‘Flight Club’. However, I’ve checked out some activities which are exclusive to this city…

The Floodgate

Nestled into the hip zone of Digbeth, you’ll find ‘The Floodgate’.

The Floodgate is best described as a trendy socialising hub with baseball cages, vibrant cartoon pool, and curling. Yeah… I didn’t know what that last one was either, prior to attending. Anyway, ‘The Floodgate’ has a relaxed aura you might compare to a night-in with friends. Isn’t that the atmosphere we all want during autumn/winter months? This spot was a firm favourite from my UK tour.

The Floodgate is also the location which cropped up on my IG stories, after THAT notoriously unsurprising decision to try my hand at baseball in platform heels.

Price: A game of pool, for example, was 10£ per person. Meanwhile, baseball started at 15£ per cage for 30 minutes. If there’s two of you, that’s a mere 7.50 per person.

Location: 104 Floodgate St, Birmingham B5 5SR.

Closed on Monday + Tuesday.

Tilt

You can’t get much more informal than ‘Tilt’. In the best way possible.

Essentially, the venue is an open space, surrounded by craft beer and pinball machine tournaments. Okay, perhaps not a romantic date idea as such, but ‘Tilt’ is the perfect stopover for when you’ve trekked to Birmingham for shopping and want a place to sit down. Keep an eye open for monthly events though, including live music and board game nights.

Location: City Arcade, 2 Union St, Birmingham B2 4TX.

Cadbury – Hear Me Out On This!

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

Yaz, what the hell. We’re adults?

But when it comes to things only Birmingham can do, ‘Cadbury World’ is UP THERE. You see, whilst you can skip the tour, the café is a place you need to visit. As someone who considers themselves a leisurely confectionery connoisseur, listen when I say Cadbury have done the best afternoon tea I’ve had.

Just to add, gluten-free afternoon tea is available and doesn’t crumble like you’d typically expect from ‘free from’ foods. 10/10 for this.

Location: 69 Linden Rd, Birmingham B30 1JR.

The ‘afternoon tea’ element occurs Monday to Friday.

Digbeth Dining Club

Here’s a riddle for you.

What do you get when you bring together all of West Midlands’ best street-food traders?

Digbeth Dining Club.

Whilst OG’s may remember a now-closed location in Digbeth, you can find a range of pop-up spots across the West Midlands. However, there’s so much more than just food. Take Hockley Social Club, as an example. Each week there’s seriously talented individuals, and upcoming artists, holding down entertainment in the form of live music.

Location: Search up for an event near you, as some are month-specific.

Date Ideas/Activities Specifically Based In Manchester, UK:

Date ideas in the UK which had a base in London also gained popularity in Manchester. Take ‘NQ64’, ‘Immersive Gamebox’ and ‘Junkyard Golf’ for example. However, from the cities I’ve visited I definitely felt Manchester had the strongest collection of independent activities. Allow me to explain…

Cherry Jam

‘Cherry Jam’ is a no-nonsense bar where you’re given the option to have bottomless cocktails with either a grazing board or afternoon tea. Not a drinker? That’s fine, as there’s a chance to go bottomless with mocktails instead. However, it’s not the afternoon tea I’m here to rave about. You know what deserves a particular shout-out? The RnB Bottomless Musical Bingo Brunch. Damn that’s a mouthful. But you read that right.

90 minutes of old school tunes whilst munching? With two games of RnB Bingo? Say less. Let’s go.

*Vegan and gluten-free menus alternatives available.

Location: 4 Mealhouse Brow, Stockport SK1 1JP.

Cocoa Cabana

Local Manchester chocolatiers, ‘Cocoa Cabana’, offer up something pretty unique for your next coffee shop date…

Another viral find on Tik Tok which I couldn’t pass up. Specifically for the ‘Augustus Gloop’ experience. A cup filled to the brim with sickly-sweet melted chocolate, topped with marshmallows. Even individuals with the biggest sweet tooth will struggle to finish a single portion. Prepare to get humbled.

That’s not the only temptation at ‘Cocoa Cabana’ though, as you’re also able to participate in chocolate-making classes. Food tech never sounded more appealing.

Location: 2 cafés in Manchester.

Dog Bowl

Looking for date ideas within the UK for people who fall heavily under ‘night owl’ personalities? People who never seem to sleep? If so, you’ll appreciate ‘Dog Bowl’.

The ten-pin bowling venue features a mini version of NQ64, which you might remember was referenced earlier, to add to the already-hip surroundings. However, there’s a specific session you’d probably want to sign up for, and that’s ‘Late Night Fridays’. With this option, you can bowl for 6£ pp after midnight, alongside 2-4-1 cocktails from 10 pm to 2 am. Some stay out late at the club, others stay out late to get a hangover at the bowling alley.

Location: 57 Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW.

Date Ideas/Activities Specifically Based In Brighton, UK:

Brighton is a place I know well, having spent a handful of years living there. Yes, you’ve got ‘The Cauldron’ and ‘Alcotraz’, but there’s a few other spots which deserve the limelight…

Globalls

‘Globalls’ is the product of mini golf, UV lights and carnival games.

Undeniably, UV lights look impressive to the eye, but this doesn’t mean the 12-hole golf experience is all ‘IG’ style over substance. The mixologists at the bar will help change your mind, if you initially disagree.

Price: Under 10£ per person, per game.

Location: 1-5, The Village, The Waterfront, Brighton Marina, BN2 5WA.

Dead Wax Social

It’s difficult to miss ‘Dead Wax’ given the prominent location within Brighton Lanes, but it’s incredibly easy to be tempted inside.

You might wonder, what’s different about this bar? Brighton already has endless drinking options? But with that I’ll tell you – it’s the atmosphere. At ‘Dead Wax’ things feel comfortable. As simple as that. You know what’s an added bonus though? The specialist kitchen, with Brighton’s own ‘Decked Out’ pizza being the reason your stomach is kept full.

Something which might be interesting to add is the fact this bar operates on a vinyl-only playlist. Random little observation.

Location: 18A Bond St, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN1 1RD.

Ink Cocktail

Talk about exclusive.

This hidden gem in Brighton is mysterious.

It’s modern, minimalist, and reservation-only. ‘Ink’, located underneath the flagship restaurant ‘etch’, now sets the tone for a sophisticated booze fest in a ritzy setting. Not a drinker? You don’t have to be. I’ve checked out the non-alcoholic range and let me tell you, it’s very promising.

Location: 214-216, Church Rd, Brighton and Hove, Hove BN3 2DJ.

If you’ve made it to the bottom of this post, I just know your future link-ups are going to thrive. Why wouldn’t they? You’ve just gone through 35 wicked date ideas in the UK…

Oh, and if a romantic getaway across Europe is on your mind, I think you’ll like my post on the best city break ideas for Valentine’s Day. Thinking about something a little more across the pond? Here’s your guide to visiting New York for the first time. Might as well do a layover stop in Iceland while we’re at it!

After visual content? I think you’ll like my vibe-y inspo posts on Instagram. I’ll catch you over there.

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