The best UK cities for a romantic date

Whether you’re dreaming of a post-Valentine’s treat or are in search of the perfect place to impress your lover, we’ve rounded up the best cities in the UK for a variety of popular date activities to enjoy when restrictions begin to ease.

If you plan to win their hearts with a delicious meal, grow closer with a relaxing trip to the spa, capture some natural beauty on a scenic stroll, or soak up some culture with a trip to an art gallery, we’ve found the best spots to take your loved one when it’s safe to do so.

To help you choose a destination that will sweep your partner off their feet, we’ve compared the 25 most populated cities in the UK, analysing the number of romantic restaurants, museums, art galleries and spas per 100,000 people.

Alongside this, we also studied the number of public gardens, the average cost of a two-course meal for two, and the number of cinemas in each city.

Whether your date is a huge foodie or a lover of the great outdoors, there’s a UK city to fulfil all desires. Explore our findings below to find the perfect spot to book a break.
The cities with the most options 

To find the cities with the most options for couples, we created a weighted rank, scoring each city out of 100, using the factors we analysed.

Couples who want lots of things to see and do should pack a bag and head up north to the serene Scottish capital. With 58 romantic restaurants, 42 public parks, 11 art galleries, 21 museums, and 19 spas, the enchanting city of Edinburgh has the most to offer, with a score of 77. 

If Edinburgh is a little too far to travel, the beautiful seaside city of Brighton comes in second place with a score of 73, home to seven cinemas, 14 museums, and 49 romantic restaurants. 

Newcastle is next on the list, with a score of 58. Whilst it has just 17 romantic restaurants, if you want to whisk your lover off for some alfresco dining, you’re in luck, as there are a staggering 126 parks and gardens to choose from. 

For those who fancy taking a breath-taking trip across the water, Belfast also makes the top five, along with the magical city of Manchester, each with a score of 50. Whether you hop on a ferry or fly with your lovebird, this magical Northern Irish city will not disappoint. 

The best cities for nature lovers 

Cities might not be the first place that pops into a nature lover’s mind when thinking of somewhere to visit, but cities can be a treasure trove of greenery, nestled between the hustle and bustle.

So which city has the most options for an afternoon stroll? From our study, Newcastle is the top pick, with the most public parks and gardens overall. Heaton Park is a popular choice for many, whilst Newcastle Castle will make your date feel like royalty. 

Skirted by the beautiful scenic countryside, Stoke-on-Trent is another good option for lovebirds with 77 parks and gardens to choose from. Parkhill Country Park, Hanley Park, and Central Forest Park are extremely popular with nature lovers. 

In third place comes Southampton, where you’ll be surrounded by 54 beautiful green spaces. The Common nature reserve is the most popular according to TripAdvisor, with a 4.5* rating from visitors on average.

The best cities for foodies
If you want to wine and dine your date, we’ve used TripAdvisor to analyse the number of romantic restaurants in each of the 25 cities in our study. We also used Numbeo to find out the average cost of a meal for two people, in a bid to highlight the best places to visit once restaurants reopen.

Edinburgh takes the top spot for an intimate dinner date, with the highest number of restaurants described as ‘romantic.’ In the Scottish capital, you’ll find 58 beautiful spots to wine and dine, with an average cost of £60.
It may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of romance, but Bradford scored brownie points, with 42 romantic restaurants, and the average cost of a meal for two just £40.

Brighton is the third best city for those in search of an amorous dinner date, with 49 options and an average cost of £60.

The best cities for culture seekers 

What could be dreamier than a saunter through some of the UK’s most beautiful buildings, hand in hand with your loved one?

The UK is awash with culture and history and nothing represents this more than our vast selection of museums and art galleries, displaying some of the most famous artworks in the world, as well as the history on which we are built. But which city has the most options for culture vultures? 

Yet again, Edinburgh takes home first place, with 11 art galleries and 12 museums per 100,000 people. In total, there are 53 art galleries and 98 museums across the city.
The National Museum of Scotland is no doubt a firm favourite, however with an abundance of eclectic options, such as The Chocolatarium, you won’t need to worry about showing your date a spectacular day. 

Brighton and Belfast also make the top three, with more cultural attractions than London, which has two art galleries and three museums per 100,000 people – meaning you will likely have to join the queue for entry. 

The best cities for relaxing entertainment 
Whether you’re dreaming of a spa break or fancy cosying up to your date in the back row of the cinema, both date ideas provide an opportunity to relax with your favourite person. 

For couples looking to pop on a warm, fluffy, towel robe and pamper the day away, Edinburgh is the best place to be. The city has 19 spas per 100,000 people located around the capital, meaning you won’t struggle to get a taste of tranquillity. 

 Brighton is also a great option to book a massage or treatment, with 15 options to choose from in the city. You can listen to the waves and breathe in the seaside air as you and your partner enjoy a day of relaxation.

For film buffs who prefer to relax in front of the silver screen with their favourite snacks, Manchester is the perfect destination with nine cinemas in total.

If you’re dreaming of your next city break and searching for a place to stay, we offer a wide range of stunning hotels across the UK. Whether you’re heading to Manchester or Glasgow, and staying for business or pleasure, you can expect a warm welcome from Mercure
Methodology: We compared the 25 biggest cities in the UK (by population), to see which is the most romantic for couples. We gathered the number of restaurants classified as 'Romantic', the number of museums, art galleries and spas from Trip advisor. We gathered the number of public gardens or parks from ONS, and the average cost of a two-course meal for 2 at a restaurant from Numbeo. We have the full list of all museums, art galleries and spas from trip advisor, the top 30 romantic restaurants from trip advisor, and all nature & parks on trip advisor. We have all listed cinemas from google maps.

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