Are you looking for the perfect setting for a romantic date in the East of England? When you first meet someone for a date, getting out and about in lovely scenery allows you to relax and get to know one another. The East of England includes some of the most beautiful and historic landscapes in the country so whether you fancy a walk on the beach, mountain biking through a forest or visiting an atmospheric garden, our creative dating ideas offer something for everyone.
1. Spot seals at Blakeney Point
Blakeney Point is part of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve, which offers beautiful views of the Norfolk coastline and is perfect for a date with someone loves animals and nature, take a boat trip to see the numerous grey seals who can often be seen basking on the beaches here; you might even be lucky enough to see baby seals.
2. Take a trip on a traditional sailing barge at Maldon
If your date loves the romance of days gone by, enjoy a memorable date in the fresh sea air with a trip around Northey and Osea Islands in the Thames estuary on an authentic Thames sailing barge at Maldon. Enjoy tea and cakes on board as the scenery glides serenely by.
3. Watch the sunset from Southend Pier
Meet your date at the iconic Southend Pier, the longest and one of the oldest pleasure piers in the world, to watch the sun going down. Try your luck in the amusement arcade before catching the old-fashioned train back again.
4. Soak up the atmosphere at Audley End House
For a romantic date in the surroundings of a stunning country mansion, enjoy the atmosphere of Jacobean opulence at Audley End House, where you can explore the grounds and lake created by Capability Brown.
5. Stroll through the flower gardens at Bridge End Garden, Saffron Walden
What could be more romantic than the exquisite flower gardens at Bridge End? Why not meet your date at this “secret garden” near the Fry Art Gallery that has been recently restored to its former Victorian splendour.
6. Climb the heights of romance at Layer Marney Tower
For a date at an unusual location with splendid views over rural Essex and the Blackwater, the climb of 99 steps to the top of Layer Marney Tower, built by one of Henry V111’s courtiers, repays the effort. The gardens are beautiful throughout the year but the rose garden is at its most fragrant in summer.
7. Explore the beautiful landscapes of Constable country at Dedham Vale
You and your date can enjoy tranquillity and natural beauty when you explore Dedham Vale, an AONB in Suffolk first made famous by Constable in paintings such as “Flatford Mill”. Get away from the hustle and bustle and explore on foot or by cycle: there are several routes to choose from.
8. Discover the romance of ancient history at Sutton Hoo
Sutton Hoo is the perfect setting for a date with anyone interested in the romance of ancient history and culture. Explore the museum together and then take a stroll through nearby fields and woodland to see the atmospheric Anglo-Saxon burial mounds.
9. Take in the romantic views at Waddesdon Manor
You and your date can reconnect with nature in the stunning grounds of Waddesdon Manor, a palatial 19th century chateau. The house is set high on a ridge with majestic views over surrounding countryside and is the perfect place to spend time getting to know your date better.
10. View Cambridge the romantic way from a traditional punt
Whether you opt for a guided punt tour or a self-hire punt, you and your date can cosy up as you explore the lovely scenery of the River Cam at Cambridge. Head along the iconic College Backs or out towards rural Grantchester.
11. Challenge yourselves with an exciting date at Go Ape!
For all those with a head for heights, why not meet your date at Go Ape! at Thetford. Set in beautiful woodland, Go Ape! will take you both on the adventure of a lifetime as you climb through the tree tops and zoom down zip wires.
12. A date for animal lovers at Whipsnade Zoo
Animal lovers will be enchanted by the suggestion of meeting for a date at Whipsnade Zoo. Set in the rolling Chiltern hills, the zoo and safari park is home to a collection of exotic animals in superbly landscaped, spacious enclosures.
13. Admire the idyllic view from Horsey Windpump
Leave the car behind as you and your date stroll through the wild and remote landscapes of the Norfolk Broads at Horsey; the ancient windpump is open to the public and you can climb to the top for even more fabulous views.
14. Take a walk on the wild side at Orford Ness Lighthouse
If your date loves wide, empty beaches, why not visit Orford Ness lightouse? A five minute boat trip from Orford Quay takes you across to the wild and remote Orford Ness, where there is a short walk to the lighthouse itself.
15. Get close to nature at Wicken Fen
Wicken Fen is the oldest nature reserve in the country and is a great place for a date for those interested in birds and other animals; it is home to more than 9000 species and can be explored by cycle, on foot or by boat.
16. A romantic canoe trip for two on the tranquil Great Ouse
For a more active date, try a half day canoe trail on the Great Ouse near Bedford. The river is safe for novice canoeists and meanders past Bedford’s historic town centre and through rural villages and meadows.
17. Explore cultural delights by the sea at Aldeburgh
Whether you stroll along the beach and enjoy a coffee in one of the many cafes and pubs, take a row boat out on the peaceful mere at Thorpeness or go to a concert at the world famous Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh is an enchanting place for a date at any time of the year.
18. Mountain bike through the stunning scenery of Thetford Forest
A mountain biking date is a great choice for sporty people – it’s often easier to get to know someone when you’re focussing on doing something exciting in the open air. There are plenty of trails to choose from that will take you through beautiful scenery, such as Thetford Forest.
Image Source: 1. via nationaltrust.org.uk; 2. via nationaltrust.org.uk; 3. via southendculture.com; 4. via english-heritage.org.uk; 5. via bridgeendgarden.co.uk; 6. via layermarneytower.co.uk; 7. via dedhamvalestourvalley.org; 8. via nationaltrust.org.uk; 9. via wikimedia.org; 10. via scudamores.com; 11. via natureflip.com; 12. via discoveranimals.co.uk; 13. via nationaltrust.org.uk; 14. via bbci.co.uk; 15. via nationaltrust.org.uk; 16. via canoetrail.co.uk; 17. via tripadvisor.com; 18. Via mapio.net
Featured photo credit: Unknown via english-heritage.org.uk