How to Spend Valentine's Weekend In London

With your favourite table most likely unavailable, Valentine's weekend 2021 requires some creative thought

In a city where fine food, culture and date night ideas are in abundance, Londoners are usually spoiled for choice on Valentine's Day. But though our favourite places might be restricted on Valentine's Day this year, the city's creativity means plenty of options when it comes to planning a weekend of romance.

See some outdoor art

We are, by now, all-too familiar with our usual walking routes. But chances are, wherever you are in London, there's an outdoor display within your reach to make that daily stroll a little more exciting. Wrap up, grab your special someone and explore our favourites:

Chila Kumari at Tate Britain - The outside of the building has been transformed with a light show for Diwali, on display until the end of February.

The Line - Walk from The O2 to Olympic park to see sculptures by Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley and more.

Looking up: Helaine Blumenfeld - The outside spaces around Canary Wharf have been home to the largest exhibition of Blumenfeld's work since last year, and you have until May 2021 to see it for yourself.

The Fourth Plinth - Although technically only one work, we could not miss the opportunity to mention some sculpture on our doorstep, at the moment by Heather Phillipson.

Join a virtual drawing class

Battersea Cats and Dogs home is an unlikely addition to the more traditional Valentine's Day venues, but this year the London institution is opening its virtual doors. Meet some photogenic cats and dogs, learn new skills with artist Jennie Webber and enjoy an hour or two of adorable escapism. 

Take a virtual museum tour

A trip to one of London's famous galleries is a fail-safe date, and while we can't visit in person, the National Gallery, Stephen Friedman Gallery, the V&A, the Royal Academy and the National History Museum are thankfully all hosting virtual tours. What's more romantic than dinosaurs? 

Soak up the sunset

It's easy to forget in a busy city, but London's green spaces and many viewpoints offer spectacular natural light shows on a clear day. The sun will set over London around 5:15pm on Valentine's Day, so head to one of these spots for a romantic end to the day.

King Henry's Mound in Richmond Park - Macabre (and contested) legend aside, King Henry's Mound is a brilliant spot for panoramic views over the Thames Valley. So good in fact, in may have been where Henry VIII waited for news of Anne Boleyn's death, delivered via rocket...

Waterloo Bridge - Those with an eye for photography will appreciate the perfect silhouettes of Westminster and The London Eye as the sun sets.

Primrose Hill - The reward for your considerable climb up Primrose Hill is views for miles over London's spires and rooftops.

Thames Path - Wherever you are starting from, the Thames Path is a safe bet for a stunning sunset, but we have a soft spot for our home section of the river, which gives views of the London Eye, South Bank and The City.

Get some fine dining delivered

We can't welcome you to The Northall this Valentine's Day, but we can bring André Garrett's menu to you. An indulgent menu for two, including hand-rolled Strozzapreti with black truffle and Loch Fyne salmon en croûte, is just what the occasion requires. Order yours here

Stream a love story

The Royal Opera House has been making its extensive archive available online throughout the year, to the delight of ballet fans. This Valentine's Day see Marguerite and Armand, a work originally created for Nureyev and Fonteyn, set to the music of Franz Liszt. If there was ever an excuse to dress in your finery at home, this would be it.

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