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Top Date Ideas & UK Date Spots

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Finding the best UK date spots just got a whole lot easier thanks to our Xpress.com guide to all the top places throughout the United Kingdom! We brief you on the history of the bar scene, and how it became what we know today, and list some of the most popular spots in the biggest cities all over the country. We're not only giving you top date spots, but we're providing you with some top notch date ideas as well, so you're guaranteed a successful night and a second date!

By the time you're done reading this guide, you'll know exactly where you want to take your next date, what kinds of places have fun dates, romantic dates, and more! You can even plan a date road trip to experience each of the amazing date spots we're going to share with you. You'll know where you can meet hookups, find dates, take a first date, and take your partner, all of which will give you the best possible date night you can have - no matter where you are in the UK!

Looking Back At The History Of The UK Bar Scene

The history of the bar scene in the UK is a very, very long one. We can trace back the very first bars to early inns, where workers and working travelers would come to eat and drink, but also to stay at the accommodations. Eventually, alehouses, pubs and taverns sprung up all around the UK to rival the inns. The only real difference between inns and the taverns (etc.) during this time were that while all of them served alcohol (and sometimes food), only inns provided a place to sleep.

These early pubs and inns served food as well, so restaurants and bars have always been a pair. There are a ton of different names for them now, like "pubs", "bistros", "gastropub" - whatever you want to call it, at the end of the day, we can thank these early pubs and inns for this tradition of food and drink together.

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As long as there have been people in England, there have been these kinds of establishments, and you may be surprised to find out that this is all thanks to the Romans! During the course of their migration through the Europe, they build up hundreds of these kinds of places for men to stop and imbibe and/or get some sleep. This is how some of the oldest inns and pubs got their place in the UK, where a number of them still remain to this day!

People wouldn't be drinking cocktails or anything diluted the way we do now. If they diluted anything it was ale "watered down" with wine to make port. Most often the men and women in these establishments were drinking ale, beer, whiskey, rum, or wine. The wouldn't be adding orange juice or anything to the liquor, either - just straight shots of (often homemade) rum! The most common drink, though, were the beers and ales, much like they are now. Also like now, these were places where people stopped in on their way home from work for a drink with friends, townsfolk, and coworkers.

As time went on, and people started going out for entertainment, the number of bars in the UK exploded. Men and women started going out in public for dates, so more places were needed that could act as fun UK date spots. This is the time when a lot of cinemas were built, bar/restaurant bistros were established, and places that didn't before began serving alcohol to draw in bigger crowds.

The scene changed and evolved in the 1960s to include dance clubs, where men and women could go, drink, dance, and hookup with strangers for a wild night! The nightclub scene as we're familiar with in currently really started in the 1970s-80s, hitting a peak in the 1990s - mainly in London and Manchester, which were (and still are!) very popular gay districts. These weren't the greatest UK date spots, but they were great places to meet people. Clubbing was something that mainly gay men and women did around those decades, but it was also an extremely popular activity for straight folks to find hookups.

Nowadays, we have a mix of everything, so there are all sorts of things for all sorts of people to do, and a huge range of potential date ideas to choose from. We make things even easier for you when you have to pick your next date location, by briefing you on some of the most noteworthy UK date spots across the country.

Most Popular Bars & UK Date Spots

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Looking for the most popular UK date spots in your city? Well look no further! We touch on the most noteworthy date spots that you simply cannot miss out on if you're in these areas! These places are romantic, fun, and guarantee a fantastic setting for the best possible date you can have. No matter what kind of date your hoping to have, it's going to be a good one if you take them to one of these places!

It helps to know a little bit about your date before you pick your spot, but each one of these places are a safe bet no matter how much or little you know before you do choose your date ideas. These are also great places to go in general, so if you're just looking for a fun place to go with friends, you can go to any of these places as well. They just happen to make top quality date spots too!

The Botanist - Birmingham

At 14-16 Temple St. is where you'll find The Botanist, one of Birmingham's most innovative, creative, and funnest UK date spots on this list! The space alone is reason to visit - it's all brick, wood, and iron, giving it a very medieval castle-eqsue vibe, with the addition of incredible food and drink.

It's a secret garden, of sorts, which makes it a great place to explore together with your date! This is just one reason The botanist makes the list of top UK date spots - they also provide a bevy of super unique cocktails that you literally cannot find anywhere else, like a cocktail in a watering can, for one thing! They offer a masterclass to learn how to make some of these amazing cocktails, which makes this place a two for one place for date ideas!

Silo - Brighton

At 39 Upper Gardner St. you can find Silo, one of Brighton's best UK date spots and pre-industrial eatery. Everything on their menu is locally sourced, so this is the perfect place if you or your date care about that kind of thing. It's an "eco-chic" restaurant as well, so hipster couples will feel right at home! Even if you don't fall into any of those categories, this really is a good date spot if you're in Brighton. The food is great, the prices are reasonable, and really, if you can get your food from local sources, wouldn't you prefer it?

It's a popular spot so get there at a reasonable hour if you want to guarantee you and your date get a table. There's quite a bit of space, though, with the airy and open layout, so you can always have a drink while you wait.

Six - Cambridge

Located at The Varsity Hotel & Spa on Thompsons Ln, The Six is the #1 place for any and all date ideas, especially if you're trying to impress someone special and/or get laid! It's extremely highly rated, so taking a date here guarantees a great experience; you can feel good knowing that you've chosen a quality spot. They're open for spectacular brunch on weekends, if you're looking for somewhere to go with your partner for a nice Sunday meal. They also serve afternoon tea throughout the week - something to keep in mind next time mum's in town and you need a "date spot" idea for you and ol' mumsie.

They serve a huge variety of menu items, including lunch, dinner, all of which you can enjoy on their terrace. No matter where you sit while you're dining, you get to enjoy a fantastic view of the city of Cambridge.

Soda - Cardiff

4 - 6 Mill Lane is where you'll find a killer hangout spot, that also happens to double as one of the best UK date spots in the country! The vibe is incomparable when you walk in - everyone is having a great time, dancing, chatting with friends, and drinking amazing, unique cocktails. That doesn't even include the fabulous decor. It's a very classy looking place, with zero pretension or expensive prices. Everything in this cocktail bar/lounge/nightclub is affordable.

They offer masterclasses to teach you how to make these killer cocktails yourself, so bonus points for this place for adding more date ideas to the list for you! There's a TV as well, as they host sport event nights and so much more! If you're in Cardiff and you have a date coming up, definitely take them here.

Under The Stairs - Edinburgh

3A Merchant St. is home to a quirky little spot known as Under The Stairs, which makes for one of the more popular date ideas with the locals - and for good reason! It's extremely cozy and the atmosphere is great for a date! It's not too loud that you have a hard time having a conversation, but not so quite that you have to worry about people overhearing your convo.

The decor is very retro, featuring a ton of art by local artists, and stone walls to add even more character to the place. On top of that you get a variety of high quality bistro food items to choose from, and a ton of different freshly made cocktails to go with them! You can't lose if you choose to take your date to one of the highest rated date spots UK in Scotland.

Waxy O'Connors - Glasgow

Waxy O'Connors (44 W George St.) is simply a cool place. It's one of the top rated UK date spots, and it has a fantastic vibe that makes it a great place to go no matter why you're going. It's a 3-floor bar, with a church-like feel and a very gothic-inspired theme throughout. The ceiling on one floor is made up gnarled tree branches, because why the hell not?

The offer a lot of classic pub fare to eat, and tons of drink options along with it. What makes this place such a great date spot is the size of the place! You have unlimited options for seating, and you can choose your vibe based on which area you do choose to dine in. You can sit near other people if you're afraid of things getting awkward, or you get sit somewhere entirely alone for a much more intimate evening - just make sure that your server knows you're there!

ShuffleDog - Leeds

ShuffleDog has finally come to Leeds! You can find these chain bar in at Crispin House on New York Rd., but don't let the fact that it's part of a chain put you off - it's an incredibly popular place to go for a reason! It's a super fun place where you have a ton of options for food, beer and a classic activity! It's one of the few places where adults can go, have fun, and act like kids again, and who doesn't absolutely love that?

If you're looking for a fun place to take a date, you can't pass up this place if you're in the Leeds area. They specialize in craft beers, of which there are literally TONS to choose from, which you can drink while you and your date are playing a game of shuffle board! They have a shuffleboard Olympics as well, so if your date goes well, you two can work toward becoming the champions of ShuffleDog's Olympic games!

The Attic - Liverpool

The Attic is a very popular rooftop bar located at the top of the Parr Street Hotel (33-45 Parr St.). It makes for one of the better UK date spots, because it offers a killer view to go with amazing drinks. It's a cozy rooftop patio space, which makes it very convenient for you to get closer to your date! They offer live music and DJs, depending on the night of the week, and a variety of cocktail and drink options.

This isn't the best place to go if you're hoping for a full meal, they specialize mainly in party food that you can eat while you have a drink in your hand, but you can get by regardless. Your date will definitely love it here.

Bounce - London

121 Holborn is home to an amazing, all-vintage diner-style bar with a ton of ping pong tables! This place tops the list for fun date ideas in London, hands-down! It's wall to wall red leather booths, with more than 15 ping pong tables to play at. It's all '50s in this place, so don't expect anything modern when you come here - aside from the cocktails!

They serve mainly pizza, and as a cocktail bar with a strong emphasis on the 1950s, they of course offer a selection of popular cocktails from that era. They also have the classic updated ones, so don't worry if you don't like Manhattans. They're open late, so you can stop in post-dinner for some drinks and ping pong, or make a whole night of it!

Spanky Van Dykes - Nottingham

At 17 Goldsmith St. is Spanky Van Dykes, one of the most popular UK date spots and restaurants in the Nottingham area. The vibe is always upbeat and lively, with DJs and live music to accompany your meal. They even have retro game consoles! You can bring a date here practically any time of day too - they're open late, serving brunch and eats until midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 2am Friday and Saturday!

They serve a huge selection of beer and craft ales too, so you can bring a date here for a sampling, of sorts, while you also dine on some top quality eats. You can make reservations here, which is recommended if you're planning on bringing your date for dinner, especially on weekends. This is a highly rated and extremely popular place, so it's understandably pretty busy!

Date Spots UK By City

Belfast

"Belfast is a unique city. It is the second largest city in Northern Island. In fact, it has been voted time and time again as one of the best cities in Northern Island. That is because of the incredible nightlife. Belfast has some of the most unique and eclectic bars..." Read more

Bristol

"Bristol is known for its incredible bars, so definitely make a point to visit one (or more!) when you go out in this city. There is a wide array of bars to chose from, many located in close proximity to each other so it's possible to visit more than one..." Read more

Cardiff

"Partying was likely a bit different then than it was now, though! And here's a fun fact: the world's oldest record store is located in Cardiff. So you know locals and tourists alike have been rocking out to music longer than most cities. You can definitely expect a great time..." Read more

Edinburgh

"Often you can find excellent restaurants and bars hidden down these delightful paths, like The Devil's Advocate. This bar and restaurant is one of the best bars you can find down a close and maybe one of the best bars in the city!There are known for their cocktails, craft beer..." Read more

Glasgow

"Now, Glasgow is mostly known for being one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in all of the UK, which is really incredible! Along with being a safe and inclusive space, Glasgow knows how to party and parties really well. There are so many great bars and nightclubs in the city." Read more

Leeds

"Being a smaller town, Leeds does tend to get a little sleepy on nights earlier in the week, like Monday or Tuesday. But that doesn't stop all the best clubs from having incredible theme nights early in the week. In fact, some of the most fun can be had on..." Read more

London

"The history of nightlife in London is as vast and varied as the incredible city itself. Seriously, it could take us hours to delve into the rich history of this world class city. No matter what kind of nightlife fun you are looking for, you will find it in London." Read more

Manchester

"It's fairly unpretentious and simple but what it lacks in trendiness it makes up for in an amazing selection of craft beers and ales. The Wharf is also known for out's outdoor seating area which is actually larger than the indoor seating area! There are also a lot of fun..." Read more

Nottingham

"When you think of Nottingham, you might think of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest. You should also be thinking of some of the best date ideas, though. And we aren't talking about stealing from the rich and giving to the poor! Nottingham is home to some of the best date..." Read more

Shoreditch

"Shoreditch never sleeps! Despite being a major work hub, where offices tend to close around 5PM and not be open on the weekends, Shoredtich bars and clubs are always open late. Some of the few all-night parties and clubs are also located in Shoreditch and no matter what time of..." Read more

Xpress.com's Top Notch Guide To The Best UK Date Spots!

Planning a date and need to know the best UK date spots to bring your lady? Check out the Xpress.com guide to all the best date ideas and UK hot spots!

Xpress.com's Top Notch Guide To The Best UK Date Spots!