Beatles buff? Or more of a Classics connoisseur?
Whether you’re into walking in the open countryside or exploring the cultural quarter of a city, there’s much to be said for a ‘pop culture’ date. First of all, a real chance to get to know more about your date’s interests – no more awkward conversations. Second, loads of exercise and fresh air for all those active singles out there: what’s not to love?
1. Haworth, West Yorkshire
Even if you’re not a fan of the Kate Bush song or original Wuthering Heights novel by Brontë, the walking around Haworth on the windy and wild moors is second to none. Either start from the Brontë Parsonage in the village or drive a short way to Stanbury, then head out on the signposted tracks. There’s much to explore, including the ruins of the farmhouse whose location was said to have inspired Emily Brontë and the Brontë Falls, a series of gentle waterfalls which were much loved by the sisters.
Want to impress your date? Compare the two versions of the poems Wuthering Heights by Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, who made this same pilgrimage. Back in the village, there are a plethora of cafes, boutique restaurants and B&Bs to choose from: our favourites are the The Old Registry and Weavers Guesthouse. Haworth even has a beer festival in March. Winner.
2. Liverpool waterfront
Since Liverpool’s accolade as ‘European Capital of Culture’ in 2008, the waterfront has been totally revamped. Spend a couple of hours wandering around the Royal Albert Dock with your date, admiring the views across the Mersey, the skyline of Liverpool and the various statues to music stars of the past, while dipping into the Tate Liverpool or the award-winning The Beatles Story museum if it takes your fancy. The Albert Dock is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
3. Durham Cathedral and City
One of the locations for the first Harry Potter film, you could easily spend half a day exploring the magnificent cathedral, boating on the river and walking the riverbanks of the city.
4. Lincoln City Centre
Cathedral square, just outside Lincoln Castle, was totally revamped for the recent Mike Leigh film, Peterloo. This may not be 19th Century Manchester but there is plenty to explore: from the Cathedral itself, famously used for shooting the Westminster scenes of The Da Vinci Code, to Steep Hill – Britain’s best street in 2011 – to the many suggested walking trails (Roman to modern-day) which loop around the city. There’s even a pub called The Magna Carta.
5. Nocton Hall, Lincolnshire
This is one for horror film enthusiasts and is definitely off the beaten track. A devastating fire in 2004 left the once grand Nocton Hall derelict, but the perfect film location for The Woman in Black 2. If that doesn’t get you and your date comparing notes on spooky films, the view through the nearby fence of a deserted RAF hospital should do it. Head to Lincoln afterwards for a bit of light relief and refreshment.
This stunning palace near Newbury in Berkshire is not only the filming location for Downton Abbey, but also has huge links to the history of aviation. It was also was being the ancestral home of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, along with his friend Howard Carter.
7. Glen Coe, Scotland
Fans of James Bond may want to head up to the beautiful, awe-inspiring scenery featured in Skyfall. This is a fantastic area for hiking and exploring some of Scotland’s famous peaks, as well as searching out more James Bond filming locations!
8. Swansea and the Gower Peninsula, Wales
The birthplace of playwright Dylan Thomas not only boasts the Dylan Thomas Centre, museum and host to a plethora of literary events, but head a short way out of Swansea and you’ll find the spectacular beaches and bays which inspired him. Plenty of walking opportunities for you active singles out there!
9. Music festivals
It’s never too early to book tickets for this year’s British Summer Time in Hyde Park... or Latitude... or any of the other festivals lined up for Summer 2019. Even if the romantic sparks don’t fly (à la Bridget Jones), this is the perfect excuse to have a great time dancing and reenergising yourself. And you never know, you might just connect over an Ed Sheeran acoustic session (zorbing optional).
10. Comic Con, Wrexham
Who knew that Wales has its own Comic Con? Fans of The Big Bang Theory and Marvel take note. You can indulge in Cosplay, as well as gaming. If you and your date are into LARPing, Candleston Castle in South Wales runs regular events.