Top 10 Least Romantic London Valentine's Dates

By Janan Jay Last edited 75 months ago
Top 10 Least Romantic London Valentine's Dates

Want to have a wretched Valentine’s Day? Feel like totally annoying your date or partner? No problem. We’ve lined up the 10 least romantic things to do in London for 14 February.

1. Potentially Fatal Valentine: The Rotherhithe Tunnel

It’s a little-known fact that pedestrians can walk through the Rotherhithe Tunnel. ‘Little-known’ because few survive to tell the tale. If carbon monoxide poisoning doesn’t get you, that lorry might. Especially if you hold hands and walk side-by-side along the challengingly narrow path.

2. Creepy Valentine: Jack the Ripper Tours

A surprising number of Jack the Ripper tours operate on Valentine’s day. It’s certainly a tale of the heart, albeit one involving the violent excision of a helpless prostitute’s heart. Combining unsettling gore with the brazen epitome of tourist-trap culture, this one’s guaranteed to kill the mood of love.

3. Sleazy Valentine: Various ‘Erotic’ Places of Mirth

Why not take your date to one of the city’s many quaint porno theatres? (Or strip clubs, budget-dependent.) They should be significantly horrified, awkward, upset, baffled, offended, or all of the above. If they’re into their seminal cinema, they might forgive you. Might.

4. Stinky Valentine: Beckton Gas Works

The massive gas works might be largely gone, but you can still enjoy the toxic, landscaped spoil heaps known as Beckton Alps. Engross your date by recreating the sniper scenes from Full Metal Jacket, set in Vietnam but filmed right here in Beckton. And breathe in the heady stench of the Northern Outfall Sewer, which spills out into the treatment works nearby. We're all for idiosyncratic romance.

5. Mucky Valentine: London Zoo

If Beckton isn’t ordure of the day, try this 'experience': mucking out the animals at London Zoo. Being surround by cute, fuzzy-wuzzy animals and their adorable little noses: Romantic. A bonding experience over your shared love of animals, reminiscing of the time you both found a sickly ocelot and nursed it back to health: unbelievably romantic. Up to your eyeballs  in warthog excreta: not quite so much.

6. Networking Valentine: Recruitment Agency Expo

Head to Olympia on Valentine’s Day for this unmissable convention. Recruitment consultants provide a service of value to millions of people. However, anyone who has ever endured a limp buzzword-peppered pep-talk along the lines of “Sell you to me! What makes you famous! Let’s unleash your power animal, and we’ll touch base on that with a deep dive at ten-oh-hundred hours!”, will shudder.

7. Awkward Adolescent Valentine: Trocadero

The choking aroma of teenage hormones commingled with hair gel, sweat, over-applied Lynx body spray, shame and self loathing, not to mention the aural assault of arcade games, swathes of dance-dance-revolution groupies and ubiquitous chain and tourist shops. Not the classiest date. See also: M&M World. Similar. Only with more chocolate.

8. Views are Overrated Valentine: Crowne Plaza London Ealing Hotel

For any fans of the Hanger Lane Gyratory reading this, you simply can’t beat the north-facing views of Britain’s scariest junction from this conveniently located 4-star complex.

9. Speedy Valentine: Speed dating

For some of the young, fun and single, there’s nothing wrong with speed dating. Only on this one day of the year, one would imagine the atmosphere being charged with the same slightly existential, unsure, soul-searching and undoubtedly drunken air as the ‘matchmaking’ (meaning singleton) table at your blissfully happy best friend’s wedding.

10. Readers' Valentine

We asked our Facebook friends for a final suggestion. Options included Penge High Street, a walk-in sexual health clinic and the Divorce Courts. Wood Green was a surprisingly popular choice. We'll pretend we don't understand the suggestion "up the wrong 'un". But the winning suggestion comes from Kate Bailward, who sagely suggests avoiding any bar or restaurant offering a Valentine's special: "Paying over the odds for below-par food, while surrounded by silent couples who only go out together once a year because they have to is a sure-fire romance-killer."

Photo credits: Only Lines (top image), SuperAdaptoid (Rotherhithe Tunnel), O.F.E. (Beckton gasworks), Route 79 (Hanger Lane Gyratory).

Last Updated 13 February 2012


Isnt the arcade (funland) at the trocadero closed now? Its been a month or 2 since i last went there, but i found the arcade bit all boarded off. 

Jon Smalldon

Number 11 is surely the commuter valentine - a ready meal from a station M&S and a bunch of whatever flowers are still left ...


Just living in Barnet with a valentine who lives in New Malden should do the trick ;-)

Nat Hopchet

After having 2 years worth of work Christmas do's at the Ealing Crowne Plaza, I can vouch for the complete lack of atmosphere it provides.

And I just bought my M&S Dine in Meal for 2, but this is what working a night shift on Valentines forces me to do.


OK, we have a winner:  

Tuck into a Valentine’s dinner for just £4 at Poundland!

Dave H

A long time ago, I did once go speed dating on Valentine's day. It was utterly unremarkable.


The Ikea cafe in Edmonton did a Valentine's Meal last year...


hey, you forgot this:

a proper antidote to v-day.


 Haha I met my wife on one of the above, Jack The Ripper


Worse one for me was a meal at Pizza Hut where all the Pizzas were Heart shaped which actually meant less pIzza.