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8 inventive date ideas for Valentine's Day in Bristol

Experience the Harbourside from a new perspective by hopping on a paddleboard Photo Angharrad Paull
Experience the Harbourside from a new perspective by hopping on a paddleboard Photo Angharrad Paull

Got someone special to impress? Bristol has all the ingredients for an intimate date – fine dining, breathtaking views, romantic walks and cosy cocktail bars. But once you’ve ticked off a movie, dinner, sunset stroll and drinks at a bar, what next? Perhaps you want to sideline all the dating clichés entirely and make a big impression on a date with something out of the ordinary? Well, consider Bristol your ultimate wing-lady. There are loads of alternative date options in the city that promise a memorable night (or day!) out - from wave riding to moonlit swimming, hurling axes to immersive theatre. Here’s our pick of slightly outside-of-the-box Bristol date ideas

Great British Life: Moon Glow Swim Photo West Country Water Park Moon Glow Swim Photo West Country Water Park

Take part in a Snow Moon Glow Swim, West Country Water Park

There are few things more romantic than gazing at the night sky with the object of your affections, but how many times have you done so in an open-water swimming lake? Get brownie points for originality and swim under the stars - yes, even in the depths of winter (23 February, 7-9pm if you’re keen this month). West Country Water Park hosts a full moon swim each month, all year-round. All you’ll need is a swimming costume or wetsuit, bright swim cap and an illuminated tow float (or buy/hire onsite). Fully-trained lifeguards will ensure that you stay safe throughout the experience, and after your refreshing dip, you’ll be able to warm up together at the Lakeside Cafe. This event is always busy, so be sure to book in advance. If that sounds a teensy bit chilly, look out for their open-air cinema events with on-water seating later in the year. westcountrywaterpark.co.uk/night-swimming

Paddleboard with SUP Bristol

Bristol’s buzzing Harbourside is a popular destination for courting couples, thanks to its plethora of bars and restaurants overlooking the water. But for a unique perspective on the city's famous waterfront landmarks, book a two-hour Harbourside Adventure or evening taster session through Bristol’s historical waterways with paddleboarding experts, SUP Bristol. The Floating Harbour water is largely calm and flat—an ideal setting for SUP, whether you’re a seasoned pro or total novice. An exceptionally fun way to learn a new skill together, or show off your paddleboarding prowess (or have a good laugh if one of you falls in). supbristol.com

Great British Life: Bring a whole new meaning to the word 'blind date'; Photo: Felix Russell-SawBring a whole new meaning to the word 'blind date'; Photo: Felix Russell-Saw

Dining in the Dark: Blindfolded Dinner Experience

Bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘blind date’, The Lost and Found offers diners the chance to spice up a typical dinner for two. In this dining adventure, you and your partner will taste your way through a three-course dinner, but you won’t be able to see any of it! Because of the blindfold, your other senses will be heightened, and the fun is figuring out what it is you’re eating. Menus are colour-coded - red for meat, blue - seafood, green - vegetarian and white - vegan, but other than that, you won’t know what you're getting.
Once you’ve mastered the art of locating your food with your fork (the staff will top up your drinks), you’re golden. Don’t miss the Valentine’s special. yuup.co

Surf at The Wave

A ‘slice of the ocean’ just outside Bristol, The Wave is a 180 metre-long state-of-the-art inland surfing pool that provides consistent year-round surf conditions to people of all ages and skill levels. Its Wavegarden Cove technology can generate up to 1,000 quality waves per hour, which curl out on two sides of the fan-shaped pool, divided by a central viewing platform. Book a one-hour group lesson for you and your partner (delivered by qualified coaches) or a session (without a coach) according to your surfing capability. Afterwards, debrief together on your wipeouts over food from the cafe, watching other surfers take to the water.
thewave.com

Learn urban axe throwing, Whistle Punks

Possibly the only environment where wielding an axe can impress a date! If that sounds like an ill-fated way for love to blossom, fear not - professional instructors are on hand to teach both of you how to hurl axes at a wall, before you have a go - it’s all good, clean fun. The exhilarating 70-minute sessions promises memorable heart-racing moments and a lot of laughs as you try to hit the target. According to those in the know, axe throwing is a skill, rather than a strength game, so there’s every chance to succeed even if you’re not the muscliest of humans. whistlepunks.com/location/bristol

Great British Life: The glass-fronted poolside bar and restaurant overlooks the heated open-air pool Photo Angharad PaullThe glass-fronted poolside bar and restaurant overlooks the heated open-air pool Photo Angharad Paull

Relax at Bristol Lido

This Grade-II listed lido was built in 1850, however these days, it’s a world away from its Victorian beginnings. Tucked away down a side road in upmarket Clifton, Bristol Lido has got everything for a luxurious, revitalising date. A stunning glass-fronted poolside bar and restaurant overlooks a heated, low-chlorine open-air pool. Potter from the eucalyptus-scented steam room, to Scandinavian-style sauna, to outdoor hot tub and treatment rooms. To visit the spa you’ll need to book a package (unless you’re a member) to combine a swim with a treatment and/or meal. bristol.junglerumble.co.uk

Pitch and Putt at Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf

No longer reserved for childhood seaside holidays, this indoor mini golf experience offers a healthy dose of competitiveness for couples, while also being an excellent ice breaker for newbie acquaintances. Located on the top floor of Cabot Circus and decked out with palm trees, Tiki huts and glowing neon lights, Jungle Rumble contains two 18-hole courses - one jungle, the other swamp-themed. Pitch and putt your way through lost villages and an angry volcano to the dulcet sounds of throwback music - cocktail in hand - before challenging each other to nostalgic arcade games.

 

Show of Strength

Trying to woo a history buff or theatre lover? Show of Strength Theatre Walks put local people and stories centre stage, bringing hidden histories to life with enthralling, meticulously-researched tours. Even Bristolians who’ve lived in the city all their lives are guaranteed to see – and hear - something new. There are nine tours to choose from, many with a dark side, and all with a touch of humour. Blood and Butchery in Bedminster visits a pub where a lion ate a man; the new Raising Cary Grant follows Archie Leach before he became a Hollywood icon. Prepare to be entertained, enlightened and horrified in equal measure. showofstrength.org.uk



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