Finding something new, fun and romantic to do with your partner in a small city like York might seem like a difficult task. But there are so many romantic things to do in York for couples. Whether you’re local or are visiting for the weekend, we’re here to inspire you and to help you think outside the box for your next northern date night!
Since 2018, I’ve been in a long-distance relationship. I’m at university in York while my boyfriend is in Nottingham. So every time he comes to visit I try to think up novel experiences to entertain him. To help out anyone struggling to come up with romantic ideas, I’ve compiled this list of the top 10 most romantic things to do in York for couples. Whether you prefer a more adventurous or more relaxing activity, I hope you’re able to try some of them out!
This article is written by Faraway Lucy writer, Hannah Ludlow.
1. Paint some pottery at Bish Bash Pot
Address: 64 Walmgate, York YO1 9TL
Phone number: 01904 654114
This comes in at number one because it is one of my favourite things to do in York, whether that be with friends or my boyfriend. Bish Bash Pot is a pottery painting studio and café situated on Walmgate in the centre of York, and is the perfect place for a romantic outing!
First, you choose the item you want to paint from the array of mugs, plates and other forms of pottery. Then, choose your paints, stencils, glitter and other decorations. Finally, you’re ready to sit down at one of their quaint tables for two, ordering refreshments to consume while you paint the hours away! It’s a fun, creative and relaxing activity for all to enjoy. And most importantly, it allows you to enjoy some quality time with your partner away from the hustle and bustle of York’s streets.
Once you’ve finished painting, you can leave your creations at Bish Bash Pot to glaze and fire them so they’re ready to use. Just collect them in a week’s time! I’d highly recommend this activity for those who love to get creative on dates, or if you just want to try something new.
2. Rent a boat on the Ouse
If you’re feeling brave and want to try your hand at renting a self-driving boat to speed down the River Ouse in, then York City Cruises is the place to call! From just £30 for an hour, you can hire your own boat and cruise down the River Ouse, taking in all the beautiful sites that York has to offer.
Become the captain of your boat, and try something exciting with your partner. You never know, you might discover that driving boats is your hidden talent! The boats are equipped with comfortable seats, so you can relax when you’re not driving, and enjoy views of the Museum Gardens, Minster and beautiful greenery.
3. Go for a sunset walk down the river
If boating isn’t your thing, but you’d still love to take in the sights of York with your partner, why not take a romantic stroll down the river at sunset? It’s arguably the most romantic time of day, after all! Accessible paths run for miles down both sides of the river, providing great views of Millennium Bridge and Rowntree Park, to name but a few.
You could take a picnic and stop off at multiple points down the river, enjoying some food and drinks with your partner on the many benches that line the River Ouse. From experience, this is a lovely, cheap and simple idea for a summer or winter date night. Weather dependent of course!
Wrap up warm and buy a takeaway coffee from Dyls Café on the way if you’re heading out on a winter’s evening. Or take some Pimms and a picnic blanket if you’re enjoying a summer’s evening.
4. Have a picnic in the Museum Gardens
Address: Museum St, York YO1 7FR
Phone number: 01904 687687
York’s Museum Gardens are one of the most romantic spots in York, comprising of botanical plants, views of the river and ancient monuments.
It is free to wander around the gardens, where you can have a picnic on the beautiful lawns. You can also explore the many exhibitions and events that take place in the gardens, from ‘Yorkshire’s Jurassic World’ to ‘Roman York – Meet the People of the Empire’. If you and your partner are into history then this is the place for you!
It’s also the best place in York to chill out in the summer. It’s so relaxing that you’ll want to spend all day there, lounging around amidst the flowers, wildlife and historic architecture.
5. Check out the panoramic views up Clifford’s Tower
Address: Tower St, York YO1 9SA
Clifford’s Tower is one of York’s most legendary sights, second only to the Minster. So, of course, it had to be on this list of romantic things to do in York for couples!
This historic landmark was originally a motte and bailey castle. Built by William the Conqueror (remember him from those history lessons back in the day?), it has served as a prison and a royal mint in the past, before becoming the tourist attraction it is today. From the top of the tower, you can see as far as the North Yorkshire Moors. And trust me, that’s very far!
If you’re both history buffs like me, you’ll be interested to know that Clifford’s Tower is one of the only remaining parts of York Castle. And from the vantage spot at the top, you can see how the original castle would have looked! After a trip up the tower, you can continue your exploration of the medieval castle by walking along the York Walls, exploring the city from up high.
6. Explore the York Minster
Address: Deangate, York YO1 7HH
Phone number: 01904 557200
If ascending the stairs of Clifford’s Tower didn’t thrill you enough, another romantic idea is to discover the most renowned building in York – the Minster. First built in the 7th century, the Minster is a huge, stunning cathedral, found at the centre of the city. It boasts awe-inspiring architecture on the outside and beautiful details on the inside.
For couples who are unafraid of heights, I’d recommend climbing to the top of the Minster. This is a great way to take in the best panoramic views of the city. From just £9 for students, £11.50 for adults, and free for residents of York, you can visit the Undercroft to learn about the history of the cathedral, and climb up to the roof to look out over York.
Once you’ve seen everything there is to see in the Minster, why not hire an electric scooter from just outside to explore more of the city? Or you could take a romantic stroll through the neighbouring Dean’s Park, with views of the Minster and beautiful gardens!
7. Go wine tasting at Pairings
Address: 28 Castlegate, York YO1 9RP
Phone number: 01904 848909
No list of romantic things to do in York for couples is complete without a restaurant date night. And the most romantic place I’ve found in York is Pairings, an award-winning wine bar located next to Clifford’s Tower. Not only does Pairings offer gorgeous platters of cheese, olives and meats, it also offers a wine tasting experience like no other!
If you and your partner love fine wines and learning more about your favourites, then I’d recommend booking an experience. These are hosted by their in-house Sommeliers, who know all there is to know about fine wine and food. There are multiple experiences to choose from, such as wine tasting, gin tasting and food and drink tasting. You are talked through each of the wines and given specific meats and cheeses to perfectly complement your drinks. This activity would also be perfect for a girls weekend in York!
For the 2.5 hours of relaxing, eating and drinking to your heart’s content, you sit in a beautiful, atmospheric room with candles and dim lighting. While this is not a cheap experience, it is the perfect luxury date night and one you will never forget. Perhaps one for an anniversary or birthday celebration?
8. Enjoy a relaxing date night at the Everyman Cinema
Address: Blossom St, York YO24 1AJ
Phone: 0872 436 9060
Everyman Cinemas are renowned for their luxurious cinematic experiences, and the York branch is no different. If you’re not feeling in the mood for action or adventure on your date night, why not take a trip to York’s Everyman? Situated behind York Railway Station, you’re guaranteed an evening of relaxing and good food.
Movie and dinner are amalgamated into one at Everyman, with delicious, high-quality meals, such as pizza and burgers, delivered straight to your seats! And these aren’t just any old seats. Everyman stands out from other cinemas thanks to its plush velvet sofas. You can even book these as a couple, making the experience even more romantic and comfortable.
Why watch a movie at home, when you could watch one on a huge screen, with delicious food and sofas that you sink into instead? Whether it’s a rom-com, an action film or a tear-jerker, you’re sure to have the perfect romantic date night here!
9. Discover York’s Chocolate Story
Address: 3-4 Kings Square, York YO1 7LD
Phone: 01904 261262
York’s Chocolate Story is a must-see for locals and tourists alike. But it’s especially good for couples who love chocolate and museum dates! Join the fully-guided tour through 3000 years of York’s chocolate history, and discover more about your favourite food while sampling some as you go along.
The museum always has events and exhibitions going on, such as chocolate-making workshops and masterclasses. You’ll learn about how chocolate is made, where it originates from and how they invent different flavours.
This interactive, hands-on activity is a great place to go on a date, as couples can have fun together while making chocolate to enjoy. I really enjoyed this experience with my boyfriend, as we’re both big chocolate fans. And we even still use the skills we learned at York’s Chocolate Story when we make desserts now!
10. Get a fright at the York Dungeon
Address: 12 Clifford St, York YO1 9RD
Phone number: 01904 632599
Last, but certainly not least, is the York Dungeon. Now, this might not be your typical idea of a date night, but you’ll thank me once you’ve tried it. I’ve been to the dungeon three times now, the first with my boyfriend. We had the best time, and couldn’t stop talking about it afterwards!
From just £11 for students and £16 for adults, you can experience the scariest tour of York’s history, from bloody Viking battles to disgusting doctors and terrifying witches! Age is just a number when it comes to the Dungeon. It’s frightening enough for everyone to enjoy (and be scared!).
While not romantic in the traditional sense, the York Dungeon will provide a date night like no other. The actors are incredible, and their costumes, make-up and talent will make you believe that you are at the trial of a witch in 1659. It is exciting, scary and will get your heart racing while making you laugh at your partner’s fright. Plus, there are plenty of photo opportunities so you can remember the experience many years later.
So we’ve reached the end of our diverse list of romantic things to do in York for couples. York is definitely one of the best UK city breaks for couples, as just walking down its cobbled streets gives you a sense of its history and romance! No matter what dates you’re into, I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering what York has to offer.
Hopefully, these romantic things to do in York for couples have inspired you to branch out on your next date night to try something new. Maybe even something a little more adventurous than the typical restaurant and cinema date!
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