It’s true that relationships aren’t always a bed of roses; often they also involve a lot of patience, forgiveness and effort. However, when an anniversary is on the horizon, it is the perfect excuse to push the boat out and romance your partner, not only to celebrate making it together, but to remind each other of why you fell in love to begin with.
If there’s a special occasion coming up for you and your significant other – perhaps a proposal or anniversary, then a wonderful way to express how you feel is by planning a surprise trip away. Nothing says I adore you more than being whisked away to a plush hotel and making a tonne of fun memories together. London, is fast becoming a popular choice for such occasions because not only is it a cosmopolitan city that has plenty of swanky restaurants, but it also has lots of fun tourist attractions too.
Book your accommodation
One of the most stressful things to do when thinking of a getaway, is to find suitable accommodation that is within your price range, in the perfect location. To avoid blowing the entire budget on a hotel, think outside of the box. Remember that nearly everywhere in London is easily accessible via the London underground system, so to avoid paying over the odds; don’t book a hotel in the very heart of the city. Instead, consider affordable London west end deals instead, as staying in somewhere like Piccadilly still only means that you are a stone’s throw away from many of London’s most famous landmarks.
It’s also worth mentioning to the hotel that you book with, that you are visiting to celebrate an occasion, as often they will be able to add extra special touches to make your stay more memorable. These added extras often include room upgrades or checking in to find chocolates in your room- little things that can mean a lot.
After you’ve made a hotel reservation, your thoughts will naturally turn to thinking about how you will get there. Of course you could drive your car, but if you do, be prepared for heavy traffic, toll road charges and steep car parking fees too. Rather, the most popular way to travel to London is by rail, and with one of London’s main terminals being Paddington, you can hop onto a tube straight from the station to get to where you need to be, easily and quickly.
This is where you can really let your imagination run wild. Once you know how long you are staying in the city for, you’ll have a better idea of how many fun places to visit you can comfortably fit into your itinerary. Try to avoid over-stretching your time though to avoid rushing and missing out on seeing the things that have really attracted you. Another thing to think about when trying to organise trips is how long you will spend at each one, for example a visit to Buckingham palace might take up a few hours, whilst walking alongside Regent’s canal may only take around 45 minutes. Therefore if you can, try to intersperse your big attractions with smaller ones such as enjoying afternoon tea at a traditional tearoom or strolling through Hyde Park. There are exceptions of course, as Hyde Park also makes a fantastic location to enjoy a romantic picnic under the stars too since the park is open until late.
Another way to romantically celebrate your love could be to take a trip on the London Eye experience to stand side by side as you take in the cityscape from a bird’s eye view. Or, if you aren’t a fan of heights then perhaps a cruise along the River Thames would be more suitable. Think about what your significant other would really enjoy and try to incorporate his or her favourite things where possible to show how much thought and effort has gone into this special celebration.
If you are planning a city trip away as a surprise, think about the practicalities too. Whilst being surprised the morning of the trip is a wonderful way to find out about the break, it isn’t very practical if your partner needs to take time off work. Think about how much notice their employer needs if your trip means that they need to take time off from work. Also, if you plan to stay overnight, or even for a few nights you’ll need to think about packing your partner’s things. If your significant other is particular about clothes or footwear, then it is probably best to let them pack for themselves so to avoid any anxiety during the trip. Therefore, it might be more practical to give your partner at least a week’s notice so that they can prepare themselves for the journey too.
Whilst you are in London, don’t forget to step out of your comfort zone a little and explore avenues that you wouldn’t necessarily do at home. Sharing new experiences can help to strengthen a relationship or put some excitement back in if things have gone stale. If the London eye is too far above ground for you, then maybe try exploring a secret speakeasy bar for something a little different that isn’t too daring.
However you choose to spend your time in the city, be sure to remember to take lots of photos so that when you return home you can show your friends and family how fun your special city trip was.
Fergus Brandon is a travel writer by profession and nomad by choice. He was born in Cambridge and completed his masters (International Tourism Management ) from London School of Commerce. He is working as the travel Editor for TheMontcalm hotels group.