Saturday 23 February 2019

Inspiring ideas for alphabet dates

If your date nights are in need of an overhaul, give your relationship a fun twist by taking on the challenge of alphabet dating, with our A to Z date ideas guaranteed to notch up brownie points.

If you’ve exhausted all your date ideas and want to impress your special someone, it’s time to give alphabet dating a go, with the idea that couples take turns to come up with creative dates beginning with the letters of the alphabet.

SoGlosWeddings has done the leg work for you, with date suggestions from A to Z. Whether you want to take your girlfriend horse riding, treat your boyfriend to ballooning trip or spoil your fiancé with tickets to the rugby, we’ve got you covered.

A. Enjoy afternoon tea

Linger over endless pots of tea, quaff delicate sandwiches and savour dainty cakes when treating your date to afternoon tea, with a glass of Champagne guaranteed to earn extra brownie points.

Gloucestershire is home to an array of delicious spots to indulge, including five-star Cheltenham hotel, Ellenborough Park, The Kings Head Hotel in Cirencester and The Fish Hotel in Broadway.

Other ideas: abseil, visit an art gallery, take aim at archery, or go to an arboretum.

B. Take to the skies on a ballooning trip

See Gloucestershire from a different vantage point by surprising someone with a hot air balloon ride. While not the most budget friendly option, organising a balloon flight is definitely an unforgettable experience, especially if you take to the skies at sunrise or sunset.

There are a host of ballooning companies operating in Gloucestershire, with launch sites across the county offering the once-in-a-life-time experience. For more information see

Other ideas: go bowling, plan a birdwatching outing, linger over brunch, go on a brewery tour, play bingo or have a barbecue.

C. Cook up a storm at a cookery class

Enjoy the chance to brush up on your culinary skills and tuck into some delicious food by taking your date on a cookery class, with courses covering everything from day-long bread making sessions to light-hearted cook and dine evenings.

Gloucestershire is home to an array of places to improve your kitchen prowess, including Cheltenham’s The Foodworks Cookery School, Harts Barn in the Forest of Dean, Daylesford Cookery School and Dancing Trousers in Lechlade.

Other ideas: go canoeing, test your nerve climbing, laugh at a comedy night, try clay shooting, or visit a castle.

D. Practice your swing at the driving range

Outdoor activities make ideal dates and certainly give you plenty to talk about, so grab your clubs and head to the driving range to practice your swing and impress your special someone, or at least have a laugh in the process.

Gloucester’s Brickhampton Court Golf Complex, Canons Court Golf Club in Wotton-under-Edge, and Cirencester Golf Club, are just a few options in Gloucestershire.

Other ideas: go dancing, have a romantic dinner, play darts, or head out on a daytrip.

E. Exercise outdoors

While not a traditional date idea, exercising outdoors is the perfect way to get those endorphins pumping, while spurring each other to keep fit, whether you join the weekly 5k parkrun, head to a bootcamp class in the park, go for a morning swim at Cheltenham’s Lido, or enjoy a brisk walk with your four-legged friend in tow.

And, if you like the idea of training for an event together and have a competitive streak, sign up for half marathon, obstacle race or triathlon, with a host of sporting events taking place across Gloucestershire throughout the year.

Other ideas: explore the great outdoors, visit an exhibition, or savour exotic eats.

F. Head to a festival

Whether you’re a muso, a bookworm, a food fanatic or a culture vulture, Gloucestershire is home to all manner of festivals offering unique ways to impress your date.

From rocking out at Wychwood and catching celebrity chef demos at Gloucester Quays Food Festival, to surprising your special someone with tickets to their favourite author at Cheltenham Literature Festival, there’s something for everyone.

Other ideas: visit a farm, eat fish and chips, go fishing, or take a pleasure flight.

G. Go glamping

A photo posted by rudicarraro (@rudicarraro) on

If the idea of huddling up next to a campfire and toasting marshmallows sounds like your idea of romance, treat your other half to a glamping getaway in the Cotswolds for a memorable weekend date.

Gloucestershire is home to plenty of spots to soak up the great outdoors in style, with our eight ideas for glamping offering something for every budget.

Other ideas: scare yourself on a ghost walk, explore Gloucester Cathedral, visit a garden, or hit the go-kart track.

H. Saddle up and go horse riding

If you both have a taste for the outdoors, consider exploring the Cotswolds on horseback, giving you plenty of chance to enjoy getting to know each other while soaking up unspoilt views.

Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre in Bourton-on-the Water runs hour-long hacks suitable for all levels, while Camp Riding Centre near Stroud offers two hours of riding in the morning and afternoon, with a break for a pub lunch or picnic en route.

Other ideas: take a helicopter ride, hire a car, go hiking, or sip happy hour cocktails.

I. Keep it cool with an ice-cream

Summertime screams ice-cream so why not treat your date to a 99 at one of Gloucestershire’s’ top producers? For a picturesque spot to indulge, head up to Rodborough Common, a National Trust site near Stroud, where you can try a scoop or two of Winstones Ice Cream.

Or, if you fancy venturing to the beautiful Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter, make sure you call in at The Old Mill to pick up a cone of its delicious organic ice-cream before wandering down Copse Hill Road, a romantic spot running parallel to the River Eye.

Other ideas: go indoor climbing, turn up the heat with an Indian takeaway, or dine at an Italian restaurant.

J. Listen to jazz

Music fans will love the chance to soak up some live acts at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, with a host of top performers descending on the town every May for the annual celebration.

The event offers something for everyone, with past headliners including Beverley Knight, Lianne La Havas, Jamie Cullum and Gregory Porter, while The Daffodil's Monday night Jazz Club is perfect for starting the week in style.

Other ideas: learn to juggle, eat Japanese food, soak in a Jacuzzi or join a club.

K. Plan a kayaking trip

A photo posted by Jess (@whatjessicabakednext) on

While Gloucestershire might be landlocked, there are still plenty of spots to enjoy watersports, with a kayaking trip most definitely giving you plenty to talk about on a date.

Symonds Yat, located in the heart of the Wye Valley, offers both single seat kayaks and single and double sit-on-top kayaks, depending on whether you want to work as a team or enjoy a bit of friendly rivalry.

Other ideas: go kite flying, sing your heart out at karaoke, or channel your inner ninja at a kick boxing class.

L. Watch live music

Taking your date to a gig ticks the boxes of being fun, romantic and memorable, and gives you the excuse to scope out their musical taste to see how much you have in common.

Gigs also offer ample opportunities for bonding, whether it’s dancing, singing along, moshing or finally giving you excuse to hold their hand, with regular music nights at Cheltenham Town Hall, Gloucester Guildhall, Café Rene in Gloucester, and Stroud Subscription Rooms.

Other ideas: plan a Sunday lunch, go lingerie shopping, learn a new skill, or visit the lakes at South Cerney.

M. Marvel at a museum

For a cultured way to impress your date, head to one of Gloucestershire’s many museums, with Gloucester’s Nature in Art showcasing works inspired by the great outdoors, Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water ideal for car enthusiasts, and Cirencester’s Corinium Museum brimming with Roman artefacts.

Other choices include The Wilson in Cheltenham, which in addition to its permanent collections, hosts a variety of visiting exhibitions, while Stroud’s Museum in the Park is perfect for romantic days out exploring the beautiful grade II listed mansion house.

Other ideas: get lost in a maze, plan a movie marathon, sign up for a Mud Run, or go for a massage.

N. Visit a National Trust site

Gloucestershire is home to an abundance of National Trust sites begging to be explored on romantic days out, whether you want to take in a seasonal walk, visit impressive stately houses and buildings, or soak up historic ruins.

For winter dates, wrap up warm and take in the snowdrops at Snowshill Manor and Garden, while the beautiful gardens at Hidcote are especially delightful during the summer months.

Other ideas: have a Netflix binge, try a new restaurant, or get up close with nature.

O. Watch an open-air film

During the summer months, Gloucestershire screens an array of films at pop-up open-air cinemas across the county, offering the perfect chance for loved-up locals to take in a retro movie experience under the stars.

Make the most of the longer days and warmer nights at the annual Open-Air Theatre Festival at Cheltenham’s Tuckwell Amphitheatre, while movie buffs can lounge in deckchairs and munch on popcorn in the peaceful setting of Sandford Parks Lido, which usually screens an outdoor film each summer.

Other ideas: be enchanted at the opera, go outdoor swimming, or plan an orienteering excursion.

P. Relax in the park

Sunny weekend days are begging to be spent in the park and offer the perfect excuse to while away an afternoon getting to know each other, with a posh picnic sure to make an impression.

Many parks also offer activities, including Cheltenham’s Pittville Park which benefits from a pretty lake that you can take your date out on a rowing boat on, while the National Trust’s Woodchester Park is set in a wooden valley and offers a range of walking trails that take in the secluded setting.

Other ideas: pottery painting, watch a play, go paintballing, or play pool in the pub.

Q. Test your knowledge at a quiz night

A photo posted by Carys (@c_fisher100) on

Challenge your general knowledge on a quiz night date, with pubs and bars across Gloucestershire hosting regular nights offering the chance to put your heads together.

With a team of two you’re unlikely to walk away with the jackpot, but it’s the perfect excuse to spend away a few hours getting to know each other, with the quiz the ideal antidote to any pre-date nerves.

Other ideas: quaff fine wine, or visit a quaint Cotswold village.

R. Catch a game of rugby

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Wrap up warm, sip on a pint and cosy up next to your date to cheer on Gloucester Rugby’s Cherry and Whites at Kingsholm Stadium, with matches taking place from October to May.

Whether you join diehard supporters in The Shed or snuggle up in the stands, surprising someone with a day at the rugby guaranteed to go down a storm, and you can expect an electrifying atmosphere both on and off the pitch.

Other ideas: take a road trip, go roller skating, indulge in some retail therapy, or rent bikes in the Forest of Dean.

S. Chill at the spa

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With everyone loving a bit of pampering, planning a spa day is certainly a romantic idea for those looking for a bit of R and R on their date, with Gloucestershire home to a wonderfully indulgent selection of spas.

Pull out all the stops with a visit to Dormy House Hotel & Spa in Broadway; relax by the outdoor pool at The Spa at Ellenborough Park or enjoy treatments in the vaulted spa at The Kings Head Hotel in Cirencester.

Other ideas: make a splash at the swimming pool, go strawberry picking, plan a staycation, or go stargazing.

T. Plan a night at the theatre

Fans of theatre will love being spoilt with tickets to a play, musical, ballet or opera, with Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre hosting a varied calendar of events to offer something for everyone’s tastes.

Keep an eye out for alfresco theatre productions during the summer months, while the outdoor performances at Longborough Festival Opera are the perfect excuse to pack posh picnic and dress up for a memorable and most definitely romantic date.

Other ideas: play tennis, go trampolining, order takeaway, or take up tango lessons.

U. Go underground

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Banish any date nerves with a thrill-seeking underground experience exploring the caves of the Wye Valley in the Forest of Dean, with the three-hour sessions suitable for beginners and experienced cavers alike.

Don’t expect sartorial elegance though, with participants donning boiler suits and helmets, while there’s also a chance that you’ll get dirty so make sure you wear shoes you don’t mind getting mucky!

Other ideas: venture underwater, sleep under the stars, play ultimate Frisbee, or stay under the covers!

V. Go on a vineyard tour

Sip on locally produced wine from one of England’s oldest and largest vineyards by taking your date to Three Choirs Vineyards in the Forest of Dean.

The Newent winery runs tours and tastings offering the chance to learn more about the award-wining English wines, while those looking to impress and not worry about driving home can book a night in one of its rooms, with views overlooking the vineyard.

Other ideas: plant a vegetable patch, volunteer, play volleyball, eat vegetarian food, or play video games.

W. Walk the Cotswold Way

Pack a picnic, lace up your hiking boots and take your date out to explore the glorious trails that make up the Cotswold Way, a 100-mile footpath taking in breathtaking views from Chipping Campden down to Bath.

Offering everything from short walks to long hikes, the Cotswold Way also passes by country pubs galore, giving you plenty of excuses to refuel over a pint in a beer garden or warm up next to an open fire.

Other ideas: whisky tasting, go to Cotswold Water Park, rock out at Wychwood Festival, or visit the Wye Valley.

X marks the spot

Ok, so we are a bit stumped with ideas for the letter x but if you do fancy being creative why not plan a treasure hunt for your loved one?

Devise a list of clues and maybe even draw a map with x marks the spot to give them a hint where they’ll find the pot of gold, with endless ideas for treasure, from lavish meals out to romantic love vouchers.

Other ideas: challenge each other to an X-box day, or watch the X Factor.

Y. Rent a yurt

Escape to the countryside and stay in style in a yurt, with a mini break in the Cotswolds, Somerset or Wales perfect for celebrating anniversaries with a special weekend date.

For a more back-to-basics experience, the yurt eco camp at Abbey Home Farm near Cirencester is fun for a sleepover with a difference, offering the chance to cosy up by a campfire and take in the wonderful views.

Other ideas: test your flexibility at a yoga class.

Z. Meet animals at the zoo

Take your date to meet a host of animals at Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens in Burford, with the resident mammals including rhinos, giraffe, Asiatic lion, camels, zebra and more.

The wildlife park also has an impressive collection of lemur, along with boasting one of the largest reptile collections in the UK, while the pretty gardens are perfect for romantic strolls.

Other ideas: zoom on a zip wire, go zorbing, or workout at a Zumba class.

Do you have any ideas for alphabet dates? We'd love to hear your suggestions!

By Anna Marshall

© SoGlos
Thursday 16 June 2016

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