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.
Whether you want to take your girlfriend horse riding, treat your boyfriend to ballooning trip, spoil your fiancé with tickets to the rugby or take your wife on glamping trip, SoGlos has done the leg work for you, with inspiring date suggestions from A to Z.
A: Afternoon Tea
Laze away the day over endless pots of tea, fill up on delicate sandwiches and savour dainty cakes and pastries when you treat your date to afternoon tea. Why not include a sparkling glass of fizz, which is guaranteed to earn you some extra brownie points!
Gloucestershire is home to hundreds of amazing places to enjoy afternoon tea, including five-star Cheltenham hotel, Ellenborough Park and the stylish Malmaison. Check out our favourites in our hot list 18 places to go for afternoon tea in Gloucestershire.
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 our selection of Gloucestershire hot air ballooning venues.
Other ideas: go bowling, plan a birdwatching outing, 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 The Foodworks in Cheltenham, Harts Barn in the Forest of Dean, and Winston House School of Cookery in Stonehouse.
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.
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 Sandford Parks Lido, or enjoy a brisk walk with your four-legged friend in tow.
For inspiration, discover our round up of nine exercises to enjoy in the great outdoors, or if you have a competitive streak and like the idea of training for an event together, sign up for one of Gloucestershire's extreme runs.
Other ideas: explore the great outdoors, visit an exhibition, or savour exotic eats.
F. Flock 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 The Big Feastival, to surprising your special someone with tickets to their favourite author at Cheltenham Literature Festival, there’s something for everyone. Discover a host of dates for your diary across Gloucestershire in our annual festivals guide.
Other ideas: visit a farm, eat fish and chips, go fishing, or take a pleasure flight.
G. Go glamping
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 a host of glamping options featured in our round up of the best camping spots 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 village of Elmore, make sure you call in at Wholly Gelato to pick up a cone or tub or their home made gelato, and meet the cows who produced the milk to make it.
Discover other places to satisfy sweet cravings in our round up of nine of Gloucestershire's finest ice-cream producers.
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: eat Japanese food, learn to juggle, join a club, or soak in a Jacuzzi.
K. Plan a kayaking trip
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.
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, or catch a film outside instead.
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. Find somewhere to enjoy the great outdoors with your loved one in our round up of 10 of Gloucestershire's best public parks.
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 Mansion and 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
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
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 is 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
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 waiting to be discovered in our spa guide.
Pull out all the stops with a visit to Hatherley Manor Hotel and Spa ; relax by the outdoor pool at Cowley Manor's C-Side Spa 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 a 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
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.
You’ll have to cast aside your vanity for this one this, as guests zip into boiler suits and helmets to take part! 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 by taking your date to Woodchester Valley Vineyard in Stroud.
The Stroud winery runs tours and tastings offering the chance to learn more about its delicious 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 and 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.