Summer romance inspo, this way.
Manchester in the summer



Words: L. Thorpe

Making plans for the summer? You’re going to want to take a look at our summer dating report, highlighting the best cities in the UK and Ireland for a great summer.

Based on key summer date denominators, like rooftop space, parks, romantic restaurants, al fresco dining spots, cinemas, outdoor markets, galleries and comedy clubs, we worked out where you’re likely to have an amazing summer evening with your person. Read on and get planning.

London's Covent Garden in the summer

Top UK summer dating cities

When it comes to summer dating, Manchester takes the top spot, thanks to its abundance of outdoor space. It’s also the city with the most stylish men, and more than half the people (55%) living in Manchester are single, according to the last census. Whether you want to hit up a Michelin-starred restaurant, visit an art gallery or take a stroll through the park, you can do it all in Manchester.

Capital cities Edinburgh and London took second and third place on this list, with Edinburgh scoring highly for romantic restaurants, al fresco dining and coffee shops. England’s capital city, London, scored points for outdoor markets and wine bars. Around 44% of people in the capital live alone, so the chances of finding a date could be high.

Top 13 cities in the UK to go on a date in this summer

When it comes to the top cities to go out on a date in the UK and Ireland this summer, there’s a pretty even split across the region, with two Scottish cities, the Welsh capital, English capital and the Irish capital all making the list.

1. Manchester
2. Edinburgh
3. London
4. Bristol
5. Dublin
6. Cardiff
7. Leeds
8. Liverpool
9. Birmingham
10. Coventry
11. Leicester
12. Newcastle upon Tyne
13. Glasgow

There are four cities in northern England, five in the south of England and the Midlands, two in Scotland, one in Ireland and one in Wales that all feature in the top cities for summer dating. That means there’s no north/south divide when it comes to having a good time on a summer date.

London's Covent Garden in the summer

Best cities by summer date activity

If there’s a date night activity you have in mind this summer, here’s where you need to head for the best experience:

Best for rooftop bars – Newcastle upon Tyne

Head to the Quayside to ABOVE at the Vermont Hotel or Fenwick Newcastle’s Roof Thirty Nine for some of the best rooftop spots in the city. The Botanist, Revolución de Cuba, Chaophraya, The Crescendo and 3Sixty Champagne Lounge all have rooftop spaces, too.

Best for parks – Coventry

Whether it’s Coombe Abbey Park, Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve, the War Memorial Park or some of the other green spaces in and around the city, Coventry is the best place to go for a romantic stroll on your summer date.

Best for romantic restaurants – Coventry

If you’re going all-out on a date, head to some of TripAdvisor’s most romantic restaurants, like Turmeric Gold, Arco, Ristorante da Vinci, Earlsdon Supper Club or Aqua Food & Mood. You’ll find something for every taste.

Best for al fresco dining – Edinburgh

If you fancy dining out on a terrace on your date, the Scottish capital has a plethora of places to eat al fresco. Try Devil’s Advocate, Ecco Vino or The Ivy on the Square for some great food and outdoor space.

Best for cinema – Manchester

Whether you’re in the city centre or the suburbs, there are plenty of places to snuggle up and watch the latest film. From Parrs Wood entertainment complex to independent outdoor cinema spaces, Manchester has it all.

Best for markets – London

From Borough Market to Covent Garden and Camden, London is filled with places to shop, eat and enjoy. And what could be a more romantic date than taking a relaxing stroll and looking at what’s on offer?

Best for coffee – Edinburgh

Edinburgh is filled with cosy coffee shops to get to know your match a little better. Try The Milkman, Williams & Johnson Coffee Co. or Artisan Roast for great independent coffee with a side of people watching.

Best for wine bars – Edinburgh

Edinburgh is also a great place to head to a wine bar and get to know eachother over a few drinks. With something for every style of date, Edinburgh has it all. Try A Wee Taste, Divino Enoteca or Good Brothers for a little sip.

Best for art galleries – Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s on a roll, also coming top for art galleries per population. You’ll find three national galleries in the city, including National, Modern and Portrait. There are also independent galleries and sculpture parks to explore.

Best for comedy clubs – Dublin

If you want to check out your date’s sense of humour, head to Dublin for a dose of comedy and craic. With venues like The Comedy Cellar, Laughter Lounge and Laughter Lines Dublin, you can work out just how compatible you are.

What to wear for a summer date

Now you know what city you’re headed for and what you’re doing when you get there, here’s some outfit inspiration to get you ready for your date.

A relaxed date look

Relaxed date look

Whether you’re going for a coffee, heading to an art gallery, strolling around a market, hitting the cinema or having a chilled picnic in the park, keep your outfit comfy and casual while still looking put together.

Pair some relaxed chinos with a polo and shacket for a laid back look that’ll still impress on the go. Add some loafers or smart trainers and you’re date-ready. Swap out the shacket for a bomber jacket if the weather’s looking a little dicey.

Dressing for dinner and drinks

Whatever the venue, dinner and drinks calls for getting a little dressier. Style a blazer with a shirt or T-shirt and smart trousers and shoes. If in doubt, scope out the venue first to see what other people are wearing.

If you’re not sure about a dress code, it can make sense to err on the side of caution and go for a little bit smarter. It’s better to be slightly overdressed and make an impression than have to stress out about not feeling dressed up enough.

A smart date look

Keeping confident

Feeling comfortable and confident is important for feeling your best on a date. So, once you’ve chosen the perfect spot, choose your outfit based on what makes you happy and captures your style.