I don’t know about you, but when I’m organising a date, I always like to suggest trying a new activity. Perhaps because I’ve experienced far too many dating disasters, so by at least throwing in one of my bucket list choices, I get to take something positive away from it. Here’s my top 5 date ideas in Hertfordshire that I promise you, will not disappoint. They are sure to win you some brownie points too!

5 perfect dates in hertfordshire; paddle boarding

Hire paddle boards in Apsley

Apsley is a charming village, situated on the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead. The canal (and marina) make for a very charming date. There are an array of great restaurants including Darycs and Calzone, a little Italian next door, that I’ve very much got my eye on. Every time I go past, they have been buzzing!

You can hire paddle boards from A1 Sup Hire and enjoy a relaxing afternoon together, slowly taking in the beauty on the Grand Union Canal.

I was pretty excited to learn recently that on a Sunday evening, A1 SUP also hires out lit up boards. I would certainly find that as romantic as a candlelit dinner…. well, that’s as long as it’s not freezing and someone doesn’t fall in, LOL.

If you’ve never paddled before, A1 SUP also offer lessons and you won’t need a water licence as they cover that too.

couples dates in Hertfordshire; lavender fields in Hitchin

Hitchin Lavender fields

If you’re at the point that you and your date are taking selfies, then you can’t beat this summer backdrop! The Hitchin Lavender fields can be seen in flower from the end of June until mid August.

If love is in the air, why not pick some lavender, dry it out and make it into a lavender scented keepsake.

When your camera rolls are full, take a drive into Hitchin town centre. Here’s a few date ideas depending on your mood.

Hitchin date ideas

  • If you’re visiting Hitchin by day, grab coffees in the square where there are often entertainers and be sure to take a walk around the cobble streets to St Mary’s church and gardens
  • If you’re feeling competitive, challenge your date to a game of pool at Osinskys
  • For a late lunch, grab tapas at Bar Azita
  • For a slightly more sophisticated dinner choice, treat your date to modern classics at Hermitage Road
  • For the best pubs in Hitchin, see our guide: A Toast to Hitchin: The Best Pubs and Bars
  • For entertainment, the Speak Easy Club has a live Jazz singer most Friday and Saturday nights followed by a club until the early hours

Alternatively, if you’re wanting a mellow option after the calming effects of the lavender, opt for The Rusty Gun pub just on the outskirts of Hitchin. Their food is outstanding!

Skiing in Hemel Hempstead

If you and your match are into snow sports, then this date is for you. Don’t panic if you haven’t got all the clothing and equipment as you can hire it all with your lift pass at the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead. 

This date is only for you if you have some ski/boarding experience. On booking you’ll be asked if you can control your speed, use a button lift and be able to stop when needed.

Meet in the alpine Lodge upstairs and grab a coffee whilst people watching on the slope. 

Enjoy an hour on the slopes together and don’t worry about falling over and making a fool of yourself, perhaps your date will come to the rescue 😉

Just 5-10 minutes away, in Apsley (mentioned above) is the Paper Mill pub. Its canal location, great food and friendly staff make for the perfect Hertfordshire date spot. 

If you still don’t want your date to end, take a stroll along the Grand Union Canal.

active date in Hertfordshire borders; white water rafting at lee valley

A date at Lee Valley

On the edges of the Hertfordshire border you will find Lee Valley, which offers a great date choice for everyone. 

For the adventurous daters there’s white water rafting or hot dog kayaking on their Olympic course, or paddle boarding on the lake. 

For the chilled out daters, take a romantic stroll around some of their 10,000 acres of park that runs from Greater London to Ware. Choose from Lee Valley’s nature reserves, lake walks or riverside trails.

Follow your date activity with a drink on their grand terrace (look out for their live events) and watch people doing water sports on the rapids.

Ashridge House

Situated in Chiltern Hills, Ashridge House is a beautiful manor house with 190 acres of landscaped gardens, a cafe, bar, restaurant and flower gift shop.

Ashridge house is rich in heritage, with elegant reception rooms and ornate architecture. It has 700 years of history; once a monastery and royal residence for both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. 

Take a stroll around the house or gardens with your date and have drinks at the Bakehouse cafe. Relax in the courtyard whilst you enjoy the sunshine, great conversation (hopefully) and take in the stunning backdrop of the house.

This Summer (from July 2023), if art is your passion, Ashridge House are launching a contemporary sculpture garden with work from local artists. Tickets are £13 

A normal garden day pass is £9 for adults. 

Further date ideas

Seeking more enchanting date ideas in Hertfordshire, things to do in Hitchin or things to do in Cambridge? Dive into our curated content, where we’ve compiled a diverse list tailored to create unforgettable moments.

Why not check out or top date night at home ideas or spice things up with sexy date night ideas. For date night outfit inspiration take a look at our guides Spring outfits, how to style faux leather leggings and 10 ways to wear a shirt.

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