In this series, we're looking at the cities famous for romance and finding out what sets their streets alive with love. London is also known as The Big Smoke, not a nickname that inspires romance. But if you look past the hustle and bustle of the nation's capital, London is a beautiful place for lovers. You could whisper sweet nothings to your beloved in the Whispering Gallery at St. Paul's Cathedral, stand upon the center of time in Greenwich or snuggle up in a secret garden. London's streets aren't just bustling with people, they're bustling with romance. Consider holidays in London by train when you desire some time alone with the one you love.
This sanctuary in the heart of the city is the perfect place to escape with your partner. Under the glass roof you can lose yourselves in a tropical paradise right on top of the Barbican Centre. The building's opinion-dividing concrete architecture is clear among the foliage, but only adds to the appeal. A wonderful mix of an imagined dystopian future and pretty planted flower beds, the Barbican Conservatory is usually open on Sundays, but it's advisable to check in advance.
One of the most under-valued transport methods in the city, Thames Clippers sail up and down the river every day. Get a different perspective of some of London's most loved landmarks while you sip champagne from the onboard bar. This is one of the best ways to enjoy London, you'll get goosebumps as you approach the Tower of London and pass underneath Tower Bridge. Thames Clippers operate a regular service from Royal Arsenal Woolwich all the way to Putney, Oyster cards are also accepted on the service.
It's said that the flower of love is the rose, so walk with your loved one through Queen Mary's Gardens in Regent's Park. The rose garden has been attracting lovers since 1934, and boasts roughly 12,000 roses within the garden. The best time to visit is the first two weeks of June, when the blooms are at their best, but the garden is designed to be enjoyed all year round.
Located in the old booking office of the recently renovated St Pancras Station, this wonderful 'station café' is not to be missed. If you're travelling through St Pancras, plan an extra hour or two into your journey to take in the ambience of this bar. Enjoy a glass of award winning British Chapel Down sparkling wine, or sip on a cocktail created using previously lost recipes from Victorian times.
Recapture the romance of the rail travel, and explore London's softer side on rail holidays to London with Great Rail Journeys.