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7 alternative summer dating ideas for 7 student cities

7th August 2015

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In association with, we’ve crossed the length and breadth of the country (ok, we just hit Google a few times...) to track down a whole bunch of alternative dating activities across the UK’s busiest student cities.

From extra terrestrial film screenings (London) to free live music on summery evenings (Birmingham), we suggest you get yourself down to some of these – maybe even taking along someone you want to be more than friends with... now there’s a suggestion.

Consider all your student date woes solved. Unless we’ve missed your city off, of course, in which case let us know – and we’ll write another article including it next week. You are very welcome.


Let’s kick this list off with a bit of local talent, which in Birmingham’s case is being debuted via Thursday evening Summer Sessions in the lovely surround of Cannon Hill Park. Free music galore, until 27th August. Grab a picnic blanket and a bottle of wine and you’ve got your summer date night sorted. Just pray it doesn’t rain on your parade.


If you’re feeling a little bit geeky when date day rolls around, why not drag your lucky paramour around the cobbled streets of Bristol on the Curious About Bristol? walking tour? The self-guided tour even includes an optional treasure hunt. If you want to venture further afield, to the home of Regency itself, the same tour also runs in neighbouring Bath. Lovely.


We wanted to suggest strawberries and a punt... but this is supposed to be an alternative list, so boats and berries probably won’t win you any dating points amongst the students of Cambridge. Instead, why not embrace the ultimate in 80s guilty pleasure and head over to Spandau Ballet’s afternoon gig at Newmarket Racecourse? We think this idea is quite simply gold. Friday 14th August, from 3pm.  


We bet you’ve walked past Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura a hundred times and not even noticed that it’s there... but let us assure you that it is. In fact it’s been there since 1835, which makes it – eponymous castle aside – the Scottish capital’s oldest visitor attraction. You can make like Alice and shrink yourself down to a microscopic size, before peeking into the 3D history of Edinburgh, from 1850 to the present day. As student dates go, this is a fun one. You’ll find it towards the top of the Royal Mile.


It might not seem immediately obvious that the dystopian, thought crime-plagued world of 1984 would lend itself to dance – but according to Northern Ballet they’re a perfect fit. Catch George Orwell’s masterpiece in ballet form at West Yorkshire Playhouse between the 5th and 12th of September and get your culture fix on both literary and dance-y counts. Intelligence points.


It’s hardly difficult to find alternative dating ideas in our very pop-up friendly, constantly reinventing capital city... but we still think we’ve brought you a pretty good suggestion with this one. Behold: the Floating Cinema’s Extra-Terrestrial season, which includes “an out of this world programme of screenings and events exploring the realms of outer space through the prisms of art, science, film, literature, visual arts and music” – all in the hardly alien environments of Kings Cross and Bow. 21st August – 30th September. Spacey.


If you’re a Middle Earth fan on the south coast of England and you weren’t already aware, well, we’ve got some news that’ll make your day: Southampton is home to a Tolkien themed pub. It’s called – you might have guessed – The Hobbit. It’s also very well reviewed by the reliable folk of Tripadvisor, with one even calling it a “staple of her first year of university.” Good grub, good music and the chance to dance away into the night – you could almost be in Hobbiton. Sort of.

Now all you need is someone to share all of it with. Luckily there’s a new dating website, built specifically for university students, that creates matches based on mutual interests – whether that’s giant cameras or errant hobbits or dystopian fiction. Find out more about new UK dating site Date with Students here.

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