Seven Summer Dates

A week-long itinerary of sunshiney romance. By Match.com’s relationship expert, Kate Taylor 1. Stargazing Feel your love is written in the stars? Then check the small-print, by gazing at the stars together on a date. Either visit a planetarium find your nearest UK planetarium, or just set up a rug on the lawn one evening and cast your gaze heavenwards. Download an astronomy app first, if you don’t know your Aries from your Eridanus. 2. Carry on Camping You needn’t venture far afield to get all the fun of camping. Set up a tent in your back garden, alongside a campfire and BBQ. Fill the tent with cosy sheepskin rugs, stock up on marshmallows, and drink hot chocolate or ice-cold beers. 3. Go Fishin’ If you want to escape everyday life and get back to nature with your date, try fishing. It’s peaceful, relaxing, fun – and you might even bag yourself dinner. You’ll need a licence to fish (£3.75, from the Post Office) and some rods – check out local angling groups, or eBay, for inexpensive equipment. The coarse-fishing closed-season runs until June 15th, but after that, all of Britain’s waterways are yours to plunder together. 4. Paintball For an energetic, competitive date, try spraying your partner with a round of high-velocity paint pellets. (It’s more romantic than it sounds.) Or move indoors and try LaserQuest, where you hunt each other through dimly lit corridors. For a less-structured shoot ’em up, simply grab some water pistols or Nerf guns and open fire on each other in the back garden. 5. Tour your Town Explore your local area by downloading a trail-guide. They offer fun, semi-guided tours of all big UK towns, and you can customise the trail to suit you (for example, adding a few pub stops). There are clues to the next stop, and interesting facts about the places you’ll visit along the way. Or, try geocaching – a GPS-based treasure trail run by users all over the world. Grab your date and your smartphone and find some buried treasure. 6. Water world Being by open water is great on a date, because the negative ions released into the air can stimulate your serotonin levels (and make you feel even happier). Explore your nearest seaside town and hit the funfair. Or, hire a rowing-boat and picnic on the bank. Not glam enough? Take a riverboat cruise and sip champagne while you jaunt along the water. 7. Pick-Up Joint Forget fields of gold – fields of strawberries are where romance is really hiding. Or fields of spuds, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, and beans (depending on when you visit)… Get down-home rustic and visit a Pick Your Own farm with your date before going home to cook dinner. Or if that’s too earthy, stroll through a swish farmer’s market together and feast on tasters of cheese, meats and local wines and ciders, while building the perfect picnic. Nobody to go on dates with? Find more fun-loving partners, on Match.com