Here are the best places in York to take a first date

It’s about where you go, not who you’re with

If you’re like me, you probably don’t enjoy asking someone on a date. It’s stressful and it’s long, but it’s something we all have to do. It’s just everything I don’t like in one place. You know when you have to do something you don’t want to do, to get over it? Yeah, no.

A first date is about loosening up and having fun. It can be easier to ask when you have a plan in mind and York has plenty of options. So, to take the pressure off, here are some thought-out places in York to take someone. And don’t wait forever to ask them out like a numpty.

Dessert/Bakery shops

If your date doesn’t like ice cream, it was a stupid date anyway. There is no shortage of bakeries and dessert shops in York, Brew & Brownie, Drift-In and LICC are some class options. Only get a cone if you’re brave, it’s delicious but if you drop it, it’s over. Also, memorise their order so you can surprise them next time. Thank me later x

Thrift shopping for each other

Hear me out, go around the many charity shops in York together and buy an outfit for each other. This is unique and gives you an opportunity to be creative whether you want to nice them, get matching colours, mess around with uncoordinated opposites, or try your styles on each other. And you get the added bonus of helping a couple of local charities in the process.

Museum Gardens

The Gardens are a class setting for a date. Now you might be thinking there’s nish to do but you would be wrong. You could have a lovely picnic on the grass, buy cheap mini canvases with a bit of paint and do something artsy, go for a walk, count the number of waddlers and tourists that go past. While that may seem cliche, to me that is success. The Museum Gardens provide all manner of fun.


A cultured date, Betty’s is a level up from your normal cafe. I don’t want to hear any debate about it either because you lot are just wrong, unfortunately. Safe to say the strawberry milkshake is an excellent drink. Also, it offers a separate menu for dietary needs such as gluten. Plus, you can spend quality time getting to know each other in the looong queue.

Pottery Painting

Paint something together or for each other at Bish Bash Pot. This is top tier because it’s low pressure and it’s quite cute as you’ll always have this thing you created from your first date. You can have fun with the colours and show your creative side.

Boat on the River Ouse

For me, the Ouse has to be one of the most romantic places in York, so taking a trip down the river would make a perfect first date. The downside is, since they’re self-drive you can’t just sit in the back together and talk. Unless you’re a boating expert there’s a good chance you‘ll crash into a fair few bridges and bushes but you’ll find your way back one way or another. So long as you both have a sense of humour it’ll make a good bonding experience, or you might just regret being born by the end of it. I’d hate to say I told you so.

Pub Quiz

Probably better if you’re drunk which isn’t helpful if you don’t drink. Pub quizzes are good because you get to talk a lot and find out what topics the other person is interested in. I know it can be a real drag if your person is a smart-ass but even if your quizzing abilities differ, it’s worth giving a go. Learning from each other is part of the fun and being with someone who wants to try things is important. York has so many pub quizzes with The Deramore Arms being the closest to campus.

Cocktail bar

There are more original date ideas out there but it’s a classic nevertheless. Spark, Turtle Bay, Evil Eye, Lucia’s and Dusk aren’t too shabby. Being smashed on a first date though is never a good thing in which case don’t say sorry to me, go and think about what you’ve done.

City Walls

Tell you what, walking around the Medieval City Walls on a beautiful day, I can think of nothing better. Unfortunately, they do close at 6pm so you can’t walk around at night but it is a bit sketch, plus you’ve got the Shambles and the Minster at night. Not the worst experience to share for a first date and it costs nothing!


Activities like mini-golf at The Hole in Wand or bowling at Hollywood Bowl in York are top tier for a first date. You can just play your game and mess around or you can turn it into the world championships. It can get quite unpleasant with all the chat going on so call timeout if it gets a bit nasty. After the game, you want to avoid a frosty journey home but winning is a habit.

Watching the sunset on Campus East

I have a soft spot for a nice sunset personally. There’s something about the natural hills and lakes on Campus East that hit different. Nice and quiet, surrounded by rabbits, it would make a pretty perfect sunset date. Since you are just watching the sun go down there’s potential for some very awkward silences but it doesn’t last long so if the date is absolutely horrendous you can just leave.

Swimming at York Sport Village

Straying off-topic here as this is better suited for later down the line but still underrated. You could sit in the shallow end and talk, challenge each other to a race, give piggybacks, make out underwater, I don’t know. If you can’t swim then I understand you’re at a disadvantage here and risk drowning but the game’s the game.


As a follow-up from one of the previous date places, there is no shame in ending up back in the comfort of your flat or house. You could make dinner together, order a takeaway, bake something, put the new season of Outer Banks on the telly. That’s when you know you’re in deep. To me that’s love.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Here’s which York Uni college the Winter Love Island cast would each belong to

Your mate from another uni is visiting York, here’s what to do with them

12 reasons why Tang Hall is the best student area in York