Picture Perfect Proposals
Have restrictions this year put your proposal on hold? Have lockdowns and social distancing interfered with your plans? And are you looking for a picture perfect proposal in the UK?
You’ve got the engagement ring and now you need to find the right location to pop the question. In a normal year this may be tough enough but in 2020, this has become even more difficult. While many proposals take place in crowded restaurants or sunny beaches abroad, as restrictions have changed throughout the year, our plans have also had to adapt.
That’s why the team at Hatton Jewellers have to help out the nation's romantics, with 15 picture-perfect proposal spots across the UK.
London - St. Paul's Cathedral and The Whispering Gallery
Image Source: @annastravelgram
Across London there are almost too many proposal spots to choose from. However, St. Paul’s cathedral has a unique and mystical atmosphere with the Whispering Gallery, a beautiful gallery at the top of the dome. Although the Whispering Gallery is temporarily closed, it is expected to reopen in January 2021, making it perfect for a New Year’s proposal.
If you can’t wait until January, the exterior of the building would make the perfect backdrop for popping the question. Our top choice for this is the millennium bridge, as it gives a great siteline to the cathedral as well as the London skyline and tower bridges.
To get here: St. Paul's Cathedral is just a 20 minute walk from London bridge and a 12 minute drive. Alternatively get the tube to St. Paul’s tube station, where you’ll be able to walk to the Cathedral in less than 5 minutes.
Birmingham - Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
Image Source: @englishhertitage
Located in the town of Kenilworth, Warwickshire, and a 31 minute drive from Birmingham city centre (approximately 35.4 km) is Kenilworth Castle. With a rich history dating back to 1120, you can walk in the footsteps of Tudor royalty to marvel at the views of the castle and beautiful Elizabethan Gardens.
With current restrictions, things are running a little differently and advance booking is essential. While the interior areas of the castle are closed until December 2nd, the gardens — featuring large grassed areas, a fountain and an avery — is a haven of colour and fragrance. With a castle backdrop, what more could you ask for with a picture perfect proposal?
Liverpool - Albert Docks Love Locks
Image Source: Signatures Liverpool
For a more urban proposal in Liverpool, visit the Albert Docks. A global trading hub during the 19th century, it was granted world heritage status in 2004 and has become a vibrant part of the city’s culture. Today it’s home to the Tate museum alongside a plethora of bars and restaurants.
The love locks are located on the fences near the River Mersey, many inscribed with initials and dates. Not only is this waterside location a beautiful place to propose, you can take your own padlock and add it to the collection inscribed with the date you get engaged.
To get here: The Albert docks are an 11 minute walk (0.8km) from Liverpool’s famous Mathew Street or an 18 minute walk from Lime Street Station.
Nottingham - Newstead Abbey
Image Source: Leswhalley
Located 18km and approximately 29 minute drive from Nottingham centre, Newstead Abbey is the former home to Romantic poet Lord Byron — what better place for a romantic picturesque proposal?
Founded in the late 12th century, the Abbey boasts beautiful architecture, 300 acres of parkland, gardens, lakes and waterfalls. The most impressive waterfall is situated between the upper lake and the garden lake, and it’s just one of many picture-perfect spots within the grounds!
The historic Abbey is open all year round and although the house and Abbey are temporarily closed, the park and formal gardens are still open. You can also reach the Abbey via public transport — the Robin Hood Line runs from Nottingham stopping at Newstead and the drive of the estate is approximately 1 mile, taking around 20 minutes to walk.
Sheffield - Park Hill Flats
Image Source: @legoman3
For an urban proposal spot that will make unique photos, pop the question at the Park Hill Flats in Sheffield. It was previously scrawled in paint reading “I love you, will u marry me” and now has the prominence of neon lights in the shape of the letters.
This is the ideal spot if you’re looking for something more unusual and less traditional. For the full effect from the lighting — and to capture those perfect snaps — the best time to visit this landmark is after sunset.
To get here: The Park Hill flats are around a 23 minute walk or less than a 10 minute drive from Sheffield centre (around 1.6km).
Bristol - Prior Park Palladian Bridge
Image Source: Matt Foster
Looking like a landscape from a novel, Prior Park is home to one of only four Palladian Bridges left in the world, making this eye catching piece of architecture ( built in 1755) an even more spectacular proposal spot. While at Prior Park, you can also enjoy the beautiful landscaped gardens and scenic lake, with views of Bath city.
To get here: Driving to Prior Park from Bristol will take just over 40 minutes and is approximately 22.5 km from the city centre. During the winter season, the park is only open on weekends and it is advised that you book tickets in advance.
Glasgow - Botanic Gardens
Image Source: Geography.org
Get on one knee surrounded by breathtaking plants and flowers for a stunning proposal spot. Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens are largely dominated by the Kibble Palace glasshouse which contains a collection of plants from all over the world, as well as marble statues and tree ferns.
The Glasgow Botanic Gardens are located in the West End of Glasgow approximately a 10 minute drive (4.3km) from the city centre. The Gardens are open from 7am to dusk all year round with the glasshouses open from 10am to 4:15pm in the winter months and entry is free.
If you’re looking to get public transport to the Botanic Gardens, the Hillstead is the nearest subway stop and about a 5 minute walk. Alternatively the nearest train stations are Partick and Hyndland which are both approximately a 20 minute walk from Gardens.
Leicester - Bradgate Park
Image Source: Barry Ingram & Bradgate Park Trust
With a rugged landscape and enclosed deer park, take yourself back to nature with 830 acres of countryside that is accessible to the public. The River Lin is at the heart of the lower park and provides an attractive walk suitable for all. Alternatively, you can walk among the hills to the highest point in the park where the 18th century folly sits, providing fabulous panoramic views for your proposal.
To get here: Driving to Bradgate Park from Leicester will take you around 25 minutes and it is around a 12.5 km journey in total.
Edinburgh - Calton Hill
Image Source: Wikimedia
For a breathtaking backdrop to your proposal and a great panoramic view of Edinburgh city without the hustle and bustle, Calton Hill is often a quiet place to visit on any day. With excellent views of the Castle and the perfect spot to watch the sunrise or see the city light up after sunset, Calton Hill is a picture-perfect proposal spot no matter what time of day you visit.
To get here: From Princess Street Gardens it takes around 20 minutes to walk (1.4km) and a further 5 minutes to reach the top of the hill from a staircase at Regent Road on the South side.
Leeds - Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Image Source: Geograph.org
If you and your partner are art lovers, Yorkshire Sculpture Park might be just the place for you. The indoor exhibitions are currently temporarily closed, but with around 80 sculptures and installations to see in the open air, there are still plenty of things to see in the 500 acres of woodland, fields and formal gardens.
The park is open daily from 10am to 5pm and booking tickets is essential. Located just outside of Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is just over a 20 minute drive from Leeds (approximately 29 km). There is parking onsite, which is currently included in the cost of the ticket to enter the park.
Cardiff - Garth Hill
Image Source: Geograh.org
For the more adventurous couples, a proposal during a hike is a lovely idea. With an elevation of 307m that’s visible as far as Bristol and Weston-super-Mare, Garth Hill is a 3.4km loop trail that is located near Cardiff. Whether you love to hike or prefer a leisurely stroll, Garth Hill is suitable for all skill levels, meaning anyone can pull on their walking boots for some spectacular scenic views!
To get here: The trail begins at Lewis Arms pub in Pentyrch which is a 24 minute drive (13.2km) from Cardiff.
Manchester - Tatton Park
Image Source: Tatton Park
Propose in the beautiful 50 acre landscape gardens at Tatton Park surrounded by 1,000 acres of deer park. There are numerous distinct areas within the landscaped gardens, from Japanese Gardens, to the walled kitchen gardens and orchard, as well as pleasure gardens which include the maze and Rose Garden.
To get here: Tatton Park is situated in Knutsford, Cheshire, approximately a half hour drive from Manchester (25.7km). Booking tickets for your trip is advised and ensure you check for opening times as the Gardens are currently closed on Mondays.
Stoke On Trent - Trentham Gardens
Image Source: Wikimedia
If you’re searching for a peaceful and tranquil escape for your proposal, Trentham Gardens offers a haven of matured gardens for you to stroll around. One of the most awe-inspiring gardens is the Italian Gardens, where bold and brightly colored flowers and ornamental grasses overlook the lake. Surrounded by colour and the subtle sounds from the abundance of water features, we can’t think of a better place to pop the question.
To get here: Trentham Gardens is a mere 15 minute drive (8.2 km) from Stoke On Trent and day tickets to enter the gardens can be bought online.
Coventry - Baddesley Clinton
Image Source: @foxglove_and_ivy
For a little bit of historical magic, visit Baddesley Clinton for your special proposal day. A moated manor house with spectacular gardens is sure to wow your partner and create the perfect backdrop for that intimate moment.
The walled gardens are beautiful to visit no matter what the season and with 150 acres of parkland, you’re sure to see some amazing wildlife on your stroll. If you’re a member of the National Trust, entrance is free, otherwise tickets are available to book and parking is free.
To get here: Situated in Warwickshire, Baddesley Clinton is approximately a half hour drive from Coventry (32 km).
Sunderland - Durham Coastal Path
Image Source: This is Durham
Explore the Durham coast with it’s beautiful beaches, cliffs and headlands, for a proposal in the depths of nature. Boasting rare wild flowers and wildlife galore, this 14km coastal path hike is perfect for those couples who like to spend time in the outdoors. It may not be quite as warm as a seaside holiday proposal, but with stunning coastal views across the North Sea, it will be just as beautiful.
To get here: From Sunderland, it takes under 25 minutes to drive to the coastal path and is around 19.8km away.
For further advice on proposals and buying the perfect engagement ring, read our handy guide on the blog.