Being alone doesn’t have to mean missing out on all the amazing days out you’ll find all over England. There are so many great activities to try even if you don’t have anyone to go with, so check out these solo date ideas for a day out by yourself…
England is packed with plenty of activities you can do, whether you’re planning a day out with family, friends, your significant other, or a day out by yourself. Whether you have never considered booking a day out by yourself or you do it all the time and are looking for some fun ideas, this list will keep you busy.
It’s time to get off the couch, pack your bag and get out to do all the things you enjoy doing without waiting on someone else to give you permission. You’ll find many of the below ideas are easy on the purse strings, or even completely free! (You’ll also find more amazing ideas to save money on days out in England here)
Here are 10 solo date ideas for a brilliant day out by yourself.
10 Solo Date Ideas for a Day Out By Yourself
No matter where you live in England, you’ll find great days out to treat your number 1 (that’s you!)
1. Check out your local markets
One of the best things to do alone on the weekend is definitely go shopping at your local market to see what treasures you can find. Many cities around the country will hold weekend markets, and even if you’re from a smaller town or village there’s bound to be a market near you.
From fresh fruit and veg to jewellery to handmade crafts and everything in between, markets are a great way to see what’s on offer in your local community, discover unique gifts for people, pick up some tasty local produce, and much more. You’ll enjoy simply wandering around the stalls, chatting to market traders about their offerings, and maybe finding a bargain or two.
England has some of the most incredible markets in the world, such as:
- Portobello Road Market in London — great for antiques and vintage fashion
- The Covered Market in Oxford — great for clothes
- Leicester Market in Leicester — great for amazing food
- Borough Market in London — great for fresh produce and street food
- St Nicholas Market in Bristol — great for vintage finds and antiques
- Catterick Sunday Market in Yorkshire — great for cool gifts
… and of course many more all over the country. Grab a couple of tote bags and some cash, and spend the day out by yourself browsing some of these fascinating markets near you.
READ MORE: The Best Days Out from Leicester
2. Visit a museum or art gallery
Museums and galleries are pretty much the perfect place for those going on a day out alone, for two reasons: 1, they are filled with interesting things to learn about and look at to keep you entertained for hours, and 2, many of them encourage silence, so you won’t even really feel like you’re alone.
In fact, going to a museum or gallery alone might be the preferred way to experience them, since you can take it at your own pace, read every plaque to learn all about the place (or the minimal amount – you do you), and spend as much time as you want looking at what’s on offer.
If you’re the type to take your time and take it all in, you can do that on your own.
If you’re the type to rush through and do a quick glance of everything before scoping out the gift shop and heading to lunch, that’s OK too. You’re on your own! You make the rules.
There are some brilliant museums in England to discover. Or you may be more interested in historical sites like visiting Roman ruins or taking a tour of a historical castle. If you’re planning to spend a day out by yourself, a museum, art gallery or similar spot could be the perfect activity.
3. Take a solo hike
If you’re looking for things to do alone out of the house, getting out in nature could be your best idea as it requires just some good, comfy shoes, a backpack with some snacks and water… and you.
In England we are absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to amazing walking trails and hikes all over the country, and while going with others can be a fun bonding experience, going solo can offer a totally different option where you can spend time with your thoughts, take in all the nature around you, and up your step count while you’re at it.
Here are some of our favourite places to walk in England:
- 11 Best Lake District Easy Walks
- 10 of the Best Surrey Hills Walks to Explore
- 10 Best Walks in Epping Forest
- 7 Best Cheddar Gorge Walks
- 3 Wonderful Walks Across The Yorkshire Dales
- 5 Best Forest Walks for Nature Lovers in the South East
- 12 Best Easy Coastal Walks in Hampshire
- 4 Great Walks of England for Some Solace
- Best English Hiking Trails & the Equipment You Need
- You’ll also find some beautiful walks in the Cotswolds here
If you’re going on a day out by yourself somewhere remote to walk or hike, just remember to tell someone where you are going and what time you’ll check in. There are more chances to get hurt while doing an activity such as this, so it’s important not to begin your hike without telling anyone your plans.
4. See a show alone
The theatre might be one of the most fun places to go by yourself, as you get to fully enjoy the show without someone trying to talk to you the whole way through! If you have had a theatre show or musical on your mind for a while but have never had anyone to go with, this is your sign to just book it.
Often you can get good tickets when you are booking on your own, as solo seats are left vacant and therefore must be filled.
Whether it’s a musical you’ve always wanted to see, a show that’s intrigued you, a movie at the cinema you’re dying to watch or a band you’ve always wanted to see play, don’t wait for someone else to occupy the seat next to you… just book a day out by yourself to really treat yourself.
5. Tick something off your bucket list
If you’re looking for things to do alone to make you happy, there’s usually nothing better than ticking a long-awaited item off your bucket list. In case you don’t know, a ‘Bucket List’ is a list of goals someone wants to achieve before they die, and too often these dreams can be left unrealised — it’s time to change that.
For your next day out by yourself, why not dust off the old bucket list (or if it isn’t written down anywhere, try to remember what you had on it), and tick something off. It doesn’t need to be something HUGE like writing a book or bungee jumping (although if you’re into adrenaline activities, you’ll find some great ones here), but you can have a think about what you could do in just a day.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to pay for a stranger’s dinner. Or learn to ski. Or beat someone at chess. Or go scuba diving. Or try paddleboarding. Whatever you’ve always wanted to do, don’t delay it even one more day. Use your day out by yourself to achieve something you can be proud of.
6. Go shopping for sustainable items
Make the planet your date for the day and enjoy a day out by yourself where you shop for all things sustainable. There are lots more sustainable shops popping up around the country that you can visit.
Whatever city you’re in, you’ll find lots of amazing places to shop sustainably (here are our 12 best sustainable shops in London for food and fashion), and of course charity shops are a great place to look for some second-hand finds such as clothing, household items, shoes, trinkets, and much more. This is one of the best solo date ideas because you can really make it your own.
Whether you have something in mind you’re looking for, or you just want to browse and see what finds its way to you, a day out by yourself can feel so much more fulfilling when you focus any shopping on sustainably sourced or pre-loved items.
Looking for more ideas for environmentally-friendly days out? You’ll find more here.
7. Explore a new city on your own
There’s nothing more thrilling and engaging than hopping on a train to a city you have never been to before and seeing it for the very first time. In England we have an excellent rail network that connects many of the major cities, allowing you to book and travel to somewhere totally new in just a few hours.
A day out by yourself can be made so much better in a brand new city as you’ll never run out of things to do, and in England you’ll have the choice of everything from academic Oxford, to historic Chichester, to maritime Liverpool, and so much more.
You’ll find more information on all of England’s cities on our page here, with plenty of ideas and itineraries to make sure you have an amazing day out exploring.
8. Get bookish around your town
For anyone who loves literature, you are spoiled in England. We have some of the most famous authors in the world, and as a result, it’s not hard to find amazing book shops, cute cafes to read in, and plenty of literary locations to keep you entertained on a day out by yourself.
You could take your tote bag and go book shopping, or check out some of the best book markets in the country (like the famous Southbank Centre Book Market in London), or visit 8 of the best libraries in England for book lovers, or try out some of these 11 amazing days out for book worms in England to see some places that you’ve only ever read about in your favourite books.
If you’re obsessed with literary worlds or just a ferocious reader, a day out by yourself will be blissful if you indulge in some of these book worm-friendly activities.
9. Treat yourself to a spa day
If all of the above days out sound a bit too tiring, and you’re just looking for total relaxation on your day out by yourself, then a spa day could be just what the doctor ordered.
There are few things as calming and re-energising as a day at a spa, and this is something you can definitely do completely solo on a day out by yourself. In fact, you might even leave more relaxed if you have absolutely no one with you. Part of the draw of a spa day is the chance to clear your mind, treat your body, and fully replenish your energy.
You’ll find lots of spa days in nearby towns and cities, but if you’d like some inspiration, here are some of our best finds:
- 9 Best Spas in England for a Day of Bliss
- 7 of the Best Day Spas in Dorset for Ultimate Relaxation
- 12 of the Most Luxurious Day Spas in Yorkshire
- 6 Amazing Spa Days in Windermere, the Lake District
- 15 Amazing Spa Days in Lincolnshire
10. Go for dinner by yourself
There’s something nice about going for dinner by yourself. While some people find it uncomfortable or a little embarrassing, others lean into it with the attitude that just because you don’t have anyone to go with, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the experience.
There are so many amazing restaurants in England, and probably more than a few near you that you’ve always fancied trying. Don’t let a lack of a date stop you from exploring these great places and tucking into amazing food. Chances are you’ll enjoy your solo date so much you’ll be turning down offers of company in future to keep those sacred couple of hours to yourself.
Solo date ideas for a day out by yourself
A day out by yourself doesn’t have to be a lonely endeavour, it can be an amazing experience where you get to do exactly what you love doing, nothing more, nothing less. These ideas should spark your imagination as to the possibilities for your day out by yourself, but if you have recently gone on a solo day out and found some more great ideas, let us know so we can add them to the list!
Quick List: Solo Date Ideas for a Day Out By Yourself
- Check out your local markets
- Visit a museum or art gallery
- Take a solo hike
- See a show alone
- Tick something off your bucket list
- Go shopping for sustainable items
- Explore a new city on your own
- Get bookish around your town
- Treat yourself to a spa day
- Go for dinner by yourself