Planning to pop the question in London and wondering where to do it? Here are my Top Locations for a London Proposal

Planning to propose to your partner is incredibly exciting, while also potentially stressful when it comes to the how, where and when. If you’re reading this I’m guessing you’ve chosen London as the place to pop the question. On that decision well done.

London is a wonderful city with a fantastic range of locations to pick from. From the historic to the modern. From the classic to the alternative, the urban to the parks, and the public to the more intimate. With so many amazing locations to pick from, the challenge is often deciding on which one.

After photographing dozens of proposals for amazing couples I thought I’d share some of my favourite London locations for a proposal. For anyone currently planning to propose to they partner I hope you find this helpful.

Photo of couple wearing tshirts in front of Big Ben during their London engagement shoot

Things to consider when picking your London Proposal Location

How crowded will it be?

London is a busy city, which may be a bonus for some, while others might prefer something a little more intimate. For the latter, London has some beautiful spots which are less well known to tourists. Even some of London’s more popular locations have some quieter spots just around the corner. It’s also possible to sometimes hire private areas in restaurants, bars and rooftops for greater privacy, but these do come at a cost.

What time of day should I propose?

If you’d like to avoid crowds of tourists I’d recommend proposing in the morning. Tourists tend to start venturing out on mass around 10 am and by 1 pm most places can get pretty crowded. If you are planning an early morning or late evening proposal, do check the sunrise and sunset times so you don’t accidentally end up in the dark.

What time of year should I propose in London?

London’s parks are going to look very different depending on what time of year you choose to propose. The spring offers beautiful colours as the flowers bloom. In the summer there are amazing canopies of green. The autumn (potentially my favourite season) offers incredible canopies of yellows, reds, oranges and browns. Winter is less inviting.

Some of London’s urban areas offer different attractions depending on the time of year. For example, in the winter Somerset House has an ice rink, the Southbank a Christmas Market, and Hyde Park a pop up theme park called Winter Wonderland.

Where can I propose in London if it’s raining?

While it doesn’t rain in London as much as its reputation suggests, it is always good to have a Plan B. If you’re unlucky with the weather and don’t want to delay your proposal you can enjoy one of London’s covered areas, such as Borough Market, The Barbican, Covent Garden and Leadenhall Market.

Do I want a proposal photographer to capture the special moment?

With your proposal being such a special moment, you may wish to relive the moment in years to come through photos. They’re also a great way to share the experience with your loved ones. As a bonus, your photographer would also be able to help support you in planning your proposal with location, timing and logistic recommendations. If you’re interested, you can find out more about my proposal photography packages here.

Photo of Asian couple during their Regent's Park engagement photo shoot in London wearing summer clothes

My Top 10 Places for a London Proposal

1. Greenwich Park

A man on his knees proposing to his girlfriend with views over London and a guitar player. Photo taken in Greenwich park.

Perfect for those who want a more intimate spot and one of my all time favourite proposal locations – Greenwich Park. The Park, previously a game reserve for King Henry VIII is filled with a range of open areas, tree fenced paths and a hill with an amazing viewpoint over London.

The best spot in the park to propose is the One Tree Hill Vista Point, is a hidden gem known mostly only to locals. It offers a great combination of intimacy and amazing views over the city of London, perfect for a proposal. I’ve been lucky enough to photograph several couples getting engaged here.

2. Tower Bridge

Photo of couple during their Tower Bridge engagement shoot in London wearing winter clothes

Another classic London backdrop, Tower Bridge is a stunning bit of architecture (not to be confused with the less visually interesting, yet more historically important London Bridge) opened in 1894. If you’re looking to propose with Tower Bridge in the back ground I’d recommend 1 of 3 spots. On the South bank: 1) on the grass next to City Hall, 2) along the river next to the Shad Thames, 3) (on the north bank) next to the ‘Girl with Dolphin’ fountain.

Bonus location, if you go at low tide you could even propose on the Thames beach (above photo).

3. The London Eye

Man asking his girlfriend to marry him taken by London proposal photographer Matt Badenoch
Photo of couple laughing during their London Eye engagement photography shoot in London

One of London’s skyline’s more modern additions, the London Eye was built in 2000 to celebrate the millennium. Fun fact: the Eye was built as a temporary structure only intended to last 5 years, but after proving incredibly popular with tourists, the lease was extended.

One option is to propose on the London Eye itself, but if you’re looking for a more intimate location I’d recommend the North East corner of Jubilee Gardens. There’ll be a lot less tourists here, while it offers some of the best views of the London Eye.

4. Saint Dunstan in the East Church Garden

photo of one of the top places to propose in London

Hidden away in London’s city, the Church Garden St Dunstan in the East is a little Oasis. Known mainly by locals, this gem features old ruins and gardens to explore. Around lunchtime, during the week you’ll find the benches full of office workers with their packed lunches enjoying a break from the rat race.

Note that Saint Dunstan does have opening and closing hours which at the time of writing this are 8am – 7pm, every day, all year round.

As I haven’t yet photographed a proposal at St Dunstan’s Ana of Luisa Starling Photography kindly gave me one of her amazing photos to use in this article.

5. St James Park

photo of man proposing to his girlfriend in Regents Park, London

One of my favourite of London’s Royal Parks, St James Park has a lot to offer. There’s various flower gardens, exotic trees and a lake with a range of birds from pelicans to owls and Royal Swans.. You can even enjoy views of The London Eye and Big Ben from the East end of the Park.

Cutting through the centre of the park you have The Mall, will Bucking Palace at one end and Admiralty Arch at the other.

6. Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park

Photo by London proposal photographer Matt Badenoch

One of my favourite London gems is this picturesque Japanese garden found in Holland Park (just to the east of Hyde Park). The intimate park is filled with beautiful Japenese trees, colourful plants and stone lanterns. The Kyoto Garden (opened in 1991) was a gift from the city of Kyoto to represent the long friendship between Great Britain and Japan.

As you wander around, prepare to be greeted by friendly squirrels (I’ve had one climb up my leg before in search of snacks) and colourful peacocks. The small bridge next to the waterful makes a lovely spot, with a beautiful backdrop, to pop the question.

Please note that it can become quite busy at weekends.

7. Big Ben & Parliament

Photo of couple during their London engagement shoot at Big Ben and Parliment

One of London’s most famous historic landmarks and the centre of Government for the United Kingdom. While Big Ben and Parliament offers a great back drop for a London proposal, the downside is that the area is usually packed with tourists. There is however, a spot right next to Westminster Bridge (East end, South side) where it’s a little quieter and enjoys great views of Parliament across the river.

Please note that the Big Ben clock tower is currently under maintenance and so sadly has scaffolding up until 2021. For a real time view of Big Ben you can check this live webcam of Westminster Bridge.

8. Primrose Hill

Photo of couple who just got engaged in primrose hill, one of the best London locations for a proposal

On the other side of the city there’s another fantastic spot with great views over London – Primrose Hill. While the top of the hill is larger than that of One Tree Hill, offering a larger area to choose from, it is also more popular with tourists. In the morning you’ll find a lot of joggers and dog walkers. In the afternoon and especially around sunset there’s usually a lot of tourists around.

9. Old Royal Naval College

Photo of my proposing to his girlfriend at the Old Royal Naval College, one of the best London locations for a proposal

If you want an amazing back drop without the crowds, then the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich might be the perfect spot for your proposal. This beautiful architectural centre piece of Maritime Greenwich is a World Heritageage site and a former palace, hospital, and Naval College.

Less known to tourists, the grounds of this beautiful building are surprisingly quiet. If you’d like a little more privacy while you propose this is a great option. You’ve also got Greenwich Park and the Cutty Sark near by if you’d like to have a photo shoot following your proposal.

10. Somerset House

Photo of couple during their Somerset house engagement photo session with a Christmas tree in London

A beautiful building in the heart of London, Somerset House is a great spot if you’re looking for a historic and luxurious vibe for your proposal. Although it can be busy at peak hours, its outdoor courtyard is large enough that you can usually find a quiet corner to pop the question.

Depending on what time of year you propose, Somerset house puts on a range of activities in its main courtyard. These include an ice rink and giant Christmas tree during the winter, an outdoor cinema in the summer and photo/art exhibitions throughout the year.

And that’s a Wrap!

I hope you’ve found my recommendations of London proposal locations helpful and that you’re now even more excited about popping the question. London really is an amazing city for it with so much to offer.

I’d love to wish you all the best with this special moment in your journey together and I hope you have an incredible experience!

Planning to propose in London and think I’d be the perfect fit to photograph it? I’d love to hear from you!

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