Dating with a difference from Museums at Night

By Mark Sheerin | 06 May 2010
A couple dance away the evening on the deck of a boat

(Above) Enjoy a date somewhere a bit different. Picture © Charlotte Macpherson Photography.

After checking out the exhibits, Museums at Night 2010 also offers a full evening for you to cast an eye over the local talent. Well, it’s not every day you find yourself in a venerable public institution after hours.

If you need any encouragement to flirt with the possibilities of late night opening, two of the venues in this year’s line up are even spelling it out. There will be speed-dating at Tredegar House and Peterborough Museum.

As organisers at the 17th century Welsh manor house at Tredegar put it: "Why settle for one date when you could have 20?!" They also offer a reasonably priced bar, which could well improve your chances.

You will of course have the chance to meet Mr or Miss Right in surroundings which may be familiar to fans of Dr Who. In recent years no less than three episodes have been filmed at the council-owned premises in Newport.

Somewhere else worth looking for that special person is Peterborough. Especially if you and they share an interest in fossil fish, mummified rats, or the poet John Clare – just a few of the highlights at Peterborough Museum.

These should give you plenty to talk about during your speed dates, and the museum is also organising ghost tours around the building. Might be time to practice looking fearless and maybe offering a comforting squeeze to that good-looking stranger.

A couple pose with an engagement ring in front of museum display cases

Alan and Kerry got engaged at Stroud's Museum in the Park. Picture courtesy the Museum.

Meanwhile at Stroud House in Gloucestershire you can expect wine, music and who knows what else? Patrons are being advised to book babysitters and wear the colour red.

This event, in a Grade II-Listed former wool merchant’s mansion, will be part of Stroud International Textile Festival. So you may suggest later going somewhere more private with your partner to examine their clothing more closely.

But at Ham House, anyone wearing a bodice is liable to get it ripped. When it comes to historical romance, this stately home near Richmond can make a good claim to be the nation's beating heart.

A pulse-quickening new novel, Scandalous Innocent, is to be set in the 17th century house and will be published on May 6 by, you guessed it, Mills and Boon. You can soak up the atmosphere of intrigue during a Murder Mystery Evening.

That gives you at least four ways to make Museums at Night 2010 your raciest ever museum-based experience. At the very least you’ll pick up one or two interesting facts.

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