• Feel Good
  • 10th Jul 2021
  • 0
  • 4 minutes

Fed up with dating apps? Try these offline ways to find your Summer of love

After a year of Zoom-fatigue and WhatsApp overload – ‘you’re on mute’/’who’s going to send the link?’/’is your video on?’ Ugh. – the idea of dating digitally again might not hold much appeal. Keen to get back on the scene, without more time staring at a screen? Say no more…


Speeddater has more matches across the UK than any other singles event site. If you’re keen to get going sooner rather than later, then they’re already running singles picnics in Exhibition Park, so get yourself along.

If you can’t face the transition back to IRL dating without some flattering lighting and a cocktail in hand, then their indoor events re-start on 29th July at Revolucion de Cuba. Just pick your age category and gender and head over to meet other singles. It might seem like a pretty intimidating prospect, but knowing that everyone is there for the same reason saves you the lucky dip of starting a conversation on a night out without knowing whether they’re interested/single/straight/gay, etc.


For queer daters, the Summer’s PRIDE events are the perfect setting to find like-minded matches. If you’re new to the scene and don’t know where to start, then Durham PRIDE (31st July) is a smaller affair than Newcastle’s – which, incidentally, is all online this year – so could be a good option. It hosts stalls from interesting clubs and community groups, so you can get chatting to those with similar interests easily enough. And with a schedule of events that includes everything from club nights to online hangouts, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone.


If the idea of a blind date makes you want to run for the hills, then maybe take the pressure off by, literally, running for the hills… (with a local outdoor activity group). Terrible puns aside, organised groups like kayaking clubs or art classes will give you space to meet people who have common interests, without the pressure of uninterrupted eye contact. It’s a less direct route than an out-and-out dating set-up, but if you pick something that you’d be interested in doing anyway it won’t be wasted time.

Large Outdoors organise day-trips or weekends away and have plenty coming up – including hiking along Hadrians Wall, a full-moon walk in the North York Moors and wild swimming.


If you don’t fancy going without your wing woman, Slow Dating offers opportunities to bring a friend to their speed dating events in Newcastle. They haven’t listed their offline events just yet, but if starting with some video speed-dating could help ease you into it then they have two North East events coming up in July. Plus, they have a match guarantee – so if you don’t find a match on the night, you can go to the next event for free.


It’s not an exaggeration to say that the app MeetUp has something for EVERYONE. In July, there’s a young professionals trip to Whitley Bay, a tour of Jesmond Cemetery and a pub trip where you’ll skip the small talk and dive straight into the meaning of life (questions provided in advance).

You can choose a specific singles event or just pick any one you like. They’ll all give you a chance to meet new and interesting people just in case you need reminding that you can still do it (…there’s literally an event called ‘Meet Interesting People’). Meet Ups can be posted by individuals or by groups, so you can join threads that sound like your cup of tea and get notifications for their events. Conscious Singles, based in Durham, are a small group that host events for nature lovers to find meaningful connections; New Friends in Newcastle run age-inclusive outings, if you want to widen your social networks; and Hillbillies host adventures around the North East.

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Beth Williams
Senior Digital Executive

Beth is our Senior Digital Executive and can be credited with how everything at HLN ‘looks’ – from the website to our social media and twice-weekly emails. She’s also the super organised one in the team and keeps us all on-track. A born and bred scouser, Beth moved to Newcastle…


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