A 2016 survey with 10,000 respondents revealed that Christmas Eve was the best day of the year to propose. Some of the reasons for this included ‘magical’, ‘memorable’ and because it’s when the family are all together. Other popular dates to pop the question included the weekends in the run up to Christmas Day.
Many couples decide to take a holiday in the festive period too — whether it’s to see family, explore the Christmas markets or simple enjoy a getaway together. So, if you find yourselves in one of the following places over the Christmas period, where would be the perfect backdrop for a proposal? Angelic Diamonds, retailer of bespoke engagement rings has told us its favourite spots…
Mont Chèry, Val d’Isère, France
Skiing is an exciting winter holiday for couples, and with an extra-long season from the end of November to the first week of May, Val D’Isère is a popular choice of location. In fact, more Britons choose to take their annual skiing holiday here than anywhere else in the world. Part of its popularity lies in its differing slopes — there are pistes for all abilities and if your other half discovers that skiing is not for them, you can head to La Folie Douce (the famous après-ski bar).
There are jaw-dropping views aplenty as you head to the top of the slopes where you’re surrounded by outstanding views of the mountains. But, for a proposal, you might want to head somewhere warmer where you can enjoy a meal and drinks with your other half. One place to do this is at La Grande Ourse, a restaurant situated on Mont Chèry. It offers an authentic fine-dining experience where you can get your own personal chauffeur to take you up the mountain in a Kassböhrer (a specialised snow trailer). Here, you will be met with views from an altitude of 1725m and enjoy a five-course meal in the restaurant — a memorable place to get on one knee.
Grotta Lighthouse, Reykjavik
In recent years, Reykjavik has become a popular winter holiday destination for all visitors. It’s an ideal place to visit with your other half and offers the perfect balance between beautiful landscapes and quirky bars and restaurants.
One unforgettable backdrop to a proposal would be the northern lights, visible from Iceland. The best time to see the lights is from October to March when the sky is clearer so they should be visible on your Christmas trip. You don’t have to book an excursion to see the lights and the phenomenon can often be seen at Grotta lighthouse which is situated outside of downtown Reykjavic where light pollution is low. You can walk here but if you have hired a car, due to the cold temperatures, it could be best to drive to the spot. For a romantic proposal, pop the question outdoors with the lights dancing behind you or for a more private setting, ask the question in the warmth of your car.
There are other festive activities to enjoy here, too. You could head to Hafnarfjörður which is around a 20-minute bus ride from downtown Reykjavik to see the Christmas village — complete with handicrafts and live music.
Los Bunkers del Carmel, Barcelona
A hidden gem with a beautiful view is Los Bunkers del Carmel in Barcelona. It is now considered a viewing platform by many but it was once part of the anti-aircraft battery that was used during the Spanish Civil War.
There is no transport that takes you to the very top. Instead, you can get the metro to Alfons X and walk 30 minutes from here or you could get the bus from the city centre which takes you closer to the top where you will have to walk around 10 minutes. The outstanding view of the city is best at sunrise. However, if you and your partner can’t face getting up that early, you can head there for sunset instead. With a panoramic view of the city behind you, pop the question to your other half to make it a moment to remember. See photos from a wedding photographer who captured a beautiful moment here.
There are also many Christmas markets that are around the city for you to enjoy. For example, the Fira de Santa Llúcia is the market around the Gothic cathedral close to the city centre and there is the Fira de Nadal a la Sagrada Familia from where you can see the unfinished Catholic church, designed by Antoni Gaudí.
Petřín Hill, Prague
Often Prague is ignored as a city of romance due to its renowned nightlife and attraction to stag and hen parties. However, there are many sights to see in Prague that don’t involve the local pubs and one of these is Petřín Hill.
The hill is surrounded by gardens and you can take a funicular to the top that departs from Ujezd Street in the Malá Strana. On top of the hill, there is an observation tower designed to be a mini version of the Parisian Eiffel Tower where you must climb 299 steps to reach the top to be rewarded with 360-degree views. You could pop the question in any of the beautiful landscaped gardens or head to a restaurant in Petřín park, such as Nebozizek which overlooks the Old Town, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and Vltava River.
The Dome, Victoria Square, Belfast
Belfast is well-known for its vast Christmas markets that sit in the grounds of Belfast City Hall. For an impressive proposal spot, you should head to the top of Victoria Square in the city centre. Here you will find the Dome. Pop the question here for 360-degree views of Belfast as a backdrop, featuring the Prince Albert Clock and Scrabo Tower.
You are not far from more breath-taking views, either. Take a trip to the northern coast of Ireland where you can cross the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge with your loved one or retrace the steps of a giant at the causeway. You can visit The Dark Hedges nearby too — a romantic passageway of intertwined trees that were planted in the 18th century and featured on popular TV show, Game of Thrones. Make sure to wrap up though, as it’s likely to be chilly here in December!
The Lake District, UK
The Lake District is by far the most popular national park in the UK with 15 million visitors each year. With an array of scenic walks, the chance to go for gondola rides on the lakes and great literary connections, this popular destination is sure to inspire your romantic side and is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
For a moderately easy hike, Cat Bells mountain near Keswick offers breath-taking views over Derwentwater – you could pop the question with the beautiful mountains and lake as your back drop.
With the recent surge in popularity of scenic country house weddings, you could also start planning a return trip – The Lake District is one of the most popular destinations to get married in the UK.