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Unique ways to propose in London

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We are a romantic lot in the UK. The number of weddings has started to rise – with 2.7% annual growth in the latest figures – after a steady and dramatic decline in the past 50 years. The number of divorces is also at its lowest level since 1971. An increasing number of weddings is preceded by an increasing number of proposals.

The most popular place to propose in the UK is at home and the most popular place in London to propose – the London Eye – comes down at number 9 on the global list. Booking a pod on the London Eye is romantic, but also a little unimaginative, with far too many London Eye proposal videos on YouTube.

Clearly, we need to up our game on original proposal ideas. If you are looking to propose in future, check out the most creative ways to propose that will all have your partner saying ‘yes’.

The best places to propose in London

If you really want your proposal to take your partner’s breath away, a proposal in a private helicopter as you soar high over one of the most beautiful cities in the world while the sun sets in the distance is hard to beat. After you land, you can have the option of including champagne in your package – head to one of London’s most glamorous bars for a glass or bottle of the best champagne.

The London Helicopter also offer private helicopter tour packages such as a picnic at Kew gardens with a luxury picnic hamper, including everything you need for a sophisticated picnic dining experience – fizz and gourmet food all beautifully packaged in a traditional wicker hamper containing crockery, cutlery, wine glasses, napkins, a bottle opener and a Kew picnic rug, which are yours to take home and keep.

For a truly individual proposal, choose a hidden gem in the city – a secret Bedouin tent which sits in the courtyard behind St Ethelburga’s in Bishopsgate, surrounded by a Lebanese fountain, bedouin-style lamps and an olive tree. So romantic, this is a rare secluded spot in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world.

Known for its enchanting blossom trees, the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park is also home to a romantic waterfall, a pond with some graceful koi carp and stunning peacocks. This captivating garden in Holland Park is a sanctuary of peace and calm and is brimming with romantic charm. You could send your partner a romantic invitation on an ornate card to rendezvous in front of the cascading water.

Bend down on one knee under a canopy of stars at the The Royal Observatory Planetarium. With an entire 132-seat venue to yourselves, the astronomer will begin a normal planetarium show, before handing the show over to you to create your surprise. A range of spectacular astronomical sights can be displayed on the dome, including the constellations and a fly-out from the Milky Way.

A proposal on a boat makes for another different experience from the norm! This is one of the most important moments of your life, fittingly it needs to be somewhere special. HMS President at Victoria Embankment stands majestically on the river Thames and the President’s deck offers a stunning vista to get down on one knee.

Romeo and Juliet is the greatest love story of all time, so proposing at The Globe theatre is the perfect location. Keep an eye out for magical performance like A Midsummer Night’s Dream to create a dreamy atmosphere to propose after the show.

Romantic restaurants with a view

The sky’s the limit when it comes to proposing at the Sky Garden’s luxurious Fenchurch restaurant. Even if you just have drinks at Sky Pod, the views in this sky-scraping destination will provide the perfect backdrop for that all-important social media shot of your proposal. The staff can even organise private proposals over a bespoke candlelit meal.

The views of the cityscape are stunning from Aqua Shard, especially at night. You’ll get nil points for originality in location as it is a popular place to propose, but you can make it unique by adding your own touches. One way to make your restaurant proposal personal is to have special mementos delivered to your partner throughout your meal. These could include love notes, a photograph or any other objects that have special meanings to you.

The Galvin brothers’ seductive Galvin at Windows restaurant is on the twenty-eighth floor of the Hilton Park Lane and boasts luxurious food and stunning views, ensuring you can pop the question in style. Fred from ‘First Dates’ is the restaurant’s general manager, which adds to the novelty factor! You can arrange for staff to take you to the elegant balcony for a private, romantic proposal.

The best views of London from above

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Seeing London’s famous landmarks from above is an experience you won’t forget, with panoramic views across the city.

The London skyline is ever changing due to rapid building – and the plethora of cranes signal that this trend isn’t slowing. It seems like every time you look up there’s a new building battling for attention on London’s skyline.

Some of the best views of London can be seen from above – London is truly a magnificent city to see from the sky.

Some of the best views in London to see from above include:

The Shard

The Shard instantly became an icon as the tallest building in Western Europe and is seen by many as a modern symbol for the city of London. Surely nothing can be as glamorous as flying around The Shard’s glittering facade on a private helicopter tour.

Big Ben

A British cultural icon and symbol of Great Britain, Big Ben is just breathtaking to see from the sky. You will feel like you are on the set of a James Bond film as you look down on the world famous clock tower.

The London Eye

Europe’s tallest ferris wheel, The London Eye has become a London landmark since opening in 1999. This famous landmark now provides the backdrop to London’s New Year fireworks, with images of the wheel being projected across the world during the breath-taking display. The London Eye is already positioned for stunning views of the city, but you can take that one step further in a private helicopter with unrivalled views from above on a London Buzz private helicopter tour.

Vertigo 42

Vertigo 42 is a 360-degree champagne bar in the City – seats are perched at more than 400 ft high, at the top of Tower 42. This bar quite literally offers the height of luxury with sweeping views of the skyline. Now imagine looking down on this  spectacular building from a helicopter – in a helicopter the views really are paramount and superior to even the most luxurious sky bar.

Primrose Hill

The summit of this grassy hill offers some spectacular views across London. In a helicopter you will be able to view all the people sat at the top of the hill taking in the view while you look across at the view from the vantage point of a much higher angle.

Tower Bridge

What better way to see the most famous bridge in the world than from the sky? Feeling like you are in the middle of chase scene straight out of a film, swoop past the bridge towers on a London Sights tour. Maybe you will be lucky enough to fly over the bridge when the bascules are raised – on one of the of the 1,000 times per year this happens.

OXO Tower

The iconic South Bank landmark, the OXO Tower offers panoramic views of the London skyline. Look down on the red neon letters of the OXO sign from a private helicopter and make sure you have your camera at the ready take some impressive photos!

Sushi Samba

Located on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower, Sushi Samba offers 360 degree panoramic views of London. Look out for the floor to ceiling glass windows and glass lifts. Sushi Samba think their views are unparalleled, but we would argue they are beaten in a helicopter!

Sky Garden

The Sky Garden is located at 20 Fenchurch Street, a sky-scraper also known as ‘the walkie talkie’ due to its unique shape. Visitors can wander around the exquisitely landscaped gardens, observation decks and an open air terrace of what is London’s highest public garden. This skyscraper also features top-floor restaurant with enormous panes of glass for a breathtaking view. Looking down at the greenery of the Sky Garden from a private helicopter in an otherwise concrete skyline will certainly be a novelty.  

Up at the O2

Up at The O2 is an experience that takes you on a guided expedition over the roof of The O2 arena via a fabric walkway. At the summit, there is an observation platform where you can take in spectacular views of London. This is clearly an exhilarating experience, but we can take you one step further as you look down on those people climbing the famous structure from the sky.

ArcelorMittal Orbit  

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is the UK’s tallest sculpture and the world’s longest, fastest and tallest tunnel slide. The Orbit is an iconic symbol of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the London 2012 Games. Flying above it you can view the sweeping panorama of the city and the local area with its meadows, wetlands and waterways. The red super-structure, the spiral stairs, steel canopy and the highly polished steel mirrors in the upper viewing platform make up a spectacular sight to see from the sky.

A unique, exhilarating tour of London from the sky will leave you with memories that will stay with you long after you have landed. There really is no better way to view the London skyline than in a private helicopter.

How to get your helicopter licence

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A rewarding career where no two days are ever the same, a job as a helicopter pilot can be challenging and not always as glamorous as people may think.

There are, however, many reasons to consider flying helicopters for a living:

  • It’s a development from flying aeroplanes
  • It’s the ideal career for aircraft enthusiasts
  • It’s a varied, challenging career
  • You’re likely to be able to travel extensively
  • It’s a rewarding career, particularly if you fly in the armed forces or ambulance service

If you decide it is the career for you, there are a number of necessary requirements and steps to follow before you can qualify.


How do you become a helicopter pilot?

In order to train to become a helicopter pilot, you will need to be aged 18 or over. You will also need to hold a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), which is issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

In order to qualify for a CPL training course, you will need to:

  • Hold GCSEs in English, Maths and Science, grades A* – C
  • Pass the required skills tests
  • Pass a thorough medical assessment
  • Hold a minimum of 155 hours flying time

If you already hold a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), you may be required to hold less than 155 hours flying time when training for a CPL.

Skills required to become a helicopter pilot  

In order to become a helicopter pilot, you will need a set of key skills and aptitudes including:

  • Excellent spatial awareness
  • Excellent hand-to-eye co-ordination
  • Strong concentration skills
  • The ability to remain calm in a crisis
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Sound judgement

What will your job as a helicopter pilot involve?

As well as flying the helicopter itself, you will also be responsible for:

  • Filing flight plans with the relevant authorities
  • Communicating with air traffic control
  • Checking weather conditions and any airspace restrictions on your planned flight path
  • Carrying out safety checks prior to take off, during the flight and post-flight
  • Working out the aircraft’s fuel requirements for your trip
  • Calculating the maximum load capacity of the helicopter for the flight
  • Checking the helicopter and all its instruments are functioning properly
  • Completing the flight log and any necessary paperwork post-flight

Depending on the size of the helicopter, you may fly alone or as part of a larger team of co-pilots.

How much does it cost to get your helicopter licence?

Qualifying for a CPL can be costly, with the number of flight hours, plus the written and practical examinations, soon adding up.

You will need to pay for your licence yourself, unless you study for the qualification as a member of the armed forces, in which case they may contribute to or fully fund the cost of the training.  

Careers as a helicopter pilot

Once you have obtained your Commercial Pilot Licence and qualified as a helicopter pilot, there are a number of career paths open to you, including:

Once you have the necessary experience, you could combine flying with training other prospective helicopter pilots.

How much could I earn as a helicopter pilot?

Your salary would depend on a number of factors, including your location, where you work – whether for a private company or within the armed forces – and your experience.

As a guide:

  • A newly qualified helicopter pilot could expect to earn in the region of £25,000
  • An experienced helicopter pilot could expect to earn in the region of £45,000

You may be paid an additional allowance for an necessary overnight stays, or flying to certain areas deemed inhospitable.

Support London’s Air Ambulance

We are delighted to support London’s Air Ambulance, helping to extend the reach of their lifesaving missions across London. The London Helicopter will match your donation to double its impact.