In this digital age many opt to trawl endless dating websites in the hope of finding love.

But one man from Orpington has gone back to basics, posting a ‘lonely hearts’ ad at his local Post Office.

John Hales, 69, is searching for that “special lady” – someone to go on countryside walks next to, enjoy music with, and take swimming on rainy afternoons.

The former decorator has been single for around three years and said he is looking for a loving, long-term relationship with someone to live out his days with.

Mr Hales, from Stapleton Road, explained he has “a lot to offer” – mentioning he owns his own house and would be keen on a holiday with the right partner.

He added: “I’m not into the internet, but I’m looking – I don’t think I’m past it quite yet. I’m not too set in my ways.

“I think life is for sharing and I want to find someone new. I’d like to meet someone.

“It’d be lovely to find that special lady. I think there are women out there, I’ve just got to find them.”

The bachelor married at 26 and was with his first wife for 37 years until she sadly died in 2007. He added he would still be with her today were it not for the loss.

After remarrying, Mr Hales confessed he rushed into it and in 2009 the pair divorced as it was clear the match was just “not meant to be”.

Now he is ready to get back in the game, find that missing piece of the puzzle – a slim brunette, it would appear, would be his choice.

Mr Hales remarked: “I don’t like ‘heavy set’ women. I don’t mind a blonde but I think I prefer brunettes.

“I would like to find someone to go to the countryside with, I enjoy gentle strolls.

“I also like swimming, music, and a glass of wine in the evening. I’m a Shiraz man.”

Are you hunting for your ideal man? Do you think John could be the one? Get in touch / @joshbythesea