LONDONERS thinking of popping the question in the capital this Valentine's Day might be best advised to think again.

According to research by The National Lottery, a third of people think that a deserted beach or a craggy clifftop is the most romantic setting for a marriage proposal.

Almost one in ten like the idea of being proposed to on a walk in the woods, while seven per cent favour the countryside or green open spaces.

But if it's the city you've set your heart on, then worry not.

The top 50 locations for getting down on one knee include London's Somerset House, the Tate Modern and The Royal Opera House.

For something a little different, the peace pagoda at Battersea Park, or the historic and scholarly setting of the Royal Academy of Arts might hold the key.

Jeremy Milnes, confidence coach and presenter of the dating show Would Like to Meet, said: "Getting engaged is an important life milestone and for most people it's a day to remember.

"Part of the preparation in building your confidence to pop the question is choosing the right location. The research shows it doesn't have to be anywhere exotic - just a romantic, secluded setting or somewhere that means something to you both."

But what happens if you've booked the table, bought the ring and then the much anticipated question is met with a devastating 'no'.

Spurned lovers may find themselves with a hefty hole in their pockets as well as their heart, a government advice line is warning.

Amanda Eilliott, of Consumer Direct, said: "If you take an unwanted engagement ring back to the shop, I'm sorry to say you have no rights to an automatic refund or exchange unless you have made an agreement with the jeweller.

"We'd recommend getting this in writing or making sure that it's written on the receipt."

Internet shopping could offer more protection, she adds, with online goods normally offering a seven-day returns policy.