For every dad there's an idea
Gifts aren’t the only way to show your dad that he’s appreciated. Whether you want to spend a weekend bonding over his obsession with ‘Togs’ (they’re used to measure levels of thermal insulation just in case he starts…) or spend a day learning how to cook great food from scratch, there are great Father’s Day ideas to suit all kinds of dads. Here are just a few.
An adventurous Father’s Day
There’s a secret flash of panic in his eyes before he tackles a spider, but he totally respects Ray Mears.
Bodmin Moor has supported human life for around 4,000 years; see if your dad can hack it. Take him on a bushcraft course and reawaken the hunter/gatherer within (under the supervision of a professional). These very hands-on courses will teach him fire-lighting skills, build his own shelter and forage from the land.
Or how about tackling the tree tops and getting the adrenaline pumping by leaping between the branches 10 metres up in the air at Altitude in Bournemouth? See who blinks first and take a leap of faith on the Power Fan Descender. Plunging 11.5 metres, you’ll free-fall before landing safely and pretending that you weren’t scared either and it’s just a fly that’s got stuck in your eye. Both your eyes.
You might want to pack quick-dry clothes for this one. Exploring the winding River Wye ...from the River Wye itself. Set off from the Wye Valley Canoe Centre in a Canadian-style open canoe and dip your feet into smooth flowing river as you float downstream before pulling up and popping into a pub when you reach your chosen destination.
A culinary Father’s Day
He says he’s a great chef, but does he really know what he’s doing? How about taking your dad up to the Peak District and taking a cooking course under the tutelage of an expert chef? The Tideswell School of Food near Buxton offers a range of courses at all levels from foraging to bread making. They even offer special Father’s Day packages of Whisky Tasting and Brewing Courses. Or send Dad on a course to learn to cook pasta from scratch and create an authentic Italian meal. Just don’t let on that it’s as much a gift for you as it is for him
Curry from a jar doesn’t count and what Dad wouldn’t love the opportunity to master the arts-of-spice properly? Head to the Curry Academy in Huddersfield and learn from people who’ve been cooking the perfect curry for over 20 years in their custom-built cookery school nestled in the picturesque Colne Valley.
And to wash it down, bring your outdoor clothes to Upper Neatham Farm in Hampshire where you’ll be involved in every aspect of brewing cider, from picking the apples to the tasting. Easy on the tasting. You can take what you’ve made home with you.
A historic Father’s Day
He’s not that old yet, but he loves a good fort. History-loving dad is spoilt for choice. There is such a rich range of history spanning our cities, coastlines and countryside that you could simply throw a dart into the map he covets so much and score a bullseye.
You could take him to Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town and once the provincial capital of Roman Britain. Discover thousands of years of history with a guided tour through the town and see old Roman wall and key sites from the Siege of Colchester during the Civil War.
We all know the date, but you and your Dad could discover more about what actually happened in Hastings in 1066. With a CGI exhibition, interactive displays and an audio tour of the battlefield itself, a visit to Hastings Abbey in East Sussex will shine a light all those years back to the decisive day. After exploring the atmospheric abbey ruins you can even stand on the spot where King Harold is said to have caught one in the eye.
You can head underground to catch a glimpse of relatively recent history. The most modern of English Heritage’s properties, the York Cold War Bunker takes you through blast doors and into what would have been a nerve-centre for monitoring fall-out in the event of an all-out nuclear war. Chillingly, it was active as recently as the 1990s.