12 of the best days out to treat dad this Father’s Day

There’s failsafe fun to be found across the UK this Father’s Day  (Getty Images)
There’s failsafe fun to be found across the UK this Father’s Day (Getty Images)

As the summer season slowly creeps into sight, there are just a few days left until it’s time to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday 16 June.

With this inevitably comes last-minute card shopping, serious sibling negotiations on dad’s favourite beer and religiously checking the weather forecast in the run-up to the family barbeque.

If gifts prove too tricky and socks for the third year in a row feel like a step too far, why not give your paternal figures the gift of quality time? Food, football, booze and golf are often a good place to start – but there are also plenty of options that are a little more original. There’s whiskies to taste, tandem bikes to pedal and facials to relax dotted across the UK, along with days out doing everything from embracing the Euros to taking a steak-searing masterclass or hurtling down a zip line over a quarry in Wales.

Here are our top picks of things to do with dad for some slightly stereotypical but failsafe fun this Father’s Day.

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Catch the first Euro 2024 England match

The UEFA European Football Championship starts on 14 June (Getty Images)
The UEFA European Football Championship starts on 14 June (Getty Images)

To put your best foot forward with football-fanatic dads, the first of England’s Euro 2024 group games has fallen on Father’s Day. Bond over some sport with beers and burgers at your local from 8pm for the England v Serbia game or fire up the barbeque in the garden if the British weather is on side.

England v Serbia 8pm 16 June on BBC One

Whet your palette at a whiskey tasting

Single malt whisky and liqueurs await (Cotswolds Distillery)
Single malt whisky and liqueurs await (Cotswolds Distillery)

Whiskey connoisseurs (over 18) can spend the afternoon at a range of distilleries across the country this Father’s Day. To enjoy a whiskey tipple in Stourton with Dad, visit the Cotswolds Distillery for their daily hour-and-a-half cask warehouse tour and tasting session of award-winning spirits and liqueurs.

Cotswolds Distillery Tour & Tasting from £25 per person, cotswoldsdistillery.com

Take a steak cooking class at The Langham

Perfect your steak sears at The Langham this Father’s Day (The Langham)
Perfect your steak sears at The Langham this Father’s Day (The Langham)

To fine-tune the steak skills of culinary-inclined fathers, a Shaken & Seared cooking masterclass at Sauce by The Langham promises to teach all things preparation, seasoning and sauce. With a welcome cocktail, steak dinner with wine and sharing dessert included in the class, it’s sure to get the well done from Dad.

Shaken & Seared cooking class, from £145 per person, saucebylangham.com

Relax with a Donnington Valley spa experience

Spend a day out in Newbury to decompress with Dad (Donnington Valley)
Spend a day out in Newbury to decompress with Dad (Donnington Valley)

There’s an activity for every proud parent this 16 June, no matter how you choose to unwind. Treat fathers to a spa day – with a side of golf – at Donnington Valley in Berkshire for some R&R and a round of nine holes. Think energising facials, rolling countryside and a terrace bar for the ultimate family kickback.

For Men C+ 55-minute Energy Facial, £80, donningtonvalley.co.uk

Brave a ghostly walking tour in Edinburgh

How about a witchy history lesson in Scotland? (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
How about a witchy history lesson in Scotland? (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A ghoulish walk through the dark streets of Edinburgh is not one to be forgotten in a hurry. Thrill-seeking families in the Scottish capital will feel shivers down their spine on this free walking ghost tour through the Old Town, alleyways and graveyards after dark.

Free 1.5-hour ghost tour from 7pm daily with Edinburgh Free Tour, fareharbor.com

Swim under the stars at Bristol Lido

Tuck into a meal beside the water at Bristol Lido (Bristol Lido)
Tuck into a meal beside the water at Bristol Lido (Bristol Lido)

You can treat dad to a mini spa day plus a meal at Bristol’s luxurious outdoor lido. Arrive at 6pm and enjoy two hours use of the heated pool, sauna and steam room before getting back into your clothes for a delicious tapas meal. If you’re not sure that you fancy a swim, there’s also a special set father’s day menu for £30 per person for two courses or £35 for three. Dishes include Devon scallops, Cornish monkfish and chicken roasted over wood fire.

Swim and threes tapas dishes from £45 per person, lidobristol.com

Get competitive with an indoor clay pigeon shoot

Score well at Clays and you could win tickets to the Olympic Games in Paris (Clays)
Score well at Clays and you could win tickets to the Olympic Games in Paris (Clays)

If your dad’s got a good aim and excellent hand-eye coordination, take a trip to Clays, either in the City of London or Canary Wharf. The indoor shooting in is the perfect place to test his gun skills and indulge in a little healthy competition, whatever the weather. If your score highly, come back on a Monday night before 10 July to take part in a Skeet league, earning points on eight different immersive shooting stations. The winner will receive free tickets to the Olympic Games to watch the best shooting stars in real-life.

40-minute game at Clay’s Canary Wharf, £12, clays.bar

Pedal in pairs on a tandem bike ride

Weather permitting, a roll through Sussex on two wheels is an ideal June activity (Getty Images)
Weather permitting, a roll through Sussex on two wheels is an ideal June activity (Getty Images)

Why not scrap competitive cycling sessions and take a tandem pedal through the Sussex countryside to relive arguments past on who is doing most of the legwork this Father’s Day? We forecast great views, light squabbling and a lot of laughs.

Sussex Countryside Four Hour Tandem Bike Hire, £51, virginexperiencedays.co.uk

Fly through the sky on a Welsh zipline

Reach new heights in North Wales this Father’s Day (Zip World)
Reach new heights in North Wales this Father’s Day (Zip World)

Tick off a first this Father’s Day with a bucket list 100mph zipline over the Penrhyn Quarry in Bangor. With Snowdonia views and space for a family of four to fly at the same time – 700 feet high – a voucher for Zip World is a great gift for adrenaline junkies to race 1,555m to the bottom of the ‘Velocity’ line.

Zip World Velocity day flight for four people for £295, zipworld.co.uk

Get adventurous at Lainston House

Father’s Day festivities at Lainston House are fit for a king (Lainston House)
Father’s Day festivities at Lainston House are fit for a king (Lainston House)

For a rustic adventure in nature, Lainston House in Winchester has a full-day itinerary including clay pigeon shooting and archery followed by a hog roast with all the trimmings on 16 June. The ‘fit for a king’ fete of activities kicks off at 10am for families to practise their aim and hit bullseye before sitting down for lunch.

Hog roast, clay pigeon shooting and archery experience, from £75 per person, exclusive.co.uk/lainston-house

Venture off-road on a 4x4 driving experience

Share some thrills at Mercedes Benz World in Surrey (Mercedes-Benz)
Share some thrills at Mercedes Benz World in Surrey (Mercedes-Benz)

If fast cars are dad’s thing, an off-road G-Wagon adventure at Mercedes Benz World offers a nerve-wracking drive through a variety of terrains, inclines, water crossings and obstacles on a foot-to-the-floor 10-acre circuit in Weybridge. Whether learning the skills as a driver or feeling the thrill as a passenger, there’s something for everyone on and off the track.

4x4 G-Class Passenger Ride for three people from £40, mercedes-benzworld.co.uk

Immerse yourselves in a virtual reality experience

Escape reality with lessons in Ancient Egypt this Father’s Day (Emissive)
Escape reality with lessons in Ancient Egypt this Father’s Day (Emissive)

Although you won’t find a journey back to Ancient Egypt on the departures board at Heathrow, at Horizon of Khufu in Westfield Stratford a virtual reality experience transports visitors into the Great Pyramid of Giza and tombs of Pharaoh Khufu. The 45-minute break from reality is great for a rainy day in London – the whole family will enjoy crawling through ancient burial chambers and navigating the Nile.

Horizon of Khufu, £21 per person, horizonkheopsexperience.com

Read more: The best London hotels for afternoon tea