Action man! 12 fab Father’s Day experiences
Can't bear to buy the man in your life yet another aftershave? Book him a Devon day out instead. You'll get mega brownie points (and hopefully an invite...)
Swerve the socks this Father’s Day (Sunday 19 June, do keep up) and buy him something he really wants: a fabulously fun day out. From beers and spirits, to sports and spirited high jinx, here are 12 local things to do, scientifically proven *I asked Mr Muddy* to please the man of the house. Family-in-tow optional.
The Real Ale Trail, Dartmoor, Sat 18 – Sun 19 Jun
Book him in for a shire horse carriage ride around Dartmoor’s most charming village, Widecombe in the Moor, which includes a stop at the iconic old-worlde pub, The Rugglestone Inn, where he can down a flagon of beer and maybe a Dartmoor Whisky chaser. He’ll feel ‘proper ploughman’ after this wild ride with Devonshire Carriages, and it’s for up to six people, so you and the family (and even the dog) can tag along too. £150 per carriage.
Supercar Driving Experience, Smeathorpe Stadium, Exeter
Need for speed? Set the satnav for six miles of adrenalin-fuelled track driving in your/his choice of Ferrari 488, Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren 720S and Porsche 997 GT3 RS. Available as a 10-month open voucher for £129 = approx 1.5 hours of supercar thrills.
Day at the Cricket, Somerset vs Yorkshire, Sun 19 Jun
Stumped for what to get a cricket lover? No need for a sticky wicket (see how the cricket lingo trips off my tongue!). Oh-so helpfully, Somerset are playing at home in Taunton in the County Championships against Yorkshire on Father’s Day. Just add the Panama hat, clinking hamper and a pair of sunnies to snooze behind. Tickets from £15.50.
Cider Tour and Tasting, Sandford Orchards
Did you know the UK’s oldest working cider mill is here in Devon? What’s more, Sandford Orchards run special behind-the-scenes tours, hosted by owner Barny (pictured above), where you can discover how they craft their amber nectar, while scoffing and quaffing on a tasting flight of ciders and freshly baked pizza. Fruity! And it’s a snip at £25pp.
The rugby season might be over but there’s still family time for rugby-style argy-bargy and touchline tackles, or maybe just good old-fashioned cheating, with his very own Exeter Chiefs Monopoly set. He gets first choice on the metal rugby boot and you brief the kids to let him win, naturally. £17.49
Treat him to a Devon spin on the kickass Moscow Mule with a cocktail kit from Cove Vodka. This family biz craft their delicious spirit from King Edward spuds grown on the farm in fields overlooking Hope Cove. Kit includes Cove Vodka, Luscombe Ginger Beer, full instructions and a traditional copper mug, like they used where the cocktail was invented in 1940s America (nope not Russia, the copper keeps your drink cool in summer). Makes four cocktails, so three for you! £34
Father’s Day Beekeeping Experience, Dartmoor Beekeepers, 3 or 10 Jul
Want the joy of seeing him dressed in this (really quite cute) get-up? Gift him the buzz of a deep dive into a beekeeping experience where he’ll get to suit up, go through a hive, learn to ‘read the bees’ and spot the queen with qualified beekeeper, Ash of Dartmoor Beekeepers. Two hours, £35.
Salcombe Brewery Tour & Tasting, Ledstone, nr Kingsbridge
Ah, you gotta love a brewery tour which starts and ends with a drink in the taproom. Book a beer-lover in for a nose-around Salcombe Brewery, launched in 2016, and already award-winning. It’s a great tale too. The brewery was serendipitously bought by owner John Tiner who, supping a pint of his favourite Shingle Bay at his local, was told by the landlord it might be his last as the brewery was closing down…and voila! He bought the business, saving it from closure the very same day. I’ll leave it to John to tell you the rest. Book now! £20pp including tour and flight of of Salcombe beers.
Quad Biking Safari, Devon Leisure, Ashcombe
If skiddy, splashy fun on four wheels floats his boat then point him here for 12 miles of woodland tracks, and a choice of more than 80 off road vehicles. Wild, wheel-spinning adventures – all the things he’s not allowed to do on the school run.
Vacuum Gin Distillation Course, Quayside Distillery, Exeter Quay
By vacuum we don’t mean doing the hoovering – it’s his day, after all – this is a high-tech alternative to your traditional copper still, which uses vacuum tech and lower temperatures to source flavour from a whole new palette of unusual botanicals. It’s new, it’s cool and it’s great for lovers of gadgets and science labs. And he’ll come home bearing a bespoke gin. Win-win! £75pp
An Introduction to Falconry, North Devon Hawk Walks
Dad’s got talon-t! *fire the script-writer* At least he should have after this one-hour walk on Exmoor with an expert falconer and two Harris hawks. He’ll learn learn time-honoured falconry skills, including how to get the hawk to fly to him, how to send her away, and how to feed her on his fist. How’s that for bragging rights? And you can go too – £75 for a group of up to four.
Water Skiing, Exewake, Exmouth
Wetsuits at the ready! Exewake offer water-skiing coaching with 20 min tows on the River Exe for those who know a bit and want to learn to show off, or a full beginner’s lesson with expert tuition to get him up and going. From £35.
Fab Father’s Day FREEBIES!
It’s a free pint to all the dads dining at The Bucket and Spade in Shaldon on Sunday 19 June, where you can enjoy the sea views, a slap-up Sunday lunch and live music at lunchtime.
If he loves a walk in the woods with cascading waterfalls and a cafe pitstop, Canonteign Falls in the Teign Valley have free entry for dads on Father’s Day, when accompanied by a child of any age.
There’s a Jameson’s cocktail on the house for dads who book On the Waterfront on Exeter Quay on the big day.
All aboard at Seaton Tramway, with a free ride for dad with an accompanying paying child, and option on Sunday lunch or a cream tea. Or maybe both?