10 great days out to enjoy with your dad this Father’s Day
Words by Emma Pocklington
There’s something for everyone going on this Father’s Day weekend. Treat your dad to a memorable day out, and let Greater Anglia take you to the heart of the action. Here are our top picks…
For history buffs
Test your dad’s mettle as you travel back in time on a guided tour at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk. Running until 25 August, these tours will lead you on an eerie journey of discovery, delving into the gruesome secrets of this Anglo-Saxon royal burial ground. Usual entry fees apply.
Getting there: The site is a 25 minute walk from Melton Station.
For beer lovers
Get your dad to earn his Father’s Day pint at Ham House in London from 10am until 5pm on 16 June. With a range of crafts and events, including “Don’t spill your pint” races, dads can compete for the coveted award of a bottle of Morocco Ale – a beverage brewed to a 17th century recipe that used to be made at the house. Usual entry fees apply.
Getting there: Take the tube from London Liverpool Street Station.
Visit Norwich on 16 June to enjoy everything that the free Proudly Norfolk Food and Drink Festival has to offer. Food lovers can learn new skills in the cookery theatre, purchase delicious treats in the street market or chill out with a tipple and listen to jazz in the open air bar. There will be food stands to suit every taste, along with a dedicated kids area where the little ones can learn about the science of taste. This year, embark on the brand new food trail, which will take explorers on a self-guided culinary journey out of the festival and through Norwich Market to discover some of the county’s best-kept foodie secrets.
Getting there: The festival is held at The Forum, a 15 minute walk from Norwich Station.
For outdoorsy types
Take to the high seas and let your dad be the captain of the ship. OK, it might not be the open waves, but your dad can still be captain of the boat while you enjoy a relaxing day exploring the Norfolk Broads. Broads Tours offer a range of day boats from cruisers to wheelchair-friendly vessels, and they’ll even throw in a captain’s hat so that you can be in no doubt who is in charge.
Getting there: Broads Tours is a seven minute walk from Hoveton & Wroxham Station.
For car lovers
On 15 and 16 June Chelmsford Motorfest will give dads the opportunity to fawn over a stunning display of classic and vintage bikes and cars, in addition to enjoying the spectacle of motorbike football, a stunt team, and parade vehicle show laps. The festival will also host The Foxy rock Dancers, The Amazing Bombshells 1940s harmony trio, fairground rides and a vast bouncy castle village. Dads go free on the Saturday and half price on the Sunday. Booking required.
Getting there: The festival site is a 25 minute bus ride from Chelmsford Station.
For music maestros
Take your dad on a trip down memory lane at The Nearly Festival in Norwich’s Earlham Park. Gathering the UK’s finest tribute acts on 15 and 16 June, the festival will host tributes to the likes of The Prodigy, Madness, The Foo Fighters and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Or, if your dad is a bit more of a party animal, check out the Big Fish Little Fish family father’s day rave at Epic Studios in Norwich. This event will feature themed crafts, glitter cannons, face-painting and DJs playing rave classics. Come in superhero fancy dress and celebrate male carers everywhere. Booking is required for both events.
Getting there: Epic Studios is a short walk from Norwich Station. Earlham Park can be reached from Norwich Station by bus.
For the whole family
Enjoy a wacky and wild Father’s Day out in Chelmsford on 16 June at the Father’s Day Spectacular. Hosted in Central Park, the event will feature live wrestling, circus skills workshops, reptile encounters and an inflatable kids zone. As if that’s not enough, there will also be a range of street food, tribute acts ranging from Robbie Williams to Chas & Dave and a fully licensed bar. Booking required.
Getting there: Central Park is a five minute walk from Chelmsford Station.
For the trainspotters
What better treat on Father’s Day than to take charge of a train! Opt for the Father’s Day VIP package at Bure Valley Railway on 16 June and they’ll actually let Dad get behind the steering gear of a train. Starting from Wroxham Station, enjoy a nine-mile journey through the stunning Norfolk countryside to Aylsham, with all the attending fathers getting a chance to drive. With a complimentary drink and two-course dinner thrown in, it will be a day they will never forget. Alternatively, get your dad working on the pump trolley at the East Anglian Railway Museum’s Father’s Day Steam Up near Colchester, where dads get free entry. Dad can take a diesel locomotive driving taster, look around the museum, or try to break out of the Victorian waiting room escape room!
For nature lovers
Learn all about butterflies and dragonflies with local expert and country recorder Andy Brazil on 15 June. This meander through the special habitats at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk will reveal some great close-up views of a variety of species, perfect if your dad is a bit handy with his camera too. Or, if your father is more of a budding birdwatcher, visit RSPB Wallasea Island in Essex on 15 June. This guided walk will show off the reserve's breeding birds, taking a closer look at the tern and gull colony, which will be in full voice. Booking is required for both events.
For the wild ones
Go wild at BeWILDerwood in Norfolk this Father’s Day and join in with their competitive zippy races. In 2018, the dads beat the kids to take zippy races victory, but in 2019 it’s all to play for. On 16 June, dads and kids can enjoy towering tree walks and slippery slopes as well as crafts and face painting (beard glittering is available for grown-ups). What’s more, one dad will get free entry per paying person.
Getting there: BeWILDerwood is a four minute bus journey from Hoveton & Wroxham Station.