Five star Father’s Day
PUBLISHED: 12:18 16 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:30 16 June 2015
It’s Father’s Day on June 21, so take some inspiration from these 10 great ideas in the county and treat dad to an occasion you’ll all remember
Classic sports cars
Does dad love a shapely body? Then take him along to the Father’s Day Sports Car Show at Knebworth House when some of the most sought after classic models including Lotus, Porsche, Jaguar and Triumph will be on display. When you’ve had your fill of these beautful vehicles, there are trade and autojumble stands to browse and arena events to enjoy. Admission to the event on Sunday June 21 (£9.50 per person/£34 for a family of four. Book online and there’s a 10 per cent discount) includes entry to the park and gardens.
Haresfoot Brewery tour
Based in Berkhamsted, Haresfoot Brewery uses the finest hops and malted barley to produce authentic, craft ales while simultaneously supporting the area by employing people from the local community. On Thursday, June 18, take the opportunity to learn more about the art of ales on a tour of the brewery. The three-hour evening session costs £20, which covers the tour as well as a curry platter and complimentary beers. Cheers!
Climbing the wall
A head for heights is what you need for the Hertfordshire Sports Village climbing wall. For a sporty adventure for those dads who love a challenge, the 12m high structure is suitable for everyone, from beginners to advanced climbers, and includes an overhang, vertical and slab surfaces as well as a bouldering area and abseil cave. Instructors at the Hatfield venue will guide would-be Hillarys through a one-hour taster session (costing £15) on Sunday mornings with all equipment provided.
For aircraft enthusiasts, the de Havilland Aircraft Museum is a must-see. Based in London Colney, the museum celebrates the de Havilland company’s important role in aviation. The company was based at Hatfield Aerodrome from 1933. The museum boasts three Second World War Mosquito planes along with a recently rebuilt Mosquito prototype, assault gliders, four early jet fighters, the world’s first turbojet airliner The Comet and many more. This is the oldest aircraft museum in the country and a well-stocked shop has a tempting range of books, model kits and prints. You can even help preserve the de Havilland Enterprise by becoming a Friend. The museuum is open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays. Entry is £8 for adults.
On your bike
Ashridge Estate in the west of the county covers 5,000 acres of the Chiltern Hills, many miles of which is accessible via cycle paths. A network of freely-accessible routes suitable for mountain bikes range from four to 17 miles, all starting from the Visitor Centre on Monument Drive where a tempting café provides welcome nourishment. Whether you want to indulge in competitive spirit, or prefer a leisurely ride, the woods and fields make for a beautiful setting for a Father’s Day cycle ride.
Angling for peace and quiet
There’s nothing an angler appreciates more than a peaceful day’s fishing. Willows Lakes, near St Albans, consists of three lakes and 38 acres of open water stocked with carp. The estate also includes a stretch of the River Colne where fish can be stalked. Although the lakes are within a short drive of the M25, thousands of trees ensure the site blends with the neighbouring farmland. Day tickets cost from £7 (take pound coins for the machines).
Lunch in the country
A hearty Sunday lunch in a village pub is hard to beat for a Father’s Day afternoon. At The Greyhound in Wigginton (not far from Ashridge Estate) you will find traditional, home cooked food served in rustic, inviting surroundings. Roast beef, naturally, is on the menu, but so too is a tempting array of dishes from ale battered fish and chips to The Greyhound beef burgers. Be sure to book a table.
Be like Steve McQueen
You’ve seen tyre-smoking handbrake turns in almost every action movie ever made, so why not put dad in the driving seat for some hair-raising Bullett-like spins to remember? At Bovingdon Airfield a two-hour taster experience will teach him the tricks of the trade. And if that doesn’t send his testosterone into overdrive, try a half-day pro stunt drive designed to equip him to seamlessly executive 360 degree spins at high speed. It could be the ride of his life. From £59.
Bows and arrows
A Taste of Archery course by The Hertford Company of Archers runs over four Saturday mornings from May 30. Each structured two-and-a-half hour session at Haileybury College guides the beginner so that all aspects of this ancient sport, including recurve shooting, are covered in a safe, professional environment. The course includes how the shooting line works and scoring arrows. Certificates are awarded at the course end - proof that qualifying students have the basic competency to join an archery club. Course cost from £70?
Rockin’ all over the world – you and dad could be! Just book a ticket for Status Quo’s concert on June 20 to see this iconic band live as their 2015 tour brings them to Hatfield House. For decades the distinctive sound of Quo has electrified rock fans - don’t forget to tune your air guitar first. For those of a more R&B persuasion, Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra will be performing at the stately home on June 19. Tickets are £39.95 for each show.