New Forest

Top 8 ideas for days out this Father’s Day

14 June 2022

Father’s Day is the perfect time to show your dad just how much you love him, and with the 20th of June fast approaching, you’re probably wondering how you can make this year’s Father’s Day even more special than the rest. If you’re short on ideas for things to do on Father’s Day, then don’t panic, as we’ve created a list of the top eight ideas for exciting days out.

From theme parks to woodland retreats, these thrilling days out are guaranteed to be loved by not just the dads, but by the whole family. All the below locations are easily accessible by public transport, so you’re not limited in choice even if you don’t drive.

1. Visit a Go Ape Adventure Centre

Thrill seeking dads will love nothing more than a trip to a Go Ape Adventure Centre. Channel your inner Tarzans as you swing through the treetops in a high ropes course that’s packed full of fun obstacles, from unstable platforms and to climbing walls to everyone’s favourite, the ziplines.

There are a number of Go Ape locations all over the UK, and below we’ve included the centres that are easy to get to on our network. Plus, when you buy train tickets direct with us you get 22% off Tree Top Challenge at Go Ape for two people - all thanks to SWR Rewards.

Go Ape Bracknell

Be prepared to pack the most amount of fun into your day at Go Ape Bracknell, as this course comes with a total of four adventures to choose from!

The nearest train station to Go Ape Bracknell is Martins Heron, which is a half-an-hour walk away, or a 7-minute taxi ride.

Go Ape Chessington

At Go Ape Chessington, thrill seekers can take on the Treetop Challenge in a sheer test of nerves, bravery, and skill, while little ones can build their confidence on the slightly lower Treetop Adventure course.

Chessington South is the nearest train station to Go Ape Chessington. From there, take the number 71 bus to Chessington World of Adventures, then walk for 15 minutes from the theme park entrance to Go Ape.

Go Ape Southampton

For a high ropes course designed for daredevils, look no further than Go Ape Southampton. Both treetop courses are on the upper level of the Go Ape height scale, so extreme bravery is required for this one. Looking down will probably be the last thing on your mind, but if you do, you’ll be met with stunning views of beautiful water meadows and woodland.

To get here, catch the train to Southampton Airport Parkway, then take an eight-minute taxi ride to Go Ape Southampton.

Go Ape Alice Holt

The high platforms and gut-wrenching crossings on the Alice Holt Challenge course are ideal for those looking for some extra thrills, while the Adventure route has been especially created for the younger and more inexperienced learners.

The nearest station to Go Ape Alice Holt is Bentley. From there, it’s just a six-minute taxi ride to your destination.

Go Ape Battersea Park

Battersea Park is the closest Go Ape facility to central London. You’ll need a head for heights for this course, as Battersea’s Treetop Challenge crossings are twice the height of most Go Ape locations.

Queenstown Road is the nearest station to Go Ape Battersea Park. It’s an 18-minute walk, or you can catch the number 44 or 344 bus towards Clapham Junction.

2. A woodland retreat

Summer is approaching, and June is a great month for exploring the UK's beautiful woodlands and forest areas in a one-of-a-kind woodland retreat.

3. Richmond Park

Richmond Park might only be 20 minutes away from central London, but its lush green fields span out for 2,500 acres, making it the perfect spot for bike rides, picnics, or leisurely strolls through the woodland. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a herd of wild deer.

The nearest train station to Richmond Park is Richmond station. From the station, catch the number 371 or 65 bus to Petersham, before walking for around 19 minutes, or take an eight-minute taxi straight from the station.

Deer in Richmond Park
Deer in Richmond Park

Enjoy the Rides at a Theme Park

Theme parks are a guaranteed fun day out, and with both Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures being easy to get to by public transport, you can treat your dad to a day off driving this Father’s Day.

4. Chessington World of Adventures

Create special Father’s Day memories by treating the whole family to a fun-packed day out at Chessington World of Adventures. You’ll find plenty of thrills for people of all ages, so the little kids and the big kids (dad included) are guaranteed to be entertained.

Once you’ve exhausted all the rides, continue your fun with a visit to Chessington’s very own zoo, where you can expect to see giraffes, zebras, penguins, and so much more. If sea creatures are more your thing, then you’ll be thrilled to know that there’s also a SEA LIFE in Chessington, and both the zoo and the aquarium are included in your theme park entry ticket.

Getting to Chessington couldn’t be easier. The nearest train station is Chessington South, which is just a three-minute bus journey to the park entrance. From stop B, catch the number 71 to Chessington World of Adventures.

Wanyama View at Chessington World of Adventures
Wanyama View at Chessington

5. Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park provides the perfect day out for thrill-seekers, featuring an exhilarating mix of high-speed rollercoasters for the brave ones of the bunch, and more relaxing rides for those who prefer to take it easy. Adrenaline junkie dads can make the most of over 30 thrilling rides and attractions, including Stealth, the UK’s fastest rollercoaster. Meanwhile, the Rumba Rapids is the perfect ride for the whole family—though it’s wise to bring a raincoat, as you’re likely to get wet!

You must be 1.4m or over to ride the majority of the bigger rollercoasters, though you’ll find plenty of rides without restrictions for the younger ones.

The nearest station to Thorpe Park is Staines. From there you can take the 950 Express Bus to Thorpe Park, which runs every 15-20 minutes.

Stealth ride at Thorpe Park
Stealth roller coaster at Thorpe Park

Visit an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The warmer weather that June brings makes Father’s Day the perfect time to get out in nature, and with the UK being home to an impressive 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you won’t have to travel far to find a beautiful location that’s perfect for a Father’s Day outing.

6. New Forest

What could be better than combining a leisurely walk in the great outdoors with the chance to get up close to some adorable wildlife? The New Forest is the perfect day out for families of all ages, and since it’s relatively flat, it’s the ideal spot for walking or cycling. Along the way, expect to see rolling meadows, chocolate box villages, and even a pony or two! The New Forest is home to 9,000 free-roaming ponies, donkeys and cattle, so you’ll never be short of some animal company.

Head to Ashurst train station to begin your journey right in the heart of the lush, green forest.

Wild ponies in New Forest
New Forest Ponies

7. South Downs

For a memorable Father’s Day out, head to South Downs National Park. Featuring rolling green pastures, ancient woodlands and gushing streams, this national park welcomes thousands of visitors every year and has been named one of ‘Britain’s Best Breathing Spaces’.

Take a South Western Train to Haslemere train station, before catching the number 70 bus to Midhurst. Ride for approximately 25 minutes and get off at the bus station.

8. Dorchester

This historic town in Dorset has been attracting day-trippers for centuries thanks to its bustling market town atmosphere and – in more recent years – charming shops, cafés, and restaurants. Nestled in the beautiful English countryside, Dorchester is a town that’s both picturesque and vibrant, making it the ideal day trip or a long weekend for the whole family.

Dorchester South station is just a five-minute walk away from the town centre.

However you choose to celebrate this Father’s Day, we hope you have a great one. Whether you decide to visit a Go Ape centre, a theme park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, explore our flexible range of ticket types to take you to your destination of choice.