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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Treat your dad to a great day

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HORSE RIDE: Peter Hill on ‘McLeod’ and Kirsty Ferrier riding ‘Tommy’ at Cumbria Heavy Horses equestrian centre, near Millom last year

ARE you at a loss for what to do this Father’s Day? Tired of buying novelty socks? Feel he deserves more than a ‘World’s Best Dad’ mug?

Why not treat the man in your life to something a little more adventurous this Father’s Day?

Discover life on our farms

Hundreds of farmers across the country, are opening their gates on Open Farm Sunday June 17, and inviting you to come and discover the story behind our food. This annual event is a fantastic way to find out about the work farmers do, not only to produce our food, but also to look after our countryside.

There is something for the whole family, including big kids – especially dads, which makes Open Farm Sunday an ideal day out for Father’s Day and most of the events are free!

From amazing machinery and food, to the latest technology and wildlife there is so much to see and do! For those interested in tractors and technology, many farms will have a display of some of the incredible equipment used in modern farming to maximise productivity while caring for the environment. Some farms will also have vintage equipment on display, providing you with a great opportunity to see how farming has advanced over the years.

Or simply enjoy an informative farm tour with a farmer, and discover first hand more about the work they do every day, so that we all have food to eat and countryside to enjoy. Each Open Farm Sunday event is unique and could include exciting things to see ranging from milking robots, sheep shearing to farm animals or local wildlife. Events may also offer activities to enjoy like tractor trailer rides, food tastings or picking your own fruit. To find an event near you simply go to www.farmsunday.org

Say it with beer

For active dads who like their beer, why not take your father on an ale-themed tour of Cumbria? Take a walk, try a pint and stay over at a network of rural village pubs, inns and hotels serving Jennings Ales throughout the county. Cumbria Tourism’s real ale trails come with special hand-drawn maps, route instructions, information and pointers on where to stay over and refuel with a pint of Jennings and it’s all free to download on their website. From one day treks to longer, two, three and four-day walks, take your choice. You can download the routes for free at www.golakes.co.uk/jennings.

Take him comfy camping

A camping compromise, he gets to make like Ray Mears and sleep in the great outdoors but doesn’t have to put up the tent or suffer a bad back from sleeping on the hard ground! Give him a break in a lovely Full Circle Luxury Lake District Yurts, situated in an idyllic location next to ancient woodland and open fell-side at Rydal. He can get in touch with his inner caveman then relax in front of the wood burning stove and get a good night’s sleep on the comfy futon.

Hit the road on classic motorcycle ride

Treat him to the ultimate road trip; a guided motorcycle tour around the Lakes on a classic British Triumph Bonneville. This iconic bike with its timeless 60s styling and perfect riding position and a powerful 900cc engine is the perfect machine to tackle our excellent biking roads with breath-taking scenery, narrow mountain passes, sweeping lakeside roads, bustling towns and villages. Lakes Escapes offers the Lakes and Passes Tour for £199 including bike hire and for this you get a 125-mile guided ride over four passes, alongside numerous lakes and tarns with fantastic scenery, through traditional Cumbrian villages with a combination of stunning views and sweeping roads.

Scale new heights at the top of a mountain

Honister Slate Mine, near Borrowdale, is home to England’s first ever mountain via ferrata where your dad can negotiate the craggy sheer cliff-face of Fleetwith Pike hundreds of feet up while secured to a fixed cable to reach the 2,126ft (648m) summit. It’s climbing for non-climbers – you have a guide all the way and the reward is uninterrupted views down the magnificent Borrowdale Valley.

Treat him to a unique heavy horse ride

Situated in the Whicham Valley, and nestling in the foothills of Black and White Combe is Cumbrian Heavy Horses, the only British Horse Society approved heavy horse riding centre. Bring your father along and get him out on the fells, on the beach or out on the drovers’ trails for an experience he will never forget perched atop one of these magnificent horses, drinking in some of the UK’s most spectacular riding.

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