Trek with a llama
Surprise your outdoorsy friend by sending them to the Surrey hills for a trek with a llama. Llamas are becoming more and more popular due to their calming and therapeutic nature, making them ideal companions for a special day out. The friendly team of experienced guides at Merry Harriers steer you through the surrounding landscapes. There is an option to make a whole day of it by booking one of the luxury picnic treks, complete with local fizz and produce, or simply enjoy the stroll and work up an appetite for a hearty pub lunch at the Merry Harriers Inn.
• Prices start from £55 for an adult and £48 for a child, and gift vouchers can be bought at Merryharriers.com
A visit to Santa
Why not treat the kids to a magical day at Lapland UK in Berkshire? Passing through snow-covered trees, you’ll go to a toy making factory, where kids get the chance to help the elves, meet Mrs Claus and decorate gingerbread men. You’ll then head into Elf village, which truly is a winter wonderland. Here you can ice skate, see the huskies and grab a hot chocolate. The four-hour visit ends by meeting the big man himself, and he won’t disappoint. Everything is in place to make sure guests are kept COVID-safe while attending.
• Tickets start at £69 each. To book, visit Laplanduk.co.uk. Lapland are happy to offer an alternative date in the 2020 season (subject to availability), change your booking to 2021, or to receive a full refund if a national lockdown is in place.
Fly through the skies!
Treat an adrenaline junkie to a “flight” on the zip wires at Zip World. Securely fastened, you’ll hurtle down two different wires over the amazing Snowdonia mountains. First up is the taster, the Little Zipper, which will send you down to the slate quarry at speeds of up to 40mph. You’ll pick up your transport here as you travel through one of the world’s largest slate quarries, ready for the main event – the Big Zipper. Brace yourself as you’re sent down this one-mile wire, where you’ll reach an incredible 100mph and fly 500ft over the mountain lake. What a rush!
• Adults cost from £89. To book, visit Buyagift.co.uk. All their experiences are now valid for 20 months.
For the couple who have everything, how about sending them to gin school at Padstow in Devon? Founded by self-taught master distiller Tarquin Leadbetter, Southwestern Distillery is passionate about bringing a slice of Cornish sunshine to the world. The masterclass goes through a step-by-step process to create a delicious gin, selecting and weighing botanicals to ensure a balanced flavour, distilling to perfection, then labelling, signing and waxing each bottle by hand to take home with you.
• Tickets cost £85pp and the class lasts around two-and-a-half hours. To book, visit Tarquinsgin.com
Give a national treasure
Wondering what to buy your fussy relative? What could be more exciting than receiving a voucher for a day out wherever they fancy? National Trust offer vouchers from £10 to £500 sold in multiples of £5. You can spend them on admission prices, National Trust shops and cafés, or use them towards a year membership or holiday cottage booking. The list is endless!
• To buy, visit Shop.nationaltrust.org.uk
Afternoon tea and a trip to Windsor Castle
Royal fans will appreciate a visit to Windsor Castle to explore the biggest inhabited castle in the world. One of the highlights will be viewing the world’s most-famous doll’s house, and you’ll also learn of the fire that nearly destroyed the castle in 1992. After your tour, you’ll enjoy a wonderful afternoon tea at The Castle Hotel.
• Voucher costs from £92 and covers entry to the castle and afternoon tea for two. Visit Attractiontickets.com. The voucher is valid for nine months and is protected with free COVID cover.