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Better than socks! 8 local Father’s Day experiences

Can't bear to buy the man in your life yet another aftershave? Pick up one of these Father's Days (and a night) out in Dorset & Somerset instead for mega brownie points – and all available at a touch of a button.

Go directly to jail

Sentence your dad to a night behind bars at Shepton Mallet jail – porridge the next morning included. An ex-prison officer will show him to his bed in a Victorian cell, take him on a tour – the prison dates back to 1625 and was the oldest operating nick in the UK until it closed in 2013 – then he’s got the run of the place until 7am the next morning. PS It’s said to be haunted. £69.

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Make your own gin

Sure, you could buy a G&T-inclined dad a new bottle, but where’s the fun in that? Slip him a voucher from the Psychopomp Micro-distillery on Bristol’s St Micheal’s Hill to make his own blend instead. The session starts with a tutored gin tasting, moves onto developing bespoke recipes before distilling his own bottle of gin on a mini copper still (whilst quaffing the odd G&T as he goes). The gin’s diluted to drinkable strength and bottled to take home.

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high flyer

He’ll feel the wind in his hair (assuming he still has some) when he takes off in the iconic 1940s Boeing Stearman and flies high over the beautiful Dorset countryside. The open cockpit biplane operated by DH Heritage Aviation at Compton Abbas Airfield near Shaftesbury was once a US Military Trainer. From £265.

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Fish, forage and feast

Jump into a kayak and paddle over to Old Harry Rocks and shoreline to forage for seaweeds, sea vegetables and pull in pots, then prepare and cook up a catch supper over a wood fire. Sort of Bear Grylls afloat, courtesy of Fore/Adventure based in Studland. £144

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Sparkling wine tasting

A stroll through the vineyards on the Furleigh Estate at Salway Ash near Bridport, with info on how they grow the grapes and turn them into award-winning wine, a tutored tasting of their still and sparkling stuff and the chance to buy discounted wine. £30. Hic!

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Funny man

If your dad fancies himself as a comedian, book him a place on a stand-up comedy workshop run by Jill Edwards, who’s trained the likes of Jimmy Carr, Seann Walsh and Romesh Ranganathan. At the Komedia Bath on Sat 25 & Sun 26 June. £195

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go the whole hog

How to turn a pig into bacon, pancetta, ham, coppa, sausage, chorizo, pate, pies and more in two days. The butchery/charcuterie courses are run by master butcher David Coldman at the organic Empire Farm in the Blackmore Vale near Wincanton. £260.

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Get down and dirty

Enjoy the thrills of riding a dirt bike (provided) on a six-acre site with ‘fast flowing bends, technical slow corners , ski jumps, table tops and rollers’ (no, I’ve no idea either). Run by former European Benelux Cup Motocross Champion Neil Berry, the MX Factory near Templecombe offers packages for both beginners and experienced riders, starting from £160.

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