Father’s Day, 18th June 2023, is fast approaching. Tired of getting the same old beers and chocolate? Become the favourite child..! Whether you’d like to buy your dad a gift to say thanks, share an experience with him, or take your little ones on a family day out, we’ve put together some unique ideas for you, all within minutes of London. #SecretEssex

Holiday Inn Southend restaurant with view of airport

Plane spot at 1935 Rooftop Restaurant Southend

Calling all plane fanatics… overlooking the runway of London Southend Airport this is the perfect spot to plane watch to your hearts content, over a deliciously British meal. The rooftop restaurant and bar is fully soundproofed. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday Lunch. Kids menu also available. 

Why not combine with a Visit the Vulcan day and get up close, including cockpit visits, to this Cold War icon.

50 min direct train from London, 4 mins walk from Southend Airport train station.

Brentwood Brewing Company

Free pint at Brentwood Brewing Company

Take your dad to The Tap Room, the brewery’s bar, for a free pint on Saturday 17 June 2023. All their beer is produced on site and is gluten free. Book on to a brewery tour, a Brewery Day Experience where you get to make your own beer or buy a beer club membership. Free delivery on orders over £25 too!

35 min train from London, 10 min drive from Brentwood train station.

Topsail Charters cruise

Cruise the River Blackwater 

Departing from Maldon, board an historic Thames Sailing Barge this Father’s Day and sail past two of at least thirty Essex islands with the option to pre-order a Ploughman’s, or Smoked Fish Platter. If you are looking to do something either side of Father’s Day, Secrets of the Blackwater day sails, Morning Coffee, Blues, Brunch, Sunday Roast and Wildlife cruises are also available on selected dates from various departure points. From £32pp. 
For a once in a lifetime experience book a hands-on day sail (11th June) so your dad can learn the ropes. From £130pp.  
40 min direct train from London, 15 min drive from Hatfield Peverel train station.

East Coast Distillery

Make your own Gin 

Enjoy a G&T on arrival at East Coast Distillery and tour the micro distillery. Together, two of you can create your very own London dry style gin from an array of botanicals, bottle and label a 20cl bottle of your dream team's gin to take home! Your recipes will be recorded so if you’d like to order your creation at a later date, you can! £99 for 2 people, additional £10pp for up to 5. Dates on request, 2.5 hours. Alternatively book on to a free gin tour and tastings on Saturdays. Home delivery of pre-made gins is available for £6.

1 hour 18 mins direct train from London, 5 min drive from Thorpe-le-Soken train station.

If you’d like a similar but more intimate experience, try On The Wall Distillery where you get one still each to make one bottle of gin per person. From £80pp, 2-6 people plus drivers. Home delivery of pre-made gins is available for £6.

1hr 15 mins train from London, 15 min taxi ride from Southminster station.

Crouch Ridge Vineyard

Tour Crouch Ridge Vineyard

Tour this Crouch Valley vineyard and discover more about the growing season of the vines, why Essex is a great place for vintners, and the wine making process before the best bit… sampling the wine! Duration 2 hours, £35pp. Multiple dates available including Father’s Day. Why not add on a cheese ridge board to enjoy with sweeping views on the terrace. Home delivery is available on all Cellar Shop wines for £10. 

1hr from London by train, 10 min drive from Burnham-on-Crouch station. 

If you liked this blog, follow us on Instagram @visitessex for lots more #SecretEssex ideas.




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