Father’s Day is next Sunday (June 20). But if you haven’t yet thought of the perfect gift, or had perhaps forgotten about the occasion all together, there’s no need to fear. We’ve rounded up some of the best things that you and your dad can do across Scotland together, to celebrate the day in style and show how much you care: with no boring gift vouchers in sight.

1. Take him to try some watersports on Loch Lomond

Prices vary depending on activity chosen

What better way to enjoy Loch Lomond than from the water itself? But if the idea of watersports sounds a bit too high-octane for your dad, then the team at Loch Lomond Leisure can offer a variety of activities to suit all ages and abilities. Ranging from pedalos to kayaks, canoes to paddleboards, they have various boats available for hire from their base on Luss beach, with the option to hire for one hour, two hours or even a whole afternoon. You can also take a guided speedboat tour, if you would rather sit back and let someone else do the work…


2. Go for a scenic pint at the Glenuig Inn, Arisaig

The view from the beer garden of the Glenuig Inn must be one of the best in Scotland, with the scenic Sound of Arisaig framed by hills on either side. It offers the perfect place to take your dad for a memorable pint, with the option to stay in the inn and use it as a base to explore the wonders of the wider area. You will have a clear conscience following your visit, too, as the owners have made a great effort to reduce the environmental footprint of the hotel. The amount of waste sent to landfill has reduced by 97.5% since 2009, there are no single-use plastics at the inn and they use 100% renewable energy.


3. Get him a cookery class at Cook School at Home

£50 for a cook at home box

If your dad is a budding Gordon Ramsay, cookery classes could be the perfect gift to help improve his skills and widen his repertoire. The Kilmarnock-based Cook School has an array of classes on offer but they are currently being run remotely due to Covid: which could actually be a bit of a blessing for anyone intimidated by a traditional classroom environment. Best of all, though, is that you can enjoy whatever food your dad has made if you are willing to hang around afterwards.


4. Treat him to a burger from Lebowskis, Glasgow

1008 Argyle Street, Finnieston, Glasgow

Open every day, 10am-10pm (food served from 4pm Monday- Wednesday)

Burgers, almost universally well-liked, are an ideal choice of cuisine if you are hoping to please multiple generations at once. And no-one does burgers better than Lebowskis, with plenty of adventurous options to choose from at their flagship restaurant in Finnieston. Each burger can be customised to your exact preferences via the separate toppings on offer including Stornoway black pudding, smoked gouda and a Scotch bonnet sauce. Make sure you also try one of the famous Lebowskis White Russian cocktails -inspired by the Coen Brothers’ film- to accompany your meal.


5. Cycle the Lochwinnoch Loop Line, Renfrewshire

Almost entirely traffic-free, this tarmacked cycle path is perfect for less confident cyclists. It runs for 14 miles from Paisley Canal train station to the town of Johnstone, before heading south to Kilbirnie via Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch. It follows the route of the railway line which makes it mercifully flat, and apart from a 300 metre section at Elderslie the journey avoids cycling on the road completely. There’s artwork along the way -including the apt Bedrock Bike sculpture- as well as wildlife to spot at the Castle Semple Loch and the RSPB Lochwinnoch nature reserve. To get back where you started, you and your dad don’t have to cycle the whole thing in reverse. Simply make it as far as Lochwinnoch train station, where you can get a direct train back to Paisley in just 13 minutes.

6. Get him a round of golf at Arbroath Golf Links

Summer prices: £45 per round on weekdays, £50 per round on weekends, twilight offers available for playing after 5pm

It might not be the flashiest course in the country, but the warm Angus welcome is one of the best parts of the Arbroath Golf Links course. The friendly reception from the staff and the locals in the clubhouse make any visitor feel at ease, with golf enthusiast-dads certain to enjoy a round while the sun shines. The course itself appears humble but is of a deceptively good quality, offering immaculate links greens with some testing bunkers and fast flowing burns to catch you out.


7. Treat him to a new pair of shoes from Hanon Aberdeen

49-51 The Green, Aberdeen

Taking your dad shopping might not be the most obvious Father’s Day activity. But with high-street stores finally back open again after so many months of closure, a spot of retail therapy could prove the perfect way to sort out his wardrobe while making him feel spoiled. Independent footwear store Hanon, in Aberdeen, specialises in high-end shoes, with a wide range of styles available both online and in-store. The new Lacoste Gripshot range are suitably understated yet stylish: perfect for fashion-conscious dads.


8. Stroll down the beach at Portobello, Edinburgh

If you fancy a more gentle Father’s Day outing, you can’t beat an ice cream and a stroll down the beach. And despite being just a few miles from the bustle of the capital city, visiting Portobello beach is like stepping back to a seaside resort of old. As well as taking in the view you can visit one of the many outdoor cafes dotted along the promenade, with the trendy ‘Prom Slice’ pizza bar from Civerinos one of the most popular recent openings.

9. Take him on a tour of the Macallan Distillery, Speyside

Open for general access at weekends only

Experiences start at £50 per person

If your dad likes whisky, why not go one better than buying him a bottle by taking him on a distillery tour? Only opened in 2019, the £140m purpose-built Macallan distillery is a far cry from the antiquated distilleries that populate much of Speyside. Its futuristic curves were designed to emulate the surrounding hills, a decision described as ‘ingenious’ by the Royal Incorporation of Architects when they named it one of the ten best buildings of the year in Scotland. It is a visually spectacular distillery to tour around, and there are plenty of lighting effects and high-tech additions to make the experience more interactive. Even if accustomed to more traditional distilleries, your dad won’t be disappointed by Macallan.


10. Take in some culture at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Free entry, but pre-booking online is required

Open every day, 10am-4.30pm

The UK’s most popular attraction outside of London, the hugely diverse collections in this museum should have something to keep everyone happy. There are over 20,000 artefacts charting the history of Scotland: from wildlife, to art, to scientific discovery. If your dad has an interest in nature then a current exhibition charting the migration of the Monarch butterfly, one of the greatest phenomena in the world, should be a particular favourite.


11. Climb a hill together

Obviously fitness-dependent, but if your dad feels up to it then Scotland has no shortage of dramatic hikes you can embark on together to make it a Father’s Day to remember. Fancy a spectacular view? You don’t even need to climb particularly high, with plenty of ‘wee hills’ with great views, including North Berwick Law, Conic Hill in Balmaha and, perhaps best of all, Ben A’an near Aberfoyle. It is just under 350m tall but Ben A’an offers picture-perfect scenery that would beat mountains twice its size. The climb is relentlessly steep, so take plenty of breaks- but it will be well worth it when you reach the stop.

12. Go see a film at the New Picture House, St Andrews

117 North Street, St Andrews, Fife

Adult £8, senior £7.50

Taking your dad to the cinema doesn’t sound particularly special, but after being closed for so many months a trip out to see a film will feel like a real treat. Plus, the New Picture House in St Andrews is a far cry from the soulless multiplexes that populate most cities, being first opened back in 1930. The cinema has three screens -complete with period features- with current screenings including A Quiet Place Part 2, Dream Horse, Godzilla vs Kong and Nomadland. There’s even the Peter Rabbit sequel, if that’s what floats your boat…


13. Go on a sightseeing boat trip with Anstruther Pleasure Cruises, Fife

Adults £34, Concession £30, child (3 - 15) £17

One departure per day, times vary

This is the ideal present for a birdwatching dad. The Isle of May is renowned for its extensive seabird population, with guillemots, razorbills and up to 100,000 puffins nesting on the island: and this cruise gives you a unique opportunity to explore it. It takes five hours in total, with 2-3 hours to wander round the island with the help of local rangers, as well as a trip round its circumference to enjoy the scenery from the sea. The boat is reasonably large, too, so it is a bit less bouncy for those who struggle with seasickness.


14. Go for a curry together at Ashoka Glasgow

268 Clarkston Road, Glasgow

Taking your dad out for a curry could be the perfect low-key Father’s Day celebration. And you can’t go wrong with the Ashoka, a Glasgow institution that has several restaurants across the city. Its popularity is well-deserved -with the food is both delicious and excellent value for money- but the standout dish is the creamy chicken tikka chasni. Order with a garlic naan for a truly indulgent treat.


15. Get him a subscription to Roots and do some gardening together

£72 for an annual subscription

Helping dads to reconnect with nature, a ROOTS gift subscription will entitle them to 10 gardening packs every year. Packs will include stories about Scotland’s plant life -plus expert tips from National Trust gardeners- and six of them will also contain Scottish seeds like Violet and Bluebell to be grown at home. And as an added bonus, by getting a subscription to Roots you will help the National Trust to protect and care for its 38 gardens across Scotland and ensure that they continue to flourish for future generations.


16. Treat him to some Wireless Earphones from RHA, Glasgow

£249.95 for the TrueControl ANC earphones

Glasgow-based firm RHA pride themselves on creating sleek, noise-cancelling earphones that come with a three year warranty as standard, with both wired and wireless options depending on your preference. Their TrueControl ANC wireless earphones are easy to use, sweatproof and water resistant. And if your dad spends a lot of time on the phone, the QualComm technology optimises voice quality during calls: suppressing ambient noise and enhancing sound at human voice frequencies.


17. Ride a segway at Blair Castle, Perthshire

£35 per rider

When you see a Segway zipping around you might think you have to be young and fit to ride one. But the team at Segway Ecosse, in Blair Atholl, pride themselves on offering Segway tours to people across a huge range of ages and fitness levels. All you need is a couple of minutes to get used to the controls and sort out your balance- then you’re off, zooming across the fields and forests surrounding Blair Castle while enjoying the wonderful scenery that the area has to offer. The guides are incredibly knowledgeable about the history of the area, too, and will answer any questions with great enthusiasm. Perfect for any dads that love adrenaline and sightseeing in equal measure.


Visit a botanical garden and watch the world go by

18. Inverewe Gardens, Poolewe, Achnasheen

Adult £13, family £33

Enjoying a botanic garden from a bench with your dad will make for a perfectly laidback Father’s Day. And Inverewe Gardens, near Ullapool, is one of the best in the country. It is a bit of a natural phenomenon as species that shouldn’t grow in this part of the world -like Himalayan blue poppies and Indian rhododendrons- are flourishing, thanks to the warm currents of the Gulf Stream and some clever planting design. As well as admiring the flowers on display, the position of the garden on the banks of Loch Ewe means that you might also be able to spot coastal birds, seals and otters while you are there. A great way to lose a few hours.


19. Watch the Euros together

Nothing brings people together like sport. Scotland aren’t playing on Father’s Day (they play England on Friday at 8pm and then Croatia on Tuesday 22nd at the same time) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t games to enjoy together on the day itself. On Sunday you can watch Italy play Wales at 5pm in Rome and then Switzerland take on Turkey at the same time in Azerbaijan. Just make sure that you and your dad are cheering on the same team…

20. Take a scenic train journey together on the West Highland Line

ScotRail trains from Glasgow Queen Street to Oban, Fort William, Mallaig and back again

Considered by some to be the most picturesque rail route in the country -if not the world- the West Highland Line leaves the congestion of Glasgow behind to emerge into a world of rugged peaks and mystic lochs. The line leaves the city and then splits at Crainlarich, carrying you either west to Oban or further north to Fort William and then Mallaig. Both routes offer their fare share of hauntingly remote scenery, with nothing for miles around bar some deer and a building or two. If you take the line to Oban you can enjoy scenery of Loch Awe and Loch Etive, but it is the route to Mallaig that really packs a punch. The train passes through Corrour station (one of the most remote in the UK), the rugged Loch Eilt and most notably the Glenfinnan Viaduct- which is sure to thrill your dad if he is a Harry Potter fan.