Expert Interview- The Factory Covent Garden

Looking to create some lasting memories with your family, friends, or even pets? The Factory Covent Garden draws on the creative talents of its expert team, to produce original, eye catching images that will exceed all expectations! We spoke to Philip, and asked him a few questions about this gem of a studio…

Q: Please tell me how you came to start The Factory Covent Garden?

A: I started the factory 7 years ago as a direct result of working at other studios and being disappointed with the way clients and staff were treated and the style and quality of the images. My business partner and I were looking for a studio when we found the fantastic space in Covent Garden that we now call home. I wanted to create an environment where clients felt relaxed and would enjoy the experience, not trying to over pose or rush them. A happy relaxed client means better photographs. We hear time and time again things like “I normally hate having my photo taken but this was easy” or ” I can’t believe how well these have turned out, I never look good in photos”. This makes it all worth while.

Q: How have you adapted your experiences compared to other photoshoot experiences available in the market?

A: The main differences between us and other studios is our approach to clients and the quality of the final product. We will never make a client pose in a way that makes them feel awkward or uncomfortable. We listen to their needs and work with them. We believe every client is different and therefore every shoot different. Some families may want a fun mess around style shoot whilst others are looking for more formal images. We try to encourage families to do a bit of both, bring your best evening wear but also bring your PJ’s. We had one family recently come as super hero’s! Another big difference is in the staff we employ. They are all freelancers and work for some really big companies. Our make up artists work in film, T.V and Fashion as do our Photographers. We don’t hire anyone who only works in Studios as we believe the diversity of a staff members portfolio adds so much to their work with us. It also means we have absolute faith in the quality of the work we are producing.

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do for a photoshoot or any funny anecdotes you can share with us?

A: We’ve had some really interesting shoots here at The Factory with some crossing over into the world of weird! I probably shouldn’t mention any names but taking portraits of tortoises was quite odd, that or close ups of a clients feet!

Q: Any future plans for The Factory Covent Garden?

A: We would love to expand into a second venue but are really happy being here in the heart of the West End. We hope to offer Make Up and Hair styling courses here as clients are always blown away with the results and want to re-create it at home!

Q: Can you show us your favourite picture you’ve ever taken?

A: We’ve taken 100000’s of pics so to pick one is tricky, but if I have to it would be of one of our four legged clients! We always encourage people to bring their pets in as we love animals here and you can guarantee some great results. This little one is Goucho. He was a feisty little fellow and his picture is now hung pride of place in our studio.

Thank you Philip for answering our questions – we look forward to seeing where The Factory goes from here!

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Staff Review Afternoon Tea Bus Tour of London

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On Monday 26th June, we made our way to Victoria Coach Station for a unique Afternoon Tea. Upon arrival, we searched the departure boards for the ‘B. Bakery’, and headed to the departure gate. Here, we were greeted by a smartly-dressed staff member, and led onto a beautiful, vintage red bus.

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We were shown to our table on the top deck, and were immediately impressed by the beautifully laid out food and decorations. Jolly music lent a delightful atmosphere, and everything suited the occasion perfectly. Once everyone had taken their seats, the engine started and the tour began.

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Before long, we all tucked in to afternoon tea. The selection included sandwiches, mini quiches, sweet tarts, cupcakes, pastries and – of course – warm scones. Vegetarian, gluten-free and halal options were also available, and the attentive staff were on hand throughout to top up unlimited teas, coffees and soft drinks.

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Soon, our focus was drawn from the delicious food to the eye-catching sights of London. The route passed familiar landmarks – like The London Eye, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace – and an informative pre-recorded commentary provided some fascinating facts. Meanwhile, our guide offered their own comical take!

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As service came to an end, we felt reluctant to disembark – though a parting gift made for a wonderful last surprise! After a fantastic afternoon, we’d all definitely return to enjoy another B. Bakery Afternoon Tea London Tour.

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The New Interns Blog at Experience Days

It’s that time again – when Experience Days welcomes two new interns to the team!

Below are some questions we asked our new marketing assistants, Blossom and Rebecca!

Let’s begin…

Q: How did you feel prior to your first day working at Experience Days?

Blossom: Before my first day at Experience Days, I felt apprehensive to begin such an important part of my university degree, as well as it is a big step for me into the real world within the working industry. However, speaking to the previous interns and gathering necessary information about the internship helped calm my nerves.

Rebecca: Since finding out I got the job with Experience Days I have been eager to begin the position of the Marketing Assistant. Initially, I was very excited for my next big adventure as I was ready to apply everything I had learnt at University to a real job role. There was obviously a few first-day nerves as it became closer to my start date. However, I had already spoken a lot to the previous interns and had a clear understanding of what I was to expect and how impressive the training plan was which helped with my initial confidence.

Q: How did you find meeting the whole team on the first day?

Blossom: I had actually been lucky enough to meet most of the team prior to beginning my first day of work, which I felt was a really good opportunity to get to know the team outside of work, although still slightly nervous to turn up to the office on the following Monday morning. I was given a warm welcome and introduction to the marketing role I had been given, along with the other intern Rebecca.

Rebecca: At Experience Days the office has a fairly small number of employees. This made it easy to join into as everyone was extremely friendly and approachable as they welcomed me to the team. I found that within my first week I got the opportunity to work with many of the team which made it easy to settle in.

Q: Have you completed an experience yet? If so which one?

Blossom: Rebecca and I were lucky enough to have a surprise experience booked for us by the previous interns, which again made us feel very welcome to our first day at the office. I was extremely excited as I was unaware of what was ahead of us, we were shortly told that we were visiting the B.Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus. The whole experience was brilliant, defiantly has to be one of my favourite afternoon teas I have tasted!

Rebecca: Before I started my job I was told that we would be getting the opportunity to participate in an experience on my first day. I was very excited as a big part of my job would involve visiting clients and going on experiences. It was not until my first day when I arrived at the office that I found out what I was doing. When I heard that we would be going on a B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus I was very excited as I had never done anything like this before. I thought it was a fantastic idea combining both a relaxing experience of Afternoon Tea while seeing the sights of London.

The day out was one that I will always remember as my first day at Experience Days. This relaxing experience was the perfect environment to get to know the other new intern and the interns we were replacing as we chatted over a scone or two. I got to learn a lot of interesting facts about London while enjoying a beautiful Afternoon Tea in a red vintage bus. I will defiantly be going on this experience again with a group of friends.

 

Q: Are there any experiences that you’ll hope to do by the end of your internship?

Blossom: One of the things that really interested me about the placement was the opportunity of possibly getting to complete some of the brilliant experiences available at Experience Days. Although I am completely open to participating in many of the experiences, I do have a few which I would love to complete by the end of my placement, examples being; cookery classes, flyboarding, hang gliding and spa experiences.

Rebecca: I know I have always told myself that I would never do it but after speaking to everyone in the office about completing a Bungee Jump I have somehow been persuaded. I feel that while I am given a significant amount of opportunities at work that I should embrace everything over the next year.

Q: Are there any goals you can think of that you hope to achieve by the end of the year?

Blossom: There are many things I would hope to achieve by the end of the year, one of the main aims is to ensure I will learn key aspects of a business, such as digital marketing, customer service and to learn more about an office environment. I am extremely excited for what the year holds.

Rebecca: I arrived at Experience Days feeling fairly confident that I knew a lot of Marketing skills and knowledge. However, I wanted to apply this into a business and identify the areas that I needed to learn or improve on. By the end, I am hoping to achieve a strong understanding of digital marketing and social media.

Thanks Blossom and Rebecca – we wish you every success in the coming year!

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Chelsea FC Stamford Bridge Stadium Tour: Staff Review

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As we neared the home of the 2017  premier league winners, the notorious ‘Blues’, or Chelsea FC as many of you know them, we knew this stadium tour would not disappoint. Spotting the bright blue colours straight out of Fulham Broadway Tube Station, we rushed towards the stadium – even in the 33c heat!

The tour began at the museum entrance, before heading pitchside, where our tour guide told us about the origins of the team. We then headed to the press room to be grilled on our performance in the recent match! There was also an opportunity to have our picture taken and superimposed next to one of the team’s star players. Next stop was the away changing rooms, which were – understandably – not as nice as the home team’s – after all, every little helps when you’re playing these nail-biting matches!

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Following this, we visited the luxurious home changing rooms, where there was a chance to sit underneath the players’ shirts and strike a pose with your favourites. Next, it was time to get in the match zone and get pumped! We queued up outside the players’ tunnel and walked through to the (imagined) cheers of the Stamford Bridge crowd. With the best view of the pitch, you could capture a great shot and sit in the players seats – the last stop before heading to the museum to check out Blue memorabilia from the team’s illustrious history. There was even a shoot out to test your striker skills!

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Thank you to Chelsea Stadium tours for having us. We really enjoyed the tour and will look forward to seeing the new stadium next year!

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Top Summer Activities For Young And Old!

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We’ve taken a moment to help you find some excellent summer time experiences this year! Whether you’re looking to take the whole family out, or it’s just for you – we have some great things lined up at Experience Days. Think summer; being out in the sunshine, with the opportunity to do all sorts of fun outdoor activities (lets hope the British weather holds out!). Keep reading for further inspiration…

yacht-sailing-with-lunchWhen you read ‘summer activity’, you might imagine a sailing boat on smooth waters with a blue sky’d background. Well, we certainly  do – and with this experience you get to make that dream a reality. Sit back and relax in the sun, sip on wine and watch the clouds go by. More of an active person? You can opt for a hands-on experience, and take the helm yourself. Either way, you’re sure to catch a tan!

From Brighton to Perthshire, we have sailing, yachting and boating experiences guaranteed to delight.


bristol-wine-tasting-and-bike-tourCity Tours are by far some of our most popular experiences. In Bristol, not only can you enjoy the beautiful city sights by bike – there’s also a wine tasting! The perfect day out for a sunny spell, and a chance to relax without feeling lazy!

Touring a city – whether it’s your homwtown, or just a weekend getaway – will give you a unique opportunity to discover it’s fascinating past, forgotten secrets, and hidden gems.


2302_2Calling all adrenaline junkies! Why not try something exhilarating, petrifying and totally cool all in one? See the world from a bird’s perspective with an unforgettable Skydiving experience.

This activity might seem scary – but there’s only one way to conquer your fears! Take the plunge this summer, and experience the thrill of flying (or falling – you decide). Granted you may not catch a tan, but you’ll definitely deserve a couple of days’ relaxation afterwards.


bristol-supStand Up Paddle boarding (SUP) should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list. Find peace on the water, get a great work out, and enjoy the awesome feeling of perfecting a new skill.

Whether you SUP in Cambridge, Stirling or elsewhere on the Thames, you’re guaranteed to have fun in the sun with this activity. An excellent family day out, and a good laugh for groups of friends, SUP is something we at Experience Days highly recommend!


dolphin-and-whale-watching-pembrokeshireLast, but by no means least – why not spend a beautiful summer’s day on another boat! What sets this trip apart, however, is you get to go dolphin watching!

Across the UK, boat tours are a great way to spend quality time with the family (youngsters welcome) and see some of the most beautiful animals to call our oceans home – from Dolphins to Whales. Boat trips and tours are a chance to see your favorite landscapes from a totally different and unique perspective.


We hope we’ve inspired you ahead of this summer’s antics, and we’re all crossing our fingers the British weather holds out! Enjoy spending time in the sun and discover a new home-grown adventure today.

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The Slide at The Arcelor Mittal Orbit: Staff Review

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There is no better description to fit my experience at The Slide at The Arcelor Mittal Orbit than utterly hair raising. Just imagine a Helter Skelter on 20 espresso shots – this slide is quick! The Slide is easily accessible as it’s located at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London. As well as hitting 15mph on the world’s LONGEST slide, you’ll also get panoramic views of London’s iconic skyline from the Orbit’s viewing platforms at the top. Here’s how our day went…

After hopping off the tube at Stratford Station and taking the short walk to the Orbit through Westfield Shopping Mall – narrowly avoiding the brand new Missguided store which has opened up there – we arrived at the park. With our camera poised, Leoni and I managed to grab some great shots as we ventured towards the orbit. Stupidly, we both thought the staircase was The Slide and both said “God, not nearly as bad we both thought!” – then we saw the ‘Bettfeder’. This tight corkscrew just before the 50m sprint to the end was in fact the slide – safe to say our hearts really started pumping. We were greeted at the ticket office by Andrea, Trade Sales Manager for The Slide.

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We grabbed a delicious coffee at the on-site cafe and sat on the roof terrace, chatting with Andrea about The Slide. One of our first questions had to be asking whether he’d had a go. Of course he couldn’t have missed out on a chance. You can complete The Slide in a cool (but still hair-raising) 35 seconds. We certainly thought it was fast!

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There are onsite lockers to put everything you don’t need for the Slide, before you take the lift up to the first floor viewing platform to get ready. The venue provides all the safety equipment you’ll need; helmets, knee pads and elbow pads. You’ll end up looking like you’re wearing a full ninja suit. You then grab one of the specially designed mats and get yourself in position. Once the green light pings, you’re off! You’ll whizz through dark patches, the ‘Bettfender’, clear patches which will disorientate you before hitting the home straight. You’ll just end up wishing you could go down again!

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We choose to take our ride on The Slide first, then grabbed our stuff from the lockers and headed back to the viewing platforms. With 360 views across London, you can see the Shard, the Gherkin, Walkie Talkie and many more of the iconic skyline. You can use the interactive boards to zoom onto landmarks and learn about their history. There’s also some funky concave mirrors that’ll entertain the kids and flip London on it’s head. Once you’ve taken in all the sights, you can either use the staircase to climb down and hear typical London sounds or take the lift down.

Thank you SO much to Andrea for letting us come and experience The Slide and see these awesome panoramic views of London.

 

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The Slide at Arcelor Mittal Orbit and Afternoon Tea at The Holiday Inn

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Having seen videos and pictures online, we couldn’t wait to have a go on The Slide at the Arcelor Mittal Orbit! Located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the slide opened to the public in 2016. Given it’s the world’s LONGEST slide, we couldn’t wait to get started! A voucher includes entry to the viewing platforms to check out the panoramic views of London on offer. Here’s how our day went…

The Orbit is only a short walk from Stratford tube station, by the Westfield Shopping Mall. On our way, we narrowly avoided the new Missguided store – or rather dragged ourselves away from the windows! As soon as we saw the Orbit, we spotted the ‘Bettfeder’ – a tight corkscrew before the 50m home straight. Now our hearts really started pumping.

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We grabbed a delicious coffee at the on-site cafe and sat on the roof terrace, before heading to the entrance and making our way to viewing platform 1 for our slide. You can reach speeds of up to 15mph and will complete the slide is a hair-raising 35 seconds. Yeeeep! Before your slide, the attentive staff get you kitted out in what can only be described as a full ninja suit; helmets, knee pads and elbow pads. You then grab one of the specially designed mats and get yourself in position. Once the green light pings, you’re off! You’ll whizz through dark patches, the ‘Bettfender’, and clear patches which disorientate you before hitting the home straight. Once you’ve reached the bottom, you can collect your things from the lockers and head back up to the viewing platforms to take in the sights – including iconic landmarks like the Shard, Walkie Talkie and St Paul’s Cathedral.

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Following our experience at the orbit, we headed to the Holiday Inn, in Stratford, for the second part of our experience – a delicious Afternoon Tea. The Restaurant Twenty Twelve is located on the 3rd floor with a modern and light decor. Our waiter showed us to a table by the window with the sun shining in. Our afternoon tea arrived swiftly, and included cream cheese and cucumber , smoked salmon and egg mayo finger sandwiches. For sweets, there were plain scones with all the trimmings and a bite sized brownie, macaron, lemon drizzle cake and fresh strawberries. The restaurant can also cater for any dietary requirements and has a selection of different teas on offer. We ate every last crumb and were welcoming the thought of an afternoon snooze on the train back to Brighton.

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Thank you so much to the Arcelor Mittal Orbit for letting us whizz down the slide and to the Holiday Inn, Stratford for the delicious afternoon tea. We’ll be back!

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Expert Interview with The Slide at The Arcelor Mittal Orbit

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If you were lucky enough to go the London Olympics in 2012, you may have seen the unveiling of The ArcelorMittal Orbit, located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Standing at a whopping 114.5m, the Orbit is the UK’s tallest sculpture, and now a familiar feature of the city skyline. However, you may not have heard there’s now a slide running through it! Opened to the public in 2016, The Slide has gone one step further in bolstering the Orbit’s claim to fame – it’s the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide! We caught up with Andrea, Trade Sales Manager, and asked him a few questions about the exhilarating experience…

Q: Please can you tell us how it all began for The Slide at The ArcelorMittal Orbit?

A: With many viewing towers in London, visitors are spoiled for choice on where to get the best view of the city. At the ArcelorMittal Orbit we wanted to provide something completely unique to go alongside a viewing experience and so, in June 2016, we opened The Slide.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit’s original sculptor, Anish Kapoor, invited Carsten Holler, famous for his slide installations, to create a piece of art that would complement the existing structure. The result was the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide which allows thrill seekers to descend from the viewing platforms to ground level in under 40 seconds.

Q: How fast can you go on The Slide?
A: In the exhilarating 40-second trip, riders slide on a specially designed mat and hit speeds of up to 15 miles per hour.

Q: What is your favourite London landmark that you can see from the ArcelorMittal Orbit?
A: There’s loads to see from our viewing platforms and external observation walkway suspended 80m above the ground. From Big Ben, Gherkin and the O2 to a bird’s eye view of the iconic London 2012 venues. My favourite one is definitely St Paul’s Cathedral.

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Q: What else is there to do at the venue?
A: You can get up close to London’s landmarks with innovative and interactive touchscreens that allow you to zoom into the view and learn more about the city. You can also flip the horizon in Anish Kapoor’s two huge concave mirrors and enjoy the gentle descent of the 455 steps that wind their way around the sculpture and immerse you in a collection of distinctive London sounds.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add that we haven’t covered?
A:  At 114.5m tall, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is UK’s tallest sculpture, 22m taller than the Statue of Liberty and six times taller than the Angel of the North.

The Slide is the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide at 178m long and 76m high. With the breathtaking views, you’ll experience Londons Skylive from a truly unique sightseeing experience.

Thank you to Andrea for answering our questions. Keep your eyes peeled for our Staff Visit to The Slide in the next few weeks – we can’t wait!

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History Of Flying

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Aeroplanes are one of the most popular and safe methods of transportation to date. It is becoming increasingly popular and is now being enjoyed as a hobby more and more – as well as a trusted form of travel. But where did it all begin? And how did people first decide to become airborne? Keep reading to find out more!

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The first Aeroplanes with fixed wings were designed by Sir George Cayley in 1799. He was the first to discover and define the forces generated by dragging and lifting with air thrust. This aircraft was not powered by an engine, and was more of a glider plane. The design was worked on and tested until the start of the 1900s.

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1903 was the year that the Wright Brothers attempted the first engine fuelled flight, succeeding in 1905 (without crashing). From then on the Wright Brothers were almost unstoppable. They started flying faster and therefore further and higher. By the outbreak of the war in 1914, the Wright Brothers’ contribution showed its true significance as the planes were soon being used for pilots in the First World War. The first female pilot, Harriet Quimby, gained her pilot’s licence in 1911 in the US.

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The beginning of air travel sparked many great inventions including helicopters, hot air balloons and rockets. Letting humans save lives, see the world from great heights and explore space. So next time you travel, think about how far we have come from 1905!

 

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Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts

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If you’re looking for the perfect Father’s Day Gift Experience (and may have left it a little late!) then continue reading. We’ve put together some great ways to show your Pops some appreciation this Sunday June 18th, and – what’s more – you can receive a gift in minutes with our email delivery option. So here’s what we at Experience Days think your Dad will love…


Supercar Driving 

129_5Hold on to your seats! We have hundreds of driving experiences on offer, including 4×4 Driving, Drifting and Passenger Hot Laps. Most popular of all, however, is Supercar Driving.

Whether you go for a Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Porsche, Supercar Driving is your chance to experience the immense horsepower of the world’s most exhilarating vehicles, on some of the UK’s best tracks.


Tandem Paragliding 

3071_2Paragliding is definitely one for the adventurous Daddies out there! Enjoy a bird’s-eye view, and witness some of the most stunning sights in the British countryside.

He may be quaking in his boots, but together you can share the experience of a lifetime in one of several locations throughout the UK.


Stadium Tours 

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It’s safe to say everyone’s Papa has a favourite sports team, so why not take him to see their Stadium? From the Emirates to Wimbledon, you can tour some of the worlds most iconic home grounds.

Go behind the scenes – in team changing rooms, VIP boxes, and news conference rooms – and enjoy exclusive access to club history and member’s stories.


 Beer Brewing & Tasting 

4075_1Whose Dad doesn’t like Beer!? Gift him the ultimate beer lover’s dream – the chance to make his own beer from scratch, and taste it of course!

From North to South, we have a huge variety of Brewing and Tasting locations, so you’re sure to find one nearby. Most of our beer experiences are available for two – so be sure he takes you with him!


Choice Voucher

3631_1Not sure what to go for? No problem! There’s also a range of Choice Vouchers to choose from.

These give your Dad free roam of our site, allowing him to choose anything he pleases. From overnight breaks to bungee jumps to abseiling and much, much more, you can gift your Dad the choice of any Experience Day!

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