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Experience days have become very popular over recent years, both as a gift or as an affordable way to book a memorable adventure all of your own.
There's a wide range of experiences available in the UK from adrenaline-filled activities such as driving supercars or learning to fly to something more sedate such as afternoon tea, cookery classes or spa treatments.
Top deals & discounts on experience days
Save on experience days and activities in 2022/2023 whether for yourself or as a gift for others with the latest special offers and exclusive discount codes from leading providers such as Buyagift and Virgin Experience Days.
How do I book experiences in the UK?
There are a number of companies offering affordable experiences from days out and activities to short breaks. The following are some of the most well-known and arguably most competitive when it comes to value:
There is a world of choice when it comes to finding the right experience, whether for you or as a gift. To give you a little inspiration, we've pulled together some of the most popular types of experiences from one-off activities and courses to tasty treats and luxury escapes.
Ever fancied driving a supercar? Perhaps a vintage ride is more your thing, or maybe a quad bike? What about monster trucks, go-karting or even a tank?
Whichever driving experience you or the speed-freak in your life might enjoy, there's a fantastic driving experience that promises to be a great fit for any age or interest.
If you'd rather be soaring skywards, flying experiences are proving very popular with those who always thought taking the controls was out of their reach.
From a one-off flight in a helicopter or hot air balloon to flying lessons, a stint in a vintage biplane or flypast in a Spitfire, there are so many flying experiences to choose from.
There's even the option of taking to a flight simulator to really test your wits while keeping your feet firmly on the ground.
Make a splash with an unforgettable watersports experience. These vary from more easy-going kayaking and canoeing sessions, fishing and sailing to flyboarding, high-speed RIB rides, coasteering and hovercrafts, proving yet again that there's a wet and wild experience for all ages and interests.
Finally, you might consider something that's more of a once-in-a-lifetime type of adventurous experience. We're talking skydiving, bungee jumping, zorbing and zip-lining.
There are some less drastic options as well, including paintballing, trying your brain at an escape room, hopping on a segway or fighting off zombies in a horror experience, which would definitely be one to remember.
Top tip: always read the small print of your chosen experience before booking and be aware that the availability is sometimes limited to off-peak days and times.
Spa & beauty
Prepare to put your feet up with the perfect pampering experience. You can choose to book a single treatment, such as a massage, facial or manicure, take the day and make the most of facilities including swimming pools and saunas at well-known spas such as Bannatyne and Champneys or go the whole hog and book a stay in a dedicated spa hotel with afternoon tea and dinner thrown in.
Other options included wellbeing packages such as classes or courses in yoga, mindfulness, personal training and nutrition as well as options for a makeover and a photoshoot.
Food & drink
Foodies rejoice! There are more culinary experiences for every budget and taste bud than ever before. Whether you're a connoisseur in Michelin-starred restaurants or fine-tuning your nose to become that expert sommelier, there's a dinner, course or kit just for you.
Top food and drink experiences including dining deals in award-winning restaurants such as Gordon Ramsay's Pétrus, wine, gin or whisky tasting, classes and courses at the likes of Raymond Blanc's cookery school, cooking kits for you to try at home, plush afternoon tea packages at fine establishments such as Fortnum & Mason, and gift hampers bursting with sumptuous treats.
If you're considering booking a surprise trip, whether it's for your or for family members, don't miss the latest deals on weekend breaks and short escapes.
From secluded retreats in the wilderness where walking, relaxing and spa options are available to city breaks with guided tours and theatre tickets included, you're sure to find just the right great value short break in locations across the UK online.
Choose from luxury hotels, glamping sites, country house estates and elegant townhouses, each with a variety of extras such as breakfast, dinner, afternoon tea, spa treatments or possibly an activity to really complete any mini-break.
More experiences & activities
As if the experiences mentioned above weren't enough, there are still plenty of other experiences to choose from for all ages. Other much-loved options that you can book with a number of experience-led companies include:
- Days out & tours - think a trip up The Shard in London, a river cruise in York, a tour of The Making of Harry Potter studios, a go at The Crystal Maze or a chug through the countryside on a heritage steam railway, among many other options.
- Animal experiences - try your hand as a zookeeper for the day or test your strength with a falconry session, meet meerkats up close, take an alpaca for a walk, go horse riding or even shark diving.
- Sporting days out - expect stadium tours of the UK's biggest football clubs, clay pigeon shooting, track cycling at the velodrome, pro-golf sessions and much more.
- Online classes & games - combine good times with learning for an educational experience that could hone your skills or even set you on the path to a new career; online courses range from virtual baking masterclasses and wine tasting tutorials to language, garden and interior design courses and introduction to dog grooming; there are many games as well, such as CSI and virtual murder mystery.
Experience days & activities - FAQs
Can I give an experience as a gift?
Absolutely! Most experiences are nameless so can be used by anyone who receives the voucher. The most important thing is to read the small print and remember to book well in advance.
How long are vouchers valid for?
How will my voucher arrive?
The easiest option offered by most companies is an e-voucher direct to your - or someone else's if it's a gift - inbox. Alternatively, you can usually opt for a physical voucher to be delivered via Royal Mail although this takes a little longer and costs a little more.
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