The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

The best ways to treat your mum in the UK this Mother’s Day

Discover the best of British with the most important woman in your life this Mother’s Day

Joanna Whitehead
Wednesday 28 February 2024 14:50 GMT
Dive into the UK with your mum this March
Dive into the UK with your mum this March (Getty Images)

As we slowly crawl into a sunny spring (we’re feeling optimistic) the annual realisation that Mother’s Day is just a few weeks away is about to boost the sales of hampers, flowers and fragrances across the country.

Halloween, Valentine’s Day… while there’s plenty of cynicism about annual events some feel are simply designed to get consumers to spend more money, it’s pretty hard to argue with a day devoted to bigging up the women who raised us. Granted, this shouldn’t be confined to a single day, but it’s certainly a good place to start.

Luckily, the UK has plenty of events and activities to help show your appreciation. How about a wine tasting in the English countryside? An operatic extravaganza in Wales? Or a blow-the-budget afternoon tea at a five-star hotel?

We’ve found some of the best things to do and places to go with your mum this Mother’s Day, whether you’re on a budget or have cash to splash.

Read more on UK travel:

Visit a museum

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh (National Museums Scotland)

If your mum’s partial to a culture fix, consider a visit to some of the UK’s many award-winning museums. Admire the DIVA exhibition at the V&A, revisit the past at York’s JORVIK Viking Museum, or marvel at nature’s diversity at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit at the National Museum of Scotland. And if you’re feeling flush, a National Art Pass awards you access to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK, as well as 50 per cent off major exhibitions, meaning your mum can find inspiration all year round.

Hit the booze (responsibly, of course)

Kingsbarns Distillery is located near picturesque St Andrew’s, Scotland (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Whatever your poison, there’s a tasting experience to suit. Head to Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey, one of England’s largest single estate vineyards; the historic Hook Norton brewery in the Cotswolds for a pint of something hoppy; or Kingsbarns Distillery in Fife for an easy-drinking Lowland whisky.

Smell the flowers

Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, has 2,500 different species of tree (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Inject colour and fragrance into your mum’s life with a stroll around some of the UK’s most beautiful gardens. Sniff chocolate-scented Azara microphylla in the Rose Garden at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, admire 2,500 different tree species from around the world at Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, or discover the quintessential English garden at Sissinghurst in Kent.

Embrace the drama

The Welsh capital is home to the Welsh National Opera (Getty Images)

Whether it’s a West End musical, classic Shakespeare, contemporary dance or emotive opera, a trip to the theatre is always a treat. Visit the Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre, the UK’s largest working theatre in terms of capacity; the Welsh National Opera; or the Bristol Old Vic, the oldest continuously working theatre in the English speaking world.

Win, lose or draw

Don your glad rags for Epsom Derby (Getty Images)

Whether your mum’s partial to a rugby scrum or chanting on the terraces, sport lies at the heart of British culture, and there’s plenty of fixtures to choose from for belated celebrations. Cricket fans should try the historic Scarborough Cricket Festival, which has been held in the Yorkshire coastal town since 1876, or head to a gathering of the Highland Games for a unique insight into Scottish culture. Alternatively, don your glad rags and head to Epsom Derby to have a flutter on the horses.

Catch a film

The Mareel cinema and arts centre in Lerwick, Scotland (Getty Images)

Treat your mum to a night at the flicks. It’s a great option for those short on cash, not least because Meerkat Movies offers 2 for 1 cinema tickets at most Odeon, Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas and selected independent venues on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

While there’s no snobbery about a visit to your nearest multiplex, the UK is home to some genuinely unique and historic places to catch the latest arthouse release or blockbuster hit, so it’s worth seeking these out if you really want to pull out all the stops. The Rex in Berkhamsted transports you to the golden age of the silver screen with its 1938 art deco arch, while The Barn Cinema in Totnes, Devon, is an independent community cinema set inside a converted 14th century barn. Elsewhere, Mareel in the Shetland Islands is a sleek, contemporary dream of a building – and the UK’s most northerly music, cinema and creative industries centre.

Feast on an afternoon tea

The Ritz is perfect for a blow-out (Getty Images)

Whatever your age, gender or taste, it’s hard to deny the enduring appeal of tea and cake. Introduced to England in the 18th century by the Duchess of Bedford, this indulgent tradition shows no sign of waning. Quaff fizz and shovel cake while enjoying magical views over Lake Windermere and the surrounding fells at Storrs Hall, an award-winning afternoon tea at The Edgbaston in Birmingham, or extend your pinky with the crème de la crème at The Ritz in London.

Take a stroll

Discover the great outdoors in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The cost of living crisis is real, so if you’re feeling the pinch, don’t forget that time is the most valuable gift you can offer (whether your mum will see it this way is another matter). Channel your inner Regency Lady and send mummy a handwritten letter inviting her for a wander, then stroll arm-in-arm through the local park while gossiping about potential suitors. Head to the Holburne Museum in Bath, the filming location of Lady Danbury’s estate in Bridgerton, or romp around the grounds of Castle Howard, home of the show’s fictional Clyvedon Castle. If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, consider taking on a walking challenge together: the 10-mile ridge walk that comprises the Bannau Brycheiniog Horseshoe offers glorious panoramas.

Float away on a spa day

There’s some serious R&R at Lygon Arms in the Cotswolds (The Lygon Arms)

Splash out (quite literally) and float away on a relaxing and rejuvenating spa day. While there’s no shortage of spas clamouring to part you from your hard-earned pounds – see our guides to the best spa hotels in the UK, London, Cotswolds and the Lake District for inspo – it’s also worth checking out your local leisure centre, which may offer semi-champagne facilities on a decidedly Special Brew budget.

Discover the past

Step back in time at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight (Getty Images)

The UK’s rich and diverse history has resulted in some of the world’s most fascinating historical sites. Take a trip to Stonehenge or Wiltshire’s Avebury Stone Circle to marvel at these mysterious prehistoric sites, reflect on the sobering Troubles murals in Belfast, and get an incredible insight into royal life at Osborne House, the Italianate house and estate on the Isle of Wight commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1845.

Looking for a staycation steeped in charm? Read more on the best boutique hotels in the Cotswolds

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in