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Emily Barrett, Publisher, Sphere, Little, Brown Book Group, has acquired world rights from Fleur Brooklin Smith at Above the Fray to GREAT BRITISH DAD-VENTURES: 101 MAPS FOR DADS WHO LIKE DOING THINGS, written by Mat Riley. The full-colour book will publish in flexiback in November 2023.

Using Philip’s maps of all the Scottish and English counties and the Welsh principal areas, this book pinpoints almost 1,000 destinations and activities, including plenty of free and baby-friendly options, to give dads of any age the inspiration he needs to get off his screen and do something exciting – and to hopefully persuade his family to go with him! With such varied ideas from hikes, cycling routes, wild swimming spots and nature reserves, to gorge walking, orienteering, musems and walking tours, this is the perfect book for any dad looking for something interesting to do nearby at the weekend, or heading off on holiday around our vast and varied island.


One of the reasons I commissioned this book is because surveys continuously tell us dads are the hardest person in the family to buy for – for anyone who struggled to think of an inspired gift for Father’s Day, don’t make the same mistake of getting socks for your dad this Christmas: look to Mat’s brilliantly inventive book instead! On top of that, travel books have enjoyed a bumper time in recent years, especially those concerning the UK as people continue to take ‘staycations’ post-Covid and during the cost of living crisis. This book encourages dads and their families to explore their local areas and gives ideas on how to enjoy holidays around the British isles to the max, and make memories together as they do so. I can’t wait to see it publish this November.


As a dad it can be pretty easy to get stuck in a rut and opt for an easy, tried and tested kids’ day out; I know because I often became guilty of it. So I decided to search for the most interesting, educational, sometimes scary and, most importantly, fun things we could do as a family. What started as a bit of searching eventually turned into this book. Dads with kids of any age – from babies to adults- would enjoy this book and I hope it gives you the chance for a spot of bonding with your kids. (And a spot of bonding with your mates on some of the activities where kids aren’t invited!)

About Mat Riley

Mat won the nation’s hearts when he appeared on The Great British Bake Off in 2015, finishing in sixth place. He has built a strong following on social media since then, where he shares his humorous take on life and parenting. When he’s not covered in paint in his studio or fighting fires at work (literally – he’s a firefighter), Mat Riley’s covered in poster paint and fighting metaphorical fires at home. Having two young children, Mat has cracked the mystery of what is needed to satisfy a good family adventure. Whether it’s interesting or nerve-wracking, slow-paced or adrenaline-filled, it doesn’t matter so long as he can find a visitor centre selling tea.

You can find Mat on Instagram @thelifeofrileyfamily