Mortified - malicious gossip
Angry - dangerous dogs
Too cynical? - estate agents
Are you stuck on what to buy for a 60th birthday? Chances are that the recipient already has most of the things they've been hankering after, and any unasked for extras could end up consigned to the charity shop or to the attic and left to gather dust. So our gransnetters have shared their wealth of experience and identified a few key themes that'll help you pick a gift that's bound to blow all others out of the water - and ensure that you never have to panic-buy again. Whether you're buying your own present or clubbing together with family to get something a bit more costly, here's our pick of the best 60th birthday gifts to suit every budget.
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"No more stuff please!" - a request that resurfaces year after year. You'll find, however, that it's actually quite easy not to buy 'stuff' and a more unusual 60th birthday gift might earn you a brownie point or two.
"My family took me to Wales for four days to stay in a farmhouse. It was just what I wanted!"
An ideal gift for those who love long weekends away. Guests will be able to enjoy time with family, take a variety of lovely strolls and soak up beautiful scenery - the UK certainly has a lot to offer when it comes to great weekend getaways, whether it's Devon, the Cotswolds or even the Lake District.
Try: Coast and Country Cottages for beautiful cottages in Devon.
"A few years ago, I had a really good time on a walking holiday in Cornwall."
If your 60th birthday gift is intended for an outdoor-type who loves active holidays, then a walking holiday or similar might be just the ticket. These types of trips are particularly good for solo travellers and those who love to meet new people.
Try: Saga for a variety of walking holidays in the UK or abroad.
"A couple of years ago, my family clubbed together and sent us to a festival for the weekend. It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but the principle of a weekend away somewhere makes a lovely birthday present."
These aren't just for the young. Whether it's the Hay Literary Festival in Hay-on-Wye or the ever-popular Glastonbury, a day or weekend at a festival is the perfect gift for those who love to try something that little bit different. Many festivals offer ticket and accommodation packages too, which makes the overall cost cheaper and planning much easier.
Try: Latitude festival in Suffolk for a weekend full of art, comedy and music.
Are you buying for an adrenaline junkie, a theatre lover, a fan of fine dining? A gift experience can create fantastic and lasting memories for someone turning 60, and, better yet, doesn't need dusting!
"We were treated to a surprise joint 60th birthday tea at The Ritz, which was lovely. We two mothers had thought we were all going to see a film! Wonderful surroundings and the chefs bought us a cake to mark the occasion. I shall never forget it."
A quintessentially British experience with a bit of bubbly thrown in for good measure, champagne afternoon tea is certainly a luxurious treat for someone who loves company and a bit of pizzazz in a glam location. Perfect for marking this milestone birthday.
Try: Champagne afternoon tea at The Ritz.
"My daughter gave me a gift token for a theatre that I'm particularly fond of. I have used it several times. It was a gift that gave me almost a year of enjoyment - I loved it!"
A three-course dinner followed by a West End show of your choice in the heart of London can be an extremely fun way to spend a 60th birthday. For a cheaper option, a theatre token to spend at a favourite local theatre or similar may also do the trick. One gransnetter says, "My daughter signed me up as a 'friend' of the local theatre for my birthday, which was something for a worthy cause and for me."
Try: Theatre and dinner for two from Red Letter Days.
"A pampering session or a spa weekend with your partner or a friend is the ideal gift."
Nothing quite says 'Happy Birthday' like a relaxing spa day. Packages come in all shapes and sizes, but most include access to all the spa's facilities, a healthy and light lunch and one spa treatment per person. A great gift for recharging those batteries.
Try: Pamper spa day for two from Red Letter Days.
"My children gave me an experience for my 60th that I haven't forgotten - they paid for me to go up in a glider. It was not terribly expensive and I absolutely loved the experience. Flying high above the Cheviots; it was so silent and peaceful. I would definitely recommend it."
For someone who loves to reach new heights (quite literally), this will certainly be a 60th birthday gift to remember. There are a variety of options available to suit price range and location. A gift for him or her.
Try: Gliding Discovery Flight with 7 locations to choose from in the UK.
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If the birthday gift has to be 'stuff', then make an effort to personalise it. Thoughtful always win the race.
"My 60th present was a charm bracelet. Each child gave me a charm with some significance to them. It's lovely as it reminds me of each of them when I wear it."
Unlike other pieces of jewellery, charm bracelets are that little bit more personal and can be added to each year. You can go for one of the well-known brands like Pandora, Thomas Sabo or even Tiffany, or choose a gorgeous vintage style instead.
Try: Thomas Sabo charm bracelet from House of Fraser.
"My friend bought me a Plant a Tree gift for my 60th. You can go along on a booked day and plant it yourself."
A fun day out and eco-friendly at the same time. The gift will usually come with a personalised certificate and an invitation to a planting event. Each tree will then be properly looked after as part of a maintenance programme. Of all the 60th birthday gift ideas out there, this one might just be our favourite.
Try: Plant a Treet Gift from The National Forest.
Much can be said for thinking outside of the box and something from the selection below will certainly make for a memorable gift.
"We had this problem for a friend 'who has everything' - so we made out a Charities Aid cheque for £60 and asked him to choose his own worthy cause."
As there are many worthwhile charities to donate to, it might be a good idea to let the recipient choose their own.
Try: Protect bumblebees gift card from the RSPB. You'll be helping to prevent the extinction of bumblebees without lifting a finger.
A gift for a budding historian or someone who loves the outdoors. With unlimited access to hundreds of sites and a number of historical events, it's sure to keep them busy all year round.
Try: English Heritage membership for a whole year.
"A friend who likes Japanese food was given a sushi-making class experience and loved it."
Whether it's a cooking class, a sculpture class or even a Tai Chi workshop, this gift is ideal for those who want to learn a new skill and make new friends, something that could potentially be quite life-changing.
Try: A dim sum masterclass in central London.
Get those creative juices flowing with a 60th birthday present that is personal, memorable and sure to be treasured for years to come.
"My two children in New Zealand and Australia gave me a photo book full of pictures of my five grandchildren. It's a lovely keepsake. They took the photos in Australia and there were quotes from each of the children. It was a smashing gift."
Guaranteed to tug at those heart strings and bring a tear to the eye, a photo book or album is a truly unique gift filled with treasured memories. The perfect present for long-distance grandparents and those who may need reminding of all the incredible things they've done. Take inspiration from one gransnetter: "I made an album using lots of family photos and scrapbooking techniques. I included letters, birthday cards and postcards that all had meaning. She was thrilled with her gift."
Try: A photo book from Snapfish.
"I think it looks gorgeous and would much prefer something like this to a spa day or tea for two because we can do those things anyway."
Beautifully-crafted and handcut from paper, you can design your own papercut entirely from scratch. An inexpensive, but extra special, gift that would have pride of place on any mantelpiece.
Try: This beautiful family tree papercut from Mimi & Mae.
Images: Shutterstock, The Ritz, Buyagift.com, notonthehighstreet.com
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