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Why a Microgap is a Great Idea

Everyone loves a holiday. The reality is when we need a break the time or funds to jet around the world are not always available. Sound familiar? Well, there is now a solution to this modern life dilemma – I give you the microgap!

What Is A MICROGAP?

graffiti wall with oriental woman in blue eye shadow, blue hair surrounded by multi coloured graffiti and umbrella

Disclosure: This article is sponsored by VisitEngland however, all views, opinions and photos are my own and remain a copyright of the Curious Pixie. Affiliate links can be found in this article, whereby I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps with the costs of running my blog so I can keep my content free for you. Thanks as always for your support! See my disclosure policy here.

Over the last few years microgaps have begun to transform domestic tourism. Similar to a gap year it shares the same ideas of adventure and self-discovery but condensed into a mini trip.

A microgap offers the chance to explore and discover the world closer to home either on a day trip or a weekend away to unwind, learn a new skill or pick up a hobby and return re-energised. This type of getaway is not only enticing the young but also the older generation who are just as keen to experience something new and exciting.

HOW TO MICROGAP?

At the beginning of the year I made a promise to see more of the UK. As a result I’ve spent less time travelling and more time enjoying something different in my home country. We all travel for different reasons and a UK mini adventure can take many guises.

With a microgap you can Go Wild, like that time I canoed down the River Thames on the hottest day of the year or Switch Off which is exactly what we did this summer on a relaxing family break in Dorset. They can also help you Give Back, how about doing something positive whilst creating incredible memories, like being a beekeeper for a day on a North Devonshire farm.

Microgap in Bristol

Recently I was invited by VisitEngland to Learn More on a #MyMicrogap in Bristol. The closest I’d been to the Bristol was spending a night sleeping next door to a bunch of geladas at Camp Baboon on the outskirts of the city. So an opportunity to explore a British city I’d not visited was an enticing offer too good to refuse.

painting reacting the New York city men on a beam 'welcome to bristol' above quay street diner

Bristol is home to a fantastic cultural scene and the nation’s most-recognisable street art. Less than a two hour train journey from London Paddington on GWR we arrived super excited for our day ahead. Our meeting point was a Mongolian Yurt behind the train station, a cute cafe and bar known to locals as Yurt Lush.

meeting point for the microgap with visit England inside a Mongolian yurt with wooden chairs, decor, and fire in the centre

After a quick intro and briefing on the itinerary it was time for our Where the Wall graffiti walking tour and spray art workshop. The award winning tour company tells the story of Bristol’s fascinating creative culture and art scene from the dawn of the 1980s to present day.

The one hour tour is based around the central area of Bristol featuring history and architecture, modern street art and insights into the world of Banksy – the world’s most popular contemporary artist.

painting surrounded by graffiti on a wall of a blue bird perched on a hang

Bristolians are proud of this old Banksy’s mural on Hamilton House which refers to a street riot which took place in Stokes Croft. One of his last before he moved on to stencil art.

black and white banksy paininting 'the mild mild west' teddy bear throwing flame towards riot police above a green and blue display of graffiti

We saw parts of Bristol I’d probably never have discovered. Wandering around some of the thought provoking imagery really adds to the city’s unique character. Before long we were in a studio with spray can in hand creating our own stencil masterpieces.

With safe water based spray paints suitable for indoor use we tried to master the art of can control, a unique skill required to achieve the best results with a spray can. It can actually take years to develop, but I think I ended up with an impressive fuzzy looking tiger.

Bellies rumbling we headed downstairs for a delicious vegan lunch at Canteen. The Stokes Croft cafe and bar which champions healthy eating using only the freshest local produce.

gin masterclass teacher in the Milk Thistle surrounded by alcohol bottles, wood panelled walls and women on mobiles on leather settees

For our next activity we found ourselves in Bristol’s hippest prohibition style speakeasy bar – Milk Thistle. Behind an unmarked door in one the city’s finest historic buildings are four floors of 1920s decadent revelry. Think wood panelling, inviting armchairs, taxidermy and retro lampshades.

sima with blue painted nails holding a glass of gin in a tall glass with lemon

A gin masterclass is how we whiled away two hours – pouring, sampling, learning, repeat. The bartender revealed the chequered history of the botanical tipple and imparted some of his expert knowledge on the different varieties. An apt way to end a fun filled day in Bristol.

group of male and female in the Milk Thistle holding blue sign #mymicrogap

The UK is laden with characteristic areas waiting to be discovered, adventures to be sought and skills to be taught. Next time you get an itch to explore, stay closer to home and take off on a microgap – who knows what you may uncover!

TRAVEL TOOLKIT TO HELP PLAN YOUR TRIP

Have you been on Microgap? Let me know in the comments box below

sima

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30 Comments

  • Charli 31st October 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Microgaps are such a great idea. I love exploring things closer to home and definitely need to spend more time doing that next year!
    C x

    • Sima Sthanakiya 31st October 2019 at 1:10 pm

      They’re great. There are so many beautiful places in UK, it’s something I’ve been trying to do more of this year.

  • Jenna Parrington 31st October 2019 at 9:46 pm

    I’d never heard of this term before believe it or not – so this post has been very insightful for me! Thanks!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 1st November 2019 at 5:26 pm

      It’s the new way of seeing the UK in a different light. Hopefully inspire you to do a trip Jenna x

  • Eva Katona 1st November 2019 at 8:36 am

    It’s a great idea, it’s my understanding of a mini getaway. I love the idea but the name somehow doesn’t really suit. However I do applaud the idea of UK staycations as they are definitely kinder on the environment as taking a flight for a two nights weekend break to Italy!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 1st November 2019 at 5:26 pm

      This trip was about discovering a new place and learning a new skill at the same time, something I don’t always do on a break.

  • Kara 1st November 2019 at 8:52 am

    I have not heard of this term before but from the way you describe it, we take them all the time. I love discovering new things about the place we live in

    • Sima Sthanakiya 1st November 2019 at 5:24 pm

      Discovering new things and learning new skills, expanding on an idea of a short break.

  • MELANIE EDJOURIAN 1st November 2019 at 12:03 pm

    It sounds like such a great idea and has allowed you to do things you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. The gin masterclass sounds like fun.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 1st November 2019 at 5:22 pm

      Yes to gin every time on a break.

  • Jo | My Anxious Life 1st November 2019 at 12:18 pm

    I’ve never heard of the term microgap! I guess I’ve just been calling them a mini break?! I love to explore the UK, so much culture, history, architecture, art, food and drink to enjoy… Love doing it with my kids now too

    • Sima Sthanakiya 1st November 2019 at 5:23 pm

      Slightly different to a mini/short break as they have a learning/discovering new skill element to it. There is so much on our doorstep to discover.

  • Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too 1st November 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Loving the idea of MicroGaps, a wonderful way of exploring what we have on our doorstep

    • Sima Sthanakiya 1st November 2019 at 5:18 pm

      Exactly Sarah. We take for granted what we have.

  • Rhian Westbury 1st November 2019 at 1:38 pm

    I love the idea of a microgap as I love travelling but I wasn’t keen on travelling for a year before uni. Also Bristol has been on my wish list for ages so I’d love to go here x

    • Sima Sthanakiya 1st November 2019 at 5:18 pm

      Rhian you must do Bristol. We literally only touched the tip of the iceberg. I’m looking forward to going back.

  • Rebecca Smith 1st November 2019 at 3:26 pm

    I love the idea of a microgap. We have definitely had a few this year – Weston super Mare, Hull and Blackpool were fab places to visit!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 1st November 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Great on the pounds and for the time poor. We were in Weston Super Mare this year too.

  • WhatLauraLoves 2nd November 2019 at 6:41 pm

    I’ve never had a gap year but I have gone on really great holidays travelling around. I’d love to explore more of the UK! xxx

    • Sima Sthanakiya 3rd November 2019 at 9:43 pm

      Me either. Felt like I missed out. Now I can do it in a condensed form.

  • Elizabeth Williams 2nd November 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Never heard of a microgap before but they sound great and just what I need. I love Bristol but not been there for a few years, must visit again soon.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 3rd November 2019 at 9:42 pm

      This is the perfect way to see it Elizabeth. You’ll get to discover a whole different side.

  • Nayna Kanabar 3rd November 2019 at 9:52 pm

    I love the idea of the microgap. The concept is superb, you can have fun, travel and enjoy an activity too. It’s a great way to discover places without breaking the bank,

    • Sima Sthanakiya 4th November 2019 at 10:41 pm

      That’s exactly right Nayna. It’s affordable and you still get to escape the everyday.

  • Yaya 5th November 2019 at 1:24 pm

    I’d never heard of a microgap but it sounds like a great way to see and experience without committing to leaving your day to day life behind as some of us just can’t.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th November 2019 at 11:41 am

      Very true, it’s a great way to explore the country.

  • DAc 5th November 2019 at 3:24 pm

    There is some amazing art work you’ve photographed for this article

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th November 2019 at 11:40 am

      Thanks so much. Bristol has so much!

  • Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi 5th November 2019 at 4:03 pm

    You just can’t beat a trip like this, exploring the countryside!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th November 2019 at 11:41 am

      Lovely to be able to fully immerse yourself in a place too.

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    I'm Sima, join me as I explore, experience and eat my way around the globe. Inspiring you to escape the everyday through my adventures... Read More

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