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