From heart-pumping challenges to hands-on lessons and soothing escapes, there are heaps of out-of-the-ordinary experiences you can sink your teeth into on a Microgap in the UK. Where will your next trip take you?
Follow in the footsteps of Olympic athletes at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. With an oar in hand, you and up to eight of your mates can hop on board a rubber raft to tackle high-speed rapids, crashing through the hostile waters and navigating the twists, turns and sudden drops. Believe us when we say, you will get wet!
If you’re not so keen on plunging in at the deep end, then the centre – just a short train ride from London – offers an array of other activities to ease yourself into the water, like canoeing, kayaking, tubing and stand-up paddle boarding.
Get to grips with the science, history and techniques behind traditional fudge making at Oxford’s Fudge Kitchen. The artisan ‘fudgeteers’ will lead you through the process, from boiling up a batch to creating a fudge ‘baguette’.
Then, once kitted out with a boater hat and apron, you’ll get the chance to ‘slab and load’ (with a wonderfully huge spatula) atop an Italian marble counter and finish off your soft, creamy creation with one of the retailer’s many mouth-watering flavours. Though when you have the choice between flavours like sea-salted caramel, raspberry sorbet and even maple walnut, your decision may be a difficult one. And don’t worry, you get to take a box home with you!
In the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter you’ll find The Quarterworkshop, a designer silversmithing studio that hand craft bespoke trinkets. As well as hosting wedding ring workshops (ridiculously romantic, right?), Victoria and her team hold regular jewellery-making workshops where you can create your own bangles, earrings or pendants.
In small, intimate groups, you’ll be shown how to work with precious metal, cutting shapes, adding texture and patterns to the silver, filing and soldering, to create an item of jewellery that’s unique and personal to you. Souvenirs don’t get more special than that.
Discover the amazing flavours that can be found out in the wild. On a foraging course with Totally Wild UK, your classroom is the great outdoors. As you wander through the woods and gardens, you’ll be shown how to hunt for mushrooms, herbs and other unique ingredients that grow naturally around us before cooking up a storm with your freshly picked ingredients. Your trusty guides will give you tips on harvesting, identifying edibles and potential look-alikes (as you may not want to eat them!) and you’ll get to taste a wide range of wild-food creations like pickles, jams and even alcohol infusions.
Once back in the kitchen, you’ll be shown how to mix and match your foraged ingredients to produce a mouth-watering 2-course lunch (think wild risottos and cheesecakes) that’s sure to get your taste buds tingling.
Step into the vibrant heart of London’s East End on an off-the-beaten-track tour with Alternative LDN. Scour out the hottest murals, paintings and graffiti as you wander around the back streets of Shoreditch, learning about the artists and their inspiration from local Londoners.
After you’ve got the creative juices flowing, it’s back to London’s only purpose-built street art studio to have a go yourself. At these fun, immersive workshops you’ll work with stencils to create your own spray-paint masterpiece on the studio wall – or, if you pay a small fee, onto your own canvas that you can hang up at home!
Alongside its grand buildings and prestigious university, Cambridge is also famous for its traditional river punting. And with Scudamores, the most reputable punting company in the city, you can take the helm of your very own gondola to learn the authentic craft under the watchful eye of a professional chauffeur.
With a stable stance and an oar more than double your height, you’ll learn how to accelerate, steer and stop the boat as it floats along the river. As well as ticking off some of the most popular spots in the city, you’ll also pass through the College Backs, giving you the chance to see Cambridge from a different perspective.
Whether it’s your first time navigating the rocks or your hundredth, with Pure Outdoor, you’re in for an epic adventure.
Based in the heart of the Peak District, the expert instructors at Pure Outdoor have led climbing courses on some of the UK’s best rock climbing routes (including Stanage Edge and Froggatt) for well over a decade. An array of sessions – from half-day tasters to two-day in-depth programmes – are on offer, with heaps of tips, techniques and tailored tuition to help you learn the ropes (and the lingo) of this high-adrenaline sport. Depending on how quick you learn, you’ll be able to climb up to 20 metres high – and the higher you get, the more magnificent the views.