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Taking a Microgap in Margate!
It is so easy to overlook the amazing places we have right on our doorstep here in the UK. When I was invited to visit Margate with Visit England and Visit Kent as part of their #MyMicrogap campaign, this definitely sounded like something I wanted to be involved in! This Microgap in Margate was all about ‘giving back’, showing you don’t have to travel far to do some good and help the local communities.
What is a Microgap?
First things first, what exactly is a Microgap you might be asking? Well good question. A Microgap is the best bits of a gap year in a day, right here in the UK! The gap year is a rite of passage for people either leaving education or later in life taking a career break. A Microgap allows you to enjoy the richness of these experiences and development opportunities offered on a gap year here in the UK, without having to quit the day job.
Getting to Margate
The train trip to Margate is surprisingly quick and easy. Southwestern trains run from St Pancras International into Margate, with Margate being the last stop on the line. The entire train journey only takes an hour and half. The train station in Margate is about a 3 minute walk from the beach. So excellent access as soon as you arrive, ready to enjoy your Microgap in Margate!
What happens on a Microgap in Margate?
We arrived in Margate, and were briefed on what we were going to get up to for the day. Then the group was split into two, to head off to separate activities for the morning.
Peony Vintage and Zoe Murphy Studio
First stop was visiting the amazing Peony Vintage shop. Who knew that Margate was so great for vintage clothes shopping? The owner of Peony Vintage, Georgie, spoke about the importance of slow fashion and how vintage clothing is much more sustainable. She talked about how old clothes are worth their weight in gold, and that we need to stop buying fast fashion. Everything in her store is hand selected by Georgie herself, and is original from somewhere between the 1930’s and 1990’s. She doesn’t bulk buy anything, so it is a fantastic place to head for some really unique finds. As Georgie said, clothes used to be made so much better so you are bound to find some really great pieces!
After perusing the store we then headed to Zoe Murphy’s studio. Here we learnt how to upcycle old clothes. Zoe had picked up a bag of clothes from the local Pilgrim’s charity that had deemed not good enough to sell. Then armed with some printing vinyl and a heat press (operated by Zoe) the group then proceeded to cover up any flaws, and make some really creative and pretty designed on clothes that would have otherwise been thrown away.
Lunch at Margate
After an action packed morning we headed to the sea front to have some delicious lunch. Some of the group opted for traditional fish and chips. These came from Pete’s Fish Factory . The chips I sampled were incredibly tasty and the fish looked good too! The other option came in the form of vegan food from Foody Moodys. Both great options and who doesn’t love eating food sitting beside the sea?
This afternoon’s activity was taking part in a beach clean on Margate Main Sands. We teamed up with Discovery Planet, donned our high-vis vests, picked up the rubbish bags and pickers and headed out to the beach. In just 40 minutes it is incredible how much rubbish you can collect. Especially on what seems to be a clean beach when you first look. The ‘treasure’ ranged from cigarette butts, shards of glass, plastic toys, plastic bottles, paper and even a pair of underwear. Everything we found was recorded on our clipboard and the data will be used for research.
Afterwards we went through the rubbish we had collected and Nadima, a scientist from the University of Kent, talked about which plastics are recyclable. Did you know that in the UK alone we use 7.7 million plastic bottles EVERYDAY? And of these, only about a third are recycled. Definitely another reason to get a reusable bottle. Take a look at my recommendation by clicking HERE.
The take away from the afternoon was to implement the 3 R’s as much as possible: reduce, reuse, recycle. And then Nadima added a fourth ‘ R’: refuse. Refuse as much plastic as you can!
Final thoughts on a Microgap in Margate?
It was such a great day and gave me the opportunity to explore a part of the UK I hadn’t necessarily considered before and in a unique and interesting way. I will definitely be returning to Margate! Thank you to Traverse Events and Visit England for giving me the opportunity to give back to a community, without having to travel far to do so!
I can’t wait to find more opportunities both here at home in Norfolk and across the rest of the UK for my Microgap and to give back!
What are you thoughts on a Microgap? Have you been on any? Where would you want to go?
Looking for more ideas for breaks in the UK? Take a look at this post on weekend breaks in the UK by clicking HERE.
The day was an experience day gifted by Visit England for the #MyMicrogap campaign. Thanks to Traverse, Visit Kent, Visit Thanet and South Eastern Railway for creating such a fun day for us in Margate.
I was under no obligation to write this blog post I just wanted to share what I got up to!