Visit Hamphire
Catergories: Activities

What is a Microgap? 

Visit Hampshire is supporting Visit England’s Microgap campaign, but what is a Microgap? It’s the type of experiences and activities you would do on a traditional gap year. Modern lives are busy, and we aren’t always able to dedicate a year off, so this is a new way to take part in new experiences without having to jump on a plane, instead discover some of the amazing things happening in England. So in a few days you could step out of your comfort zone, learn something new, have a new experience or improve your wellbeing and whole lot more.

Best Hampshire Microgap Experiences

Here are some of our favourite Microgap experiences in Hampshire. Be sure to visit this blog again as we will adding new Microgap experiences throughout the year.

Microgaps Experiences in the New Forest

Paddle to the Pub

Paddle to the Pub with New Forest Activities - Hampshire MicroGap

New Forest Activities – Beaulieu, New Forest

Who doesn’t enjoy a drink in a pub with friends? Why not make it more interesting and paddle there! Paddle in Canadian style canoes along the picturesque Beaulieu river, exploring as you go and ending your journey at a fantastic pub either the Master Builder's at Bucklers Hard or the Montagu Arms in Beaulieu Village. With an array of wildlife to be seen and hidden creeks to explore, you’ll enjoy a unique journey to the riverside pub.

Duration: 90 mins – Please note food and drink at the pub is not included.

Price: £27 per adult, £15 per child

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Learn to Axe Throw

Axe Throwing with Insight Activities - Hampshire Microgap

Insight Activities – New Forest 

Connect with your inner warrior and learn the medieval art of axe throwing with Insight Activities in the New Forest. The custom made battle axes provide a really fun way to help you let off a bit of steam. It’s a hard skill to master but perseverance will pay off and reward you with a very satisfying experience. Sessions last 2.5hr and include archery and axe throwing.

Price: £25 per person

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Microgaps Experiences in Winchester

Ride a RAT

Watercress Line - RAT - Real Ale Train - Hampshire MicroGap

Watercress Line – Alresford, Near Winchester

Head to the Watercress Line for a cheerful pub experience with a unique twist on the heritage railway’s Real Ale Train, or RAT as it is more affectionately known, taking place on various dates throughout the rest of the year. Enjoy a pint of Hampshire’s finest real ale from a restored bar carriage pulled by a steam locomotive. Continuing with tradition, each RAT will serve real ales from up to two local breweries from Hampshire and its surrounding counties, such as Bowmans, Longdog and Red Cat, for just £3 a pint. If real ale isn’t your tipple of choice, the bar also sells wine, cider, spirits, mixers and soft drinks, while a selection of hot food will be available from the buffet.

Insider tip - People booking tickets more than three days in advance will receive one FREE pint voucher.

Price: £15.00 + £1 booking fee per person.

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Animal Photographic Experience Days

Photographic Experience Days at Marwell Zoo - Hampshire Microgap

Marwell Zoo – Near Winchester 

If wildlife photography is a passion, or you want to learn a new skill, then capture life through a lens on one of Marwell Zoo’s popular Photographic Experience Days. The experiences offer up to seven guests an exclusive day with Marwell Zoo’s expert photographer, Jason Brown, within the historic and picturesque 140-acre wildlife park. Capture some spectacular images of exotic and endangered species from a range of public and restricted access areas. Selected dates throughout the year.

Price: £200 per person

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Art of Making Gin

The Blend Academy Gin Making Experience - Hampshire MicroGap

The Blend Academy - Winchester

Discover the art of gin making at The Blend Academy with its library of over 100 native and exotic botanicals. You’ll craft your own unique gin guided by a Master Blender and take away your hand-bottled creation. The three-hour experience starts with a delicious G&T, followed by a journey into the fascinating world of gin and its intoxicating history. After that it's over to you to have fun, experiment and get creative!

Price: £120 per person (includes your 70cl bottle of gin to take home)

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Microgaps Experiences in Portsmouth

Tower Trio Adrenalin package

Trio Adrenaline Package at Emirates Spinnaker Tower - Hampshire MicroGap

Emirates Spinnaker Tower – Portsmouth

The Tower Adrenalin package at the Spinnaker Tower really tests your head for heights. The abseil experience takes you higher, seeing you descend from 100 metres down the side of the tower and finally Altitude and the virtual reality experience, tests your balance as you attempt to walk, virtually, across one of the ‘ribs’ that help make up the towers iconic shape.

(Individual elements when sold separately:  Abseil starts from £100 and Altitude £4)

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Microgap Expereinces in Southampton

Drive a Speed Boat

Saber Powersport - Southampton

Get out on the Southampton Water and enjoy a self-drive adrenaline expereince like no other! Saber Powersports are the UK's only speed boat experience provider that provides you with the chance to drive genuine a Offshore Honda Formula 4 Stroke Racing Boat and the Thunderbolt. Choose from a variety of experiences and packages from full days out on the water to a couple of hours thrill ride. This is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. 

Price: Dependant on experience 

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Other Microgap Experiences in and Around Hampshire

Silver Ring Workshops

Jewellery Moves Silver Ring Making Workshop - Hampshire Microgap

Jewellery Moves – Various locations across Hampshire

Silver Ring Workshops are taught by Fiona Dowling of Jewellery Moves. Fiona is a graduate of the The Royal College of Art. The workshops aim to teach traditional craftsmanship, jewellery skills and techniques in small groups with a relaxed atmosphere. Each participant will learn the skills and techniques to make two silver rings. The first will be a hand-stamped and personalised ring and the second a decorative stacking ring. No experience is necessary. The cost of the workshop includes all materials and instruction. 

Price: £60 per person

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Tour the Vineyards of Hampshire

Vineyard Tours in Hampshire with Grape & Grain Tours - Hampshire MicroGap

Grape & Grain - Across Hampshire

Enjoy a fun and educational day of English wine tasting in the picturesque South Downs National Park with Grape & Grain Tours. Join their luxury mini-coach at Winchester rail station and they will be your designated driver for the day as you visit four of Hampshire’s top wine producers, who are creating sparkling wines to rival that of Champagne. Your experience also includes a delicious two course gastropub lunch plus a range of tours and tastings.

Timings: Meet 9.45am and return approx. 5.15pm

Price: £85 per person  

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Have a go at Clay Pigeon Shooting

Oakley Hall Hotel - Basingstoke

Try your hand at Clay Shooting with Oakley Hall Hotel. This experience is perfect for those looking for something different to do with friends and all levels of abilities are welcome. The beginners package includes a coffee and meeting with your shoot instructor inside Oakley Hall Hotel before shooting 25 clays. This is the perfect taster session for beginners in the sport. Other packages are available and lunch, dinner or an overnight stay can be added. 

Timings: Held on the first Saturday of every month at 10am & 1pm.

Price: £52 for the beginner's package per person.

Find out more about Oakley Hall Hotel

Be sure to return to this blog throughout the year as we will adding new Microgap experiences.

Make more of your Microgap by staying a little longer 

Discover Accommodation

Discover Things To Do

Discover Events


Spinnaker Tower
Spinnaker Tower - Panoramic View

Experience the view from Spinnaker Tower – the stunning 170-metre icon of the South Coast and Britain’s best viewing tower.  The view decks provide a great introduction to the surrounding area, offering a unique bird’s eye view that makes it a must-do attraction on any visit to Hampshire.

Grape & Grain Tours
Trips & Tours
Grape & Grain Tours

Enjoy a fun and social day of wine, gin and beer tasting in the beautiful Hampshire countryside. Let Grape & Grain Tours be your designated driver on a tour of Hampshire’s finest wineries, breweries and gin distilleries. Learn about the award-winning drinks produced in the county and taste them right where they are made. Each tour includes a delicious two-course gastropub lunch and all the day’s transport in a luxury mini-coach.

Insight Activities New Forest
Sports Ground
Insight Activities New Forest

Nestled in a rustic wood you will find Insight Activities woodland shooting ranges where anyone can learn the arts of Archery, Crossbows, Axe Throwing & Archery Combat Tag.

Jewellery Moves
Craft Workshop
Jewellery Moves

Jewellery Moves delivers a range of professional pop up workshops for those wishing to learn whilst making their own jewellery. Jewellery Moves Workshops take place at various venues throughout Hampshire.

Marwell Zoo
Animal Collection / Zoo
Marwell's Zebras

Marwell zoo is home to hundreds of exotic and endangered animals all within a beautiful, landscaped 140-acre park. Take a stroll around the outdoor attraction with friends and family and enjoy the fresh air while spotting their animal stars which include – Rothchild’s giraffes, white rhinos, Amur tigers, Humboldt penguins, red pandas, snow leopards and all three species of zebra (to name a few)!

Mid-Hants Railway 'Watercress Line'
Steam Railway
Autumn on the Watercress Line

Experience the golden age of steam on the Mid Hants Railway 'Watercress Line'! Whether you are taking a trip down memory lane or making new ones, sit back, relax and travel through the heart of quintessential English countryside by steam train, looking towards stunning views of the South Downs National Park.

New Forest Activities
Sports Ground
Family Canoeing with New Forest Activities

New Forest Activities offer a variety of safe and enjoyable activities for families, couples, individuals and groups of all ages and abilities led by expert outdoor instructors. For tours with a difference, take to the water with Canoeing and Kayaking on the Beaulieu River Nature Reserve.

Saber Powersports Speed Boat Driving Experiences
Water Based Activities
Saber Powersports in Southampton

Saber Powersports are the UK’s only speed boat experience provider that provides you with the chance to drive genuine Offshore Honda Formula 4 Stroke Racing Boats. Saber Powersports have been operating from Southampton in the Solent Waters for just over 28 years and have grown to become one of the most successful powerboat experience providers within Europe.

Simon Bornhoft - Windwise Windsurfing School
Water Based Activities
Simon Bornhorft Windwise Windsurfing School Hayling Island, Hampshire

Based in Hampshire, Windwise offers bespoke courses, coaching around the Hayling and Hampshire area. Simon Bornhoft is one of the worlds top coaches and has coached literally thousands of windsurfers of all levels to make great improvements and get the most out of their time on the water.

The Blend Academy
The Blend Academy

In the centre of Winchester in an unassuming building a stones-throw from the High Street lives The Blend Academy. Owned by the inventive minds behind the Winchester Distillery, the academy is dedicated to the creation, tasting and enjoyment of gin.

Oakley Hall Hotel
Oakley Hall Hotel

Oakley Hall offers 47 elegant bedrooms in both the main house and the converted 19th century stable block. Bedrooms have been individually designed and furnished to a very high standard complete with every modern convenience.



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