Being from Brighton, anywhere North of the M25 is considered North to me. This is why it always surprises me that I can get to so many places within England in hardly any time at all. Being invited for a day out in Sheffield for a day of adventure titled Go Wild, sounded like something I definitely wanted to be involved in so last week I took part in a day trip to Sheffield for a campaign with Visit England to help share what it means to take a microgap.
You might be thinking, (quite fairly), what is a microgap? And I am here to tell you that it is a little break from reality but can take place in the UK. It’s not a huge holiday that you spend months saving for and it’s not a sabbatical for that year long trip, instead it’s a chance to explore the UK and my particular micrograp to Sheffield was focused on activities which meant I could Go Wild. Your own microgap might encompass a bit of a wild adventure, a chance to unwind and switch off or even be about giving back. Keep an eye on #MyMicrogap on social media to see what everyone else is up to with their own ways of travelling.
So last weekend, I met up with a lovely group of content creators and we all made our way to St Pancras station before catching the train to Sheffield. I was really impressed as it only took two hours for us to arrive and it was right in the middle of Sheffield instead of plonking us on the outskirts of the city. We all came together and were taken to a restaurnt called The Dorothy Pax. It was there that we got briefed on what we would be up to.
Armed with extra clothes and a range of GoPros, we got ready for a day on the water. We were split into two groups so half of us were going stand up paddleboarding first, while the other group went canoeing and then after a lunch back at The Dorothy Pax we swapped over so we got to experience both activities.
Stand-up paddle boarding was something that I’ve done before and I’ve always loved being on water. We paddled along the canal and everyone managed to stand-up but I chose to stay a bit lower for most of the experience just with the fear of falling in! I think it was a really great way to see more of Sheffield as it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of exploring the city. Having the chance to stand-up paddle board down a canal in the middle of a city was really fun and I was surprised by how good everyone was. No-one in our group fell in and we managed to paddle what I felt, was quite far down the canal before turning around to paddle back.
It was then time for lunch so we headed back to the Dorothy Pax and had a beautiful vegan meal that tasted amazing. There was rice, chutneys, a gorgeous salad and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. After lunch it was back out on the water and this time, we were in two person canoes. Now I think it’s fair to say that Claire and I, were no experts at the canoes and we did find that we were either at the back or bashing in to other canoes or the side. It still was amazing though being able to paddle along the canal without any worry about falling in, I felt like it was really good timing with just having had lunch and also it was really scenic as there was a chance to see some beautiful street art down where we paddled. We learnt a little bit about Sheffield as went along as loads of us in the group were asking questions about the history of Sheffield.
After a relaxing paddle in the canoes, we then went back to The Pax for a little drink before everyone started saying their goodbyes. The team of people that took us out on the water were called DC Outdoors and they have a lot of fun activities to try including, rock climbing as well as the stand up paddleboarding we did and the canoeing. I think with any activity like this where you’re a little out of your comfort zone, it makes such a difference having instructors who are able to help you and make sure you feel calm out on the water. The restaurant staff from The Dorothy Pax were all so hospitable too and were so friendly. If you’re in the Victoria Quays, I’d go for a visit as it was a really nice place to eat and also seemed packed full of people each time we went back.
After that, it was back to London on the train with East Midlands Railway. I liked the fact that it only took two hours to get back especially because we’d all had a very full day in Sheffield and we were mostly knackered! Luckily they had free wifi and charge points, which, for a group of content creators, is very important! It was a day which I felt gave us a really fun way to experience Sheffield and if anything, just makes me want to come back and visit for longer.
I’m excited to plan a few more Microgaps around England for myself, especially over the winter months as there is so much of England I haven’t seen and want to experience! Have you ever taken a Microgap or are you thinking of taking one? If you want to see more of what I get up to on a daily basis follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. The day was an experience day gifted by Visit England for the #MyMicrogap campaign. Thanks to Traverse, Visit Sheffield, DC Outdoors, East Midland Railway and The Dorothy Pax for creating such a fun day for us in Sheffield. I was under no obligation to write this blog post I just wanted to share what I got up to!
I post once a week covering topics such as solo travel, working and living abroad and also creating Gabriella’s Guides to places I have been. I cover topics under the following categories such as Planning and Packing, The Travel Diary, Travel Inspiration, Photo Diaries, Gabriella’s Guides and Working Abroad.