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I’ve been to Margate many times on a day trip from London, so I was very excited to be invited to visit this seaside town again with Visit England, Visit Kent and Traverse as part of their #mymicrogap campaign – with several other travel content creators.
What is a microgap?
A microgap is the best bits of a gap year in a few days – right here in the UK. The gap year is a rite of passage for those leaving higher education, as well as those in their 20s and 30s taking career breaks.
But what if you could enjoy the richness of experiences and developmental opportunities offered on a traditional gap year– in the UK, without having to quit the day job by ‘micro gapping’? We all travel for different reasons. Maybe you like to: Go Wild, Switch Off, Give Back or Learn More.
Our Instameet in Margate focused on Giving Back – and we had two activities planned for the day.
Where is Margate?
Margate is a coastal town located in Kent, South East England. We travelled with South Eastern Railway from London St Pancras International station and the journey took around an hour and a half to Margate (the station is located just minutes away from the beach).
Margate is a classic British seaside resort with a large sandy beach, fish and chip shops and many amusement arcades. In recent years it has become a rising hipster hangout with the arrival of the Turner Contemporary gallery, Dreamland (a revamped vintage amusement park), vegan cafes and retro shops.
Once we arrived at Margate train station we took a nice walk along the seafront before our group split into two. The first half started at Nayland Rock beach shelter, whilst the second headed to Peony Vintage.
Vintage shopping and up-cycling workshop
I was in the second group and we made our way over to Peony Vintage. This used clothing shop is owned by Georgie Roberton, who is passionate about ethical fashion and handpicks every single item of clothing and accessories herself.
We had the chance to browse her beautiful collection of second hand clothing before making our way to over to Zoe Murphy Design for our first activity of the day.
Zoe Murphy is a British designer who grew up in Margate and runs a business up-cycling second hand furniture and textiles. We popped along to her fabulous studio to discuss the negative impact of fast fashion and learn how to up-cycle used clothing that was destined for the landfill.
Our group each chose an item of clothing that Zoe had prepared for us and we had an hour to be as creative as possible. We cut up shapes of vinyl to cover up blemishes in the fabrics or to create beautiful patterns. These were then transferred onto the fabric by the use of a heat press – it was such great fun and now I wish I had my very own heat press at home!
We stopped for a nice break on the Kings Steps to enjoy a classic British seaside dish – fish and chips from Pete’s Fish Factory (a very popular takeaway shop in Margate). It was nice just to sit and chill and take in views of the ocean.
Our second activity of the day was a beach clean on Margate Main Sands with Discovery Planet. Our group met with Suzanne from Discovery Planet and Nadima, a scientist from the University of Kent. They both briefed us on the afternoon’s activity and provided us with beach cleaning equipment (pickers, buckets and bags) high vis vests and a clipboard checklist to tick off the items we find!
We spent an hour searching and I think we had a pretty successful session – we picked up a huge amount of rubbish. The majority of our finds were pieces of broken glass, as well as several bits of plastic and random finds such as a champagne cork. We recorded the items on the checklist and the data will be contributed to the Marine Conservation Society’s national survey (which monitors the problem that plastic waste presents to the marine ecology).
Afterwards, Nadima went through our finds and we discussed which type of plastics can and cannot be recycled.
I had a great day ‘giving back’ in Margate. Looking forward I would love to get involved in more beach clean ups, and would definitely think about ways to up-cycle my clothing to revamp them before making the decision to get rid of them. Big thanks to Visit England, Visit Kent, Visit Thanet, South Eastern Railway and Traverse for giving me the opportunity to get involved in these great activities.
My trip to Margate was sponsored by Visit England as part of their #mymicrogap campaign.
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