Micro gapping is a getaway lasting a few days that you can find right here in the UK. They provide a sense of spontaneity from everyday routines and allow you to switch off and focus on wellbeing and relaxation. Visit iconic landmarks, and see nature and wildlife. A micro gap offers self-development opportunities, typical for a gap year, without having to travel abroad.
Friday- Go Wild
If you are looking for an adrenaline-pumping micro gap, head to the famous Goodwood Estate. You can try your hand at a mixture of motorsports to get your blood pumping, including the exhilarating Spin & Slide experience, where you feel like you are in the movies or take the fun off-road and adventure through the rutted tracks of Goodwood Motor Circuit. If you want to set your sights a little higher, why not have a go at one of their flying experiences for memories you will never forget. You can also witness extraordinary views of the district from the sky and see it in all its natural beauty.
For lunch, book a table at Goodwood's sustainable restaurant Farmer Butcher Chef. The frequently changing menu champions seasonal English food, showcasing their produce along with selected ingredients from local suppliers.
To continue the adrenaline-pumping activities, take a 30-minute car ride down to West Wittering Beach. Here you have the option to participate in several watersports, including some courses and experiences with 2XS.
To end your day, see what is showing at the Chichester Festival Theatre. It is one of the UK's flagship regional theatre with an international reputation for producing work of the highest quality.
Accommodation: The West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, is a good location overall for sightseeing, recreation, dining, and getting around due to its central position within the district. (We do recommend bringing transport to easily access all of the different attractions more efficiently, however public transport is available.)
West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is an internationally acclaimed art and conservation college in a characterful period property situated in the village of West Dean, nestled in the South Downs National Park. The college offers an inspiring escape; the rooms do not have a television, instead, guests can enjoy the award-winning Gardens and creative atmosphere, or relax with a drink in hand in the Steward’s bar. West Dean House is set in 6,400 acres of countryside and offers a retreat location with stunning views - the perfect location to unwind and focus on yourself.
Saturday- Learn More
Why not nurture your passion on a creative holiday away. Learn an endangered or contemporary craft on a short course*, like woodworking, throwing pots, life drawing or devon maund basket making, and be inspired by the heritage of West Dean House and the legacy Edward James has left for people to enrich their lives with creative exploration. With over 800 short courses available, with a range of levels, there is something for everyone.
Head to the College dining hall for lunch, this is included in the booking of any course. Enjoy a selection of locally sourced, hot and cold freshly prepared dishes, including vegan and gluten free.
After a day of crafting, visit West Dean’s famous gardens, which has free entry for residential students. Wander through the 300 foot-long Edwardian Pergola, which is home to many varieties of magnolia, clematis, rose and honeysuckle. Followed with a trip to the Victorian Glasshouses, which are some of the few still in use in the UK. If you're feeling adventurous and want to explore West Dean Estate more, you can explore St Roche's Arboretum and its 50 acres with hidden glades and impressive views.
Sunday - Switch Off
On the Sunday, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then make your way to the studio space to finish your lovingly crafted masterpiece.
For lunch, stop at West Dean Garden's Restaurant, with a crafted menu of freshly-prepared home-cooked meals using locally sourced ingredients, where possible, produce from their own Gardens.
After your course has finished, why not take a 5-minute drive to the Weald and Downland Living Museum. Here you can immerse yourself in the local history and discover a variety of traditional rural buildings, all of which tell the stories of the men, women and children who lived and worked there over 1,000 years.
If you are seeking a break away from the stress of everyday life, whether it’s a relaxing short break in the country, or a weekend by the sea, take some time to unwind, reflect and focus on yourself. Chichester district has something to offer. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your perfect microgap.
- Petworth House and Park- Petworth House is surrounded with the vast Capability Brown landscaped Deer Park. There are over 700 acres of rolling hills to explore with giant ponds that offer moments of peace and tranquillity with still reflections.
- Chichester Canal- One of Chichester’s best-kept secrets (from visitors and locals alike) is the 200-year-old Chichester Ship Canal, just a 10-minute walk from Chichester City Centre. This secret waterway was once part of the former Portsmouth and Arundel Canal, which opened in 1823, and is now a hotspot for local wildlife including moorhens, coots, mallards, swans, herons, kingfishers, whitethroats, common sandpipers, spotted flycatchers, woodpeckers and much more. The Canal links historic Chichester to the sea and is a leisure waterway. 75 minute scheduled return boat trips run up to four times daily depending on the time of year. Enjoy a boat trip to learn about the canal’s history, see unique views of local wildlife, the iconic Cathedral and the beautiful Sussex South Downs, or take the gentle four-mile walk stretching from the Canal Basin to Chichester Marina. Alternatively, bring your kayak, paddleboard or canoe to take in the views from the water yourself – permits are available from the main office.
- Bishop Palace Gardens - Another of Chichester's hidden gems. These tranquil and beautifully kept gardens are home to a host of beautiful plants, unusual trees and shrubs, water features, a pergola walk and wildlife-friendly areas, yet remain vastly undiscovered by visitors and locals alike.
- Pallant House Gallery- The 18th-century townhouse houses a collection of Modern British art, including important works by Tracey Emin, Paul Nash, Peter Blake and Walter Sickert. There’s a lively run of temporary exhibitions too.
- The Novium Museum- Just a short walk from Chichester City centre, The Novium provides in-depth insight into the history of the City and wider district. The museum is free to visit and is built over the remains of a vast Roman bath house, which can be seen from the ground floor. From the lookout platform on the top floor of the museum, you’ll spot Chichester Cathedral and its huge spire.
- Wittering Beach Clean- Visit Shore Watersports at East Wittering to collect one of their beach clearing kits and help protect the environment and keep our beaches litter free.
- Cowdray Estate- Offers an array of outdoor pursuits, with golf and clay pigeon shooting and for walkers and cyclists, routes such as the South Downs Way and Serpentine Trail provide a perfect vantage point from which to take in the breathtaking scenery of the South Downs.
* Please note that short courses should be booked online in advance.