Research by VisitEngland revealed that millennials are seeking enriching, gap-year style experiences on a short break in the UK in an emerging trend – 'microgapping'*.
So, whether you want to indulge a passion or challenge yourself to do something completely new there's a wealth of places you can take a microgap to in England throughout 2019.
For action lovers
The Urban Axe Throwing Champion has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? If you're looking for a brand new sport or fresh social scene, Whistle Punks offer axe-slinging coaching and casual sessions in their Birmingham, Manchester and London bases. Once you get a taste, why not join one of their leagues and compete regularly to become King or Queen of axes (Leagues start 3 and 4 February 2019).
The Isle of Wight is home of one of the world's most famous sailing festivals, Cowes Week - so what better place to take to the waves and learn to sail. Sign up for a weekend beginner taster course at UKSA, which offer professional and youth training courses, and you'll soon learn the ropes. Courses cost £210 which includes all food while on-board the vessel (various dates June -September).
2019 is set to be a big year again for Yorkshire and cycling. Ride the momentum and head to The Yorkshire Cycle Hub in the stunning valley of Great Fryup Dale, in the heart of the North York Moors. This cyclist haven offers guided rides, bikes to hire as well as a café, bike shop, drying room and onsite accommodation which includes camping pods and bunk houses, all with en-suite bathrooms.
Moving towards autumn, The Wave Bristol will be make a splash with its new high-performance surf centre. Their inland lake will be suitable for all levels, from beginners all the way up to elite athletes and aspiring pros. The centre will also offer opportunities to learn about marine conservation to living healthier lifestyles.
For foodies and foragers
If you're a fan of Mother's Ruin, why not join up for a gin masterclass? In London, a range of new classes are on offer in (Hackney), Canova Hall or Cattivo (Brixton) which are all run by the Albion & East group. Head distiller, Jack Mannering, will teach you how to make, mix cocktails as well as learn how to blend gin.
Come 2019, the UK's first shop-based micro soya dairy, Tofurei will launch new tofu-making workshops to complement its range of vegan based food. Based in Norwich's picturesque lanes, the Tofurei shop and café make all manner of delicious products with their own Norfolk tofu. Their two hour workshops will be based in their new premises and offer a practical route to a dairy alternative.
Meanwhile, those looking to get a better idea of where their food comes from should head to the Fat Hen in Cornwall where you can sign up for a wide range of wild foraging and cookery courses, from seaweed foraging and cooking to learning how to make wild food canapes.
Reconnect with the wild
If you're looking to trim down on your screen time and get back to nature, then release your inner child and learn to tree climb on a three day Essential Recreational Tree Climbing course (£325 for three days) at Goodleaf on the Isle of Wight. Learn how to scale tall trees safely, move around in the canopy and descend in a controlled manner. Relish the peace and quiet, have fun and develop a hobby you will never grow out of.
Shadow a woodland ranger, learn to make cider, replant a wood, lamb a ewe, shack up in an ancient forest with a wood burning stove - just some of the things you could do on a National Trust Working Holiday, which run throughout the year, across various National Trust locations. If you like the coast, why not sign up for work alongside Exmoor's ranger team as they carry out conservation tasks, then throw yourself into a whole range of non-stop coastal activities including stand-up paddle boarding. Or if lakes are your thing, head to Wasdale Head fell farm, where you can carry out traditional Lakeland tasks such as dry- stone walling and help out with lambing the Herdwick ewes (prices vary, from £100 per person).
Book onto the bee-keeper experience at Quince Honey Farm, South Molton, near Exeter (£12.50 per person) and you'll learn all about how to take up a sustainable and very important hobby. Put on your protective equipment and work with one of our seasoned professionals; tend to the bees and get the closest possible look at the inner workings of a real beehive. Afterwards, enjoy the fruits of your labour by indulging in a delicious cream tea complete with fresh honey from the hive.
Get behind a cause
With increased awareness of environmental issues around the world, it's no surprise that four fifths (83%) of UK millennials believe it's important to take actions to protect or improve the environment and local communities, and almost two fifths have considered volunteering on a short break or holiday at home*.
So, why not start the New Year with a new cause? WWOOF UK offer food, accommodation and learning in exchange for practical help on organic farms, gardens and smallholdings.
Or why not learn a whole raft of new skills like bricklaying, stone walling and restoration techniques with The Waterway Recovery Group's Canal Camps. Their week-long working holidays on canal restoration projects mean you meet new people and learn new skills whilst helping to protect and restore some of Britain's 6,500-mile canal and river waterways network. They cost £70 for seven days and all personal protection equipment is supplied, including basic accommodation, three meals a day and endless tea and cake - you just need a pair of steel-capped boots!