Q: I’m looking to arrange a suitable home swap in England over the Christmas holidays, and wondered what the best way of finding people looking to also swap then? – Joy, Australia
A: You can search by swap dates to find members in the UK looking for a home exchange between December and January. The Guardian Home Exchange website has lots of home swap offers in the England with many people looking to arrange swaps over the Christmas holidays. Visit the Guardian Home Exchange search page and then use the search options in the left hand search bar to narrow down your search. Use the ‘Exchange dates’ search field to find members looking to arrange a home exchange over the festive period.
Whatever site you use to find your swap, it’s always best to keep your searches as broad as possible so that you do not accidentally miss any potentially suitable home swap offers (e.g. some people that may love to swap with you over the Christmas period but simply entered ‘Open to offers’ for their exchange dates).
It’s still not too late to arrange a home exchange vacation for this winter. When arranging a home swap at short notice make sure to be as proactive as possible and start contacting members to find your perfect match. Check out the Guardian Home Exchange newsletter
In this issue of the Guardian Home Exchange newsletter:
Featured home exchanges: Farmouse in Groslier, France | London house exchange in Wimbledon, England | Alpine apartment in Grimentz, Switzerland
Swap experience: lovely home exchange in the Algarve, Portugal
“I have noticed that many of the places I love, I love even more when I stay there rather than just visiting for the day. For example, we had taken the train ride from Palma in Mallorca to Soller and on to Port Soller many times before we decided to stay there and really get a feel for the place. There are so many spots I’ve visited while staying elsewhere and returned to for a longer sojourn and others still on my list. (Verona, we shall return!).
Last year we swapped homes to Bridport in Dorset, a town I’d explored many times but which I found even more appealing when I was ‘living’ there; and while there we took the bus to Lyme Regis, perhaps my favourite UK seaside resort, and although we had a good day, it didn’t have the same appeal as when I knew that’s where I’d be laying my head.
My best example of this is the home exchange we did to Oxford which, for we Londoners is a day trip destination, and a day trip I’ve made many, many times; but what a delight to wander into the city center each day, sometimes along the canal, sometimes along the river, sometimes along the aptly named Broad Street, to potter about at leisure and to know I can do some more of the same tomorrow, or go into that college I just didn’t have time to see to-day; and what a saving in time and money on travel. As we home swappers know, our visits help us to really get under the skin of a place, even perhaps a very familiar place, and to experience it in a different dimension.
So broaden your horizons. Choose a home swap destination that’s close to home.” -Sandra
Sandra and her husband, Paul, are very experienced home exchangers – both within the UK and further afield in Europe. View the couple’s home swap offer in London
London calling? Then how about enjoying free accommodation in this stylish London townhouse? This Guardian Home Exchange offer is located in London’s lovely Wimbledon Village. The home is arranged over four floors and is right next door to The All England Lawn Tennis Club (although not available for home swap during the Wimbledon Championships when their home is rented to players). The family are open to a home swap over Easter, for two weeks in both July/August and October, plus always happy to talk about a UK weekend home swap too.
“James and Maria Jose have a lovely home not far from Bethnal Green tube . It is on two levels with two sitting rooms and surprisingly quiet for being just behind the main road. We arrived at our home swap home to find a welcome bottle of wine in the fridge, useful instructions on how everything worked and ideas of where to eat and visit in the area.
We walked to Brick Lane for a meal the first night, and found the area buzzing with activity. On Sunday morning we walked to Columbia Road for breakfast and a look around the flower market and shops, and later on we also walked to Victoria Park for a picnic as we had great weather. The area has a lot going on and its pretty easy to get around by bus, tube and train, but also there’s plenty nearby to visit on foot.” Rachael
Win a Kindle Fire + home swap memberships (worth £59) for three runners up.
Thanks to all who have already entered (some great photos and stories). There is still time to send us your travel photos and be in with a chance of winning a Kindle Fire.
We’re looking for photos that best encapsulate your favourite travel experiences. It could be a shot of your children eating ice-cream on a beach, a selfie in front of a famous site or beautiful scenery, or, if taken on a home swap, your family enjoying dinner in your hosts’ home.
This London home swap holiday offer is located on a quiet, residential, tree-lined street on the top floor of an old Edwardian townhouse. This fantastic Guardian Home Exchange offer in central London is located in between Queen’s Park and Maida Vale, both of which are just a 5-10 mins walk. The neighborhood is packed with lovely restaurants, traditional English pubs, bars, cafes, artisan food shops and much much more.
Just up the road is Little Venice, with its canals and traditional pubs. There are two parks nearby, which are a nice place for a stroll at any time of the year. Portobello Road and Notting Hill are only a 20 min walk from the apartment.