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5 top UK home swap opportunities from Love Home Swap

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This article is sponsored by Love Home Swap

As part of our series of articles this week in partnership with Love Home Swap, the global home swapping platform, we’re taking a closer look at some of the impressive properties you could enjoy for a UK staycation.

Details of our special 3-month free trial of Love Home Swap for HfP readers can be found at the bottom of the article. Later in the week we will look at some of the options available outside the UK ….. once we’re allowed out again!

Peak District

Hazel’s home is a huge hit with the Love Home Swap community, and it’s not hard to see why. Based in a picturesque village in the Peak District National Park, this unique property is a converted chapel dating back to 1866. 

Peak District living space

The open plan kitchen leads onto a raised dining and lounge area, all floodlit by the red stained-glass windows. Guests will benefit from a wraparound garden, and a short stroll to two excellent local pubs.

Peak District kitchen

With two bedrooms and two bathrooms leading off the mezzanine level, the home comfortably accommodates five people. With views over the fields, it’s the ideal spot for walkers.

Peak District garden

Cumbria

Marylou and Roger’s stunning barn conversion has also garnered rave reviews from Love Home Swap members. With a large roof terrace leading from the main bedroom, the house is surrounded by the most spectacular views of the Eden Valley.

Cumbria_exterior

With three bedrooms, a large, enclosed garden and a unique decking area that overlooks the fields, guests can make the most of lazy days at home. And if the weather turns against you? Then the log-burning stove in the living room is the perfect spot to unwind.

Peak District sitting room

and

Cumbria dining room

Lose a few hours in the cosy kitchen. Alternatively, guests who are feeling energetic will enjoy the Lake District (just a 25-minute drive away), with gorge walking, abseiling, cycling and fishing all on the doorstep. For a dose of culture, head to Hutton in The Forest Stately home or Carlisle Cathedral.

Bath

Zoe’s home is a stunning Victorian conversion. Completed in 2016 with a unique architect-designed extension, it is on the Lower Weston side of Bath, just ten minutes’ walk from the Royal Crescent and city centre.

Bath_snug and kitchen

Boasting two bathrooms and four stylish bedrooms which can sleep up to eight people, the property is the ideal location for a peaceful city getaway. Guests can make the most of Bath’s numerous boutique shops and restaurants, before retreating home to enjoy the immaculate garden and open-plan kitchen.

Bath_master bedroom

The house is beautifully light and airy thanks to the impressive bay windows and the addition of a number of skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows in the modern extension.

Bath_sitting room

and

Bath garden

Plymouth

Jenny and Ian’s Georgian villa in Plymouth makes an excellent base for exploring Devon and even Cornwall. Just 10 minutes from the car ferry to Cornwall, guests will be spoilt for choice with plenty of National Trust properties to discover locally, plus great walking routes in Dartmoor National Park.

Plymouth_exterior

The house was built in 1837 and retains a number of period features. There are four double bedrooms (two of which are en suite), with views of the sea from the master bedroom balcony.

Plymouth_master bedroom

On warm evenings, guests should put the large Weber BBQ to use, and make the most of the cosy seating area under a covered pergola.  

Plymouth_BBQ area

This elegant home has an exceptionally large living room, and the stylish kitchen has views over the pretty back garden.

Plymouth_sitting room

Brighton & Hove

Niki and Graham’s funky upside-down home is an architect-designed conversion of a retro 1960s house. With a hilltop location, the home enjoys views of both the sea and woodland. Boasting colourful interiors and stylish decor throughout, every nook and cranny offers something unique.

Brighton_rear terrace

There are five bedrooms which can sleep up to ten, as well as two bathrooms. With open-plan living, the luxurious kitchen/diner is the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring The Lanes and Brighton beach.  

Brighton_living room

Key selling points include the fact that the owners are pet-friendly – and that guests will have access to their private heated pool, terraced gardens, the services of their cleaner and the use of a Fiat!

Love Home Swap Brighton pool

How does the free trial work?

You can try out Love Home Swap with an exclusive free 3-month trial when you sign up by the 14th February using this link.

If you decide to remain a member after the three months are up, you can buy an annual Platinum membership for just £99 (usually £288).

Even better… £99 Platinum package comes with four free airport lounge passes via Lounge Pass, which covers most major UK airports.

Love Home Swap also offer a no-quibble cancellation policy, so if lockdown measures mean that you can’t travel, you won’t lose out.

You can sign-up for your free trial of Love Home Swap here.

Comments (25)

  • lumma says:

    What are the chances of people with homes like this wanting to holiday in a council block in the East End?

    • memesweeper says:

      My thoughts exactly! Whilst these homes are aspirational my house is a dump by comparison… sigh…

    • ChrisW says:

      Agreed. I would love to go and stay in a spacious renovated country house. I highly doubt the owners would be interested in coming to stay in my cramped London flat.

      Isn’t the whole point of a holiday that you go and stay somewhere nicer than where you live? Otherwise, why not just stay at home??

    • IanM says:

      You gotta remember this is an advertisement, they’re not gonna show a tenement from South Shields (no disrespect to anyone living in a tenement in SS) so my thoughts exactly, either a waste of time or there should be more information on what you need to pay to upgrade, if you even can. Pointless exercise

    • Dawn says:

      This has not given a true reflection of Home Exchange. I’ve been a home exchange member of homeexchange.com for the past 5 years and I love it. I have a flat in St Andrews, Scotland which is an ex council flat and very ugly from the outside. But I have had plenty of exchanges from Australians in particular and have used their stunning homes with swimming pools etc that put mine to shame. It’s all about location and where you want to be. I’ve got a month in Arizona (Las Vegas and Phoenix), 3 months in Florida and have done many 3 month exchanges in Australia. This article really isn’t helpful although I can tell you that many of the places in Florida and Australia that I stay in have been like this.

  • ChrisW says:

    These Home Swap sponsored pieces have almost no details about how the program actually works, which would be far more useful than pretty pictures of someone’s house who wouldn’t want to stay in mine.

    – Does the free 3 month trial mean you need you book and stay in that 3 month period? The likelihood of being able to travel even within the UK to stay in someone else’s house within the next 3 months seems unlikely.

    – Is my house insured by Home Swap if the guests break or steal something? Are they covered if I break something at their house? What happens if they drink the bottle of nice champagne in my kitchen I told them not to drink. Does the platform cover me for this?

    – What happens if I match with someone but they want a 7 night stay and I only want 5? Do I stay in a hotel the other nights?

    – I read some comment about needing to keep the place empty for 72 hour before and after a stay for covid reasons. Does this mean both parties need to stay in a hotel for three nights before and after every stay?

    – Presumably I would need to clean my place before the guests arrived, then covid-clean their place when I arrived there, then clean their place when I left, then covid-clean my place when I return home. That would mean cleaning a house 4 times per trip. That doesn’t sound like much of a holiday.

    – How does the ‘points swap’ work? I could find hardly any information about it on their website. Do I buy points, or am I given points to swap with someone else, or do I give up their points? Do they have to use the points for another house swap or do they get cash to book somewhere outside the platform for the period I want to stay in their house? Presumably, this solves the problem of the owner of a nice house not wanting to stay in mine (so I essentially pay for them to stay somewhere else).

    – Why pay a monthly fee to be part of a platform where you might only do one or two swaps a year? Why not charge per swap?

    • Rob says:

      Surely that is the benefit of a three month free trial?!

      Seriously …. points noted, thanks. This is the angle they wanted to take so we went with it, and at least it makes the articles more interesting.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If I had a lovely holiday home I’d absolutely be up for this type or arrangement I could never do this is my own home.

      Just thinking about locking away all the personal and valuable stuff I have makes my head hurt, I know leaving a home for days/weeks is a risk in itself (mitigated by neighbours/friends/family visits, alarms, cctv etc) but you don’t actually give a stranger the keys.

    • Dawn says:

      @ChrisW
      I am with homeexchange.com and I use Guest points a lot. There are different options with exchanging.
      1. Reciprocal simultaneous – I go to yours and you go to mine at the same time.
      2. Reciprocal non simultaneous – I go to yours and you go to mine but could be even 2 years apart – it’s whatever we decide we want to do.
      3. Guest Point exchange – I want to go to yours but you don’t want to go to mine or vice versa. So I would pay with my Guest Points which is set at, for example, 180 points per night. I had 8 weeks of Gran Canaria booked in Jan-Feb 2020 with GP but had to cancel when the latest lockdown came in. I have about 12,000 GP in my account and can use these to travel anywhere in the world. I just message the person and if they are interested we agree the dates etc and swap is done.

      Insurance: I can only speak for my homeexchange.com site which i think is a sister site of the one being advertised here. Yes, there is insurance and you can claim in there’s an issue.

      Most of those I swap with are like-minded people who love travelling and yes, there is trust involved. But my homes have always been well looked after and on the one occasion something got broken it was replaced. I did the same for when a toaster broke even though it wasn’t my fault – I just replaced it.

      Cleaning: Yes, must be clean when they arrive and they clean when they leave. If they don’t have time to do this and the laundry then usually you have details of a cleaner they can pay. For my apartment in Turkey they usually pay £45 if they don’t have time to do it before they leave and I get the cleaner in.

      Re ‘I want 7 nights and they want 5’ then you just decide how much you want to go to that place – I’ve done a swap in Australia for 2 weeks with their car also. As I don’t have a car to offer they had 4 weeks staying in my flat in Scotland.

      All I can say is that I was VERY sceptical the first couple of times but now love it. We usually do a 3 month long haul trip, use our 2-4-1 and then all home exchange. If it wasn’t for this I couldn’t afford it as my husband is retired and I work for no salary for charities. Some people do like to do shorter trips, City breaks and so on.

      I know it’s not for a lot of people but we love it.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Sounds like it really works for you.

        Completely understand the bit about trust but do you give the whole house or lock away some private stuff in one of the rooms?

        Completely understand if you don’t want to answer too.

        • Dawn says:

          @TGLoyalty
          Personally I don’t need to lock things away as my homes are second homes. Some places we’ve stayed in have locked up one room. No-one would be offended if you did this and I guess if it was my own home I’d lock some things away just as I do anyway in my safe just in case I”m broken into. In Port Macquarie they had locked off a few rooms but we had all the rooms we needed. In Melbourne it was her first exchange and she’d locked off a room. If you have sensitive work items/computers or something you don’t want around then sure, lock them away. Hope that answers the question 🙂

    • Love Home Swap says:

      Hi Chris, this is Lydia from Love Home Swap. Please see the answers to your queries below!

      1) – Our free trial grants members access to our home swapping platform. Members are able to create their profile, send messages out to other members and find trips through the site. However, in order to book a trip, you will need to be on a fully paid membership. This can happen either at the end of the three month trial or you do have the option of beginning a membership early in the event that you find a swap, which can either be within these three months or later on in the year. Many of our members are currently arranging swaps for later in 2021 in the hopes that travel restrictions ease.

      2) – As we are a social platform, we do not offer insurance. Our members organise this either with their existing insurance provider or they organise separate cover. As the sharing economy and alternative travel is becoming more and more popular, many insurance providers are offering great packages which would cover you in the unlikely event that something should happen. We always advise speaking with your existing insurance provider first. As for any expensive items, we always suggest making sure to lock away any such objects or items you don’t wish to be used. For example, many of our members will keep a closet or a room out of bounds to hold their personal items. This would normally be agreed upon before formally agreeing to a swap.

      3) – Home swapping is a completely flexible way of travelling. If a member can only host you for a specific number of nights, we would suggest looking for accommodation either with a neighbouring member or an alternative. Members will usually arrange a swap and negotiate dates, before booking any travel.

      4) – We are asking all of our members to adhere to Covid restrictions within the their locations. Each region will have different rules and this is up to the host to communicate this with you. As we are a community built on trust and reciprocal exchange, some members will clean before their guests arrive in their home to make the swap as comfortable as possible. Alternatively, some members might agree on paying a cleaning fee instead. Each and every swap is unique so our members would clarify any rules, Covid-related or otherwise, before a swap is confirmed.

      Thank you

    • Love Home Swap says:

      Hi Chris, also in answer to questions 4) and 5):

      4) – Our Points system has been created to give our members greater flexibility when swapping homes. A traditional, direct home swap takes place when two members stay in each other’s homes – simultaneously or non-simultaneously. Our Points allow greater flexibility – instead of finding someone whose dates and travel plans exactly match up with yours, you can find a member willing to host you without a direct swap by accepting Points as the currency instead. You earn your own Points by hosting other members in your home. For example, you could accept a member from Greece to stay in your home, without you agreeing to go to Greece. You can then use these Points for your own Points trip to Spain. There’s no need to find members who will directly swap with you.

      5) – Our membership fees grants access to our home swapping network and entitles members to unlimited home swaps through our website. Members are able to search, browse homes and make contact with our members all over the world at any time. Our Customer Service team are always on hand whenever you need help with finding a swap and our members are also able to utilise our Points system, which as mentioned above, allows greater flexibility in home swapping. There is a separate fee for booking Points trips as a guest and we also offer the ability to borrow Points in advance to help you book a trip. You can read more of our FAQ’s here if you are interested: https://lovehomeswap.happyfox.com/home/.

      Thank you

  • r* says:

    I cant even begin to imagine why anyone would ever want to actually use this and let strangers take their house when you have absolutely no idea what theyd be doing.

    Then when they start pushing villas when the whole concept is based on swapping, the whole thing just seems somewhere between lol and insulting.

    • ChrisW says:

      People laughed at Airbnb when they suggested people rent out their house to strangers when they were on holidays. This platform is more of a straight swap than a rent-out-for-money concept.

      • Andrew says:

        But because Airbnb was never really used for that, it evolved into what is essentially a platform for buy-to-let owners to offer short term lets. Apart from in The Holiday movie – I don’t think people want to do house swapping, particularly in the middle of a pandemic!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          agree airbnb is either renting a room from a host who is there or renting out a buy to let / holiday home.

          • Dawn says:

            It is very different from Airbnb. No money is paid for your accommodation. People don’t just walk out of the door and leave it dirty. We give reviews after the person has left and experienced exchangers on the site have many reviews – if you get a trial membership you’ll be able to see this but can’t see it when you just log on. Are there places to avoid? Yes, there are some I would not go to but you can assess this usually by the photos and the discussion. Most of the time you get to meet the exchangers anyway and at first I didn’t like this idea but we’ve met so many lovely people who have become friends. Also for info. some exchangers used to be Airbnb hosts but stopped due to the trouble they had from guests.

  • BrightonReader says:

    Good luck finding any where to park Niki and Graham’s Fiat in Brighton when you pop off to The Lanes or the beach!

    I don’t complain that you need to take paid advertising Rob but I do when that advertising is absolute drek. It’s almost as though they wanted to mock themselves.

    • Rob says:

      The initial campaign we did with them a couple of months ago was VERY successful, which is why they have come back and indeed upped their budget.

  • old bob says:

    I’m more than happy to swap with any of the above properties, I can offer a static mobile home in a very nice caravan park in of Essex, obviously when we swap I will be taking my old mate Geoff with me, I can’t guarantee that your wine cellars would not be seriously depleted after a three month sojourn, and we would reimburse for the costs of any stray cigarette burns/ curry stains on your upholstery.

  • Anna says:

    I’d be more interested in house-sitting if there any any agencies which arrange this. My in-laws house sit for a wealthy couple in Bermuda every year for about a month and thereby get to visit family and have an amazing stay for the cost of their flights and expenses while they’re there. (Can’t persuade them to start seriously collecting avios though, which pains me as BDA always has great F and J availability).

    • old bob says:

      Great , when can I expect you round, I’ll get Geoff to start packing right away. I’m afraid it needs a bit of a clean, our last cleaner quit in 2018, you probably don’t remember but we have met at a HFP party, not the last one at the Renaissance coz I bumped into Julian and Lady London/Kitten at that one which was quite interesting, though the awful singer with the acoustic set drowned out most conversations.

    • Blindman says:

      There are several worldwide agencies.

      Mainly pet sitting opportunities.

    • Dawn says:

      Trustedhousesitters I think is the company. Some house-sitting companies don’t like you to go out much but expect you to stay in. With the home exchange there is also the info given if there is a cat to look after or a dog (or even plants to water). But most will put their dog in kennels. If you don’t like the idea of looking after a cat then you don’t choose that home. We’ve looked after cats in 3 different exchanges and it was fine. Dogs were always off with the owner or with a relative. When I do a search I look for ‘second homes’ because I’m mainly exchanging with retired couples and not families so the availability if much wider.

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