Often major airports are quite far from the main city they serve. Others, unless you are familiar with them, won't give you much of a clue on location from the name.
When searching home exchange offers in a country or area you don't know a lot about, you will usually find details of the closest major airport(s), transport links and how long it takes to get to a home in members' listings. If unsure of an area, ask the member for more information. You should also be able to find local tourist sites to help point you in the direction of areas you'd like to visit.
We will always try to answer your questions too, particularly for the UK (as Home Base Holidays is based in London). One member, who already had flight tickets booked to Gatwick, seemed to be looking for an exchange within the immediate area, limiting his destination request to Gatwick. As this might put off some members in southeast England and London from suggesting an exchange, we tried to help and hopefully persuade the member to widen his destination request:
Gatwick is mainly known for its airport serving London and the southeast of England. As it is the UK’s second largest airport, it has good transport links to central London (30 minutes on the Gatwick Express train) and towns and smaller cities throughout the area.
In case you aren’t too familiar with the area close to Gatwick, here is a link to a tourist site with a map and information, including distances from Gatwick airport, that may help you when deciding which members to contact to suggest a swap:
When you login to your member area to browse listings, choose Europe from the drop-down menu and then England from the country list. You will then see a list of counties to narrow your search further depending on the areas that interest you, e.g. you could choose London to see all current offers in the city if that is of interest; or, if you prefer a smaller town/city or countryside, try a search on (one at a time): East Sussex, West Sussex, Sussex*, Kent, Surrey. Before doing a search, you can limit the results in other ways too, e.g. choose ‘No small children’ under ‘Additional Options’.
If you are open to offers further afield, check out offers in England without limiting your search to a county. As you will be in England for six weeks, you might want to consider the option of arranging two swaps in different locations too as many members, if not retired, won’t be able to swap for as long as six weeks but may be able to exchange for part of the period. When contacting members, explain your situation re the period you will be here but also, if you can be flexible on length of exchange within that period, do mention this as an option too.
*This photo is of the South Downs Way, a lovely place for walks and only two miles from a beautiful house offered for home swap in Ashington, a pretty West Sussex village easily accessible from Gatwick Airport. View this home swap in West Sussex