'Yes, this really is London' is the caption under this photo of Ruislip Common on Hidden London, a source of information on the many London attractions not generally known to visitors.
The home in Ruslip described below would be an excellent home base for anyone wanting easy access to central London combined with the more relaxing atmosphere of an outer suburb and a particularly good location for families:
"Semi detached 1930s house in Eastcote, Ruislip, only a few minutes walk from the nearest tube, excellent links to central London, (30 mins to Baker Street) 6 stops to Wembley, yet also close to M40 and M25 for the Chilterns, Oxford, Cotswolds etc.
Situated in the heart of 'Metroland', local attractions include Ruislip Woods with its Lido, a man made lake complete with 'beach'! Popular with families, a minature railway operates in summer between the Lido and the Water's Edge pub.
Although we do not have children, well behaved children and teenagers would be welcome. (As we have a raised pond in the garden it may not be suitable for unsupervised use by younger children.)". Read the full home exchange offer and see more photos, HE19880
It's sometimes hard to remember just how carefully we child proofed our home when our children were babies and toddlers - the gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, the secured (ugly) guard around the open fire, cleaning materials and medicines in locked cupboards, everything that could topple onto an inquisitive child and anything sharp placed safely out of reach, etc. Unless you have frequent child visitors to your normally childless home, it's easy to forget just how many dangers may be lurking and hardly surprising that most accidents happen at home!
Many families with young children try to exchange homes with other families with similar aged children as this is a reassurance that the home is likely to be well equipped for the needs of children. But, if you don't have young children and agree to swap with a young family, do a thorough check through every room and garden for any potential hazards that you can rectify before the exchange. Definitely warn potential exchangers of anything you feel they should be aware of before agreeing to an exchange, like an unenclosed pool or garden pond (include this information in your listing to deter families who won't find your home suitable).
Ultimately, parents are responsible for their children's safety and will need to decide whether they will be able to ensure their children can be supervised at all times if a home exchange home is not as child proofed as their own.
To find Home Base Holidays homes most likely to be suitable for young children, tick the box beside 'Children Welcome' amongst the search options (you will see this small icon beside all listings for such homes).
Photo: Hidden London