Sandra Newnham, a long time Home Base Holidays member and very experienced home swapper, sent us in this lovely article on some of the unexpected pleasure she discovered while home swapping.
“A few years ago, while on holiday in Lake Garda, we spotted a sign which said, in translation "To the chapel". Now I am that annoying person who has swallowed the guide book and no such chapel was mentioned so we scrambled up a rocky path to be rewarded with a delightful and expertly painted little cavern where we sat in cool contemplation for some considerable time.
It's a great joy isn't it when something like this occurs and we've had many such instances in the eight years that we've been members of Home Base Holidays.
There was the Italian restaurant just steps away from Bea and Kas's home in the mainly German area of Switzerland. All local people and a terrace next to a playground, families eating, their children playing and wandering back to the tables to graze, and a menu in Swiss German, no English. Why should they? No tourists round here. Do you have Italian, I asked. I speak Italian. Hey! She speaks Italian. The English lady speaks Italian. Free drinks. And St Gallen Cathedral. Bea had said to go there. Said you'll love it. I still smile each time I think of it.
The singing tour bus driver in Dublin who was so good we didn't get off the bus. (Although I do still remember Jo's sister's chocolate and caramel shortbread. Divine).
The local shops in a Spanish suburb. Go here for this we were told, there for that. Amazing bread, tarts, takeaways, coffee at a fraction of the cost in the town centre.
Staying in the Jericho area of Oxford. A golden walk into town on one side and meadows on the other with a pleasant amble to the pub our house swap partner suggested.
And talking of pubs, wandering into our "local" in Dorset to be told there was a drink left for us behind the bar. If you're not a Brit that doesn't mean there's literally a drink sitting there for you but someone has left the money for you to have one.
I wonder what our next unexpected pleasure will be? In a few weeks we're off on a home swap to Devon so not long to wait until I find out. ” - Sandra
Ours is a well cared for home in a quiet, residential street in south west London with excellent transport links to all London's attractions. It is situated a few minutes' walk from extensive park and common land and to shops, bars and restaurants.
Read the full details of Sandra's London home swap