Home swapping is booming in Britain, says Alice Hancock in the FT. With staycations sending the price of UK hotels and holiday rentals soaring, it’s a clever way to cut holiday costs and discover unusual places.
Exchanges are organised through websites such as Home Exchange, Holiday Swap, Guardian Home Exchange and Love Home Swap. Users typically pay an annual subscription of £50-£100 to browse other member’s homes and request a swap. Exchanges are based on mutual trust, with no money changing hands, and are arranged between individuals – the websites stay out of the process. One user described it as “Tinder for homeowners”. Here’s a taste of what’s on offer.
Coldingham Bay, Scotland
This modern four-bedroom house near Eyemouth, in the Scottish Borders, has spectacular sea views, a spacious balcony and a private path down to a sandy beach. Available through Love Home Swap.
This cottage near the Mendips has four bedrooms and a spacious garden with a treehouse, a small pool and a chicken coop. It’s a 15-minute drive to Cheddar Gorge and half an hour to Wells, Bristol and the Somerset coast – and you can use the family’s bikes to explore the area. Available through Guardian Home Exchange.
This four-bedroom house in a village near Norwich has a music room with a piano and an organ, and a garden that attracts barn owls, woodpeckers and skylarks. The Norfolk Broads are on the doorstep and it’s a 45-minute drive to chichi Southwold. Available through Guardian Home Exchange.
This modern two-bedroom in a prime London location has a patio garden accessed via glass bifold doors. It’s a five-minute walk to the Regent’s Canal towpath, which runs east to Hackney and west through Camden to leafy Primrose Hill. Available through Love Home Swap.
You’ll enjoy wonderful views of the South Hams countryside from this four-bedroom converted barn near Kingsbridge, and it’s a 20-minute drive to the beach. Built by its architect owner, it has a hot tub, a pool table and a wood-burning stove. Available through Love Home Swap.
Altrincham, Greater Manchester
A shy Siamese cat will greet you at this two bedroom flat on the ground floor of a converted Victorian house, half an hour’s drive from central Manchester. It has two bedrooms, a patio with a barbecue and access to a large communal garden. You might spot a famous footballer on your way to the town’s excellent market. Available through Home Exchange.