Member report: home exchange in cathedral cities
"I have had a life-long love affair with ecclesiastical buildings so, living in London, I'm spoilt for choice. I always make a bee-line for the church when we're on holiday and I've visited most of England's cathedrals and abbeys, some of them many times over.
Cathedral cities are ideal for vacations and home swaps as they are generally stunning places with a variety of things to see and do. We've stayed in several in our four years' membership of Home Base Holidays. One of our earliest swaps was to Bath, the only place I could imagine living if we were to leave London, where the abbey stands golden alongside the street entertainers, the Roman Baths and the delightful wonky-floored Sally Lunn's Bath bun shop.
While swapping in Dorchester we caught the bus, a glorious journey through the lush Dorset countryside, to Sherborne, the abbey magnificent in this pretty town which has many other attractions. Our first ever visit to Chester was a house swap and there the cathedral is dark and brooding constructed of deep red stone, shops on one side of the road, cathedral on the other. A perfect day!
A week in Oxford gave us a chance to get under the skin of this amazing little city which for Londoners is usually confined to a day trip and where the cathedral is just one of many wonderful churches and chapels, a new delight around every corner and uniformity of building materials providing harmony for the eye.
This time last year we were in Frome, the house an architectural delight in itself, and a bus trip to Wells with its spectacular scissor arch and so beautiful it almost defies description.
But I think my favourite of all is Salisbury (in photo) and last summer our home from home gave us Stonehenge as a short bus trip in one direction and the cathedral 10 minutes walk in the other. One sunny afternoon we walked across the meadows and sat on a conveniently placed bench to admire Turner's viewpoint of Britain's tallest spire. Thank goodness we got into this home swapping lark.
And if you're feeling sorry for Paul for enduring my obsession, bear in mind that all but one of these places has a race course - and I'm not adverse to the chance of putting on my glad rags for a day!"
Click here to view Sandra's lovely home exchange offer in London...
Also visit our home exchange blog to view some home swap offers in cathedral cities that Sandra & Paul have exchanged with.