Sponsored Post: The House swapping Craze in London

This is a sponsored  post by Londoner Tracey Chandler, aimed at those of you who would like to visit London more so than those of us who already live here. Although, if I had a house of my own (perhaps one of those “grand house with spacious rooms, a conservatory and a large garden” in Hampstead that Tracey mentions would be nice), I’d certainly be willing to think about it if it meant travelling on the cheap and staying somewhere equally fabulous in a different country. Anyway, here’s Tracey, writing for lovehomeswap.com…

At Home
Photo: At Home by Dave McGowan
(from the LLO Flickr Pool)

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Words by Tracey Chandler

With the current economic climate, house swapping is fast becoming a new craze. Given that accommodation is the most expensive part of any trip, house swapping is a great low-cost holiday option, allowing you to save money whilst still staying in luxury accommodation.

London has become an incredibly popular place for house swaps. It’s now the most requested global holiday swap destination on many home-swap sites, including Love Home Swap. London has a variety of options when it comes to what type of accommodation you’re looking for, and what area you’d like to stay in.

Here are some of the choices London has to offer:

Hackney. You could swap your home to live in a purpose-built flat from the 1960s in Hackney, East London. During your stay, enjoy the trendy bars along Broadway Market and the food market that takes place here on Saturdays.

Highbury and Islington. Perhaps you’d rather stay in a spacious flat built in the 18th Century in Highbury and Islington, North London? A short distance away is Highbury Fields, perfect for a morning stroll and a stop off at a café. Upper Street is definitely worth a visit, with its many independent retailers as well as great restaurants and bars.

Hampstead. Swap your home to live in Hampstead – enjoy Edwardian architecture in a grand house with spacious rooms, a conservatory and a large garden. You could visit Keats House during your stay and revel in British Literature. If you’re looking to do some sightseeing, you could climb up to Primrose Hill, which is a short walk away. From here you can get a clear and breathtaking view of central London.

Richmond. Enjoy Victorian architecture in Richmond, South West London. Here you can walk or cycle along by the river and visit Kew Gardens, which is a World Heritage site. Richmond Park, the second largest park in London, is also very close. You could make a day of it and take a picnic, or stop off at a bar along the riverside. Richmond is just a short drive from Heathrow, so it’s easily accessible.

Chelsea. Have a real adventure and stay in an elegant, but cosy, houseboat on the Thames in Chelsea. Here you’ll be near Hyde Park and the Notting Hill area, home to the famous Portobello Road Market. For a good place to have a drink, why not just go up on to the terrace and soak in the scenery?

London is certainly a place of great variety. When it comes to home-swapping, you’re bound to find something for you. If any of these places in London have taken your fancy and you want to find out more, just check out this page and a low-budget, luxury holiday could be just a click away.

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Bio

Tracey Chandler is a freelance travel writer, originally from London, making her way around Latin America at present, with plenty of romantic stories to share.

Londoners Abroad: 6 reasons why Latin Americans want to learn British English

Having spent six months living in Latin America myself, I can say that this sponsored  post by Londoner Tracey Chandler rings true. Tracey has been living in Buenos Aires for a while now and is here to give us some insight on what it’s like to be a Londoner abroad. In this post, she tells us about the reputation of her mother tongue in her adopted country. As an American with a Spanish speaking boyfriend who learned English in the UK and uses BBC as guide for pronunciation, I often get teased for my American English accent and general “Americanisms”. It’s nice to hear Tracey is admired for her British one!

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Words by Tracey Chandler

As an expat Brit living in Latin America I have always been surprised at how highly thought of British English, as opposed to American English, is here. I had only just arrived when a new acquaintance grasped my hand firmly and declared warmly: “Me gustan los ingleses porque hablan muy lindo.” (“I love the English because they speak so nicely.”)

At the time I thought this an odd statement but I now understand that he meant we speak ‘proper’ English. Here are seven reasons why Latin Americans want to learn British English.

1. Authenticity and authority
In Latin America, British English is seen as the “authentic” English. It is as though the language began losing something the moment the Mayflower touched land in the Americas. Britain, home to Oxford and the world-famous guardians of the language at the Oxford English Dictionary, is seen as the original source of English.

OxfordOxford by Marc Willmore

2. Social status
Linked to this is the view that British English confers a higher social standing on the speaker. This is a view that researchers have found extends to the States itself. Americans, when asked to rate the social status of people with standard American or standard British accents, have a strong tendency to assign speakers of British English a higher social status.

3. English schools
There is a belief in Latin America that English language schools in Britain are the best in the world. This is related to the points above, but it is certainly true that quality language schools such as UIC – the only language school in the world to win the Star Award and the British Council ELTon, as this page explains – have done much to cement this reputation.

4. The Latin American presence in London
In recent years there has been a growing Latin American presence in Britain. London, in particular, has seen a four-fold rise in its Latin American population over the last 10 years. This presence is a reflection of push factors from countries such as Brazil, but also of pull factors such as the high esteem that Britain is held in and the perceived opportunities that exist there even in an economic downturn.

St Pauls CathedralSt. Paul’s Cathedral by xlibber

5. Studying English in London
An aspiration I have encountered many times is to study English in London. To learn English near the iconic images that define England’s capital – such as the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral – is a dream held by many. It is as if the history and authority of these buildings will add the same qualities to the speaker’s English.

6. Being in London  specifically
For many, to study in London is to laze in Regent’s Park by day and party at night. The lure of British English is, in part, the lure of Europe. It is somewhere different where life must be better. It is not Central or South America nor the other America across the border, but somewhere new and fresh. Life must be better and the language must be better. Learning British English is like a passport to a better life.

Bio

Tracey writes her way around the globe, focusing on travel, culture and love. She has developed a penchant for Whitesnake and Joss Stone on a daily basis, doesn’t have the guts to jump out of a plane and cannot live without internet connection.

And a video for your amusement…