- Mark Vallis Property Investor (62)
- Ginny Orrell Retired Nurse and Health Service Manager (60)
Welcome to our listing
Mark is 62 and a director of a commercial property company. Ginny is 60 and used to work as a nurse and health service manager. We have no children living with us and have a lot of free time on our hands, which means we are very flexible in terms of dates, destinations etc. Neither of us smoke and would prefer it if you didn't either in the house.
*Please note* If you are an exchanger who likes to send out dozens of generic emails all at the same time so you can then sift through the responses, can you NOT contact us, as we think this is discourteous and time wasting from our end. We are 'old school' exchangers who believe the whole experience should be personal. 'Line fishing' is one thing, 'trawling' is something else altogether. Thank you.
September 1 — October 14, 2016 These dates are flexible
A beach town in California for Sept/Oct 2016 would be very welcome. Thanks
We love our home, but we also love being somewhere else. We love walking, cooking, relaxing and taking each day as it comes.
I had a fantastic stay here in October 2006. The location is great. I have spent quite a bit of time in London but I've mostly been centrally located. I had never even made it to Greenwich before. What a mistake! The town is full of fascinating history and beautiful green spaces. There are lots of great food options as well, from a wonderful cheese shop to a great traditional meat pie shop to terrific fish and chips to all sorts of ethnic restaurants. Besides a convenient Marks & Spencer and a regular supermarket, there is a food, clothing, antiques and everything else weekly market that attracts people from all over London. It's an easy ride into central London from the train station (3 minutes' walk), the Docklands Light Railway (same station, or another one about 10 minutes' walk), or (most fun) by a 40-minute catamaran ferry along the Thames (10 minutes' walk). And afterwards it was so nice to come back to this QUIET house on a quiet street. The house itself is wonderfully comfortable and has a great kitchen (important to those of us who love to cook). There are lots of flat-screen TVs (and a projection screen setup on the top floor) and DVDs and stereo equipment, but frankly I didn't make use of much of it because there was so much else to do. One of the best rooms is a recently remodeled gorgeous, HUGE bathroom with both a bathtub and a big step-in shower (those of you who are familiar with the average European bathroom will really appreciate this). The best feature of the house, though, was the delightful Mark and Ginny's exhaustive treasure trove of information on Greenwich and London and the UK. They had collected data on restaurants, shows, museums ... everything you could possibly want to do. In addition, they thoughtfully left Oyster cards (to be used on the DLR and tube; they can be topped up for reuse). My only fear is that I won't be able to exchange with them again because once word gets out they will be too popular!
We had two weeks at this listing and loved it. Although the building is art deco, the interior is beautifully decorated in a modern style. Down one side of the living room is a large window, which makes the appartment feel light and spacious. Look in one direction and you can see Coit Tower, no more than 100 yards away, and look the other, and you can see right across the bay. Quite breathtaking. There are steps that take you down to the Embarcadero past the Levi Strauss building, and if you go the other way you get to Washington Square, North Beach. The location doesn't get any better than that. North Beach is full of restaurants and bars and is known as Little Italy. A slightly futher walk away and you are in Chinatown. The dining possibilities are endless. It's a good job there are plenty of hills to keep the weight down. If you do feel weary, there's a #39 bus that takes you back up the hill to the appartment. If you fancy getting some time here, I'd get in quick if I was you, as we will be trying our best to come back next year.
We spend 10 wonderfull days during Christmas holidays in 2008! A quiet and peacefull home. Mark and Ginny did a fantastic job renovating this original London house.So nice to relax in after a day of busy sightseeing. Greenwich is a very beautifull, historicly interesting place. Well located for visits to Central London and places outside London and of course Greenwich itself, with its good choice of different restaurants, traditional markets, shops and a Marks& Spencers with goodies for preparing a meal in the beautifull kitchen for enjoying an evening inside.The ride to London is simple and enjoyable, with only a few minutes walk to the station and the use of Oyster cards, that Mark and Ginny left us to use.With so many things to see and do, a great place to come back to given the chance.
A beautiful apartment in a quiet street just off of Prinsengracht. Couldn't be a better location. Literally a stone's throw from Anne Frank's House. You can hear the bells from the Westerkirk next door. Prinsengracht is one of the most desirable canals in the city. Lots of bars and restaurants and a relaxed atmosphere. The apartment has kept a lot of the original features, which makes it feel authentic and homely, as well as being perfectly comfortable. We would always look to go back, given the chance.
An excellent exchange. The location provides easy access to central London by private or public transportation. The Greenwich location is full of character and the remarkable architecture of an historical community where the cultural integrity remains valued and intact. The home is beautifully maintained. The owners are very accommodating quite helpful.
A beautiful house. The pictures and description don't really do it justice. A spacious, single storey building, with all the main rooms overlooking the ocean. With binoculars you can see the whales playing in the bay during the winter months. There were just two of us, but there was easily enough space for much more. The swimming pool was a real plus for days when we didn't fancy going down to the beach. Excellent location. A mature neighbourhood with detached, upmarket properties. It's a short drive or a longish walk to the coast. Wailea and Makena are expensive-looking resorts with numerous golf courses. Kihei is a little more lively, but not overbearingly so. Being on the 'dry' side of the island means you get the best weather and arguably the best beaches. All in all, probably about as good as it gets. We would always look to come back.
We had a wonderful two week stay here. The home has been beautifully remodeled and is extremely comfortable. We spent most of our time in the wonderfully appointed kitchen/dining area and the adjacent garden where we could sip drinks, eat, listen to music, and browse the web. It is a short walk to the railway/DLR station for access to London as well as everywhere else. Nearby are fun shops, pubs and restaurants on Royal Hill. It is a ten minute walk to downtown Greenwich. In all respects, it has been a superb exchange.
We had a wonderful 2 weeks at this listing. The house is a typical Carmel Cottage, but has been extended and renovated to a high standard. As a result you get the best of both worlds. A quaint feel, but all the modern conveniences you could wish for. The location is spot on. A quiet street, but just a 5 minute walk to the centre of town. Another couple of minutes and you're on the beach. Monterey and Big Sur are a short drive away. Couldn't be better. Steve and Clemi are kind and thoughtful hosts. We would definitely come back given the opportunity.
We spent a glorious 2 weeks at this home in Greenwich. We were looking for a base from which to see the sights of London, and that's exactly what we got! We were leery of driving the car on the other side of the road, so we were pleased to be able to walk to the underground, the train, and all over Greenwich. The house is very comfortable and beautifully decorated. The garden was an additional treat. We enjoyed sitting there in the late afternoon and re-hashing all the sights and experiences of the day. Greenwich has lots to offer as well. The Royal Observatory is a must-see, and there is the Christopher Wren architecture, the rowing races on the Thames, and many wonderful pubs. Did I mention this is all within walking distance?! Of course London offers plenty to do, but just in case you run out of ideas, the home-owners have books of brochures to tempt you with new ideas. Do check out the London Walking Tours. This is a premiere accomodation! September 2006
We knew absolutely nothing about Aptos before we accepted the offer, but we were really glad we took the chance. It's a lovely part of the world. The California coast on your doorstep. Some wonderful countryside and forests. I can still smell the pine and eucalyptus! The house itself is very cleverly designed and built on a number of levels, to make best use of the views of the ocean. Most of our time was spent on the deck, which was sunny for nearly all of the day. The local area is calm and peaceful and the locals friendly. There are a couple of local beaches, as well as a 'village' inland with shops, bars etc. One of the big pluses with Aptos is the location. From where you're staying you can get to so many places quite comfortably in a day. Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, as well as the coastline north of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz itself is a college/surfing town, with a 'day at the seaside' feel, which we quite enjoyed. San Francisco is just about within reach, but as we were staying there afterwards on another exchange, we only made the journey once. We loved our time in Aptos and wouldn't think twice, if an offer ever came up again.
Mark and Ginnie's house in Greenwich is comfortable, convenient and stylishly redecorated in a modern style. We found that it worked very well for us and our visitors. The house is charming and well laid out. It was thoughtfully put together with nice touches at every turn. The garden is very practical and was beautifully laid out with annuals which provided a riot of colour. We loved eating out here in the evening, and supping that glass of wine after a meal. Shopping was a pleasure in the nearby 'village' shops and we found it very convenient to get into the centre of London. Greenwich itself is an amazing place, full of history and interesting places to visit. We loved the music provided by the famous choirs of two nearby churches. Mark and Ginnie were welcoming and very flexible and caring when we were organising our plans.
Lyn and Allan live in a very nice house tucked away in a quiet street in Mosman, which is a suburb on the north side of Sydney Harbour. The house is modern and very well designed, particularly the kitchen, which is exceptional. Pride of place, however goes to the tiled terrace, which is large enough to entertain on and is surrounded by foliage from the garden below. A wonderful place to wile away the evening. A short walk down to the cove and you can catch the ferry, which can get you into Circular Quay in no time. From there you are able to get around Sydney on the excellent bus service. Going the other way, you can drive north and explore Manly, with it's beaches and relaxed atmosphere. The local beach, Balmoral, is excellent too, as are the shops in Mosman itself, if you're not feeling too adventurous. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and look forward to spending more time there in the future. We can thoroughly recommend it.
What a great house and location! This London, Greenwich home is beautifully decorated making each room practical, comfortable and a delight to both live in and come home to after venturing out. Greenwich itself is a facinating place with much to offer in way of museums, gardens, shopping and good food - all in walking distance! The public transport is fantastic for travel into London and friendly home owners Mark and Ginny have been contactable at all times for any questions outside the already generous information they have left for visitors inside the home. This, our first home exchange experience has been our dream come true thanks to dealing with Mark and Ginny who are well experienced with this exchange program. We will definately consider further exchanges in future!
Barrie, Christina and Georgie live in a large modern house in Moana, which is a beachside suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. The house is extremely well designed, fitted out to a high standard and tastefully decorated. It is a walk to the beach. There are miles of beaches on this stretch of coastline, and at the time we visited (November) they were mostly deserted. If you enjoy walking for miles on the sand unbothered, then you will like the area. Travel inland and you come to World famous wine regions. The journey to Adelaide takes about 40 minutes. There is a road, which takes you virtually into the centre, or you can catch a train from the local station which is a 5 minute drive away. The centre of Adelaide itself has a very pleasant, cultured feel to it. A lot of historic buildings and an evident interest in the arts. The whole area feels quite neatly manicured and well looked after. There are plenty of restaurants and bars, if you choose to eat out. Both Christina and Barrie have been very friendly and helpful in our dealings with them, and would recommend them to future exchangers.
We recently completed a wonderful, extended exchange with this Greenwich property. Mark and Ginny, your super-friendly and helpful hosts, have done an excellent job in creating a "guest friendly" environment as your headquarters for a London adventure. The Victorian townhome is nicely appointed and has all the modern conveniences. The newly remodeled kitchen is a highlight for the gourmet cook (or in our case, reheating the takeaway meals from the surrounding restaurants.) The train station is only a five minute walk from the townhome so trains to all parts of London (as well as connections to most anywhere else) are fast and convenient. Greenwich is an interesting historical area with many local visitor highlights as well, including the observatory, museum, weekend markets and restaurants for every budget and taste, so your days spent locally can be as full, or as relaxing, as you desire. We highly recommend this property for any visitors who want to enjoy the breadth and depth of the London area.
We had a marvellous stay at this listing. Quite magical. A house built in the log-cabin style with all the various conveniences you would expect from top quality accommodation. Although there were only two of us, there was room for many more. The basement and loft we hardly used. The location of this home is on the mountain above the Peak 8 Base Station at Breckenridge, in amongst similar properties all in the high end price range. Because of the trees and site layout, however, you are hardly aware of the neighbours. We were there for 6 weeks in the winter and would typically drive a couple of miles down the road to join the Breckenridge ski network. Alternatively, about half an hour away are the resorts of Vail, Copper Mountain and Keystone, should you feel like different terrain. Many people told us that the area is even more stunning in the summer, and I have no reason to disbelieve them. Breckenridge itself, which is a 10 minute drive down the mountain, has a thriving life of its own with many shops, bars and restaurants, for the days when you don't fancy going on the slopes. Dean and Becky showed great kindness and entered into the spirit of home exchange, which contributed greatly to making the swap a success on both sides. We will be hopefully looking to organise future exchanges here, a sure sign that this listing comes highly recommended.
We just returned from a one-month Sept./Oct. stay in Ginny's and Mark's beautiful, modern, and very comfortable home. From the modern, high-tech kitchen, to the comfortable lounge and garden sitting areas, to the very comfortable beds, to the fabulous large bathroom, their home was a delightful respite after long days of playing tourist,-- which we did every day! The nearness of the train station and its ease of use for seeing various parts of London were much appreciated and well-used (daily!). The Oyster Cards (4) they left for our use on public transport were a real bonus, and we were glad to "top them up" at the end of our visit. rnrnWe also enjoyed the Ashburnham Arms pub, a scant 1-min. walk from home, and the many, many places to visit and see right in Greenwich, itself a very well-equipped town for visitors, with lots to see. Cream Tea at Royal Teas is not to be missed, and the Thai, noodle, Auctioneer Pub (and others in town!), nearby fish & chips shop, and Inside restaurants are ones we especially enjoyed on days we didn't feel like cooking. Visiting friends also enjoyed the week spent here...plenty of room and comfortable sleeping accomodations for four.rnrnGinny and Mark have made the home exchange experience truly easy and delightful throughout, with their many suggestions beforehand and while we were there, and their ready willingness to be of help. To top it off, Ginny and Mark took beautiful care of our home and garden, a big plus! Greenwich is definitely a worthwhile and delightful place to be located, both comfort-wise, and as a base of operations for seeing greater London, and Ginny's and Mark's home the perfect place to be at the end of each day. We highly recommend this home exchange listing..."try it, -- you'll like it!"
We had a wonderful 4 weeks at this listing. If you are looking for a beach holiday with almost guaranteed good weather for most of the year, then Laguna Beach is about as good as it gets. The house itself is situated on top of the hills that surround the town and a short, 5 minute drive to the coast. Being sited away from the front is an advantage, as it is much quieter away from Pacific Coast Highway, and it still remains sunny on the odd occasion when a sea mist comes in. Of course, you also get a stunning view of the ocean from the deck, particularly in the evening when the sun goes down. As well as that there is a nice secluded garden at the front with a barbecue, as well as a cozy, well equipped TV room for the times when you fancy relaxing indoors. A real selection of top class sitting areas. You are totally spoilt for choice. There is a well equipped kitchen and enough bedrooms and bathrooms for a much larger party than just the two of us. Given the opportunity, we would always want to come back.
Our stay in Greenwich was a delightful experience. The townhouse was newly decorated in a contemporary mode that was not only comfortable but well equipped for an easy lifestyle. Large windows and patio doorways both front and back bathed the interior with natural light. The location was excellent both for transit out of town and for all the amenities that Greenwich has to offer. We liked the garden seating areas, the neighborhood feel, and the easy walking in every direction. Mark and Ginny were supportive and helpful both before and during our stay. They were readily available by email or phone if need be.
Ron and Ellie were delightful people to exchange with. Their house in Santa Barbara was comfortable, full of Ron's original art and less than 100 yards from the coast. We loved it. Mark and Ginny
C'est un bel appartement dans une maison victorienne,décoré avec goût et plein de charme. Nous nous sommes sentis de suite "comme chez nous"!lLe quartier est très fleuri et agréable, tout près du centre historique de Greenwich.Pour aller au centre de Londres, c'est très facile avec le train ou le bateau.Ginny et Mark ont tout fait pour nous rendre le séjour des plus agréables et n'ont pas hésité à répondre à nos nombreux messages pour organiser notre séjour et nous faire découvrir leur ville.
A very pleasant studio apartment, with a small, sunny balcony overlooking a field. The building is in a very good location, as the skibus stops at the end of the driveway. Once in the town, you can either ski to Les Gets or the other way to Avoriaz. The ski area is massive. You won\'t get round in a week. Claudine was friendly and kind in our dealings with each other, and looked after our house while we were away.
Our visit to number 10 Ashbournham Grove in Greenwich was wonderful - the house was extremely comfortable - -The Kitchen has every convenience including an American-style washer and dryer which are sometimes hard to find. It's bright and sunny and it's nice to have a TV there so it can be on while you're cooking. -We dined outside in the garden with it's trelis-covered dining area at the rear - and I pinched a few fresh herbs from the pots outside. -The living room is light, large and comfortable. -The bedroom is large, light with a comfortable bed and a bathroom next door with it's large bathtub and shower were more than we needed. -The top floor room which is a bedroom/TV room with a large projection TV we didn't use - we didn't need it. We spent several days exploring Greenwich. The history is fascinating - Henry 8 was born there, along with Elizabeth 1 and it was a major center for the ocean-going nation. There is the Royal Observatory, the Royal park, the Queen's house, the Painted dining room and the church as part of the best remaining area of Baroque buildings in England. The ship Cutty Sark is there and much more. We took the local train - about a 7 minute walk to the station - into Canary Wharf, then transferred to the Jubilee line -I think it's the most useful tube line in London - it goes to Westminster, Southbank and Tate Modern, Green Park for Picadilly and Soho, Oxford Street for shopping and so on. Alternately we took a boat from the South Bank area back to Greenwich a couple times which was fantastic - going under Tower Bridge, seeing London from the Thames River - included in the price of transportation. All in all we really enjoyed the home and can highly recommend it to anyone interested in London.
This listing is a beautifully designed and built house in traditional style. It is quite obvious that no effort and expense has been spared in achieving a quite stunning result. As well as the house itself, there is an interesting and well thought out garden, which features a lap pool and a number of pleasant sitting areas. All this is situated in a quieter area of Key West, and yet the whole of the town can be accessed on foot or, even better, by bike. A car isn't particularly necessary. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable experience and one we were very reluctant to leave after our two week stay. Mark and Ginny
I've just spent a long weekend in this beautiful and welcoming house, where everything was studied and prepared to welcome me. The Greenwich area is beautiful, and the connection to central London quite easy. Hopefully I'll be able to let Mark and Ginny enjoy my place as much as I did. Thanks again! Cecilia
A very nice exchange. The apartment is in an old building in an old part of the town, which gives it character and atmosphere. Just how you would imagine living in Rome. What makes it particularly special is the location. Walk to the end of the street and the Coliseum is almost right there in front of you. No more than five minutes away. Having said that, the immediate neighbourhood is also home to local people, which means going to the bars and cafes is an enjoyable experience. The best of both worlds. Cecilia is very fluent in English, if that is important to you, and was very helpful throughout our stay. She also treated our house with care and respect. We would highly recommend this listing.
This is a brilliant home in a fabulous location. We visited in 2009 (yes, we're a bit slow posting). Mark and Ginny showed us around town, gave us a tour of how the home worked, and then headed out (after feeding us breakfast and tea!). We slept like logs because the bed is so comfortable. The bathroom is of US proportions. The kitchen is beautiful and superbly well equipped. There are great pubs nearby. There is lots of shopping nearby, so we ate in most nights (love those prepared meals from Marks). And the train station is literally around the corner. We have stayed in London many, many times. We loved staying in Greenwich - easy to get to the city but nice enough not to want to!
A great little pied-a-terre in Pacific Heights, which is arguably one of the most desirable and expensive districts in San Francisco. The building is art deco, which gives the whole place atmosphere. There is a bus stop virtually right outside, which will take you downtown or you can simply walk and enjoy the whole area. Restaurants, bars. Anything you fancy. A quite brilliant place. Mark and Ginny
March 2011 A wonderful exchange as not only did we profit from Mark & Ginnys well equipped & comfortbale home but also from the splendid unseasonal March sunshine which really allowed us to profit from walks in Greenwich & nearby Blackheath. The house is ideally situated in a quiet street but within walking distance of shops, main line & DLR stations and the attractions of Greenwich. Central London is an easy 8 min train ride away. One really can do away with a car here if you wish to just visit London. The house is well decorated, very clean and has everything you need, and for visitors from abroad it has the added attraction of being a typical London house. Thank you Mark & Ginny for a lovely stay.
Christine's place in Blauzac was simply stunning. A state of the art house created out of a traditional building in a typical Provencal village. Wonderful seating areas, particularly around the pool. Perfect. We didn't want to leave. Mark and Ginny
This comfortable and historical home, within easy walking to the bustling centre of Greenwich, was a fun place to be. There was so much to enjoy in the immediate neighbourhood, yet it wasn't very far, via train, to the centre of London. Also, the beautiful Kentish countryside was close to hand, as was the infamous Chunnel, (should you want to pop over to France anytime).rn The house itself was special. A state-of-the art kitchen downstairs opened onto an unexpectedly quiet and shady garden. Above that, a light and airy living room, then the bedroom floor and lastly an entertainment attic!rn We spent a good time here in Greenwich, and could highly recommend this home to anyone who wants to experience London the REAL way.
This was a terrific exchange. The house is completely redone and lovely. Greenwich is worth visiting apart from London. You can walk to the museum and the center of time from their house. It was great fun taking both the train and the ferry to and from London. You can catch a ferry at the Globe theatre and sail under the Tower Bridge on your way back to Greenwich. But Mark and Ginny made the exchange special. They were very thoughtful while we were there and we continue to get very interesting and funny travelogues from Mark as they exchange their way around the world. They were also great guests and took excellent care of our house, when they were here. We highly recommend this exchange.
We spent 3 great weeks in Greenwich in Mark and Ginny's in Sept. 2009. Having breakfast and reading the paper on their front patio was most enjoyable. The location was wonderful, only a short walk to the train station to get a train to most anywhere in London. In 1/2 hour we were there. Sometimes we took the boat up the Thames to get into town. Many of our days were spent walking and enjoying Greenwich, having lunch at Royal Teas bringing home wonderful fish and chips from the take out around the corner. Mark and Ginny were most helpful with everything we needed (by phone and e-mail)and they took very good care of our home when they stayed in Corona Del Mar, Ca.
Fantastic! Lovely spot, these wonderful exchangers gave us so much excellent and helpful information about their home and the area. Everything was in good order and precisely as described. The home is close to public transportation and in a very nice neighborhood. Thank you for a super vacation. It was terrific! Joan and Paul
We had an extended 7-week stay in Mark and Ginny's delightful Greenwich home as part of a non-simultaneous exchange. First of all, Mark and Ginny were wonderful to work with as we arranged and carried out the long stay. They made every step easy for us ' first time home exchangers. I think that we have developed a great e-mail-based friendship. The home is stylish, comfortable, and fitted with all of the modern amenities that one could wish for. We cooked frequently in the well-equipped, modern kitchen. The home is in a pleasant neighborhood, located just 5 minutes walk from the local rail station that connects via the underground with all of London. It is just a short, enjoyable walk to the Royal Park, Observatory, Naval Museum and the Greenwich village center and markets. Rick & Krisztina, Laguna Beach, California
If you can get Mark and Ginny to agree to a home exchange consider yourself lucky! Their home is a beautiful, perfectly refurbished Victorian house in the pretty London suburb of Greenwich. It is an ideal base for any trip to London. Detailed information about all there is to see is provided in several binders, 'Oyster' cards can be used for London transport and even the fridge is stocked upon arrival! All instructions in the house for appliances, electronics etc are easy to follow. Mark and Ginny proved to be exceptionally considerate hosts who were always available via email for every conceivable question or concern. So - to sum it up: Our side of this trade was an absolute pleasure!
Hello I'm laura. A few days, i end my perfect holiday in Greenwich. This was my first change house. I think better than this' can not be a home exchange.We have been in the home of Ginny and Mark, as if we were in our house. The house is 'very nice, clean and with everything you need and can' serve to a family.The decor and 'original and very attentive to the needs' of the person on vacation. My favorite rooms are the blue room, where there is 'the computer, marine paintings and a relaxed atmosphere and the attic, where the atmosphere very friendly....Here is' a big screen where you can watch movies in English .... beautiful!!!!!!Another very useful thing, the indications are that the owners of the house, left to be well in Greenwich.....I've been to London several times, but for me and this' was the first time in Greenwich....it's wonderful. You can see many beautiful things, going to walk in the park.Greenwich is clean and the atmosphere is quiet.In a short time to get to central London where I could see many very beautiful musical. I came here with my mom, to improve my English and I found many people willing to help me. The Study Center ISIS a short walk from home and the Serica Center where I found many old English people kind to me. Now that my holiday here is finish, I just thought....able to make life better Mark and Ginny in Sardinia, as I and my mom we were well into their house!! Thank you for everything. Laura&Iaia
This was a wonderful exchange for our family! Mark and Ginny's home was so lovely and comfortable. Our favorite part of everyday was going back to this beautiful quite neighborhood in Greenwich. Wonderful couple to deal with! Wish we could have stayed longer... Next trip to London for our family = Greenwich.
An extremely spacious and well designed house in a quiet, safe, upmarket neighbourhood of Santa Barbara. A short drive down to the coast and downtown. Convenient for just about everything the town has to offer. The slightly elevated position gives you a clear view of the ocean. Santa Barbara has lots going for it in itself, but in addition there are wineries and really pleasant countryside if you decide to venture inland. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
This was our first exchange and Mark and Ginny couldn't have make it easier. Their home is so beautiful and comfortable. It is in the best place to tour around London. There was nothing better than coming back to the quaint village of Greenwich after a busy day seeing the sights London had to offer. We traveled by river ferry and in 20 minutes we were at any one of the docks for a short walk to the sights. Not to mention the relaxing ride with a glass of wine on the ferry back to Greenwich. It's a great way to break the ice of your surroundings. The ferry dock is a short walk from their home just next to the Royal Naval College. The house is charming even though we didn't spend much time there. Everything was easy to use. mark and Ginny have a huge book with all the activities and restaurant in the area. We love it and hope to get back again some time. We travel with my husband's son and his wife. They spent their 5th wedding anniversary at the North Pole, which is a nice pub located just down the street and then onto a local wine bar on the next block. It won't be forgotten how they spent their anniversary any too soon. The area is rich in history. We were all polishing up on our royal history on our trip. We spent 4 days exploring historic spots. Henry the VIII'S history was the center of it. We past the church in Greenwich he was baptisted and traveled to Windsor Castle to where he is buried. We also made a day trip to Hampton Court Palace. Totally recommend you get a London Pass if you are going for a trip to see the historical sights. It will pay for itself in just an attraction or 2. We hope to return to London someday at a more relaxed pace. Thank you Mark and Ginny for opening your home to us and we will await your visit to Portland, Maine. Best regards, Susan, Brian, Ryan, and Kate
I must confess that I knew very little about Maine and even less about Portland, which I even thought was on the other coast. What ignorance. Maine has a stunning coastline and Portland is a very nice town indeed. Both the downtown and port area have been renovated and the local planners deserve great credit for getting it right. Lots of restaurants and small independent shops, the area is quaint and interesting without feeling like its had the Disney treatment. Sue's apartment is right in the centre of things so everywhere can be got to on foot. Refreshing for an American town. Her place is quiet and comfortable and ideal for a couple. Both her and her husband were friendly and helpful and we felt instantly at home. Our decision to come here was spontaneous, so it was almost like taking pot luck. What luck it was though. If we get another offer from this area, you can bet your sweet life we'll be hopping about. Mark and Ginny.
Oh, what a delight! We absolutely gloried in our month exchange with Mark and Ginny. The house was perfect, and in a perfect location, for us to pursue our dream of being "travelers" versus "tourists". We easily found our way around Greenwich and London (thanks to Mark and Ginny's advice and help), as well as the grocer, fish monger, flower shop, wine and cheese store, movie theater, park, museums, historical buildings, within a 10 - 15 minute walk. We loved the entire experience, and plan to beg them to take us back.
A beautiful house whichever way you look at it. The pictures probably don’t do it justice. This listing is located in a small private road a short distance from Barnstable village, which is easy to miss from the main road. The other houses in the road are discreetly tucked away, so you feel as if you have the whole area to yourself. You could be mistaken for thinking you are in the middle of nowhere, but you are not, as the village is within walking distance. The house is fairly unobtrusive from the outside, probably at the request of the planners. Once you get inside, however, it’s a completely different story. The ground floor is given over to an almost self contained two bedroomed apartment. Great if you’ve got kids or visitors, as they can retreat into their own space. The real wow factor kicks in when you climb the stairs. The top floor is a huge open plan space with high ceilings, exposed beams and full length windows. There are two decks on either side, which adds to the effect of bringing the ‘outside in’. Stunning views across to the water. The main bedroom and en-suite are also on this floor, as is the well equipped kitchen. You could be forgiven for thinking you have been parachuted into a glossy magazine. Cape Cod is a world class destination, which needs little description here, just to say you have a mixture of pretty countryside and villages, as well as fantastic beaches right next to each other. Unusual in itself. Liz and Craig were new to home exchange and probably a bit apprehensive at first, but soon grew into it and were nice people to swap with. If you get the chance, I strongly suggest you grab the opportunity with both hands. Mark
We loved our stay at Mark's and Ginny's home in Greenwich. It was comfortable, well-equipped and very convenient to everything. It is a 10 minute walk to the train station so getting into central London is very easy but there is plenty to see and do in Greenwich itself. Everything in Greenwich is within walking distance: the Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory, the Old Royal Naval College (now the University of Greenwich ), the Cutty Sark, the Greenwich Theater (live "off West-End" theater), and many lovely shops, pubs and restaurants. Our short 8-day visit went by much too fast and we would love to return for another visit to Greenwich/London sometime. Jack and Sally
We had a fantastic couple of weeks here. There's a garage and kids playroom on the ground floor, but the bulk of the accommodation is above it. A beautifully designed and decorated space, which feels very much like a beach house. All the various conveniences you could wish for. The location is in a quiet street off of Periwinkle Way going towards the lighthouse. You can walk to the beach and shops, but we preferred to cycle as there were a variety of bikes to choose from including a tandem. A nice garden with swimming pool, barbecue and rich foliage made for great outdoor living. We didn't want to leave in the end. Mark and Ginny.
We have just spent a fantastic 9 days at Mark and Ginny's home in Greenwich, we wanted to cover all the London sights and attractions with our 2 young boys without too much of a journey each day. Greenwich is a lovely location to do this from with attractions of it's own a great market and lots of inviting pubs and restaurants. There are also very easy and various transport links into the City -the DLR was a source of great excitement to the children as was the catamaran boat along The Thames. We know London relatively well living not too far away, but living in was fun and convenient. Mark and Ginny are obviously very experienced swappers, they had thought of everything to make our stay comfortable and relaxing, their home is beautifully updated and decorated with all the mod cons too! When we returned home our house was spotless and had been really well looked after. We would not hesitate to swap with Mark and Ginny again. Thank you.
If you're after a holiday spent in the English countryside, then you're looking in the right place. The house is Grade 2 listed, which means it's of historic significance, having been built in the reign of Elizabeth I, just before the Pilgrim Fathers left for America. Incredibly quaint, obviously, but with all modern conveniences. The kitchen has an AGA, which is tremendous for cooking with. A very attractive garden. Broughton is a typical small English village. A shop, a church and two pubs which serve food. It is located in the Test Valley, which is a very much sought after location. Property prices are high in this area, partly due to the River Test and its famous trout fishing. Quite obviously upmarket. This is Range Rover country. The larger towns of Salisbury, Stockbridge and Winchester are nearby, but you will need to drive. Many country walks and an equivalent number of country pubs to recover from your exertions. Stonehenge is a short drive away. Possible day trips would include the New Forest, the Dorset Coast and Bath to name just a few. We live in London, which is only a two hour drive away, so we were familiar with the area. Nonetheless, it was a great swap and a wonderful break from city life. Kate and Pete have two young boys, who are obviously well behaved as our house was immaculate on our return. Highly recommended.
We stayed in Mark & Ginny's home in May 2012. Greenwich is a great location with easy access to London. The train was a 5 minute walk and they left "Oyster Cards" for us to get started on our commute. We are water people and loved Greenwich which is right on the Thames with lots to see ("Cutty Sark", Maritime Museum, Greenwich Observatory, and a wonderful, walkable village. We spread out in their 4 story home with a separate floor for the kitchen/dining room/laundry room, a 2nd floor with living room, office, and bath, a 3rd floor with master bedroom and remodeled bath, and a 4th floor which we never did use. Mark left lots of notes, brochures, recommendations, and general instructions on the use of everything. This was one of our best exchanges. They were just here at our house last month (2 1/2 years later)!
We had a wonderful couple of weeks in Point Loma. Pat and Bob have a modern top floor apartment in a small three storey block. The unit is spacious, cleverly designed and tastefully decorated. We felt immediately at home. The picture windows in the living area face south, which means you get good light. Particularly impressive is the roof garden, where we found ourselves sitting for most of the time. Great views across the harbour to San Diego itself. Quite magical at night. There is a lift from the underground car park, which means this is a particularly good listing for people with mobility difficulties. Point Loma itself is an upmarket part of San Diego particularly popular with the sailing and fishing fraternity. You're a short distance from Shelter Island, where there are restaurants and bars, and a 15 minute drive to Pacific Beach. San Diego has a very good trolley service if you want to go downtown. The weather is as good as anywhere in the world. The sunny weather seems to go on forever. Mark and Ginny