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How to holiday in California, New York or Toronto without leaving Blighty

California, Bermuda, New York, Toronto, Egypt: classic holiday spots that are currently tricky (if not impossible) to get to, right?

Wrong. Holidaymakers can physically visit all of these destinations without setting foot outside the UK. That’s because while their names may usually be associated with certain go-to international travel destinations, they are also the names of towns and villages right here in Britain.

Admittedly, Egypt in Buckinghamshire won’t have Africa’s weather or ancient pyramids, but it has its own charms. England’s Egypt offers unique experiences from a family day out at Odd’s Farm Park where you can pet and feed animals, to a day trip to the National Trust’s Cliveden Gardens and Maze, where you can stroll around the gardens and take a dip in the pool at the spa. Plus, it offers the bragging rights that come with having been to such a cool namesake.

Bermuda, Warwickshire

Travelling local also offers the comfort of not having to worry about the ever-changing traffic light system, where countries are constantly bouncing from green to amber to red, as well as the fine tuning of vaccine passports.

To help Britons plan and arrange an international-inspired holiday, award-winning home swapping platform, Love Home Swap has curated a helpful guide titled Around The World In Britain’. Designed in the style of vintage travel postcards, this snappy guide covers 10 internationally-named holiday destinations in the UK. For each location, there are suggested itineraries and fun things to see and do, as well as recommended Love Home Swap holiday properties to stay in.

Melbourne, Derbyshire

Just some of these internationally-inspired destinations include:

  • California (Norfolk): A seaside resort and sandy beach in the beautiful Great Yarmouth. Visit on a hot summer’s day, listen to The Beach Boys, and you might just feel like you’re on Santa Monica Beach – albeit with some delicious fish and chips.
  • Melbourne (Derbyshire): Melbourne is a quintessential British market town that happens to share its name with the second most populated city in Australia. Just like its namesake, Melbourne in Derbyshire boasts a bustling food scene with award-winning restaurants, while the stunning 18th century Melbourne Hall is one of the best-known historic houses and gardens in the country.
  • Moscow (Ayrshire): Swap the Red Square for red tractors in Ayrshire’s rural Moscow. A holiday in the Scottish hamlet will see visitors sharing the precise latitude of the Russian capital. Nearby attractions include Dumfries House, Galloway Forest Park and the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory.
  • Egypt (Buckinghamshire): Less Nile and more country pile, the village of Egypt is wooded, green, leafy and the perfect place for a peaceful holiday.
  • Toronto (County Durham): Bishop Auckland’s Toronto might not have the Niagara Falls nearby, but it does have a splendid Victorian viaduct and it’s just a short drive from the world-famous Barnard Castle.
  • New York (Lincolnshire): A sleepy hamlet in Lincolnshire that’s a world away from the skyscrapers of Manhattan, but even greener than Central Park. Visitors can take a short drive to National Trust Belton House, eat at the NYC-themed Witham and Blues restaurant, or visit nearby Boston.
  • Bermuda (Warwickshire): Bermuda is the archetypal English village, with rows of brick cottages and leafy streets – plus it’s a short drive from the lovely Kenilworth Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Love Home Swap’s Around The World in Britain guide also suggests home swapping holidays and activities in Florence (in Staffordshire), Holland (in Surrey) and Hollywood (in Worcestershire).

Moscow in Ayrshire

Although the UK government has lifted quarantine restrictions on arrivals from many foreign destinations, holidaymakers are still facing the prospect of quarantining in the country they are travelling to.

So why not swap that long haul flight for something closer to home? Staycations are on the rise with a recent survey revealing that 61% of trips agreed by Love Home Swap’s members in 2021 are for local home swaps. This percentage of UK staycations has more than doubled in the past two years, up from 26% in 2019.

But it’s not just a matter of safety that might make a trip to Melbourne in Derbyshire more appealing than a holiday to Melbourne in Australia. It’s also a matter of cost. With the average Love Home Swap member saving £1,065 per trip on 7 nights in holiday accommodation, it’s hardly surprising that 36% of them enjoy more than four home swaps a year.

A seven-day holiday to California, USA could cost approximately £2,691 per person. Whereas a seven-day home swapping holiday in California, Great Yarmouth would cost only £358.

Hollywood, Worcestershire

Célia Pronto, Managing Director of Love Home Swap says: “Staycations are experiencing a boom this summer as British holidaymakers can’t or won’t travel abroad. However, just because a household might choose to holiday on home soil doesn’t mean they can’t say they’re travelling to the likes of California, Bermuda or New York. While they might look and feel very different from their international namesakes, the UK destinations with foreign names are nonetheless wonderful spots to holiday in. With many people looking to holiday in a home environment rather than in a hotel or resort, what could be better than a home swapping holiday in places such as Egypt, Melbourne, Holland or Hollywood?”

To book a home swapping holiday in a UK place with a foreign name, simply sign up to Love Home Swap, find a preferred property in one of the 10 destinations mentioned above and contact the owner to get the ball rolling. Before you know it, you could be on the beach in California, Great Yarmouth!

Toronto, County Durham
Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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