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6 Great Reasons to Housesit in the UK

housesits uk

Looking to step up your housesitting game?

There’s one surefire way to do it if you’re housesitting through an online platform, and that’s to have more reviews. More reviews means more experience, and overall more trustworthiness. There are no shortcuts to housesitting - you will need to invest time and energy.

However, there are shorter cuts, and if you’re new to housesitting, the UK is a great place to start.

We spent 7 weeks housesitting in the UK this past summer with two housesits in London, one in Glasgow, and two in Brighton, for a total of five housesits. Our original plan was to escape the broiling Madrid summer heat (where we live when we aren’t housesitting) and head somewhere cooler where it would be easy to line up housesits.

Turns out that housesitting in the UK was even better than we thought - here’s why and what we’ve learned over those two months.

1. Lots of Housesits in the UK on Multiple Websites 

best website house sitting uk

The UK has always been a major player in the housesitting world. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Trusted Housesitters, the largest housesitting website worldwide, started in the UK. For more information on pros and cons of using the website, read our opinions in our TrustedHousesitters review.

We had been monitoring the housesit availability in different European countries and knew that we’d be able to secure housesits in the UK fairly easily due to the sheer demand for housesitters from homeowners. 

While we primarily use Trusted Housesitters, there are many other websites that are UK based as well, like mindahome.co.uk and housesittersuk.co.uk. However, TrustedHousesitters had over 1000 listings on their website in the UK alone when we were looking.

Brits love to go on vacation. When we housesat up in Glasgow, practically the whole block was on holiday in Spain. Must be something to do with all the sunny days there and lack thereof in Scotland.

Also, Brits love their pets and consequently turned housesitting into a popular trend here. More housesits means more options and a higher likelihood you’ll land one.

find uk house sits

Statistically, housesitting in the UK is in your favor.

2. Easy to Get Around the UK

scottish house sits
Don't believe the naysayers - you can see the Highlands without a car

Britain is a small country that is very well connected via public transport.

There is a large percentage of housesits that will either be directly accessible by train, or at least via train and bus. If you were planning an extended stay and are flexible, you could easily train or bus it across the entire island as well.

So don’t think you need to be situated in one corner - once you’re on the island, it’s all up for grabs. Rarely is a journey more than a few hours - you can go all the way from London to Glasgow in four hours, as we did. We even visited the Scottish Highlands by train twice, taking day trips to the Isle of Arran and Loch Lomond National Park.

Also, there are special deals and travel discounts that you can sign up for to make travel even cheaper. We used the Two Together Railcard, as it gave us a 30% discount on all train rides.

3. They Speak English (mostly)

house sits uk cities

This seems obvious, but it’s worth stressing.

Sure, in the capital cities of many countries, like Berlin, many people are likely to speak English. However, that convenient fact quickly dissipates the further you stray from metropolitan centers.

For international housesitters, that may limit your options if you’re concerned about not speaking the local language.

Communication is key in housesitting. If something goes wrong, it will be that much more difficult to resolve problematic situations if you’re in a rural or remote area where you don’t speak the native language.

For English speakers, there are no language barriers in the UK!

Except for train conductors in Glasgow. For the record though, the Scottish accent is way cooler than English.

4. Good for getting work done cus it rains all the time

house sitting uk advantages

We both work online. Chances are you do as well, or you’re looking to. Maybe you like to maintain a blog/online presence.

For us digitally tethered folks, having a reliable internet connection is vital. We’re not on perpetual vacation, so we need a good work environment and proper Wi-Fi.

This is where housesitting comes in. Most modern homeowners would not be caught dead without blazing fast internet. And most homeowners maintain a cozy, comfortable home that a sterile hotel or hostel just can’t compare to.

But the UK takes it to the next level.

Housesitting in the UK is great because it rains half/all the time. Sure, you may catch yourself daydreaming and staring out a window, but that grey exterior is the opposite of inviting.

This weather gives you plenty of time to cozy up inside with a cup of tea (always generously stocked in British households), your new furry friend, and your laptop to get some work done.

5. Variety of places in a small island country 

house sit brighton
Quirky Brighton and its nonstop outdoor street fairs

You may think - what variety? It’s one country.

Well, you’re only part right.

The UK is composed of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and of course, England. Not only that, but there are huge international communities in many metropolitan cities, as any visit to London or Glasgow will show. There’s a rich history to explore throughout the country. There’s the city of York, originally settled by Vikings, colonized by Romans, taken by Normans, and so on.

Then there’s quirky (and super vegan-friendly) Brighton, which hardly resembles London or York.

And up north there are Glasgow and Edinburgh, two very different cities and the most prominent ones in Scotland. You’ll get a very different experience housesitting in all of these places, though there are certainly some things you’ll find in all corners of the UK (like fish n chips shops).

6. Affordable to get to (for Europe and East Coast USA) 

uk village house sits

Being based in Europe has extended our housesitting reach considerably.

Flights throughout Europe can be ridiculously cheap - like 20 euros one way cheap. We have met Scots spending a birthday weekend in Madrid, and have had many friends come visit us from England or another nearby country, for a weekend. For those based in Europe, the affordability of country hopping is nothing new. Also, for those from the east coast of the US, flying into London can be quite affordable depending on the season and sales going on.

Bonus reason to housesit in the UK: 

If you’re vegan, housesitting in the UK is a wonderland of vegan restaurants and vegan products in grocery stores. We may have eaten ourselves into a stupor more than once with all the delicious vegan food on offer. We wrote more about our eating escapades in our vegan foodie guides Glasgow Vegan Guide and Brighton Vegan Guide.

house sit uk scotland
A full (vegan) Scottish Breakfast

Housesitting in the UK may not seem glamorous like New York City or exotic as Bali (which seems all the rage these days). You need start from humble beginnings if you want to get the more popular destinations.

If you’re thinking of getting started housesitting, and/or looking to do some international sitting, the UK is a great place to start building up your housesitting chops.

Have you or would you ever housesit in the UK?

About Alternative Travelers

This guest post was brought to you by Sam and Veren of Alternative Travelers - our favourite travel blogging couple. Originally from New York they are now based in Madrid. They slow travel on a budget via housesitting and aim to show that neither travelling nor veganism has to be expensive or difficult. We like them because, like us, they are vegan and into martial arts - and we can forgive them for being American, because Sam's part Hungarian đź’–. 

Check out their blogInstagram and Facebook to find out more! 

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We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same!


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