Imagine spending a week or two at a beautiful home while walking the steps of history. There are plenty of magnificent properties within the ThirdHome portfolio, and quite a few have a historical background that will make your stay awe-worthy.

Keep reading to discover the intriguing and historic homes within the ThirdHome Rentals and Exchange portfolio!

Eastry Court, United Kingdom, England

Eastry Court | Eastry, United Kingdom

Step inside one of England’s oldest palaces! Eastry Court claims to be the first recorded house in English history. It’s thought to have been the palace of King Egbert of Kent beginning in 665 AD. Ever since then, the palace has been inhabited by many English aristocrats. Eastry Court was passed from the kings of Kent to the religious establishment at Canterbury in the Anglo-Saxon period. In 1164 AD, Archbishop Thomas Becket hid within the walls of the palace from King Henry II. Only about 70 miles from bustling London, this English getaway is sure to captivate any traveler’s mind.

Click here to view on ThirdHome Exchange.

King Edward VIII’s Beach Estate | Nassau, Bahamas

A former king’s island residence could be your next holiday destination. This beautiful estate in Nassau, Bahamas belonged to King Edward VIII while he served as governor of the Bahamas. He lived here for the first year of his governing with his wife, American socialite, Wallis Simpson. Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry Simpson and they moved to the Nassau estate in 1940. British aviation pioneer, Mr. Sigrist, built the home in the mid-1920s and it was featured in the early “James Bond” movies!

Click here to view on ThirdHome Exchange.

Italy, Florence, Wine, Vineyards

Villa la Querce | Impruneta, Italy

Built in the hills and vineyards of Impruneta is a historic Italian masterpiece. Villa la Querce is an elegant villa located in the hills of Florentine Chianti and is not only known for its quality of wine and olive oil, but is also known for its historical significance. The main architectural feature of the villa, a prominent and stately tower, dates back to the 1300s. Furthermore, there were reports of a sale in the area of a “house with land and vineyards” dated back to 1042. During World War II, the villa was occupied by German soldiers at one point.

Click here to view on ThirdHome Rentals.

Galway, Ireland, Boathouse

The Boathouse | Galway, Ireland

A 200-year-old coast guard station on the coast of the Irish Ardfry Peninsula awaits your arrival. This renovated 19th-century building now offers 5 bedrooms, incredible green scenery, and uninterrupted ocean views. Located right on the water and surrounded by walled gardens, there couldn’t be a more relaxing or wonderful place to experience alongside family. This seafront residence is tucked away off a country road on the grounds of the 18th century Ardfry castle ruins and is only 9 miles from the city of Galway.

Click here to view on ThirdHome Exchange.

France, Chateau, King Louis

Chateau de Lalande | Crozon-sur-Vauvre, France

A quintessential chateau nestled in the heart of France could be your next magical destination. Chateau de Lalande was built in the 16th century and once belonged to King Louis XIV’s cousin, La Grande Mademoiselle. The romantically-structured chateau is built to accommodate up to 22 guests. Standing amongst nature in the small town of Crozon-sur-Vauvre, there is plenty to explore and see in the French countryside. You can even visit the nearby town of Nohant to visit the home of French novelist, George Sand, where she hosted many famous artists such as Frederick Chopin, with whom she had a relationship. 

Click here to view on ThirdHome Rentals.

Italy, Tuscany. Villa, Wine

Villa Scopetello | Sinalunga, Italy

One of the most renowned villas in the heart of Tuscany is calling your name. Historical documents show that the first owner of Villa Scopetello was recorded in the 13th century! Pope Pio II’s family owned the villa until 1873. Whether you’re swimming in the lavish pool or playing tennis on the private court, there is much to see and do around the 700-year-old villa. Built amongst the small, quiet village of Sinalunga, Villa Scopetello will welcome you with unparalleled beauty.

Click here to view on ThirdHome Exchange.

If these historic homes intrigue you and you’d like to learn more about  ThirdHomeplease click here.

ThirdHome Exchange members have recently returned from Aups, France, and Somerset, United Kingdom. Keep reading to learn about their ThirdHome experience.

Aups France THIRDHOME

Beautiful French Farmhouse in Provence | Aups, France

Catch a breath of fresh air in the foothills of the French Alps at this stunning farmhouse. This effortlessly elegant farmhouse retains a classic stone exterior with updated amenities and decor on the interior. Sleep up to 8 people in this house while exploring the French countryside. Learn about the local black truffle and olive oil industry or discover wineries across the peaceful Aups landscape. Gastro/Oenophiles will find endless places of interest surrounding this charming home.

ThirdHome member Kathy says, “Our one week stay (6 adults) was fantastic!! A serene setting, amazing views. Farmhouse overlooks a valley, surrounded by abundant olive trees and the Alps in the distance…Loved our day trips to Verdon Gorge+ Moustiers Ste Marie, St Tropez, Monaco, local vineyards and surrounding quaint villages. Outdoor market days in Aups center were delightful.” click here to read more of Kathy’s review.

Somerset United Kingdom THIRDHOME

Whitelackington Manor | Somerset, United Kingdom

Treat yourself and up to 23 other guests to a regal countryside escape with a stay at Whitelackington Manor in charming Somerset. The extravagant interior will leave you speechless. From the rustic hardwood billiards room to the grand room fireplace, you’ll feel a sense of prestige only afforded to English manors. Outside you can enjoy a heated swimming pool and views of the sprawling estate gardens. Explore surrounding breweries, mythic Glastonbury or the nearby Cheddar Gorge cheese caves.

ThirdHome member Petra says, “If Hollywood needed a quintessential English manor house, they would choose Whitelackington Manor. The house and gardens are as picture postcard as you can possibly imagine, but with all modern amenities. This house (if you dare call it that) is perfect for a large family gathering or for a group of friends who want to play Lord of the Manor for one week…This house is NOT 5 out of 5. It is 100 out of 100. If you only stay in one ThirdHome property in England, Whitelackington Manor is the one to choose.” click here to read more of Petra’s review.

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome Exchange trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

If you’ve booked or are thinking about booking a trip to The United Kingdom, this guide is for you. ThirdHome‘s Travel Concierge, Liz Bates, has collected The U.K.’s best local experiences, and is now sharing her insider knowledge with you!

DON’T JUST BE A TOURIST. LIVE LIKE A LOCAL, IN LONDON, WALES AND SCOTLAND, BY ADDING-ON ONE OF THESE PRIVATE OR SMALL GROUP EXPERIENCES!

London

Discover a bustling metropolis of art, history and culture in London. With much more to see than can be fit into a week-long stay, consider adding on a Live Like a Local experience to cover the essentials.

London

Evening Thames River Dinner Cruise – $179 per person 

Enjoy a sumptuous dinner cruising past Big Ben, the London Eye, and more.

London

Rail it to Liverpool & Beatles Magical Tour – $259 per person

Included roundtrip rail tickets, Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, and entry to The Beatles Story.

london

Buckingham Palace – $129 per person

A panoramic tour of royal sites in central London followed by an audio tour of the staterooms, ballroom, and throne room in Buckingham Palace.


London Wales

Stunning coasts and castles await in ancient Wales. Uncover mythical landscapes, historic landmarks and seaside charm in the Celtic land of Wales.

london brecon beacons

Private Brecon Beacons & Historic Sites – $429 per person

Find otherworldly views from mountains that tower over tiny hamlets boasting historic churches.

London Pembrokeshire coast

Private Pembrokeshire Coast – $429 per person

Visit Dylan Thomas’ home, Laugharne Castle, beautiful beaches, and more in this stunning coastal area.


Edinburgh london

Visit Edinburgh, the capital and cultural center of Scotland. It’s medieval architecture, craggy coast and exciting nightlife will have you longing for more time in this vibrant city.

london edinburgh

Old & New Town Tasting Walking Tour – $125 per person 

Enjoy good food, drink and company while learning the rich history of Edinburgh. Old & New Town are both listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

London Edinburgh

Entrance to Edinburgh Castle w/Afternoon Tea – $69 per person

Visit this hilltop fortress, home to the Scottish Crown Jewels. After a self-guided tour, enjoy traditional afternoon tea with scones and sandwiches at the castle’s elegant tea room.


London Scotland

Beyond the marvels of Edinburgh lies an entire country filled with historic and cultural gems. From Loch Ness to the Isle of Sky, there’s no shortage of bucket list sites to see in Scotland.

Scotland london

Eileen Donan Castle & Isle of Skye – $125 per person

Behold some of Scotland’s most iconic scenery- Loch Ness, Eilean Donan Castle, Isle of Skye, and Black Isle.

London Scotch distillery

Discover Malt Whisky Highlands Tour – $69 per person 

Experience single malt Scotch whisky at two fascinating distilleries on the edge of the Highlands on this full-day tour.

Alnwick London Scotland

Melrose Abbey & Alnwick Castle – $75 per person 

Rolling hills, beautiful ruins, and a fascinating castle used as filming locations for Harry Potter and Downtown Abbey.

London

NO Keys are required to book these excursions and guided activities, however, a Personal Concierge assistance fee of $200 will be required upfront and does not include the actual tours and experiences you opt to add-on. If you would like to include a local excursion, please contact ThirdHome‘s Travel & Concierge, Liz Bates.

Click here to see the Live Like a Local directory.

What are ThirdHome Members saying about their luxury home exchange trips to The Dominican Republic and the United Kingdom this week?

Dominican Republic

La Esperanza | Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic

Sometimes called “the Hamptons of the Dominican Republic” and other times “the Beverly Hills of the D.R.”, Casa de Campo sure does live up to expectation. Comprised of over 1,700 villas ranging in price from $500K to $24 million, visiting Casa de Campo means being in good company. When ThirdHome member, Barbara visited this past month, she only knew as much as the travel guidebooks could tell her. There was no predicting the extent of the pampering she and her party would receive by the property staff. With 3-bedrooms and a pool terrace surrounded by lush greenery, this home is perfect for a winter’s end escape.

ThirdHome member Barbara says, “Casa de Campo is the Beverly Hills of the Caribbean, who knew? Not us…Our home away from home was lovely, beautifully decorated and comfortable without being pretentious…It was truly an exquisite week that we shall never forget! ” click here to read more of Barbara’s review

Dominican Republic Cotswald UK

Fox End | Cotswolds, United Kingdom

Just follow the cookie crumbs from Oxford and you’ll soon arrive at this fairytale cottage in the charming and pastoral Moreton-in-Marsh parish of Cotswold. The building itself dates back to the 1650’s but has been delicately and lovingly updated over the years, a perfect blend of old and new. For reference, tea was introduced to England in 1652, making this property as quintessentially British as teatime. With room for up to 8 people, the word “cottage” more so describes the aesthetic and bucolic qualities of the home rather than the size. Explore the countryside, enjoy tea in the garden, go horseback riding or go fly fishing all from the comfort of this cozy Cotswold home.

ThirdHome members Dean and Lesli say, “We did–fall in love, that is. Hated to leave! This was the perfect storybook cottage in the perfect location. Our family of five were exceedingly comfortable in this well-appointed, gracious and beautifully furnished home…Our visit was exactly what we wanted and needed it to be and it would be our pleasure to have the opportunity to return one day!” click here to read more of Dean and Lesli’s review

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

What are ThirdHome members saying about their luxury home exchange trips (to Rome and London Fashion Week) this week?

Rome

Spanish Steps Via Della Mercede | Rome, Italy

Looking for style and accessibility? Try booking a stay at this property on Rome’s Spanish Steps. You’ll be within walking distance of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and many other popular attractions. Discover the ancient history of Rome all from the not-so-ancient comforts of a modern and well-appointed 2-bedroom residence.

ThirdHome member Emma says, “This is by far the best property we have had the pleasure of booking. Everything about this apartment is perfect – the location, the spaciousness, the amenities, the thoughtfulness of the owners – welcome wine, charcuterie, bread and water. We have been to Rome many times but this was one of the best visits we’ve ever made to the Eternal City…” click here to read more of Emma’s review

Rome London

Designer Townhouse, London Fashion Week | London, U.K.

Imagine being smack dab in the middle of trendy Islington during London Fashion Week 2018. This was the case for ThirdHome member Abdallah when he and his wife booked an Exclusive Stay Experience in London in February. This exciting week was filled with non-stop catwalks, VIP events and the latest trends in haute-couture. Complementing this flurry of fashion was one of London’s most fashionable townhomes, which sleeps up to 7 people. A sleek interior, outdoor living space and clean modern lines throughout make this home the obvious choice for a London stay, fashion week or not.

ThirdHome member Abdallah says, “My wife and I had truly a remarkable week at this wonderful London house, everything was well prepared and organized for our arrival, the housekeeping we requested kept the house impeccably serviced on a daily basis, we left as if we were in a luxury 5-star hotel!!!” click here to read more of Abdallah’s review

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

WHAT ARE THIRDHOME MEMBERS SAYING ABOUT THEIR LUXURY HOME EXCHANGE TRIPS (TO LONDON AND THE ITALIAN ALPS) THIS WEEK?

Italian Alps

The Garden View Flat | London, U.K.

Located in Knightsbridge, one of London’s most affluent neighborhoods, The Garden View Flat is a stylish and well-appointed West London home. With room to sleep up to 4 people, this residence is the perfect jumping-off point for a London escape. Just minutes from Hyde Park, Harrods and the Royal Albert Hall you won’t find a property more conveniently located than this (unless you’ve found a stay in Buckingham Palace).

ThirdHome member Alex says, “This serene, sublime penthouse represents the best of the ThirdHome experience. The flat is a calm, light-filled, [and is] overlooking a classic, block-long London garden. The floor-to-ceiling window wall in the living room offers a spectacular view – on New Year’s Eve I was able to watch a rousing display of fireworks all along the Thames.” click here to read more of Alex’s review

Italian Alps

Chalet Piccolo Sogno | Breuil-Cervinia, Italian Alps

Escape to Italy’s scenic Aosta Valley with Chalet Picco Sogno (Little Dream Chalet in English). Under the shadow of the Matterhorn and near the border to Zermatt, Switzerland, this property is located in prime Italian Alps ski territory. With a warmly appointed interior and space to sleep up to 8 people, this cozy mountain chalet is the ideal escape for a small ski group. Due to the height of the region, you’ll find that ski season lasts slightly longer, generally from November to April.

ThirdHome member Chantelle says, “We had an awesome stay at Piccolo Sogno. My two boys, my wife and I stayed for a week and thoroughly enjoyed everything…The skiing was incredible…I definitely recommend this chalet if you have the chance to stay. ” click here to read more of Chantelle’s review

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

“On the veranda of her stunning family home in Barbados, Sarah-Jane Gaselee soaks up her breathtaking surroundings as the warm breeze brings the sweet smell of frangipani.”-Sally Morgan

So begins an exclusive “Hello Mag” interview and photo shoot of ThirdHome member and bridesmaid to Princess Diana, Sarah-Jane Gaselee.

Gaselee

Sarah-Jane and her partner, Paul Andrews have been ThirdHome members since 2011. But the story of their home began in 2004 when they took on the home renovation project of a lifetime with a 300-year old sugar plantation in Barbados.

Barbados

Ruby, Paul and Ashley

Although the property was in rough shape when they found it, Sarah knew it was the perfect home for them, “When I first met Paul he whisked me to Barbados to show it to me and I fell for it straight away.” Renovations began soon thereafter.

Barbados

During the renovation period, the couple had two beautiful children, Ruby and Ashley. Now the whole family gets to enjoy Bellevue and all it has to offer, including 8 bedrooms with King beds and uninterrupted ocean views.

Barbados

Sarah was also keen to bring a bit of home to Barbados, “Once a month we put on an 18th-century garden party. Guests dress in traditional period costume, dine on cream teas and watch a polo match in the afternoon.”

Barbados

Knowing that Prince Harry is also an avid Polo player, she’s recently extended an invitation to him and Meghan Markle to have their honeymoon at Bellevue.

Barbados

Sarah-Jane at Princess Diana’s wedding, 1981

“I’m sure Diana would be very happy that her son Prince Harry is marrying Meghan Markle. She seems like a great girl and such a warm person, and I’m really looking forward to watching their wedding,” said Sarah, briefly after recalling her young relationship with the late Princess Diana.

Check out the full Hello Mag article here.

Click here to visit Bellevue’s property page. Members, make sure to set a “watch” alert on this fantastic property!

Amex Travel’s Trend forecast for 2018 has some classics and some newcomers in the realm of international travel; Bali, Costa Rica, Dubai and Vietnam to name a few. But how do the industry-wide trends line up with ThirdHome users in 2018? It’s looking to be a strong year for cultural immersion trips paired with luxury experiences.

Several of these destinations come as no surprise. Costa Rican properties have been increasingly popular in the club as have Bali homes. The “United States Hot Spots” are longtime favorites of ThirdHome members. But what sticks out within ThirdHome’s membership for 2018?

Of our member bookings for 2018, here are ThirdHome’s Top 10 Destinations of 2018:

10. “United States Hot Spots”: Florida, California, Aspen, Park City, Vail, Truckee, San FranciscoTop 10 destinations 2018

It’s not difficult to guess why over 16% of 2018 bookings end up concentrating near the Rockies and West Coast. World-class ski resorts and mountain homes with stunning views are the main attractions. But year-round outdoor recreation opportunities make Western U.S. Hot Spot cities even more attractive for active travelers. Southeast bookings have unsurprisingly been dominated by Florida stays around the Gulf. These U.S. destinations are definitely worth a Saved Search, given how quickly and often they’re booked. If being more outdoorsy was one of your resolutions for the New Year, consider making a trip out West.

Click here to see available properties in the United States.


9. Mexico: Cabo San Lucas

Top 10 destinations of 2018

Great weather, beautiful beaches and amazing golf. Mexico, particularly the Baja del Sur region, seems to have it all. With all the Affiliate resort properties available, making a trip to Mexico is just so easy. And even if you aren’t looking for a coastal resort town there are so many cultural experiences to be had in cities like San Miguel de Allende. Taking an estimated 11% of 2018 bookings, Mexico is very popular with many ThirdHome users.

Click here to see available properties in Mexico.


8. France: Paris, French Alps and Provence

Top 10 destinations 2018

Who doesn’t dream of flying away to Paris for a week of relaxation and cultural immersion? Centrally located Parisian properties have always been popular for club members, but a few new French destinations are gaining popularity. The French Alps are drawing more adventurous skiers this year. Also, more members are exploring Provence and other pastoral Southern regions. Yes, landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport and not leaving Paris makes for a wonderful trip, but don’t be afraid to explore new areas of the French countryside, mountains and coast in 2018.

Click here to see available properties in France.


7. Costa Rica: Playa Flamingo and Manuel Antonio

Top 10 destinations 2018

Costa Rica has emerged as a must-go eco-travel destination over the last few years. With an abundance of luxurious villas available in gorgeous areas like Playa Flamingo and the Manuel Antonio Rainforest, it would be criminal not to make a quick stop in Costa Rica in 2018. Most destinations are easily accessible, usually only requiring one transfer flight when flying from the United States.

Click here to see available properties in Costa Rica.


6. The United Kingdom: London

Top 10 Destinations 2018

Similar to Paris, a trip to London is an easy European adventure. The city is filled with endless activities and experiences, making the city one of our top destinations of 2018. But more members are also venturing out to different U.K. locales. Naturally, more golf enthusiasts have been booking properties in Scotland while others are venturing to smaller towns, such as Cornwall.

Click here to see available properties in The United Kingdom.


5. Italy: Rome and Venice

Top 10 destinations 2018

Holidays in Rome and Venice have remained fairly popular in the club. Historic properties with central access to attractions have kept bookings up in Italy for 2018. A wide range of rural Tuscan properties have also been popular. Smaller coastal cities like Trieste are making for a slightly different Italian experience, more akin to a Croatian holiday. The Italian Alps are also drawing more and more skiers into cozy mountainside chalets. Be sure to explore Italy’s diverse range of destinations this year.

Click here to see available properties in Italy.


4. Canada: Mont-Tremblant

Top 10 destinations 2018

2017 was a big year for Canadian travel and 2018 will probably see even more bookings in the great North. With urban centers like Quebec and Toronto anchoring huge swaths of national parkland, Canada has the best of city living and natural wonder. Not to mention some of the world’s best skiing at Mont-Tremblant and Whistler. Cozying up by the fire in a timber ski chalet alongside Lac Tremblant is something everyone should experience.

Click here to see available properties in Canada.


3. South Africa: Cape Town and Plettenberg

Top 10 destinations 2018

With a diversity of landscapes only paralleled by New Zealand, South Africa is a one-stop shop for coastal wonder, safari adventure and serene wine country. ThirdHome members are mostly booking stays along the coastline in places like Cape Town and Plettenberg Bay. In a country like South Africa, it’s easy to stay on the coast and make day trips to the Franschhoek Winelands or the safari lands alongside the Zimbabwe and Mozambique borders. Or, just play with the penguins at Table Mountain National Park in Boulders Beach. South Africa is filled with out-of-this-world experiences.

Click here to see available properties in South Africa.


2. Spain: Marbella

top 10 destinations 2018

Surprisingly, large urban centers like Madrid and Barcelona aren’t topping ThirdHome’s charts. Spain’s booking numbers are led largely by Marbella properties and other Costa del Sol homes. The Andalusia region’s rich history, Moorish influence and warm weather make Costa del Sol a prime location for a summer vacation with cultural immersion built-in. The luxurious private property selection in Costa del Sol is an attraction in itself. Some of these villas are to die for. If you haven’t already explored the land of Don Quixote, do yourself a favor in 2018 and book an Andalusian property.

Click here to see available properties in Spain.


1. The U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Thomas

Top 10 destinations 2018

Demand for the U.S. Virgin Islands was hardly diminished despite Hurricane Irma. Private homes and resort properties, mostly The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club St. Thomas, have seen healthy bookings for 2018. Luckily, the Virgin Islands have rebounded from Hurricane season and have been tourist operational since this past November. St. Thomas has always been a ThirdHome favorite and will most-likely make the Top 10 list for years to come.

Click here to see available properties in The U.S. Virgin Islands.


ThirdHome’s Top 10 Destinations 2018

2018 should be a fresh year of discovery for members. So, we recommend trying something new. Whether it’s ecological exploration, cultural discovery or new outdoor recreation experiences, make 2018 a year to remember.

Now that you’ve seen what fellow club members are booking for 2018, where will you go? Click here to browse through all available properties. Remember, you must be logged in to see availability. 

EOY ThirdHome Booking data 2017: Top 10 Destinations 2018 accounts for 45% of 2018 bookings.

WHAT ARE THIRDHOME MEMBERS SAYING ABOUT THEIR LUXURY HOME EXCHANGE TRIPS (TO THE UNITED KINGDOM AND NEW MEXICO) THIS WEEK?

brighton beach new mexico

Beautiful Brighton Beachfront | Brighton, United Kingdom

Brighton Beach is one of The United Kingdom’s most coveted holiday destinations. This refurbished property opens up directly onto the seafront, making for gorgeous views. Featuring a heated plunge pool, a sun terrace, hibachi grill and underfloor heating this property is perfect for a beach getaway any time of year. It is also in a private neighborhood so that you can enjoy the rolling ocean waves in peace and quiet. With room for 10 people, Brighton Beachfront is the perfect place to take your family and create everlasting memories.

ThirdHome member Linda says, “We had a truly wonderful week at the beach house which is a beautiful property right on the beach near to Brighton (UK).We were fortunate to have incredible weather which enabled us to make full use of the stunning location. ” Click here to read more of Linda’s review. 


New MExico

La Casa de la Esquela | Santa Fe, New Mexico

Besides its amazing landscaping and furnishings, this property comes with an incredible history. This home used to be the schoolhouse used to teach children of Manhattan Project workers during the 1940’s. It was designed in 1942 by Chicago architect William Kneck and was eventually moved to this beautiful location overlooking the Rio Grande. This house comes with plenty of outdoor living space and can accommodate up to 14 people. Its history, vistas and immaculate landscaping make this one of ThirdHome’s most unique properties.

ThirdHome member James says, “I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at La Casa de la Esquela. The location of this property affords stunning views, as well as a peaceful and quiet environment to relax, read, and enjoy nature. All in all, a most pleasant place to have called home for a week. Thank you for sharing with me!” Click here to read more of James’ review. 

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

Linda & John Ridgeon are avid ThirdHome travelers and have been members since 2011. The Ridgeons have managed to visit 17 properties within 6 years, by way of their two properties in Southern Spain. Formerly in the music education business, the Ridgeons are now retired and spend their time sailing, practicing photography and exploring the world. Read below to find out what makes Linda & John Ridgeon such exemplary ThirdHome members.

John Ridgeon

How did you get involved with ThirdHome?

We joined ThirdHome in 2011 after researching companies which would allow us to do home exchanges with our second home in Spain. We loved the flexible arrangement of the Keys which ThirdHome offers (rather than relying on direct exchanges) as well as the exceptional quality of homes in the portfolio. We have visited 17 properties in 6 years and have genuinely loved every one. We have another 4 trips already booked! We have greatly appreciated the changes that ThirdHome has introduced over the years, particularly the seasonal Key values and the huge increase of properties in Europe.

John Ridgeon

Where are you based?

We live in the UK in (the original) Rochester which is in Kent, 25 miles east of London. However, we spend around 4 months of the year (in month blocks) in our beloved second home in Andalusia, Southern Spain.

Who do you usually travel with?

We normally travel as a couple. Our adult children are in their 20’s (no grandchildren as yet!) and have limited time for holidays at the moment. One or more of them have joined us for a few trips and we sometimes travel with another couple who are close friends and also live in Rochester.

John Ridgeon

What do you do for a living?

We retired in 2011 having sold our music training business, Access to Music, the day after John’s 65th birthday. We had 10 centres around England (plus partnerships with 10 colleges) and provided government-funded training in contemporary music for young people and adults. Many of our students have gone on to achieve success in the music industry, the most notable being Ed Sheeran, who is now a Patron of the Company.

What are your favorite travel hobbies?

There is very little that we don’t enjoy doing and we welcome the variety that we have experienced through our ThirdHome vacations. We love being on or near the water (we were previous boat owners), walking or driving through the mountains and visiting historic cities, spending time in museums and galleries and going to concerts.

John Ridgeon

In your past travels with ThirdHome, what was your favorite destination and what did you love about it? 

It is almost impossible to single out one favourite destination but our week in Guadeloupe on the TradeWinds flagship catamaran, New Beginnings, is right up there. We loved it so much we became TradeWinds members and have just completed our fourth voyage with them in Greece. We have really appreciated the continued increase in European properties as living in the UK these are more accessible to us and we have been pleasantly surprised at how many opportunities there have been to visit European cities through ThirdHome. So far we have visited Paris, Madrid, Rome, Vienna, Lisbon (from Estoril) and in December we are going to Prague. We have even visited London on three separate occasions! Even though we live less than an hour away, the opportunity to spend a week living right in the heart of the capital within walking distance of all that the city has to offer cannot be beat. Plus, our children all live in or close to London so we have had opportunities to come together as a family in the most amazing homes.

John Ridgeon

What’s the next destination you are eyeing to travel to with ThirdHome?

We already have trips planned to Brighton, England (later this month), Prague (December) and Antigua (February) – to tie in with another TradeWinds cruise. We are hoping to find somewhere in Florida or the Bahamas for November/December 2018 to tie in with a TradeWinds cruise in the Abacos.

What do you love most about your property with ThirdHome?

We actually have two properties with ThirdHome. Our 5-bedroom villa in Andalusia is 30 minutes from Malaga airport and a great base for a beach holiday with family or an opportunity to visit some of the wonderful historic Spanish cities such as Malaga, Granada, Ronda and even Seville. The house is relatively new (2010) but has been designed and furnished in a traditional Andalucian style with lots of Moroccan features and an internal patio with a wonderful marble fountain to cool the house in summer. It is well equipped for large families with plenty to do: a large salt-water heated pool, cinema room, gym, sauna, table tennis, pool table and community tennis courts. We are very proud of our many 5-star ratings. Our second property is a house which forms part of the highly rated La Villa Marbella boutique hotel in the heart of the old town in Marbella. We have two, two-bedroom suites both sleeping 4 with availability from November-March (excluding Christmas and Easter weeks).

John Ridgeon

How has ThirdHome changed the way you travel?

We tend to avoid staying in hotels now whenever possible and we often plan where want to go according to what is available on ThirdHome! We are very flexible now that we are retired and prefer to travel out of high-season when possible. Because we rent our properties out, they are professionally managed and equipped for visitors and we have found that the same applies to the properties we have visited. This is so much safer than a traditional home swap where there is no way of knowing how well-organized and equipped the property you are visiting might be.

What is the nicest amenity you have encountered while staying at a ThirdHome property?

We once stayed at a beautiful, architect-designed, riverfront property in Fowey, Cornwall (the village where my grandparents lived and where I spent many childhood holidays). The house was right on the river and had its own mooring and boat which we were permitted to use.

John Ridgeon

How would you describe ThirdHome to a friend?

ThirdHome is a unique and affordable concept which allows you to deposit down time in your own second home in exchange for keys which you can use flexibly to stay in other high-quality properties around the world at a time to suit you.

What’s the most memorable restaurant you’ve eaten at during one of your trips?

Not a restaurant (there have been so many), but our most memorable meal was when we stayed at Brunello Villa in Italy (our first ThirdHome trip). The owner, Lucia, gave us a cookery lesson using produce from the estate and we ate the meal we prepared in her beautiful garden with her and her sommelier daughter, Alina, who selected a wonderful local wine to accompany it.

Any travel tips for fellow members?

Be flexible and have an open mind about where ThirdHome can take you.

Check out some of the Ridgeon’s beautiful photography below.

John Ridgeon

John Ridgeon

John Ridgeon

John Ridgeon

John Ridgeon

John Ridgeon

Hey London…

I like you. I really do.

My London visit and all the things to do in London were an unexpected surprise. After all, I’ve been here before and thought I wouldn’t really be phased by you.

But during my week-long visit to London which led me to deeper corners of this city that I previously hadn’t seen, I discovered there’s more to London then just a big old city.

Visit London

A visit to London will consist of exploring the breathtaking architecture and landmarks, shopping, great live entertainment and fine dining.

On every corner within the city, there was an opportunity to try succulent cuisines from around the world, and follow that up with an award-winning play at the local theatre. And luckily I had the chance to see one of the comedy shows which sent me into hysterics. This one was called ‘The Play that Goes Wrong,’ which I highly recommend.

Visit London Big Ben

There are major landmarks which you must explore, like Big Ben, The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Palace of Westminster, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Tate Modern Museum, Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square.

Don’t get overwhelmed by this list. These points of interest are close together and seeing them isn’t going to take up your entire holiday.

Visit London

I also loved wandering through the Borough Markets. A sea of fresh foods from around the world and locally prepared meals and brewed alcohol stalls which will do wonders to your palette.

Visit London

Furthermore, London, I would like to pride you on your people. Well-mannered, well-versed and full of life. My kind of people.

When I travel, it’s mostly people that I love meeting. All the untold stories that I desperately want to hear.

And London, you delivered. I stumbled upon incredible people, from my kind Uber drivers, to the memorable mind-provoking conversations with strangers that are now friends.

If you would truly love to experience what London has on offer, you must include a London makeover in your visit. I had the pleasure of working with a local stylist and also getting a new hair-do from Kim Lomax at the ‘Best Voted in London’ award winning The Chapel Place in Islington.

Visit London

It’s the perfect start to my Best Job On The Planet adventure. Looking fine and feeling fine.

I will miss you London. You left an impression on me.

So much so, that I wouldn’t be opposed to calling you home one day.

-Sorelle Amore

(PS. I’m slightly worried that every place I visit, I’ll want to call home.)

Visit London

ThirdHome members, ready to pack your bags and visit London? Click here to browse through properties in London.

Sorelle Amore won ThirdHome‘s “Best Job On The Planet,” which garnered more than 17,000 applications from around the world. In her position as a Luxury Travel Connoisseur for ThirdHome, she is traveling the world, staying in 12 luxury homes.

ThirdHome is the exclusive luxury property and travel club that enables second home owners to exchange time in their home for stays in spectacular destinations around the world. Click here for more information on how to become a member.

Islington London

Within the center of London lies the small suburb of Islington where your ThirdHome London accommodation is located. The charming white four-story townhouses with colorfully painted doors and black picket fences are home to some of the elites of town. Tony Blair would be the most familiar name, but many Prime Ministers, Secretaries of State and various other politicians live here.

London Accommodation

Islington is a vibrant, hip and trendy part of London. On Upper Street and surrounding streets, you’ll find theatres, pubs and many fashionable shops, as well as restaurants and cafes that will satisfy the palette.

Cuisines such as Mediterranean, French, Italian, Japanese, Indian and English are just some of your choices. For breakfast, the range is just as impressive, including local juice bars ready to create a healthy concoction to get your day started right.

Islington London

Your beautiful London accommodation located in Islington is also known for being located by award-winning hair and beauty salons.

The best-voted hairdresser in London, The Chapel Place, lies just minutes from the ThirdHome London property.

Make sure you stop in with the hair artist Kim for an ultimate London makeover experience.

London Accommodation

Within the comforts of your ThirdHome London accommodation, you’ll find immediate comfort in the cozy, modern four-story townhouse.

London Accommodation

The décor is dramatic. Beautiful dark decor is mixed with mood lighting throughout the three-bedroom home. A secluded courtyard at the back of the house is where you can sip on wine and bask in the warm summer sun.

London Accommodation

The famous city attractions of London are just minutes away from your doorstep. Hop in the underground tube for an efficient and adventurous way to get around, or catch the local black taxis or Ubers, which are plentiful.

St Katherine’s Dock is a must-visit location for breakfast. This prestigious and quiet area of town has cafes lined all around the docks with yachts from around the world residing there. Enjoy the silence as you indulge in a healthy, nutritious breakfast prior to your full days exploring.

London Bridge

Right around the corner you’ll find the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge and within a brisk walk, you’ll come across the acclaimed Borough Markets filled with stalls of fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese and cured meat displays, local brewery beer and spirit stalls, and of course endless food stalls for you to feast on.

A visit to London isn’t complete without a visit to the Tate Modern Museum, just a stone throw away from the Borough Markets. Enjoy a glass of wine of cup of coffee on the 6th floor of the museum, with views overlooking St Paul’s cathedral below.

Finish off the night by attending a local play from the hundreds of available shows in downtown London. There’s something for everyone. Comedy, drama, love stories and more. This is something you must see before leaving London.

Of course during your visit, do see Buckingham palace and the acclaimed guard charge at 11am sharp during summer and select days during winter (check the schedule prior).

A full structured ceremony was witnessed by hundreds of other keen onlookers. The Queen of England surely knows how to wow her house visitors!

Knowing that English ladies and gentlemen are tea experts, it’s highly recommend you spend the afternoon relaxing over high tea. Browns Hotel in the Mayfair District is the best high tea experience you will get in London, and it’s perfectly situated just minutes away from Old Bond Street – the designer shopping street of London.

If your senses still allow, do stop by Gordon’s Wine Bar on your way back home. It is the oldest wine bar in all of the U.K., and the underground cave that the bar is nestled into will surely leave you dazzled.

Gordon's Wine Bar

Whatever your hearts desire, London has it. It’s a town that must make its way up high on your travel bucket list.

-Sorelle Amore

ThirdHome members, ready to pack your bags and visit London? Click here to browse through properties in London.

Sorelle Amore won ThirdHome‘s “Best Job On The Planet,” which garnered more than 17,000 applications from around the world. In her position as a Luxury Travel Connoisseur for ThirdHome, she is traveling the world, staying in 12 luxury homes.

ThirdHome is the exclusive luxury property and travel club that enables second home owners to exchange time in their home for stays in spectacular destinations around the world. Click here for more information on how to become a member.

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