Our family home was re-modelled fifteen years ago - it is built on the site of the Victorian village school. Our house is a six bedroomed modern home set in 10 acres, located about 3 miles from the town of Weymouth, Dorset. You will see a family of deer running across the field which is our back garden, from our woodland, every day. If you are quiet, you can get quite close to them. There is an abundance of hares too. We adore the location which is an area of outstanding natural beauty. We live in a hamlet with a handful of houses spread out over a couple of miles - very peaceful. There is a summer bus service once a day out and once a day back again. The hamlet is a fascinating place, having been occupied by the Americans in WWII as they were preparing for the D Day landings; there is evidence of this in the small church, which is our only immediate neighbour to one side. There are two houses and a small B&B on the opposite side of the small country lane, but no neighbours very close (you rarely see anyone here if you don't venture out). It also forms the fictionally titled 'Moonfleet' of the famous Faulkner novel. The Chesil Bank backwater with all its wildlife and serenity is within close walking distance. The house has a kitchen/diner with snug, playstation/wii room, office, conservatory, utility room, front room with sky tv and flat screen tv/dvd/video, basement playroom (lots of young children toys), en-suite main bedroom plus two further family bathrooms with one twin bedroom, three single rooms and another double (all of the rooms are large enough to take double beds). One double and one single plus bathroom are attic rooms, the rest are on the first floor. There is a hot tub in the rear courtyard. We have all the usual modern things - wireless broadband (happy for you to use our laptop which will be here), playstation 3 and wii, washing machine, tumble drier, dishwasher, central heating etc. You can take beautiful coastal walks from our house - you can hear the sea from the house (although not see it - a hill in the way!) and bathing beaches are within a couple of miles drive. Our children enjoy riding their BMX bikes on our land - we have two fields at the back of our house and an area of woodland. You can simply sit on the deck with a drink and supervise from there. The woods make great exploring/den building etc. We also have a safe lawn area and walled courtyard for smaller ones. We have bikes that can be used - man's mountain bike, two mountain bikes for teenage boys, three further bmx bikes, one smaller boy bike.
Weymouth and Portland are full of summer fun and were the venue for the Olympic Sailing events in 2012. The area is full of natural beauty off season and is a popular weekend break for city-dwellers (very swanky family hotel one mile up our road). The walks from our house along the coast are spectacular; we are in the middle of Thomas Hardy's Wessex. We are an hour away by car from Exeter in one direction and Bournemouth in the other, so lots of attractions and places of interest in the near regions. We are on the Jurassic coast and there are some great dinosaur museums and fossil hunt things nearby. Very locally, in a neighbouring village, there is a great children's farm and a swannery. In Weymouth there is a Sea Life Centre and a golden sandy beach which is especially safe for children (gently shelving over a great distance) - photo of our boys on town beach below. Within a five mile radius there are some excellent local fish restaurants, family-friendly eating and drinking venues and spectacular places to visit such as Portland Bill and lighthouse. You can take day trips to the Channel Islands and St Malo (France) from Weymouth on the hydrofoil. London is just over two hours by train, an easy day trip on a direct line into Waterloo.
We are a family of five - we have three boys. I would say we live quite an 'outdoors life', often spending days at home enjoying fresh air and making our own entertainment. We have a large and comfortable family home which is lived in and not a show home - a practical family home with tiled and real wood floors throughout the ground floor, practically the best option for keeping clean (inevitably bits of the great outdoors come in). We keep the home very clean (professional cleaner weekly which can happen during your stay) but also believe in children being children. We have a dog who will go to kennels if you prefer, or you can look after her - she is only allowed in the conservatory because I am allergic to pet hair, so no pets here please (and nor can we swap with a house which normally has a dog or cat allowed in most of the house). I am an English teacher in a local Secondary School, we have many, many books throughout our home! I am of multi-heritage (Anglo-Indian) whilst my husband has lived all his life within the same three mile radius, so we mix those views about life/community/diversity together and you will feel this in the decoration of our home. We have travelled widely all over the world with our children and enjoy experiencing different ways of life. After many disappointing clinical hotel/apartment stays, we much prefer to house swap; to date we have swapped in London many times and last summer we swapped in Los Angeles and had a real Californian adventure. We are open to swaps anywhere - we are simply interested in spending some of our long school holidays elsewhere, seeing something new.