Sitting In The UK - Where have you sat?

I live in the USA. I notice many petsitting posts in the UK. I’m unfamiliar with the UK, except for the touristy places. So many
beautiful pictures and places. Share your experiences in the UK.


Well I’m biased @dhott415 as I come from England, in the UK but presumably you’re more interested in the experiences of non British sitters, are you?


@dhott415 I also live in the USA, but only recently - Like @Smiley I come from the UK, so I am also very biased :smiling_face:

So I asked my American husband his favourite places when he visited.

Boscastle a Cornish Village, a super cute village with a rugged coastline to explore.

Helmsley in Yorkshire is situated on the boundary of North York Moors National Park, it has a stunning garden to visit and great food.

Harrogate in North Yorkshire, a larger town but lots of history (Victorian spa town) and great cream tea shops!

Polesden Lacy - a National Trust property that my husband loved exploring.

He said he will let me know more when he thinks of them, but he loved driving around and exploring the UK, Wales and Ireland. He wants Edinburgh to be on his list next time as we did not have time for Scotland last visit.


Cornwall is a must but you will need a car. It’s beautiful, wild and mysterious.
Scotland but Inverness and northwards or the west coast and the islands. I still cry when I go back to the Hebrides. It’s one of my most favourite places in the world.
England is so diverse and so much history. Read up and chose places where the history has inspired you. I would recommend York for definite and Durham. The Yorkshire Dales for hiking. London of course. You can’t visitUK without going there.
Wales is a place I have only touched on but the coast is wonderful.
West Ireland is a must. All these rolly names and wonderful people.
So much to see so plan a few visits to our little country, small, perfectly formed and packed full of everything.


We have had 18 house sits in the UK: 1 in Cornwall, 1 in Northern Ireland, I in Wales, 5 in Scotland, and 10 in England. We enjoyed all of them so very much that we are returning this fall/winter for 4 more! We have made several life long friends from our home owners, who we visit even when we aren’t housesitting for them.

There is so very much to see and do. We always join The Royal Oak Society, which is the American branch of the National Trust, as well as English Heritage and the National Trust for Scotland and Nothern Ireland, when we visited there.

The entire “driving on the wrong side of the road” is not a problem! Everyone is doing it, so you go with the flow!

Most of all, give yourself time to enjoy where you are and visit all the little known places, not just the touristy ones. There is so very much to see and experience, that you may just find yourself return again, and again, and again.


Hi Smiley,
I am interested in any sitters sharing their experiences, especially if the visits are in less touristy places. From the pictures, the UK looks beautiful. Where would you go as a local?


I am from the US and spent two months sitting in the UK. I loved it so much, I’m going back, this time to see the gardens. Places I loved: Edinburgh, w/side trip to Dunfermline (birthplace of Andrew Carnegie), Shropshire - in particular, Ludlow, Shrewsbury and Church Stretton. I stopped at Craven Arms to see the most fantastic nostalgia museum, Land of Lost Content, but it was about to be closing up permanently. Stratford upon Avon was lovely, as was Conwy, Wales (gorgeous). York, of course, was wonderful. If you go, try to attend Evensong at York Minster (exquisite). Buxton, in the Peak District, is also lovely. I plan to hit the gardens this time: Great Dixter, Sissinghurst, Kew Gardens, the Chelsea Flower Show (I have a ticket), Highgrove, HIdecote Manor, RHS Wisley, Keith Wiley’s Wildside Nursery, RHS Rosemoor, The Garden House and anything else I find along the way. RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate is magnificent.


Thanks for asking @dhott415 and since taking up this housesitting/travelling lifestyle full time I’ve been able to visit places in the UK I’d been meaning to go to but just hadn’t got round to, and maybe never would have!
Liverpool is one of those places. I’m sure you know that the Beatles came from there, but there’s so much to do and see and it’s not far from the coast either. I fell in love with the city.

I love the county of Yorkshire and got to housesit in Ilkley, which was recently mentioned as one of the best places to live in England. Great for walking and a lovely town.

Lyme Regis is a place I love, although it does get very crowded in the summer. If you’ve ever seen the film ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’, Meryl Streep is standing in her orange cape at the end of The Cobb (like a pier) in that town. It’s on the Jurassic Coast so you can fossick (look for fossils) there and many other coastal towns nearby. There’s a nice little museum and you can go on fossil hunts with experts.

I love the Lake District in Cumbria, Edinburgh in Scotland (unfortunately I don’t know Scotland very well but had a lovely sit in a town called Longniddry).

The Pembrokeshire coast is lovely although I don’t know it. If you are a reader (I’m an avid reader) then you must visit Hay-on-Wye, the book town, partly in Wales and partly in England.

I’ve still got so much more to explore!


@Smiley we need to hang out! I used to live in Hay on Wye and am another bookworm. Lyme Regis is a total favourite as is Edinburgh, Yorkshire and the Pembrokeshire Coast….all top spots. @dhott415 so many places to visit in the UK. Cornwall and Devon are beautiful counties, Wales & Northern Ireland for sits pretty much anywhere in the countryside. The Cotswolds is beautiful and expensive to visit so a house sit anywhere there is a winner! York, Leeds, Cirencester, Marlborough, Brighton, Glasgow & Bath are all towns or cities that spring to mind that have lots of charm. Those are tips from a Brit-Turk pair who don’t sit in the UK ourselves as off exploring other lands but have lived all over (29 house moves & counting)…:earth_americas::raised_hands: Enjoy!


I have house sat many times in the UK. I am British by birth but live in the Netherlands. Herefordshire is my home county and is often overlooked because it’s not as well known as places like Cornwall or Yorkshire. I see there are many vacancies for house-sitters in Herefordshire. The Wye Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and then you are a stone’s throw away from the Black Mountains or the incredible town of books, Hay on Wye.

Stand out house sits ever: Peak District. The Peaks district really has everything rugged hills, pastoral landscape, arty towns, friendly pubs (apart from a coastline) and the views are outstanding and relatively undiscovered amongst foreign tourists.
Rutland: England’s smallest county but plenty to do and explore in the Nature reserve, Rutland Water.


What a great question @dhott415 someone should ask this of members in other countries the US, Canada, Australia etc., … fascinating to hear about “home” based location experiences. The THS sitter’s local travel guide!! :wink:

We’ve had amazing adventures exploring our own “back yard” from cottages and adorable Goldie in the Cotswolds. Three sits in Edinburgh, Scotland which I did not know was a coastal city … for those going “Really” … yes really I had no idea, I do now.

Pembrokeshire, Wales and Herefordshire, including two incredible collies in Hay On Wye, the “Book Capital Of The World” - A lovely home and two kitties in Poole in Dorset.

There have been a number of London sits, one we have returned to every summer for 9 years located in Barnes SW 13 a village like setting, just 20 mins from the centre and as much tourist as anyone would like.

Oxford & Cambridge great locations for history buffs and with easy access to off the beaten tracks villages rural hamlets and access to National Trust mansions & grand gardens

Some wonderful sits in Sussex, West & East, lovely villages we spent many months on 3 occasions in West Chiltington looking after Woody, a Springer and his feline brother Denzill … you do need transport to explore and be able to get off the beaten track, like everywhere. Sussex has the South Downs National Park and Brighton (London by the Sea) is just an hours train ride from London.

Suffolk is Constable Country and we had two sits which immediately come to mind, one in Chelsworth which has the oldest Open Gardens Association in the UK and we sat for the President of the Association, needless to say his garden was stunning and kept my husband occupied (and in heaven) for the whole 3 weeks we were there.

Just 8 miles away from Chelsworth took us to another village (the name of which escapes me) but the adorable Collie Max and the rescue chickens we looked after certainly don’t. There were wonderful walks across farmland (with permission) and one day we came across the tiniest 14 Century church, literally in the middle of nowhere … I just imagine all of the people over hundreds of years walking for miles on a Sunday to attend services.

There so much more to tell @dhott415 but I hope collectively, we are taking you on the journey with us and that one day you’ll share in the same amazing experiences.

Enjoy the journey


Sooooo many places to explore!


Of course, Shropshire is wonderful.
You could add Kiftsgate Court Gardens to your list on the day you visit Hidcote as it’s just over the road from there. I’d also recommend Batsford Arboretum- a wonderful place! Do post on the forum how you get on and some pics - I’m feeling a bit homesick!


Thank you, @Smiley ! I’ll add those to my itinerary!

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And some of the places you’ve mentioned I must visit! I hope you get good weather. When are you going? I’d love to meet you but won’t be back in England until March next year, if I make it that long!

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@Smiley , I’ll be in the UK from 19 May though the last week of June. I would love to see Christmas there too – I can only imagine how York looks!, but I am a very cold person and I don’t know if I could handle the chilly homes. I’m too afraid to use any type of flame (for ex., wood burner) in someone else’s house. Maybe I’ll get some down long underwear and do it anyway. I hope we get to meet up when you go back there.

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Hi @mars When will you be in the Cotswolds? Maybe we could meet up? We’re in Cornwall on a sit from 28th May - 4th June, but otherwise will be at home in Cheltenham.

I’ve been to Guildford, Liverpool, Nottingham and Newark on Trent.
Guildford was gorgeous, very lively, a bit more expensive than the other three places.
Liverpool was the cheapest city I visited and has an interesting alternative vibe.
Nottingham was my home for a year as a student so it’s special to me anyway. It’s a great place to get to know the real England I think, and public transport there is fantastic.
Newark is small and very friendly, it felt very cosy and I returned there for a second time (mostly because of the wonderful cats and their owner, but I also really like the town)!


The question was about the UK so I’m not sure why people are mentioning Ireland. I guess I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and assume they meant to say “Ireland is also worth a visit”!

Unless I’m mistaken I think it was Northern Ireland that was mentioned and that is in the UK