I live in a beautiful Georgian house with 8 acres of land in the Norfolk countryside. I renovated it from a wreck in 2011. There are always plenty of jobs to do, especially outside. Although I enjoy gardening, I have become a slave to my garden... Trying to combine it with working for a wildlife conservation charity based in London is a challenge. So I am trying this website for the first time, hoping to find people who are willing to help me out in return for spending time in a beautiful part of the UK. I have a heated outdoor swimming pool which you would be welcome to use as much as you like, in return for keeping it clean (the pool is open from the beginning of May to end of September). Relaxing by the pool with a cold drink after a few hours gardening is not a bad way to spend your time...
I am flexible on timing - anything from a week to a month. It would suit one person, a couple or friends who were happy to share a room.
So if you’re interested, please get in touch.
Help in the house
The house is a 20 minute train ride from the local station to Norwich, which used to be the second richest city in the UK before the Industrial Revolution. It has a lovely cathedral, 1,000 year old castle, large permanent market and a well preserved network of medieval streets containing small independent shops, pubs, restaurants and coffee shops.
Norfolk is one of the most rural counties in the UK, with a long coastline with huge sandy beaches (the nearest beach is about 9 miles away - there are often seals resting on the beaches, up to a hundred or more, with pups born between November and January). Norfolk has the one of highest number of old stone-built village churches in the UK, often built with profits from the wool industry. A famous part of Norfolk is the Norfolk Broads, which is 5 miles away. It is an extensive network of rivers and lakes, for sailing and hiring boats and kayaks - the lakes were dug out by hand when peat used to be dug for fuel. It’s great for wildlife - I have seen otters, kingfishers, barn owls and grass snakes.
You would experience life in the English countryside and contribute to developing and maintaining a beautiful English garden.
About me: I am 51, single, gay, used to work in a London law firm but left in 2012 when my partner suddenly passed away. Since then, I have renovated the house, travelled (eg hiking to Everest Base Camp) and in August 2016 started my new career in the wildlife conservation world. I love travelling (have been to c60 countries), photography (particularly wildlife), sport, history, politics, current affairs and am generally happy chatting to anyone about pretty much anything. In case it’s of interest, my bnb guest profile includes reviews such as “Andrew is a charming, intelligent and observant man and, I would have to say, the perfect guest.” And no, that was not from my mum...
The main jobs would be mowing the lawn (mainly using the ride on lawn mower), weeding, clearing areas for planting, generally keeping the garden tidy, keeping the pool clean. There could also be maintenance such as basic painting, but only if you want to do it. Some cleaning in the house would also be useful.
English, very basic French
Own en suite double room in a 4 bedroom house, with 4 reception rooms
Use of the rest of the house, with Sky TV, WiFi, table tennis room
Some meals would be provided when I am at home, otherwise I would buy in provisions and you can use the well equipped kitchen.
I have bikes for getting around locally, we can discuss using the car, there is the local train service to Norwich (and north to the seaside resort of Cromer) and a local bus service (though not very frequent).
As well as the garden and pool, the house has areas of woodland, a pond, an orchard and a wildlife meadow. There two fields where horses are kept (not mine). I have a local guy who helps me once a week on bigger jobs but that is not enough help.
I like meeting new people. The house is big enough for us to have our own space (eg there are two rooms with flat screen TVs with Sky TV) but also plenty of opportunity to sit and chat. I like sharing what I know about the area and the UK as a whole (if people are interested) and finding out about other people and their culture.
There will be occasional weekends in the summer when the house will be full of friends visiting, which would be an opportunity for you to visit other parts of the UK (a weekend trip to London is very easy).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week