We’d decided at the end of last year, we’d like to spend half a year in the United Kingdom, the maximum time which George’s Visa (South African’s need a Visa for the UK!) would allow. To be able to do this on a tight budget, we started early in 2016 to look for house sits. Amazingly we immediately found homeowners, which invited us to care for their houses and animals, even though we would be arriving with Vlou, the traveling Beagle.
Our first house sit was in Kirkby Fleetham, Northallerton, from the 27th January 2016. A tiny village with a pub and a school, that’s it. The semi-detached house was in the middle of the town at the village green where all the people of the town walked their dogs. A playful hustle and bustle of dogs and school kids running around with or without ball disregarding the weather.
We had been invited to house sit for a couple who went to South Africa for the wedding of their daughter. We would be caring for their Golden Retriever, Glayva, and their cat, Piccola, during the following two weeks. Vlou and Glayva got along very well and even shared their basket from time to time. Not so Piccola, the cat, which made it clear to Vlou already on the first day who was the boss of the house. No arguing there – Vlou kept out of the way.
The house had five bedrooms, two living rooms of which one was a glass room with a terrace leading to a spacious garden and looking on a open field with horses. The restored old parts of the house tastefully combined with the new building. An utterly pleasure to care for this house although we regretted not to be able to enjoy the garden as it was ghastly weather almost all the time that we were in Kirkby Fleetham. We spent most of the time either in the kitchen near the AGA, in England a very common heat storage stove, or in front of the fireplace in the lounge.
Kirkby Fleetham is in the middle of the North Yorkshire County, therefore it is strategically well-positioned to visit the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North York Moors with the adjacent east coast with Whitby, Robin Bay and other beautiful coastal towns. As we could take Glayva and Vlou with in the car we enjoyed extended walks in either of the National Parks. What a great start to our house sitting experiences in the United Kingdom!