When you reach old age, your twilight years stretch out ahead of you, full of possibility. Post-retirement, you may decide it’s time to realise your dream of living abroad, moving back to live near your children or other relatives, or simply settling down in the peace of the countryside and taking up a few hobbies. You might even want to stay in the same home you’ve always had!
If you are looking to start an exciting new chapter in your life, when it comes to retirement in the UK, you’ll be positively spoilt for choice, with beautiful seaside towns, cosy nooks in the city and cottages nestled in rolling green farmland. So, where are the best places for elderly people to live in the UK? Read on to find out…
What Factors are Important For Elderly People
According to a recent study by Age Co, around 73 per cent of adults surveyed said they would like to relocate when they retire, with 24 per cent saying they had definite plans to do so.
However, before you move anywhere, it’s important to decide on your priorities and what matters to you in a home. For example, is your dream home a bungalow in the suburbs, or an old farmhouse in the countryside? Some common factors that may help you decide are:
- Budget – what type of home and location can you afford?
- Nearby amenities – is living close by to shops, restaurants and pubs important? How about museums, theatres, golf courses and cinemas?
- Access to healthcare – we all know that in our old age we tend to experience more health concerns, so you’ll want to ensure your retirement location is close to a GP or a hospital
- Transport – is the town, village or city well-linked by public transport (bus or train). Will family and friends easily be able to drive to you for visits?
- Activities– consider what you like to do in your spare time. If it’s walking, a country or coastal location could be the one for you, while for those who enjoy film or social activities, the city or a larger town might be best.
- Parks and green spaces – spending time outdoors in the fresh air works wonders for physical and mental health, so factor this in when you’re making your list of locations
Research released in 2019 by Hodge, a retirement lending firm, found that retirees typically look for low crime rates, a variety of nearby shops, amenities and eateries, access to a beach, good phone signal, low levels of traffic and people of similar ages in the area, so you may wish to take these things into consideration too.
So, once you have your list of priorities, you’re good to go! For some inspiration on the UK’s best retirement villages and towns, keep reading.
What are the Best UK Living Locations for the Elderly?
Located in the east of England, Suffolk is famous for its picture-perfect villages and coastline, ideal for retirees who want a peaceful retirement experience with occasional activities.
Although pensioners can enjoy miles of countryside, nearby towns Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge and Ipswich are an easy drive away for eating out and entertainment. The average cost of a property in Suffolk is just under £300,000, but you can expect this to increase in towns like Coddenham.
Enjoying proximity to both Somerset and Cornwall, Devon has been voted one of the best places to retire in the whole country.
With wonderful beaches, national parks Dartmoor and Exmoor and windy coastline walks, Devon is a breath of fresh air for those who have lived in larger towns or cities for most of their life.
The average house price comes in at around £300,000, so if that’s outside your price range, try Plymouth instead, where the average property price is just over £200,000 – plus, coastal views, harbourside eateries and proximity to national parks are still very much on offer.
A trendy town where lots of Londoners end up settling when they move out of the city, Brighton is the perfect seaside retirement home for those who like a slightly busier lifestyle.
Brighton and it surrounding towns have plenty of restaurants, pubs, cafés and hip boutiques and shops to explore during the day, as well as beach walks and the famous Brighton pier to stroll on.
As Brighton has good connections to London, house prices tend to be relatively high, but it’s definitely worth a look to see if you can pick up a bargain.
With nearby places of interest like Sandringham House, the famous Norfolk Broads and fascinating Norman ruins, Norfolk certainly isn’t a bad place to retire.
Stroll the winding waterways and see what wildlife you spot along the way, experience city life, shopping, first-class museums and architecture in Norwich, or simply enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of the coastline.
If you’re after a healthy mix of busy and quiet retirement life, you’re guaranteed to find your perfect pad in Norfolk
5. The Lake District
If you’re the outdoorsy type, you can’t get much more natural beauty than in the Lake District. A newly-appointed UNESCO World Heritage site, The Lake District offers fantastic hiking trails, national parks and mountain scenery that extends for miles all around.
However, it’s not only the trees and lakes that attract elderly people to this spot – there are also restaurants, bars and hotels dotted about for fine dining and cosy pints by the fire. Living costs are also relatively inexpensive, making it an even more attractive prospect for retirees.
Located in south-west Wales, coastal Pembrokeshire’s stunning scenery is second to none. If you want to keep busy in later life,why not try out golf, fishing, sailing or riding in the Preseli Mountains, or pick up a pair of hiking poles and take to the seaside paths to keep in shape.
House prices here aren’t too shabby either – the average price is just over £200,000. Notable towns include Narberth, Aberdyfi, Abergavenny and Cardigan, although the jewel in the crown is St Davids – the perfect little city for those who love the outdoors.
Gorgeous green ‘God’s Own Country’ Yorkshire is a haven for retirees, with sweeping moors, national parks, picturesque villages and historic buildings galore. If you’re a creative soul, you’ll be right at home in Yorkshire, which has housed the likes of Patrick Stewart, Alan Bennett and Dame Judi Dench.
Yorkshire has a true village community, great if you enjoy making friends and socialising, while nearby Scarborough, Whitby and the famous Dales and Moors offer the opportunity to relax in nature.
If you’re a fan of a city break too, Leeds, Sheffield, York and Hull are never too far away and Skipton also gets a special mention here for its low crime rate and variety of housing types.
Let yourself be charmed by the picturesque streets that wind through the historic Somerset city of Bath. With stunning Georgian architecture, the famous Roman baths and plenty of good pubs, restaurants and delicatessens, Bath is the place for history lovers, with attractive proximity to nearby Bristol and the Cotswolds for weekend breaks and adventures.
The city is also ideal for dog lovers, with many dog-friendly eateries and wonderful walks on your doorstep, including the Jurassic Coast, Durdle Door and Land’s End.
With the third-lowest crime rate in the UK, Cumbria is a great place to retire, with affordable housing and beautiful surrounding countryside. Experience a taste of city life in Carlisle, or enjoy the sleepy chocolate-box villages of Keswick, Hawkshead, and the popular Ambleside, which sits on Lake Windermere in the Lake District. You can also take the ferry to Bowness, Brockhole and Wray Castle.
Offering retirees a vibrant history, and some excellent restaurants, shops and cafés, as well as being well-linked by public transport, Cumbria definitely isn’t a bad place to spend your twilight years, with average house prices of just over £320,000.
For beautiful scenery, a good mix of history and culture, as well as shops, pubs and tea rooms, Wiltshire often makes lists of the most desirable retirement locations in the UK.
With neighbouring counties Dorset, Hampshire and Oxfordshire within easy distance, there’s plenty to do in this charming county, including golf, fishing, walking and for the more adventurous retirees, hot air balloon rides and skydiving!
If you’ve lived in England for your whole life and fancy a change, why not head up north to Scotland to retire? Glasgow may not seem like a typical choice for retirement, but it’s cheaper than Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh and sits in the heart of true Scottish countryside, which is home to some of the prettiest villages around.
For a change of scenery, Glasgow is well-connected to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee, but golf aficionados will want to stay put, as there are around 40 different golf courses to try out.
These are just a select few of the many amazing places to retire in the UK. It can be difficult choosing your dream retirement location, but there are so many different options that you’re sure to find the place for you, whether that’s a peaceful life on a breezy coastline or a bustling village with plenty of people. Where will you choose to settle down?