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When you reach retirement 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.
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Some of the most important factors to older adults when deciding where to live are their budget, nearby amenities and services, access to healthcare, public transport, parks and other nearby green spaces.
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:
What type of home and location can you afford?
Is living close by to shops, restaurants and pubs important? How about museums, theatres, golf courses and cinemas?
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.
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?
Consider what you like to do in your spare time. If it’s walking - including joining a walking group for over 50s - 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.
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.
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.
Hartismere Place Care Home is one of our best homes in Suffolk.
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As the county town of Suffolk, Ipswich is a brilliant place for older adults to live and is packed with fun things for elderly people to do. There’s beautiful nature and scenic spots, historical museums, fascinating buildings, plenty of interesting architecture and much more.
Many of our elderly care homes are in the heart of Ipswich, so you’ll definitely be immersed in the town’s fun and upbeat culture. Some of the most popular attractions for older adults in Ipswich include Christchurch Park and the upmarket Ipswich Waterfront.
Bucklesham Grange Care Home is one of our best homes in Ipswich.
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If you’re looking to live somewhere with easy access to an idyllic coastline and some breathtaking countryside but still wish to benefit from the amenities that come with living in a busy town then Bury St Edmunds may be the place for you. This historic market town is regularly voted as one of the best places to live in Suffolk and is overflowing with history and character. Bury St Edmunds is famous for its St Edmundsbury Cathedral and stunning Abbey Grounds, with the town also having a strong connection to brewing. Some of the most popular attractions in Bury St Edmunds include the Greene King Brewery Tour and the lovely Abbey Gardens.
Mildenhall Lodge Care Home is one of our best homes in Bury St Edmunds.
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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.
Cumberland Grange Care Home is one of our best homes in Devon.
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Exeter is a peaceful and scenic city that’s surrounded by stunning countryside and coastal views. In addition to its rich history, there’s a vibrant atmosphere and lots of enjoyable things to do. Despite its upbeat nature, Exeter also offers plenty of places for relaxation, so there really is something for everyone. With a low crime rate, great independent cinema, excellent retail options and a fun café culture, Exeter is a brilliant city for the elderly to live in.
Lucerne House Care Home is one of our best homes in Exeter.
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Ideal for seaside lovers, living in Plymouth is perfect for those who still want to be in an urban area, yet one that can also offer plenty of peace and easy access to gorgeous countryside spots. With lots of excellent transport links and a choice of fun activities, Plymouth makes a great home for all, including the elderly.
With a population of around 250,000, this city enjoys a thriving property market. Within this, you’ll find plenty of variety, with lots of coastal housing along almost ten miles of urban waterfront.
Elburton Heights is one of our best homes in Plymouth.
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With major cities like London and Birmingham just an hour’s train journey away, Oxfordshire offers older adults the best of both worlds - bustling urban living and access to stunning rural retreats alike. Part of Oxfordshire lies within the beautiful Cotswolds, and retirement homes like Cotswold Gate are ideally placed to make the most of this idyllic setting, along with equally picturesque towns like Burford.
Meanwhile, renowned for its world-famous University, winding streets and eye-catching architecture, Oxford itself is a really popular place to live. Because it’s on the smaller size, older adults with have no problem navigating this city on foot either!
Cotswold Gate is one of our best retirement homes in Oxfordshire.
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
Cavell Court Care Home is one of our best homes in Norfolk.
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Norwich is a vibrant yet safe city to explore and live in. Its very low crime rate and high population of families and older citizens give the city a diverse feel. Norwich is near to the beautiful Norfolk countryside and offers the opportunity to explore the spectacular Norfolk Broads.
Some of the other popular places to visit in and around this city include Elm Hill and Norwich Market which the locals regularly flock to, particularly on the weekends. This quirky and historic city has a tight-knit community and a strong sense of identity.
Laurel Lodge Care Home is one of our best homes in Norwich.
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The market town of King’s Lynn is located on the banks of the Great Ouse in Norfolk. Many people are attracted to King Lynn because of its historic centre that’s packed with impressive 15th and 18th-century architecture. Care seekers and older adults in particular can enjoy charming cobbled streets, the proximity to the stunning Norfolk coastline and great transport links to large cities like London, Birmingham and Brighton.
When living in King’s Lynn, you’ll also be near to a handful of amazing activities and things to do, including St George’s Guildhall and the vibrant Corn Exchange.
Hickathrift House Care Home is one of our best homes in King's Lynn.
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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.
Elmwood Care Home is one of our best homes in Yorkshire.
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Leeds is one of the most popular places to live in the UK, and not just with the student demographic which the city is commonly associated with, but also with older age groups. With very friendly locals who are proud to call Leeds home, there really is something for everyone here. Whether you enjoy shopping, eating and drinking, enjoying culture or watching sports, you’ll feel at home in no time when living in Leeds.
There are a number of popular attractions in Leeds, including Roundhay Park - a must-visit spot for picnickers - and the eye-catching Harewood House.
Grove Park Care Home is one of our best homes in Leeds.
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Sheffield has frequently been voted as the UK’s friendliest and safest city, making the ‘Steel City’ a great place to live for all demographics, including the elderly. Many describe Sheffield as the world’s biggest village, given that despite its size, it’s still full of very friendly people and has a genuine community feel.
We have a number of care homes in the centre of Sheffield, so you’ll be in the heart of the city’s culture. Full of parks and sitting on the edge of the Peak District, living in Sheffield offers the opportunity for plenty of exciting days out. Some of our favourite things to do in Sheffield include the Botanical Gardens and the iconic Crucible Theatre.
Abbey Grange Care Home is one of our best homes in Sheffield.
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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.
Laurel Bank Care Home is one of our best homes in Cumbria.
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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.
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!
Wiltshire Heights Care Home is one of our best homes in Wiltshire.
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In the north of Wiltshire - located between the Cotswolds and North Wessex Downs - Swindon is a large town that’s surrounded by some gorgeous countryside. Swindon is perfect for the elderly, thanks to its excellent transport system and peaceful nature. With that being said, there’s still plenty for residents to enjoy, with lots of restaurants and pubs on offer.
People living in Swindon often describe having a better quality of life than those living in big cities. There’s lots to do here, the transport links are superb and the healthcare facilities are top-notch. What’s more, Swindon is also close to some gorgeous countryside and has low crime levels.
White Lodge Care Home is one of our best homes in Swindon.
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The county town of Wiltshire, Salisbury lies at the point where the Rivers Nadder and Bourne flow into the Avon. Salisbury is best known for its gorgeous cathedral - a masterpiece that dates all the way back to 1220.
Another part of Salisbury which is particularly popular with its elderly residents is the old city centre. Containing numerous tourist attractions, this area is noted for its quirky checkerboard layout and delightful enclosed gardens. If you’re an older adult then Salisbury is a great choice.
Milford House Care Home is one of our best homes in Salisbury.
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Somerset - a county in South West England - is home to stunning beaches, picturesque greenery and an array of attractions suitable for the whole family. Somerset is also ideally situated in the heart of the West Country, close to the cities of Bristol and Bath, while also being in easy reach of London and the South East of England.
Somerset’s vibrant market towns and tranquil villages offer plenty of stunning locations to choose from. In terms of gorgeous views, Somerset boasts the rolling hills of Exmoor, the Mendips and the Quantocks. There’s a huge amount for elderly people to enjoy when living here.
The Laurels Care Home is one of our best homes in Somerset.
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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.
Ivybank House Care Home is one of our best homes in Bath.
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Living near a beach has numerous benefits for health and wellbeing - and Weston-super-Mare boasts a two-mile-long stretch between Royal Sands and Marine Lake, with plenty of idyllic views to boot. Renowned as a family-friendly town which is also popular amongst older adults, Weston super Mare is one of the UK’s best seaside towns, thanks to The Grand Pier and some lovely beaches.
House prices in Weston super Mare are also much cheaper than the rest of South West England, with Zoopla stating the average house price is estimated to be around £232,000.
Summer Lane Care Home is one of our best homes in Weston-super-Mare.
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Famous for Brighton Beach and the Royal Pavilion, East Sussex is a brilliant place for older adults to live, with a range of accommodation choices across the county. Not only is the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty a stunning place to visit, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a variety of picture-postcard villages. The chalk cliffs offer yet more fantastic views, while Brighton Pier is one of the county’s most enjoyable spots to spend an afternoon.
Hurstwood View Care Home is one of our best homes in East Sussex.
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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.
The Pines Care Home is one of our best homes in Brighton.
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Bursting with colour and offering serene seaside views, Eastbourne is a great place for elderly people to live. The town is well connected by all forms of transport, with regular services to the popular Brighton and Hastings that take just 30 to 40 minutes.
There are elderly care homes in the heart of Eastbourne and nearby, so you’ll be immersed in the town’s vibrant culture. Eastbourne is steeped in history while recent investments have also provided a modern charm. And like any other seaside destination, there’s no shortage of delicious fish and chips or ice cream when on the pier. You’ll also be close to points of interest like the Sovereign Harbour Marina and the stunning Beachy Head.
Mortain Place Care Home is one of our best homes in Eastbourne.
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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.
Westerton Care Home is one of our best homes in Glasgow.
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