Retiring to the Cotswolds - Making the most of your golden years

We look at the best places to consider for the newly retired or when you're down-sizing

Retirement is an adventure and most people have a slightly different idea of what the perfect retirement looks like to them but stopping full-time work doesn’t mean shutting down! Many early retirees continue to work part-time and as such transport links and broadband services remain important.

With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why the Cotswolds is so popular with its fantastic transport links to the Midlands, Oxford and London making almost everywhere easily accessible in under a few hours. More importantly, taking a step away from the busy, endless schedules of your former working life may be your top priority and forging a rich social life now finds itself at the forefront of your mind. Unlike coastal areas where some shops shut for two months and community groups can go into hibernation, in the Cotswolds there are many outlets where you can still make a happy and productive contribution to society and enjoy hobbies that have perhaps been neglected all year round.

As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty we are surrounded by glorious countryside. The North Cotswold Ramblers ramblers.org.uk is a friendly group that has been in existence for nearly 30 years, offering a varied and interesting programme of picturesque walks in the Cotswolds throughout the year, also carrying out practical footpath protection work including clearing undergrowth, repairing stiles and bridges, and monitoring planning applications that include public rights of way.

With over 5,000 members in Gloucestershire alone, the Women’s Institute (thewi.org.uk) meets in a number of our towns and villages - crafts, holidays and the WI’s national current affairs campaigns are all high on their agenda. Stow Art Group cotswoldartclass.com offers weekly, half-day art classes and workshops for all levels at Oddington Village Hall, meanwhile Moreton in Marsh Bowling Club (www.moretoninmarshbowlsclub.co.uk) is an outdoor lawn bowls club based in the North Cotswold market town. They play friendly Ladies’, Men’s and Mixed matches against other clubs in the area, with some members also entering Inter-club, County and National competitions.

For some, of course, retiring comes at a time when mobility and access to amenities are key. The Cotswolds has a variety of retirement developments offering varying levels of care and assistance. McCarthy & Stone have three centrally positioned, brand new developments located at Station Road Bourton on the Water, just off the Fosseway in Stow on the Wold and in Hospital Road in Moreton in Marsh, where a high standard of personal service is combined with immaculately presented, easily maintained, spacious apartments situated within easy access of important day-to-day amenities.

Meanwhile if you crave a more traditional Cotswold lifestyle then Chardwar Gardens, Bourton on the Water is a mature development of pretty stone cottages situated in the grounds of an old manor, close to the heart of the village with well-tended gardens, parking and garages, where one of the pleasures of life is simply to watch the world go by from the comfort of a bench next to the River Windrush.  

University Farm and Bowling Green Court in Moreton in Marsh are also located close to the High Street. The former offers a private swimming pool – its lovely views over the duck pond provide a peaceful, secluded feel – whilst Bowling Green Court offers a leisurely flat walk to the High Street with an estate manager to provide essential support around the maintenance of your property and links to a 24-hour emergency alarm call service.

Newlands Court in Stow on the Wold is, without a doubt, the luxury standard; a beautiful collection of spacious apartments and stunning cottages situated within the grounds of a grand manor house that today provides a central social hub including fine dining and a hairdressing salon, for example, plus a tiered range of nursing and domestic support services providing round the clock care.

Ultimately, you’ll want to find the best place to call home by determining what truly matters to you at this point in your life. As experts in the North Cotswold marketplace we know with confidence that we will listen and can find you exactly that.