Places to Retire in the UK

Updated July 20, 2017

The United Kingdom offers a variety of places for senior citizens to spend their retirement. From scenic beaches to towns sporting castles, the choices depend on your preferences. England, Scotland and Wales all have viable options for quiet living and low crime. You don't have to settle, however, for boring golden years with enough golf, fishing and museums to keep you busy.


Southend-On-Sea was received much acclaim and praise. What's not to like about the Essex town? The attractions include seven miles of beaches, over 80 parks and open spaces, seven libraries, four museums, three casinos, two art galleries and an airport. It also has the world's longest pleasure pier; that pier stretches 1.34 miles. Fishermen use it year round for angling. Events include visits by tall ships and a festival.


Stirling is known as the Old Town, and that's for good reason. The Mel Gibson movie "Braveheart" was filmed at Stirling Castle. For walks and canoe rides, spend time in the Trossachs. The area includes mountains, rivers and woodlands.


The county of Devon has received accolades for its scenery and low crime. A survey by Saga Business Group found the happiest older people in the UK live in Devon, and one in 10 people favoured Devon for retirement. The smiles are caused by the county's 300 miles of beaches and sunny climate. Plenty of pubs, historic buildings and farmer's markets add to Devon's quality of life.


In Wales, retired people should consider settling in Swansea. The hometown of poet Dylan Thomas offers an art scene and unspoilt scenery. The Gower Peninsula, 15 minutes from the city, is perfect for walks and relaxation. It has around 50 public beaches, bays and coves. The London Independent called the Gower beaches "The supermodel of British beaches." The Victorian seaside resort of Mumbles has art galleries and craft shops. Thomas fans can spend hours in the Dylan Thomas Centre learning about his life.


While Merseyside County gained fame as the home of the Beatles, Southport has a reputation as a great place to retire. The town bills itself as England's Classic resort. While it's not far from the benefits of a city like Liverpool, Southport residents enjoy a quiet charm by the coast. If golf is an important part of your retirement, look no further. Southport has seven nearby golf courses, including Royal Birkdale which hosted the prestigious British Open in July 2008.

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About the Author

A.M. David's articles have appeared in "The Washington Post" and several regional publications in a career spanning more than 15 years. He has also written for the "Princeton Packet" chain. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.