In our accompanying articles, we have already covered numerous aspects of Retirement Villages (visit the main Retirement & Downsizing hub to view more).
But where can you find your new home and how do you go about finding the right retirement village near you?
There are hundreds of senior living schemes available right across the UK, with something to suit everyone, whatever it is you are looking for. There are developments in all parts of the country, from retirement villages in Yorkshire to retirement villages in Devon and Cornwall.
You’ll find Home Counties retirement villages near London, so you can enjoy everything the capital has to offer, Kent retirement villages on the South Coast with stunning sea views and rural retirement villages in Cheshire, surrounded by rolling countryside.
With so many retirement communities, you can choose between retirement flats, bungalows or even cottages. And with a host of different facilities to make the most of your retirement, along with a range of care levels ensures you’ll always be looked after any time while maintaining an independent lifestyle.
Retirement village companies
Most retirement villages in Britain are operated by groups with a number of different locations on offer. The best way to learn about these is to visit their website. Not only will this tell you everything you need to know about each village, it will also give you a good idea of the ethos and approach of the company behind the properties.
Different companies have different approaches, with some going for all-out luxury, while others take a more value for money approach. Some are even charity based, such as Anchor and the Extra Care Charitable Trust.
There are a number of companies operating in the UK retirement village market. To give you a sense of what’s on offer, let’s take a look at a few of the larger players and what they have to offer. (Please note, Yes! Homebuyers has no links with any of these companies, and this retirement village review is presented for information only).
Audley Villages operate at 18 retirement villages in England, with all villages boasting a health club with pool, a library and a restaurant, along with extra care and support available on site.
Audley Villages can be found at:
- Mote House, Maidstone
- Binswood, Leamington Spa
- Nightingale Place, Clapham
- Chalfont Dene, Gerrards Cross
- Northcote Place, Ascot
- Clevedon, Ilkley
- Redwood, Bristol
- Cooper’s Hill, Egham
- Scarcroft, Leeds
- Ellerslie, Malvern
- St Elphin's Park, Matlock
- Flete House, Ivybridge
- St George's Place, Edgbaston
- Hollins Hall, Harrogate
- Stanbridge Earls, Romsey
- Inglewood, Hungerford
- Wilicombe Park, Tonbridge Wells
The aptly named Retirement Villages has 35 years experience in the industry and operates 15 retirement villages in the south of England. Facilities range from swimming pools to tennis courts and bowling greens, and all have a communal clubhouse described as the ‘social heartbeat’ of the villages.
Retirement Villages can be found at:
- Lime Tree Village, Warwickshire
- Mayford Grange, Surrey
- Moat Park, Essex
- Thamesfield, Oxfordshire
- Debden Grange, Essex
- Avonpark, Wiltshire
- Park Place, Lincolnshire
- Blagdon Village, Somerset
- Castle Village, Hertfordshire
- Gittisham Hill Park, Devon
- Cedars Village, Hertfordshire
- Roseland Parc, Cornwall
- Charters Village, West Sussex
- The Priory, Devon
- Elmbridge Village, Surrey
Extra Care Charitable Trust
Extra Care villages are not aimed at the luxury retirement market, insisting that finance should not be a barrier to an enhanced quality of life. You won’t find luxury health spas here, but there is always a village hall, library and a restaurant or café to meet and mingle.
Extra Care currently operates 8 villages, mostly in the Midlands with a further 8 in development:
- Bournville Gardens, Birmingham
- Reeve Court Village, St Helens
- Brunswick Gardens Village, Sheffield
- Shenley Wood Village, Milton Keynes
- Earlsdon Park Village, Coventry
- St Oswald's Village, Gloucester
- Hagley Road Village, Edgbaston
- Lark Hill Village, Nottingham
- Longbridge Village, Birmingham
- Hughenden Gardens, High Wycombe
- Lovat Fields Village, Milton Keynes
- Stoke Gifford Village, Gloucestershire
- New Oscott Village, Birmingham
- Wixams Village, Bedford
- Pannel Croft Village, Birmingham
- Solihull Village, Birmingham
Richmond Villages is part of BUPA and offers a choice of independent living apartments and suites for assisted living, as well as a care home on site. They also claim to have “the kind of luxury facilities most people dream of”.
Richmond operates eight retirement villages:
- Witney, Oxfordshire
- Nantwich, Cheshire
- Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire
- Bede, Warwickshire
- Letcombe Regis, Oxfordshire
- Painswick, Gloucestershire
- Wood Norton, Worcestershire
Inspired Villages offer ‘a little luxury in later life’ with a wellness spa, bistro café and village concierge. They operate six villages from Cheshire to West Sussex:
- Gifford Lea, Cheshire
- Austin Heath, Warwickshire
- Bramshott Place, Hampshire
- Great Alne Park, Warwickshire
- Millbrook Village, Devon
- Durrants Village, West Sussex
Award winning retirement villages
If you are looking for an independent recommendation, the WhatHouse? Awards are a good place to start. They named Churchill Retirement Living as Housebuilder of the Year in 2016, not only in the retirement sector, but overall, beating major companies such as Redrow and Barratt. At the same awards, Audley also picked up two golds and a bronze.
WhatHouse has named its five best retirement villages in the UK, featuring properties from several of the major players.
The complete list includes:
- Cooper’s Hill, Surrey from Audley
- Hampshire Lakes from Anchor
- Gittisham Hill Park from Retirement Villages
- Durrants Village, West Sussex from Renaissance Villages,
- The Croft, Lincolnshire from Larkfleet Homes
Even if you don't want to live in any of those locations it may be worth having a browse of those links - to see the very best that Retirement Village Living has to offer.
For added reassurance, you can choose retirement village companies that are registered with the industry body, the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO). This has a database of registered schemes, and most of the major retirement village providers are part of the organisation.
However, membership is not compulsory, and does not necessarily mean that a registered company is any better, or more trustworthy, than one that is not registered with ARCO.
ARCO has 329 registered schemes in the UK, including retirement villages in Wales and retirement villages in Scotland. They list 97 retirement villages in the South East and 48 in the South West along with 66 Midlands retirement villages and 117 retirement villages in the North of England (18 in the North east, 63 in the North West and 36 in Yorkshire / Derbyshire).
Do your research
Throughout this article we have provided links to the different retirement village companies and individual locations, and it is worth spending time online browsing them all. Choosing the right retirement village near you is a major decision and you need to consider all the options, even though there are a great many to look at.
To make it easier, most of the sites have videos online to give you a flavour of the village, and if you prefer a hard copy, you can always request a brochure to be posted out to you.
Remember, at the end of the day there’s no rush to make your choice, because you can get moving straight away as soon as you have decided with a quick house sale to Yes Homebuyers. We can offer on your home quickly, and then tie the completion date in with your move to your new home. It's the smoothest, easiest way to move.
Read more: Visit Our Retirement & Downsizing Hub
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