A list of the UK’s top ‘perfect’ retirement locations has been revealed – and there are some surprising names on the list.
The stereotypical retirement destination, in most people’s minds, is a seaside town like Bournemouth.
But instead, a new ranking system has calculated that regions such as the Outer Hebrides, Exeter and Kirklees are the best places to retire when taking into account all the needs of pensioners.
Consumer group Which one? has taken retirees’ wish lists for their older places to put together its own roundup of the 12 best places to spend your golden years.
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The 1,000 people surveyed said access to healthcare was the most important factor in what they wanted in a retirement location, with 88 percent prioritizing it.
Healthcare was followed by access to green space (75 per cent) and local leisure activities (31 per cent) as priorities, along with low crime, affordable housing and how happy local residents are.
The consumer group then took this list and drew up the main local authority in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as hotspots for each of England’s nine regions.
Twelve locations, one for each region, were identified as the best areas to retire.
The highest scores were awarded to Broxbourne, Elmbridge, Exeter, High Peak, Kirklees, Merton, Mid and East Antrim, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Outer Hebrides, South Tyneside, Stockport and Wrexham.
Which? found that more than a third (36 percent) of people approaching retirement age want to move house or have already done so.
Newcastle-under-Lyme was one of the highest scoring English local authorities for green spaces, with a score of 9.6 out of 10.
The area is home to 7.4 parks and playing fields within an average of 1 kilometer of any given property.
It was also rated as the happiest English local authority, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, tying with High Peak in the East Midlands.
Average house prices in the area are also at the cheaper end of the spectrum: £180,000. Nearby attractions include the New Vic Theatre, Brampton Museum and Apedale Heritage Centre.
Another popular area in England was Merton, in south-west London.
It scored highly for both healthcare (9.4/10) and its abundance of green spaces (9.6/10). Retirees in this area would only have to travel 600 meters to their nearest GP or pharmacy.
Attractive green spaces in the local area include Wimbledon Park and the National Trust site, Morden Hall Park.
The area hosts the Wimbledon tennis tournament each year and has numerous high-quality shops and restaurants. However, the average house price in Merton is expensive at £560,000.
In Wales, the district of Wrexham won.
The region scored highly for its green spaces (9.1/10), with an average of 4.8 within a 1 kilometer radius. It also features areas of natural beauty, including parts of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, a vast area of woodland, open fields and moors, as well as Chirk Castle.
Those looking to buy in the area will be pleased that the average house price is £180,000.
In Northern Ireland, Mid and East Antrim came first, receiving the highest score for healthcare, with a score of 10 out of 10. The area provides a good safety net for retirees because there are 81 surgeries per 100,000 patients registered. What’s more, the average house price is relatively low at £139,000.
Famous for its stunning coastlines, the Outer Hebrides topped the list of retirement locations in Scotland, earning some of the highest ratings for healthcare (9.7/10) and happiness (8/10).
Which? found that the Outer Hebrides had five GP surgeries per 10,000 people, as well as impressive health and wellbeing scores, according to ONS data.
Of the top twelve locations, it also has the cheapest average house price, at £137,000.
For those looking for a place to retire on mainland Scotland, research by Which? found the Highlands area to be another good option, scoring 8.8 out of 10 for healthcare and 7.
8 out of 10 for happiness.
Which? Money editor Jenny Ross said: “Whether you’ve always dreamed of escaping to the countryside or the beach, deciding where to retire can be just as important as deciding when to retire, and our latest research has uncovered gems around the world “. United Kingdom, would be great places to consider for retirees.
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