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The Best Senior and Retirement Housing Options in the UK

6 minute read

By Hannah Stephens

If you’ve decided to downsize or move areas in retirement, it’s worth considering an independent or assisted living community. Living in a community catering exclusively to older adults can help you enjoy your lifestyle to the fullest without worrying about home maintenance. A retirement village can also offer a calm and tranquil setting with on-site support if you need it and accessible accommodation to meet your changing needs as you get older.

There are several companies operating multiple high-quality retirement communities across the UK, and many offer a wide range of hotel-style amenities in impressive locations. Below, you can learn about some of the leading retirement housing companies to help you start your search for your perfect home.

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1. Audley Villages

Audley Villages is a subsidiary company of the Audley Group. The company owns 19 luxury communities throughout England, and many feature impressive historic properties at the heart of the village. Most Audley retirement communities are rural or semi-rural, although there’s also a slick, modern Audley community in Clapham, London.

The primary advantage of choosing an Audley retirement village is the maintenance-free lifestyle, and the on-site team looks after the upkeep of your property and the communal grounds. Each community has its own Audley Club, where residents can enjoy spa and gym facilities and a bistro-style restaurant. The company also offers care services, from light domestic help to sleep-in support workers. 1

2. Mayfield Villages

Mayfield Villages is the sister company of Audley Villages and is a relative newcomer to the luxury retirement village market. It owns and manages a stylish, contemporary community in the heart of Watford. The development features modern one- and two-bedroom flats and the luxurious Mayfield Club, where members can enjoy a range of health and wellness facilities.

Mayfield Villages aims to help older adults enjoy a vibrant and independent lifestyle in their own homes. However, residents can also access domestic and personal care through Mayfield Care. This option provides peace of mind that you can remain at home if your health needs change in the future.2

3. McCarthy Stone

McCarthy Stone is one of the best-known retirement village companies in the UK and operates 473 communities, including city, coastal and rural villages. Each location enables easy transport links and access to nearby amenities. McCarthy Stone Lifestyle Living villages are suitable for people over 55 and feature low-maintenance retirement properties.

The company’s Retirement Living communities are ideal for people over 60 who want to enjoy the benefits of on-site maintenance and communal spaces while maintaining an independent lifestyle. Meanwhile, Retirement Living PLUS communities cater for residents aged 70 and older and offer personalised care services and a more comprehensive range of facilities, including on-site restaurants.3

4. Richmond Villages

Richmond Villages is owned by the well-known private healthcare provider BUPA, and it operates 10 luxury retirement communities across England. It offers elegant apartments in tranquil and well-maintained surroundings, and you can choose to rent, purchase or part-exchange your home. Each village features a luxury spa and wellness facilities to help community members enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.

As well as independent living apartments, the company offers high-quality residential, nursing and dementia care services in a comfortable care home at the centre of each village. You can stay in an elegant Village Suite and enjoy domestic support and facility membership to help you decide if a Richmond community property is right for you.4

5. Anchor

Anchor is probably best-known as a high-quality care home operator, but it also owns three luxury retirement villages in Hampshire and Buckinghamshire. Each community contains spacious and stylish one- and two-bedroom properties, complete with convenient features to maximise accessibility for older adults. All three communities include an on-site spa, restaurant, and swimming pool.

Anchor on Call provides emergency assistance 24 hours a day, whether you need home maintenance support or experience a health emergency. There’s also a team of qualified health specialists available to help you maintain good fitness and well-being.5

6. Inspired Villages

Inspired Villages operates 34 suburban and rural retirement villages throughout the UK in partnership with Legal and General and the NatWest Group Pension Fund. Each village contains modern and homely properties to rent or buy in picturesque locations and includes all the amenities you’d expect from a high-end hotel.

Inspired Villages offers a convenient Inspired Move service to help take the stress out of selling your existing home and moving house. Each new resident has an allocated staff member who will take care of all the details, and they can even unpack while you enjoy a meal in the restaurant or use the on-site facilities.6

7. Rangeford Villages

Rangeford Villages owns four delightful retirement communities in Gloucestershire, Surrey, Yorkshire and Wiltshire. It caters exclusively to people over the age of 60, and every village centres around a communal pavilion containing a tranquil spa and swimming facilities, a restaurant and a fitness suite. There’s also a busy activities and social calendar, ideal for community-minded older adults who want to make friends and explore new hobbies.

Rangeford Villages’ dedicated on-site team takes care of maintenance and housekeeping. There are also domiciliary care services available, including a 24/7 emergency response team.7

8. Elysian Residences

Elysian Residences was founded in 2016 and specialises in hotel-style luxury retirement housing in elegant surroundings. The company owns nine villages in South East England, although several of its locations are still under development. It provides a range of amenities and services to enable a relaxing and convenient lifestyle, including on-site restaurants, bars and wellness facilities.

One of the main advantages of living in an Elysian Residences community is that the support team provides a personal touch and strives to meet each community member’s individual needs and preferences. Each village has a care team that provides domestic, personal care and healthcare support, and they can even help you look after your pet.8

9. Serenity Parks

If you love the idea of a retirement home set in glorious countryside, park home living could be a good option for you. Serenity Parks operates a tranquil park home development near the charming town of Sevenoaks, Kent, and has other communities in development. The accommodation comprises elegant, eco-friendly lodge-style properties, and you can even design your own park home to suit your needs and preferences.

Purchasing a park home could enable you to free up more money for your post-retirement lifestyle because they generally have lower running costs than a standard property. They’re also exempt from stamp duty and are more affordable to purchase than a comparable bricks-and-mortar house or apartment.9

10. Sanctuary Retirement Living

Sanctuary Retirement Living villages accept community members aged 55 and over and feature stylish, accessible apartments and communal spaces to enjoy time with friends and family. Community members can access personalised care plans through the on-site care team or a partnered local authority provider, ideal if you want to receive domestic or healthcare support at home.

On-site facilities vary depending on which community you join, but every village has its own Taste restaurant that offers delicious and healthy meals at affordable prices. Some communities also feature communal games rooms, spa facilities and convenience stores, and many have guest suites to accommodate visiting loved ones.10

11. Birchgrove

A spacious and stylish Birchgrove apartment could be the ideal option if you’re looking for a luxury assisted living setting and prefer to rent your home. Birchgrove owns three assisted living communities in Kent and Surrey that provide the benefits of retirement village living without the fees or maintenance commitments of homeownership.

Every Birchgrove apartment features convenient fixtures and appliances designed with accessibility in mind, and the rent includes weekly domestic services. Although nursing care isn’t available, residents can also access high-quality personal care services from the dedicated on-site team. The communities welcome well-behaved pets, making them the perfect setting for animal lovers.11

12. Enterprise Retirement Living

Enterprise Retirement Living (ERL) offers accessible and stylish independent living properties set amongst perfectly manicured grounds. Several communities also boast an impressive historic building at the epicentre. The company currently operates three retirement villages in Chester, Ripon, Worcester, with a York community in development. Each location offers a choice of apartments, cottages, and houses with one or two bedrooms, including two-storey properties.

ERL communities boast incredibly convenient locations, and every village sits within easy reach of a town or city. The communities have a thriving social scene and offer a range of social events and activities. There are also elegant communal facilities to enjoy with friends and family, including an on-site restaurant and lounge bar.12

Hannah Stephens