Stereotypes about all retired people on holiday just looking for somewhere quiet by the sea are out of date. For millions of people, retirement doesn’t mean it’s time to slow down altogether, so why should holidays be any different? With summer just around the corner, we have five picks for holidays if you fancy something active.
Head out into the hills on your own, or sign up for a guided walking and hiking tour with someone like Hidden Hebrides. They run holidays and day walks on the islands of Skye, Orkney, Shetland and Lewis & Harris, with a tour guide to make sure you get the best from the experience. Tours can be tailored to match your preferred distance and level of difficulty, with all your accommodation and meals arranged in advance.
If you like the sound of a Californian vineyard tour, but without the 12-hour flight, pay Kent a visit. The county is said to have the same growing conditions as the Champagne region of France. There are more than 50 vineyards in the area and the likes of Biddenden and Chapel Down offer organised tours. You can read about these and five other visitor-friendly vineyards at the Kent Life website.
Norfolk is one of the driest and sunniest counties in the UK and its miles of beaches are a delight. Brancaster, Sheringham and Holkham (to name just three) are often free of crowds, letting you walk for miles in peace. To blend walking with wildlife watching, a place like Blakeney Point is worth visiting. Here you’ll find England’s largest seal colony, as well as thousands of birds including golden plovers, spotted flycatchers and yellow wagtails. The National Trust in Norfolk has mapped out all kinds of walks - some of them guided - that get you close to the wildlife.
City life is great for a short break. Have you tried Belfast, with its fantastic Titanic tour, growing culinary scene, Botanic Gardens and Cathedral Quarter? Closer to Retirement Line’s HQ is Cambridge, where you can walk for miles to discover its universities (guided tours are a great way to do this), or relax while someone else does the hard work punting along the river Cam. Another favourite of some of our team is Cardiff, which has excellent parks and museums, great shopping, ancient castles and theatre performances at the Millennium Centre.
If you fancy the outdoor life that camping gives you, but without the hassle of putting up a tent in the rain, how about hiring a cabin, pod, yurt, shepherd’s hut or gypsy caravan? Head for the Lake District and you could wake up to a water’s edge view of Windermere, Ullswater or Coniston. There’s a handy list of glamping sites on the Visit Cumbria website.