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Retirement Move City Guides: Retiring in London

Published: 14 June 2017

Retirement Move City Guides: retiring in London


Retiring to London might not be at the top of most people’s minds when it comes to choosing a place to retire to because of its fast-paced lifestyle. However, for those to whom retiring somewhere quiet and sleepy sounds terrible, the capital could be just what the doctor ordered.

So what do some of England’s largest cities have to offer retirees? In a series of articles, we discover what England’s top 5 cities have to offer. First up we look at what it’s like to retire to London…

London has much to offer the older person, with city life providing a diverse mix of history and culture. There are plenty of museums and galleries – famous ones such as the Tate, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National History Museum the National Gallery, the Saatchi Gallery and the Serpentine Gallery and a lot of smaller independent ones that are worth investigating. Many of these places have free entry and with London’s excellent bus and transport links, it’s easy to visit whenever you want. You also can’t move for historic buildings and landmarks, jostling for space among theatres, cinemas, restaurants and bars.

Top Tip! – Visit the attraction’s websites and subscribe to their newsletters to be the first to receive information about discounts or information on new exhibitions and events!

If sightseeing isn’t your thing, London also has a variety of gorgeous green spaces to sit and escape the bustle of a busy city. To name just a few: St James’s Park, Leicester Square Gardens, Hyde Park, Regents Park, Battersea Park and Clapham Common. Many of these parks have wide, paved paths for walking or cycling and benches to sit and enjoy a picnic. The parks in central London even have deckchairs for rent! Learn more about things to do for retirees in London.

Public transport

The Major of London is trying to make London one of the world’s most age-friendly cities and has introduced the Freedom Pass Extension where older Londoners can apply for the Freedom Pass and the 60+ Oyster photocard scheme, depending on where you live.

Top Tip! Ensure your travel passes are valid and up to date before you book your travel!

As a London resident, you can apply for one of these passes to get free travel on almost all of London’s public transport, so you can travel to see your favourite attraction time and time again for free!

Clubs and associations

London is often accused of lacking in community spirit, however if you do some research you can find a multitude of social and community activities on offer across the city. If you are interested in a sport like bowls or tennis and would like to join a local club, you can find listings on the GetActiveLondon website. For other clubs and activities, your local council should have a list for your area. For example, Camden Council provides a detailed list of contacts on their website. In addition, look for associations such as Age UK who provide details of local friendship groups and forums, helping you to find trusted associations and groups.


London is often thought of as the shopping capital of the world and with famous streets such as Bond Street, Oxford Street and Carnaby Street, you really are spoilt for choice. Then there are the two Westfield Shopping Centres, West and East of the city –  London’s newest shopping malls with over 250 stores to choose from.

London also has a variety of different markets that are steeped in history. There’s Borough Market, located next to London Bridge – Britain’s oldest and most renowned food market where you can literally taste the delights of London! Old Spitalfields Market is an old covered Victorian market hall selling a variety of vintage and antique gifts. Petticoat Lane Market sells mainly clothes, and Covent Garden Market sells a variety of items and is located in a delightful 19th century Piazza – well worth a visit!

Hospitals and medical facilities

London is lucky to have many hospitals: Guy’s Hospital, University College London Hospital, Kings College Hospital, The Royal London Hospital and London Bridge Hospital all providing NHS care to the local community. Many NHS Trust organisations such as Barts Health offer special care for the elderly, helping with not only their medical but also their social and emotional needs. If you’re thinking of retiring to London, you can see where the local hospitals are located.
Living in the city also means convenient access to pharmacies and other shops that sell pharmaceuticals, many of which are open for longer hours than those in provincial towns and villages.

Retirement accommodation

There are many private retirement properties in London, of which many are located on the outskirts, offering an ideal combination of city living and local community. Springhill House in Willesden Green, Battersea Place in Battersea, Liberty House in Raynes Park are some of those built by McCarthy & Stone. Gifford Lodge in Twickenham, Victoria Place in Esher, King Henry Lodge in Chingford and Hampton Lodge in Sutton are Churchill.  All offer private, luxurious, and secure retirement housing.

If you’re considering a retirement move to London, Richmond upon Thames in South West London is one of London’s more leafy boroughs and it’s in at number 31 for the best place to live in the UK according to the Halifax Survey**.

Nearby is Liberty House in Raynes Park, South West London – it’s a McCarthy & Stone Assisted Living retirement development for the over 70’s. A fabulous retirement development offering an on-site restaurant, 24/7 staff on-site with amenities close by and a bus stop situated right outside the retirement property to enable you to easily explore the leafy suburbs.   



Liberty House, Raynes Park, London

Looking to retire to another UK city? Look out for others in this series of articles, including Birmingham, Manchester or Newcastle upon Tyne


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** Halifax Survey –

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