RetirementMove City Guides: Retiring in Newcastle upon Tyne
In this fourth instalment of our series of RetirementMove City Guides, we’re looking at what’s available for older people in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Where to go
Newcastle’s well known for its many beautiful bridges and the city is drenched in heritage and wonderful architecture. Some of the city’s more famous historical highlights include: Grey’s monument, Grey Street, Castle Keep, Newcastle Castle, St Nicholas Cathedral, St Mary’s Cathedral and Belsay Hall & Gardens which are all well worth a visit or two!
The city also boasts a multitude of museums and galleries including The Great North Museum, The Discovery Museum (a science and local history Museum in Blandford Square), Laing Art Gallery and The Biscuit Factory which is an art, craft and design gallery.
If history and art isn’t your thing and you prefer to sit and enjoy a show, Newcastle is also awash with theatres – there’s the Theatre Royal, the Live Theatre Newcastle, and the Northern Stage Theatre to name just a few! There are also a number of cinemas, from the traditional to the more unusual such as the Star and Shadow Cinema which is community run and boasts a vintage organ and bar, and the very intimate Side Cinema.
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Newcastle is a bustling city with a population of 289,800 people in 2014 (*Wikipedia). It has been designed to be very accessible on foot and it’s possible to walk from one side of the city to the other in just 15 minutes! You could begin by taking one of Newcastle’s guided walks and learn about Newcastle’s chilling past of ghosts, ghouls and criminals! Or if you prefer, take a casual stroll down the historic Quayside and stop off at the many shops and restaurants on your way.
If you fancy some open space or are a keen birdwatcher, you could visit Jesmond Dene Park or the Rising Sun Country Park. There’s also Heaton Park with its wide pathways which are perfect for casual strolling, or for those with mobility vehicles. Follow this link to find out which places in the North East are accessible for people who are less mobile.
How to get there
Newcastle City Council run a variety of initiatives to help support older people or people with health problems to get out and about. ‘Chain Reaction Pioneers’ is a service that offers short-term help for older people who are feeling isolated, lonely or are experiencing mental health difficulties and the service helps them to reconnect with people in the community.
The Council also offers Concessionary Travel Passes for older people. Men and women become eligible for one of these travel passes in line with the rise in the age at which women become eligible for their state pension – so this can be between 60 and 65. To find out more and learn how to apply, visit the Nexus website.
The council also offer free bus travel for disabled people, Companion Cards and a Nexus Taxicard Scheme. Companion Cards are useful if you are unable to travel on public transport by yourself. When applying for a Companion Card, the companion can travel with you free of charge on buses around the city and surrounding areas.
The Nexus Taxicard scheme helps people with mobility difficulties to travel independently at a discounted price. To find out more about these schemes simply visit the Nexus website.
Clubs and Associations
If you’re thinking of retiring in Newcastle and you want to join a club and meet new people with similar interests, there are many interesting clubs to join. A good place to start is the Age UK Newcastle website who offer some great services to older people in the community – these include a personal assistant who can help older people to get out and about for the day and they also offer a befriending service where one of the Age UK volunteers can visit for a chat each week.
They also run Active Aging with activities such as dance lessons, fitness sessions and IT sessions across the city to help older people stay to stay fit and active and meet new people. They also provide Home Support Services that provide help with anything from personal care to live in and overnight care.
Newcastle City Council have developed a leaflet called ‘Social Services for Older People in Newcastle’ providing practical information on a number of issues and it identifies where you can go to find various services such as: care in the home, day services, short breaks, residential care, nursing home, meals at home, equipment and to learn more about how to get adaptations made to your home.
If you don’t have a specific hobby and are just looking to meet like minded people and get out and about, there is the Newcastle Ladies Lunch Group for women in the North East. They run a variety of social activities including eating out, coffee mornings, trips out, walking and swimming.
The council also run Lunch Clubs for people over the age of 55 who have particular needs such as a disability or are experiencing the onset of dementia. People who attend will get a meal, take part in social activities and have access to staff who can offer practical assistance such as the completion of forms.
If you want to get more involved in the community and want to share your views and make them count, the Elders Council is a forum run by volunteers who ensure that the views of the over 55’s are taken into account by decision-makers.
If you enjoy shopping but get tired walking from shop to shop, the council have a Shopmobility Scheme based at Eldon Square Shopping Centre where you can hire mobility equipment such as powered scooters, wheelchairs and other mobility aids to use within Newcastle City Centre for a small fee.
The larger shopping centres are Intu Eldon Square featuring independent stores and four department stores, the Metrocentre and Eldon Garden Shopping Centre. If you like the atmosphere and hustle of a market, there are several including the Jesmond Food Market, the Quayside Sunday Market and the Jesmond Dene Arts Market. There are also a number of lovely Christmas markets around the City during December.
If you don’t drive due to mobility issues, but you still want to get to the shops for your groceries, Age UK provide a fortnightly minibus service that collects people from their homes and takes them to the supermarket to do their fortnightly shopping.
Top tip! Hire a mobility scooter at Elden Square Shopping Centre to get around the shops faster and make shopping easier!
Hospitals and Medical Facilities
There are many hospitals dotted around the city centre, these include Newcastle General Hospital, Freeman Hospital, Royal Victory Infirmary, and the Great North Children’s Hospital. The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provide some specialist clinics and services for older people, these include: the 1st Acute Stroke Unit and the Falls and Syncope Unit which is the largest specialist unit of its kind in the UK. In addition, they have a Campus for Ageing and Vitality with a vision of being a leader in ageing and health.
Top Tip! Visit the hospital’s website to find out about all of the different types of care services that are available for older people.
Where to Live in Newcastle upon Tyne
As with most major cities, it’s often better to live on the outskirts. Areas which are great for retirees include Westerhope, Denton, Newburn and Woolsington which is in the outer west of the city. Many of Newcastle’s privately-owned age-exclusive retirement properties are located in these areas. You can see a map of all the retirement developments in the area here.
Retirement Properties for Sale in Newcastle upon Tyne
Are you thinking about retiring in Newcastle and don’t know where to start? Check out this beautiful 1-bed retirement apartment located at Browning Court in the Frenham district of Newcastle. The apartment boasts French doors to a French balcony with lovely views of the communal gardens. Prices start from just £115,000.
For a property with the option of some extra care and support, take a look at Kenton Lodge in Gosforth. We have a one bedroom flat in this lovely development with its own private patio.
Do you still like the idea of retiring to a city, but decided that retiring to Newcastle’s not for you? Why not read another article in the series, including Birmingham, London or Manchester to find your perfect city.
Find your perfect retirement home: