Retirement Property

Wildernesse House in Sevenoaks
Retirement villages and communities are springing up in many beautiful parts of Britain. Jo Knowsley picks four of the best

There are many reasons why you might want to move house in later life. Perhaps your home is too big for your needs and is too difficult to maintain. Or you might want to move nearer to your children. Whatever you circumstances, there are now plenty of options all over the country.

Here are four companies that offer luxurious retirement living.

Five-star facilities await at Elysian Residences
In ancient times the term Elysian conjured the image of heaven - a place where the sun always shone and everything was perfect. But Elysian Residences, a UK company set up in 2013, chose the name because it represents a revolutionary and unique approach to retirement living.

Elysian Residences differs from other operators in that it develops and operates its buildings - and the residences themselves are rather like living in a five-star hotel, with an atmosphere designed to feel more like a private members’ club.

The apartments also have many special additional features. There are non-slip terrazzo tiled floors in the bathrooms and subtly modified higher seats in the showers and loos. In the designer kitchens there are quartz stone composite worktops with porcelain tiles or stone splashbacks and Hansgrohe mixer taps. The worktops are slightly lower, as are upper fitted cupboards, making life that little bit easier for those with mobility issues.

Now the company has launched a collection of new developments for those looking for a luxury retirement community in 2024. At The Beckett in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, which opens in spring, there are 89 one, two and threebedroom-plus apartments across three new buildings. Facilities include an onsite wellness centre, valet parking, a gourmet restaurant, bar, library and discreet, integrated care facilities - all within state-of-the-art buildings.

Apartments are available for sale now, with prices starting from £395,000 (other fees apply).

On the other side of London, at Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, is The Denton, which opens this month. It has 91 apartments and 12 penthouses, most of which have either a balcony or terrace.

All homeowners will have access to a range of beautiful shared amenities, including a gym and sauna/spa facilities.

The development centres around a restaurant, lounge and library, and the reception desk is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

‘Homeowners have their every need met, with staff ready to help with groceries, dog-walking, securing tickets for the theatre or even organising family parties, with help from the resident chef,’ says a spokesman for Elysian Residences. Apartments are available for sale now, with prices starting from £440,000 (other fees apply).

For those who prefer city living, Elysian has developed The Oren in Hampstead, north London, which is set to open in summer. There are 44 different sized apartments, including four penthouses.

The Oren will include a concierge reception, a library, a fine-dining restaurant, health spa with swimming pool and 24-hour care if required. Apartments are available for sale now, with prices starting from £1,800,000 (other charges apply).

These new developments join the existing Elysian developments: The Landsby in Stanmore, Greater London and Wildernesse House in Sevenoaks, Kent. Elysian Residences currently has a portfolio of 11 retirement communities, either in development, awaiting planning or already open, with around 1,000 apartments.

‘Elysian offers a premium service and care provision that until recently could only be found in countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand,’ the spokesman says.

The Landsby has apartments available for sale now, with prices starting from £490,000. Prices at Wildernesse House start from £1,050,000 for apartments in the main house, £1,200,000 for mews houses and £595,000 for modern apartments opening this summer (other fees apply).

Make your way up to Bedfordshire
Millfield Green in Bedfordshire
Inspired Villages is the company behind Millfield Green, the UK’s first net-zerocarbon retirement village. It is nestled between Luton and Dunstable in the small village of Caddington, Bedfordshire.

Millfield Green generates as much renewable energy as it consumes over the course of a year. This brings huge benefits to the residents, as their energy bills are far lower.

The newly opened retirement village comprises 86 one and two-bedroom apartments in its first phase. All of them boast contemporary and spacious design that maximises the benefits of open-plan living. They each have fullheight doors opening onto a balcony or patio, so there is plenty of space for entertaining.

Set within 12 acres of grounds, Millfield Green embodies the finest aspects of village life. With a community of like-minded people and an array of clubs and activities available, it’s the ideal place to establish new friendships, explore new interests or rekindle old hobbies.

But that’s not all - Millfield Green also offers luxurious hotel-style amenities: a swimming pool, restaurant, café, bar, hair and beauty salon, gym and wellness centre.

Located on the outskirts of Luton, Millfield Green has easy access to some of the best countryside parks in England. For those who enjoy city life, central London is only 20 minutes away by train, and for travel further afield by plane or car there is nearby Luton Airport and the M1.

Transport can be laid on from the village, so residents don’t need to use their cars at all.

The village staff team are always on hand to support residents, so you can relax in the knowledge that they will be there if and when you need them. Discover Millfield Green by booking an appointment with Inspired Villages’ friendly staff. Prices for apartments start from around £340,000.
Visit or call 01582 287360

You're never alone with McCarthy Stone
McCarthy Stone communities offer many activities
Loneliness is one of the greatest challenges many of us face as we age, with around 1.4 million adults in this country saying it is a daily battle, according to Age UK. But you can easily resolve the problem by finding a new community of like-minded people.

After losing his wife of 51 years, Stephen Hubbard, a retired engineer from Great Yarmouth, decided that he wasn’t going to suffer in silence. Stephen, 80, said he felt incredibly lonely after the death of his wife, and this feeling was worsened by the fact that he had to take care of their large family home by himself.

‘I have many fond memories of it, but maintaining such a large house became too much for me to manage,’ he says. ‘I found myself rattling around the empty rooms.’

With the help of his family, Stephen began to investigate properties in the Great Yarmouth area where he could benefit from the companionship of likeminded people. He came across Foundry Place, a McCarthy Stone development exclusively for the over-70s in Beccles, Suffolk.

‘Beccles is an excellent location,’ says Stephen. ‘Not only do I have the railway station right on my doorstep, but my children also live close by.

‘I have mostly lived in Great Yarmouth, so it was important for me to stay in the local area. When I visited the development I immediately got a warm welcome from both the McCarthy Stone staff and fellow homeowners, who I now count as friends. Moving to a smaller property also meant I no longer needed to worry about maintenance issues. My new apartment was ready to move into, and everything was pristine.’

Stephen was one of the first homeowners to move to Foundry Place, and is now very happily settled in his two-bedroom apartment.

‘It’s such a close-knit bunch here,’ he says. ‘I’ve been surprised about how much there is to get involved with - from film nights and knitting clubs to coffee mornings and many other gatherings. We all respect each other’s privacy. But you never feel alone.’

With an experienced team on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Stephen and his family have peace of mind that everything is being taken care of. ‘Everyone here is very friendly and they always go out their way to support you,’ he says. ‘No two people are the same, and that’s what makes it such an exciting and vibrant community. We all share the same values and respect one another as individuals. Moving to a retirement living development may not be something you’ve considered before. You may not think it’s right for you now, but it’s about future-proofing.’

Stephen found the moving process ‘smooth and hassle-free’. He is now counting down the days to his forthcoming solo Mediterranean cruise, the first time he has gone abroad by himself.

If you reserve an apartment by 26 April 2024, McCarthy Stone will pay your stamp duty (up to £5,000) and help towards your legal, estate agent and moving fees. or call 0800 2014811

Life in the Blue Zone at Riverstone
The pool and a bedroom at Riverstone Fulham
How you choose to spend your time when you retire can add years to your life and increase your happiness.

Riverstone, which mangages communities in Kensington, Fulham and Hampstead, offers a new concept in later living. It encourages specific healthy lifestyle habits that are found in so-called ‘Blue Zones’ - regions of the world where people have longer and healthier lives. There are several factors that characterise the lifestyles of people from Blue Zones: a sense of purpose; mixing with a like-minded social circle; belonging to a local community; eating until you are just 80 per cent full; making movement a natural part of the day; moderate alcohol consumption and having close connections with family.

Inspired by this, Riverstone commissioned a poll of more than 1,000 UK retirees across nine cities examining the extent of Blue Zone behaviour, and also looked at where these factors were evident in its own properties.

Dr Zoe Wyrko is the wellbeing director of Riverstone. ‘One of the things we say to people thinking of moving to Riverstone is that we can’t guarantee that we’re going to add years to your life, but we will add life to your years,’ she says.

‘Our team understand the importance of both physical and mental health. Many of our residents choose to regularly take part in group activities such as walking clubs, coffee mornings, fitness classes and book clubs, as well as attending regular social events.’

When it comes to exercise in the UK, nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents to the Riverstone survey said they get most of their exercise from natural movement, such as walking, tending a garden or housework. At Riverstone’s developments state-of-the-art gym facilities and wellbeing programmes cater to achieving these goals.

Eating wisely also emerges as a key factor in Blue Zone communities. This emphasises adopting a balanced, predominantly plant-based diet that is rich in whole grains and vegetables, while eating fewer processed foods, red meat and sugar. Riverstone’s survey revealed that London leads the way for the most predominantly plant-based retirees (20%) followed by Leeds (18%) and Birmingham (15%).

‘We very deliberately don’t talk about nutrition and diets here at Riverstone,’ says Wyrko. ‘We talk about food, we talk about eating, we talk about fuel. We really concentrate on the importance of your body being able to do what you need it to.

‘It’s been incredibly heartening to see how closely the life on offer at Riverstone mirrors the Blue Zone principles. The values we instill include socialising, opportunities for physical activity and creating a close-knit and trusted environment. They are designed to enable people to enjoy their retirement, no matter what challenges they may face.’
Visit, call 020 3839 8540 or email