Where are the best Retirement Hot Spots across the UK?

With the end of the year fast approaching, 2018 brings us a range of new opportunities, but if you want to start planning your retirement for the new year then you need to read this handy guide. Perhaps you want to retire to somewhere different or you simply want to know where the best retirement spots across the UK, we cover it all in this helpful guide.

Retirees can look forward to decades of active living, but the big question is – where? With the help of Oxford Tube, we discover some of the best retirement hotspots in the UK.

Regional retirement

Breaking the statistics down by regions shows how the amount of people retired has been affected by the increasing statement age. Overall, 16.4% of the UK is retired, a result of people living longer. However, this has been impacted by the increasing state retirement age, which is set to continue to steadily increase over the years.

According to research from Prudential, when it comes to people putting their feet up, the South West has the largest retirement percentage with 19.6% in total. Wales follows closely behind with 18.4% and the East of England with 17.5%. Clearly, retiring to the south of the country is a popular choice.

Despite this general trend, London had a low retirement percentage at 11.1%, which underlines that the bustling city isn’t for everyone.

Best places to retire

Although retirement can be a wonderful time in our lives, it can also be a stressful time in a person’s life as there are so many options and routes that can be taken. So we’ve looked at some of Britain’s best places to retire based on activities in the area, transport links and what the community is like.

Chichester, West Sussex

Chichester is one popular location for retirees, bringing an idyllic vision to life. With Georgian architecture throughout the city, it’s full to the brim with culture and art. Regular markets are held in Chichester, bringing together residents on a regular basis and endorsing the region’s community spirit.

Located in the south, the city has great transport links to London and Gatwick, allowing those in retirement to venture in and out of the capital if they want to immerse themselves into a busier culture or to even jet around the globe on their next holiday.

Cromer, Norfolk

To spend your years by the seaside, look no further than Cromer in Norfolk. With sandy beaches and colourful buildings, you’ll wake up with a smile on your face every morning. This town is famous for its long pier, home to the Pavilion Theatre. The theatre is host to regular productions, highlighting the town’s enthusiastic arts culture with productions from all over the country. The town has good transport links into and out of Norwich, including buses and rail.

Newcastle upon Tyne, North East

If you’re looking for a place full of smiling faces, Newcastle upon Tyne might be your best bet! Named the happiest place to live in the UK by the European Commission, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to enjoy many days of relaxation in this city.

Whatever you’re interested in, the chances are that Newcastle has it – from the Baltic Art Centre to over 300 cafes and pubs and more than 92 parks and churches to visit during your time off. If you’re looking to venture out of the city, Newcastle is well placed to travel north to Scotland or further south.

What makes a good retirement?

Retirement can be very daunting as it is something that none of us have previous experience in, therefore it can sometimes be difficult to know the key ingredients that make up a happy retirement. However, some make complete sense and are achievable by any retiree.

One of the main factors is affordability; you want to enjoy your retirement and not have to worry about your finances, so you can treat yourself from time-to-time. You should also consider what’s going on in the area you want to retire too – if you’re a social person, you don’t want to move to a place where there isn’t much going on!

So, where will you be retiring to? A coastal area with a great view of the beach? A city with all the essentials you need? Or a rural village where you can enjoy regular walks in the sun?


Where are the best New Year’s Eve Displays in the UK?

December brings Christmas, a very special and magical period, though it also brings the end of 2017, with the start of a new year dawning upon us. With that in mind, it’s time to plan your New Year’s countdown to make it as special as it can be. To avoid attending a disappointing display, we’ve teamed up with Stagecoach, who offer unbeatable bus prices, to find out what displays you should be heading to, to celebrate the countdown to 2018.


Why not head to the capital of the UK to spend the countdown, join the thousands on the Thames this New Year. The capital is one of the most iconic locations for New Year’s Eve celebrations in the country.

Big Ben’s iconic ‘bongs’ will count us into the first day of the year before the display begins. The fireworks usually last around 12 minutes and are always mesmerising! The fireworks will be accompanied by exhilarating music that will get the crowds jumping and show a true sense of love and friendship.

Tickets are priced at £10 per person and can be bought in groups of four. A second batch of tickets will be released soon, so keep an eye out on the official website.


Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival is one that caters to all, which is especially helpful for those families with smaller children, whether you’re ringing in the new year with the family or with your other half. This NYE festival is unlike no other, with many different activities taking place on the day.

Don’t want your little one to miss out on the celebrations but midnight is way past their bedtime? Don’t worry – midday is the new midnight! At 1:00pm on the 31st December 2017, the festival has its own Baby Love Disco, which allows your little ones to let loose on the dancefloor whilst day-clubbing to some of their favourite songs! You might be questioning: ‘why? the whole point of a NYE party is to countdown in the new year’. Well, they will be — for Queensland!

If your little one can party a little bit longer, attend ‘Bairns Afore’ which is an entirely new event to the festival itself. The stage will be based at the bottom of Edinburgh castle, which will host family-friendly entertainment and even fireworks before it’s time to put your children to bed.

For those who are plan on staying up a little bit later, there is an outdoor concert where Rag’n’Bone Man will be headlining. Other performers include Ceclan McKenna and Nina Nesbitt!

More about what’s happening at the Edinburgh Hogmanay festival can be found on their official website. Tickets vary in price — grab them before they sell out!

If you’re looking for something a little less crowded, take a look at some of top picks across different parts of the UK:



If you like your upmarket locations, then why not attend the most exclusive New Year’s Eve event at the prestigious Vermont Hotel in Newcastle. Dress to the nines and enjoy a Gatsby-inspired gala in the sparkling ballroom with jazz music and plenty of dancing – and don’t forget the vintage alcoholic beverages. With a view of the Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside, it’ll be a night to remember.

Tickets for the first-class event are priced at £159 per person. Book today on the official website to avoid disappointment.


Manchester also offers another upmarket event, the Malmaison in Manchester is one of the best places to celebrate the New Year this year. With an evening of music planned, dress in your finest tux or gown and get ready to dance the night away. Start the night with a glass of bubbly and prepare yourself for the grand buffet, featuring cooked roasts and local seafood.

Tickets range from £59 to £100 per person. Visit their official website to book tickets today.


Fancy a New Year’s countdown with a twist? In Leeds you can go to a rooftop party where you can dance away under the stars. Head to Angelica’s rooftop party for a night to remember. Starting at 21:00pm and ending at 02:30am, you’ll be entering 2018 in the best place possible with an electrifying atmosphere. Book your tickets now to avoid disappointment!

So, what event will you be heading to this New Year’s Eve? Will you be going to a popular outdoor event or a more exclusive party with your friends and family?


My Fitness Goals For 2018

This year has been a bit of a bust when it comes to my fitness. Since having Olivia I have lost all motivation to really do anything fitness related – except for the odd walk or run. This is a stark contrast to the end of 2015 and half of 2016 before I became too pregnant with Olivia to do too much.

I used to walk, run, play squash and try plenty of other activities, keeping fit whilst losing weight. I managed to lose over a stone and a half doing this and I’d love to achieve this and more in 2018.

I have a few fitness goals for 2018 – here’s hoping I can achieve them.

Get Walking More

Back when I was doing really well, I was walking Jack to school and back every day plus going for walks during his school day and walks in the evening with friends. I’ve got a bit too lax about this and tend to get in the car – we live across the other side of the village but it is easily walkable to I really should do it more.

Run, run, run

My village has its very own running club which is growing in popularity. There are more and more people joining each month and there is always a run going on every day, usually at least one in the morning and one in the evening. They are very supportive of you, no matter what your ability is and they seem like a great bunch. It was started by a fellow Year 1 mum and I know plenty of people in the club – now I’ve just got to work up the courage to join.

Bruno Nascimento

Join the gym

We have a few gyms around here so I just need to work out which one is better for me, both financially and in terms of equipment. I’d love it if there was a swimming pool – although I would have to buy swimming pool essentials such as a costume and swimming goggles. This isn’t a deal breaker though. I used to go with my friend to her gym and play squash which was good fun – I’d love to get doing this again.

Workout from home

Finally, I want to start doing some workouts at home. As well as eating more healthily and drinking more water, I want to be productive with my time at home. I know a couple of my friends really recommend certain workout DVDs or YouTube channels but I’d be interested to know the ones that you would recommend. I may be picking a few up in the Boxing Day sales!

I’d love to try a few more things in 2018 – perhaps try a new sport, join the running club and work my courage up to better my ability and perhaps even run a race by the end of 2018 – I’m in awe of some bloggers such as Kirsty who runs races on a regular basis!

Have you got any fitness goals for 2018?

Collaborative Post

Easy Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mental Health

Mental health issues are thought to affect as many as 1 in 4 adults in the UK at some point in their lifetimes. Despite the prevalence of mental health issues, however, there is often quite a poor understanding amongst the general population of how to maintain good mental health, and what to do if they suspect that things aren’t going well in that regard.

While neglecting our mental health is unfortunately all too easy to do, and the potential consequences are severe, the good news is that there are a number of simple things that we can all do in order to ensure our day to day wellbeing is maintained.

Many people have an understandable fear of the idea of developing a mental health issue, although in the majority of cases being diagnosed with such a condition is the first step towards restoring a healthy and happy lifestyle in individuals who have found themselves struggling more than usual.

In this article we have pieced together the very best words of advice from doctors and patients who have experience in dealing with mental health issues. These are all simple things that any of us can do in order to ensure that we stand the best chance possible of avoiding developing a mental health issue.


The importance of exercise to our physical health is widely understood, we all know that if we don’t get enough exercise, then we run the risk of developing a number of health issues, including obesity. Along with a well-rounded and carefully planned out diet, exercise is an essential component for maintaining our physical health. But fewer people are aware of the important role that exercise plays in ensuring that our mental health also remains intact.

Exercising encourages us to go outside, this in itself is often very helpful in dealing with mental health issues. Many mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, strongly deters sufferers from setting foot outside, but the isolation that this creates is a problem in and of itself, and one that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

When we exercise, our brains release endorphins and dopamine, both of which are associated with better moods and a sense of wellbeing, this underscores just how intimately linked our psychological and physical health is: when one of these things is neglected, the other will inevitably suffer too.

Reducing Stress

Unsurprisingly, those who suffer with mental health issues often experience higher general levels of stress in their day to day lives. The effects of stress play out in both the short and long term; in the short-term, stress can deter us from exercising, socialising, or engaging in our day to day routine. The cumulative long-term effects of this are an overall worse quality of life as well as a higher susceptibility to both mental and physical illnesses. Minimizing the amount of stress in our lives is one of the most important things we can do to protect our mental health.

As mentioned above, exercise is a great way to reduce stress, but there are a number of other things we can do. For example, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that listening to music whose tone fits with our current emotional state can help us to work through those emotions. This is why many people reach for sad songs when they themselves feel sad. Far from wallowing in their own pity, they are in fact administering an effective cure for their condition.

Seek Support

Tackling mental health issues alone is an approach which is doomed to failure. Sufferers of mental health issues should no more treat their own mental illness than they should treat their own broken leg! It is important that if you suspect that you might be suffering from a mental illness that you inform your doctor as soon as possible in order to discover treatment options.

Many people with a mental illness find that they struggle to find stable employment; for these individuals, there are benefits which they can claim. The government runs an access to work scheme which is designed to help those with a mental illness find their way back into the world of employment and Mental Health and Money Advice have information about this on their website.

Support can also come from friends, family, and healthcare professionals. It is entirely up to the patient who they feel most comfortable reaching out to for support and it is important that they are not pressured into revealing more about their condition than they feel comfortable with.

The rates at which mental health issues occur appears to be on the increase. This might have more to do with our improved ability to diagnose them, but whatever the cause, adults in the UK are more likely to face mental health problems than ever before. It is important that when they occur, sufferers understand what support they can seek out and how to do so.


Win with Superwings Toys

Hello and welcome to day 10 of mine and Life in a Break Down advent giveaway – yay for having hit double figures. Before we take a couple of days off for the weekend (we’ve all earned it right?), we have for you an awesome giveaway that is just perfect for those of you with preschool children who love Super Wings.

Showing twice daily on Cartoonito, Super Wings follows Jett the jet plane as he travels around the world exploring different cultures and delivering packages. With each package comes a problem and the Super Wings team much join together to solve it. Allowing kids to learn about friendship, problem-solving skill, alongside introducing them to different parts of the world.

Now thanks to the new launch of this toy collection, little fans of Super Wings can bring them into their own home to play with. Offering 10 different toys, featuring Jett and his friends these sets include transforming vehicles, remote control toys, feature playsets and more.

The fantastic people behind the Super Wings toys have kindly offered us up 2 items for the collection to giveaway to a lucky winner which are:

Super Wings World Airport Playset Control Tower with Jett and Donnie Figures

This large playset comes complete with Jett and Donnie and allows children to recreate the Super Wings adventures in the comfort of their own home. What’s more, the Jett and Donnie figures can easily convert from a plane to a robot in three easy steps, while the set also includes moving pieces and lights and sounds.
RRP: £39.99. Available from: Argos, Smyths Toys, The Entertainer and Toys R Us,

Super Wings World Airport Flight Crew Figure Collector Pack

Allowing children to collect their favourite Super Wings flight crew, each of the collector’s pack includes a host of 15 figures including 8 with transform from plane to a robot in three easy steps.
RRP: £29.99. Available from John Lewis, Toys R Us, Smyths Toys and more.

Super Wings sets are aimed at the 3+ age range and are priced between £1.99 and £39.99.

If you fancy being in with a chance of winning both of these fantastic sets all you need to do is let us know:
What is your child’s favourite toy?

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