Here, Maggie Davies tells McCarthy & Stone why renting in retirement was the right option for her dad and how they were able to make the most of the benefits renting provides. ...Read more
“Get out there and seize the day!” is the motto of 74 year old McCarthy & Stone homeowner Sylvie Morgan.
At the beginning of this year, Sylvie and her partner Bradley, 81, set out to plan a road trip of a lifetime. A trip that would take them all over the UK so they could relive old memories and meet up with friends and family they hadn’t seen for many years.
However, rather than stay in expensive hotels or B&B’s, Sylvie had a rather better solution up her sleeve that would mean she and Bradley could travel to all the places they wanted to go – 15 places in total over 19 days, for as little as £25 per night.
The idea came to Sylvie after chatting to Jackie, the House Manager at Paxton Court in Tenby where she lives. Last summer Jackie and her husband took a weeks’ holiday visiting a number of places as far apart as Newcastle and Anglesey, staying in McCarthy & Stone guest suites.
“You mean we can book into other McCarthy & Stone developments like a holiday?” exclaimed Sylvie!
Jackie went on to explain that McCarthy & Stone homeowners were afforded the convenience of being able to book into any development guest suite anywhere in the country, simply by calling and speaking to the House Manager.
Sylvie comments: “The guest suites are a fantastic facility for when you have visiting family and friends, as it means they can stay over and you don’t need to worry about it being too much of a squeeze.
“The thought that you could also stay there and enjoy such a value for money holiday never crossed my mind. Once I heard about it I was straight onto Bradley as we’d been talking about planning a trip, but now all of sudden, it made it seem much more do-able.
“At £25 per night it also made it very cost effective – we thought what do we have to lose?”
From here, Sylvie opened up a map of the UK, spread it out on the kitchen table and began to pinpoint the different places they’d like to visit.
“There was no time factor involved”, says Sylvie. “We knew we wanted to go in the spring but we’re both free agents so the length and breadth of the trip was really up to us. It was amazing to have the freedom to choose and to make the trip our own.”
Sylvie admits she was the master planner though.
“Bradley and I discussed and we knew roughly where different friends and family were but it needed some thorough research online to work out what the sensible drive times would be each day. We agreed on two to three hours maximum, although one day we did stretch this to four hours as we made our way down from York to Norwich but it was very do-able.”
From Tenby in Pembrokeshire up the west coast of Wales and England, north to John o’ Groats in Scotland then back down the east coast to Sussex and along the south coast, Sylvie and Bradley covered an enormous 2,532 miles by car in total.
“It was absolutely amazing”, says Sylvie.
“I have never been up through the highlands of Scotland but is was so wonderful to see all the glorious countryside and the changes in scenery as you enter different parts of the UK. We were forever pulling over to take photographs – absolutely nothing about our trip felt rushed. It was easy travelling just opportune time to take in our surroundings and wind down the windows!
“The weather was also incredibly kind to us and made the whole trip very special, seeing the UK at its best.”
Sylvie did most of the driving, she laughs, to keep stress levels (hers) to a minimum. However, Bradley was an excellent map reader by all accounts, although shouting at the sat-nav on a number of occasions!
Their journey started in Tenby and took them to Cwrt Gloddaeth, Llandudno where they spent their first night, then on to Queen Elizabeth Court in Kirby Lonsdale in the Lake District. It was here that Bradley quite by chance was able to meet up with an old pal, Trevor Thomas. Trevor and Bradley had always kept in touch but because Trevor had since moved away they hadn’t seen each other for several years.
Bradley comments: “When we checked the address of Queen Elizabeth Court and realised it was the same as Trevor’s it was such a happy coincidence. We hadn’t planned it that way – the development was simply on route and we’d been attracted to it by the photographs on the website. Of course it was lovelier still getting the opportunity to enjoy some tea and cake with Trevor and hear how he was settling in.”
The couple also stopped off in Gretna Green, at its Blacksmiths Shop ‘The Old Smithy’. Renowned since the 1700s for being a place where lovers would elope to marry there, Sylvie and Bradley enjoyed playing a joke on family members teasing them with photos and texts from the infamous spot (and no they didn’t!)
After this, Sylvie and Bradley made their way to Glasgow and Inverness via Fort William. They booked in for two nights travelling up through the Highlands to Bettyhill, the most northerly part of Scotland. This was the only part of the trip they needed to stay in a hotel as being so rural, there wasn’t a McCarthy & Stone development nearby.
It was here that Bradley was able to re-trace some of his naval roots. At Loch Eriboll whilst serving on a royal navy destroyer, they were firing an experimental live torpedo at a mock-up target when something went horribly wrong and it turned and came back towards them! A swift manoeuvre was needed, the torpedo landing on the nearby beach.
Sylvie and Bradley were able to revisit the beach and enjoyed a walk on it, this time under quite different circumstances.
The couple travelled back to Inverness, on to Aberdeen and Edinburgh where they stayed two nights to take in the city and sights before making it to Newcastle. York followed with a stop in Darlington to see Bradley’s cousin, Pam.
“It’s a funny story”, says Bradley. “We had a brilliant time chatting to my cousin. She’s 90 years old and it was great to introduce her to Sylvie. We left and we’d almost got to York before I turned to Sylvie and said, “We have to go back!”
Bradley realised that they’d gone all that way and not taken a photo.
“I was desperate to get a photo of me with Pam”, says Bradley. “I don’t think Sylvie was all too pleased at first but the next day we both got up at the crack of dawn and drove the 65 miles back to Darlington. My cousin thought we were quite mad but I got my photo and that meant a lot to me so it was worth the extra miles!”
Sylvie and Bradley went on to Norwich then Ipswich visiting two friends of Sylvie’s living in Suffolk on route and whilst in Ipswich visited Shotley where HMS Ganges was – the place where Bradley had done his basic navy training.
Bradley comments: “For me it was like going down memory lane. It had always been a dream of mine to go back. To share it with Sylvie was the icing on the cake.”
Then on to Edenbridge in Kent, here again they stayed for two nights to visit Sylvie’s family and friends in the area where she grew up on the Surrey, Sussex borders.
The last leg of the journey saw them stop in Drayton in Hampshire, Shepton Mallett in Somerset before Cardiff completed their stops as they were welcomed home to Tenby.
“Honestly there were too many highlights to pick just one”, says Sylvie.
“For me going to Drayton, where we visited Langston harbour and seeing the cottage that I lived in with my late husband and where I gave birth to my first daughter. That was very special.”
Overall, with food, accommodation and petrol taken into account the trip cost Sylvie and Bradley just £40 per day each.
“Oh it was fantastic value”, says Sylvie.
“We didn’t scrimp, we ate out every night. The money we saved on hotels and B&Bs meant we could afford to have treats. We did the tourist thing and visited Edinburgh castle, and a real highlight was going to the Saturday evening service at York Minster - that was a tick off the bucket list!”
During the day Sylvie and Bradley would make the most of supermarket meal deals with picnic stops on route, and more often than not, a favourite of Bradley’s – a cream tea.
“The House Managers at all of the McCarthy & Stone developments were so very welcoming and helpful”, says Sylvie.
“In fact it felt like a home from home. The rooms were without question very comfortable and spotlessly clean. They had everything you could need and yet were all very unique in their own way.
“That was part of the beauty of it. Meeting new friends and new faces everywhere we went, and getting to know the different ways of doing things.”
Fresh from their trip, Sylvie and Bradley are already planning another.
“We are so taken with it we’ll definitely try to visit other locations”, says Bradley. “Devon and Cornwall are next on our list but of course the UK is our oyster with so many McCarthy & Stone locations to choose from we truly are spoilt for choice.”
When the couple first dreamt of the idea of a road trip, neither of them would have anticipated just how fantastically it would turn out.
“I can’t believe we’ve done it!” says Sylvie.
“The opportunity and the accommodation is right there. My advice to any McCarthy & Stone homeowners is to take advantage of it. Don’t let these wonderful guest suites sit there and go to waste. You’ll be surprised just what a wonderful holiday they can be.”
For more information about available properties, locations and prices please visit: www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk or call: 0800 2014811.
The majority of McCarthy & Stone developments come with a convenient guest suite where family and friends are able to come and stay. Guest suites can also be booked by McCarthy & Stone homeowners choosing to venture further afield for a fraction of the price of a hotel stay, from as little as £25 per night.
Each guest suite comes with en-suite shower room, television, tea and coffee making facilities and access to the homeowner’s lounge and other development facilities.
Here, Maggie Davies tells McCarthy & Stone why renting in retirement was the right option for her dad and how they were able to make the most of the benefits renting provides. ...Read more
Many people find that later in life that their home is far bigger than they need. Downsizing can bring a variety of benefits, including both financial and practical ones. That said, it can often be an emotional or difficult time. ...Read more
Home recycling is incredibly important. To coincide with National Recycling Week, McCarthy & Stone spoke to First Mile to see how more people can recycle at home. ...Read more
From succulents to spider plants, the demand for indoor foliage is showing no signs of slowing down. No matter what the season, low maintenance house plants are ideal for brightening up the look and feel of a room. ...Read more
At McCarthy & Stone, we like to make the process of selling apartments simple. To help you, we’ve put together this guide on how to sell your apartment. ...Read more
Tracing a family tree is a fun and exciting pastime. With the help of genealogist Tony Griggs, McCarthy & Stone teach you how to trace your family tree. ...Read more
Selling a family home can be difficult, but at McCarthy & Stone, we’re here to help. Read our guide on how to sell your house today. ...Read more
If the time has come for you to downsize and you want to be able to move quickly and easily, then Part Exchange is a good option to consider ...Read more
With just two per cent of UK housing designed specifically for older people, the pressure is on to build more affordable and high-quality housing options for our ageing population. ...Read more
It's not easy making the decision to downsize but there are plenty of positives to making the move. ...Read more
Maximise your chances of selling your home quickly with these tips on how best to stage your home during the viewings stage of the selling process. ...Read more
Here in Britain, we love a holiday, but the journeys involved – especially when heading abroad – can be challenging at times. So, we’ve put this guide together to explain how you can make your holiday travel more comfortable. ...Read more
Get out and about this summer and discover for yourself the joy of picking your own fruit ...Read more
Whilst there are most certainly plenty of benefits to owning a home during your retirement, renting is another fantastic option that provides many with a flexible and easy way to make the most of their retirement. ...Read more
We’ve partnered with the National Trust to select the best secret National Trust locations near to the UK’s favourite ‘hidden gems’. Read on to find out our 10 best secret spots. ...Read more
We love spending time outside, and what a great time of the year to get out and about with your grandchildren. Spend some quality time together, make memories which will last a lifetime and make the most of the great British sunshine! ...Read more
Find out why Yorkshire is considered by many to be the best county to retire in, including the residents at some of our Yorkshire retirement communities. Find out more. ...Read more
Mary Jones from Bath moved to McCarthy & Stone’s Lambrook Court development just down the road from her old home. ...Read more
A city of extraordinary cultural and historical wealth woven into every brick and beam, York seeps history at every turn. ...Read more
They may not seem the most likely champions in the digital counter- revolution but jigsaw puzzles are certainly playing their part. ...Read more
The summer season is packed with a variety of events to appeal to a range of interests and ages. Savour the delights of new and exciting cuisine, enjoy the thrill of world-class horse racing and discover the latest super cars, at events taking place across the summer months. ...Read more
Sparkling white beaches, deep blue seas, sugar-cube villages and venerable ancient sites make the
Greek islands an idyllic holiday destination for many. Tourists can immerse in the Greek cuisine,
century-old sites and local culture each island has to offer, while enjoy luxurious accommodation
and the locals’ warm and welcoming hospitality. ...Read more
2019’s summer fashion trends provide plenty of great options for retirees. Here, McCarthy & Stone provide a rundown of the very best. ...Read more
A McCarthy & Stone Retirement Living Plus apartment is about getting more from life for the over 70s. It’s the perfect combination really - company when you want it, help when you could use it, care when you need it. And all in the comfort of your own stylish new home. ...Read more
Retirement Living PLUS is all about making life easier. This includes providing a great value in-house restaurant or bistro, where you can enjoy freshly prepared food in good company. ...Read more
Father’s Day is the perfect time to thank fathers and father figures for their help and support. In this post, McCarthy & Stone look at the history of Father’s Day. ...Read more
We want to create retirement communities that enrich the quality of life for our customers and their families, and look to respond better to our customers’ evolving needs. ...Read more
Colin and Pat Mackay are looking forward to making the most of their retirement following their move to North Berwick....Read more
You don’t need an outdoor garden to have a green thumb! We speak to journalist and gardening expert, Jane Perrone, about the best plants for an indoor garden, providing useful tips for you to use in your retirement property. ...Read more
Are you ready to move somewhere smaller? We lend our expert advice and explain how to effectively downsize. ...Read more
There are many benefits of downsizing and if this is something you are considering, here, we share our knowledge about downsizing, and explain why it could be one of the best things you can do for your retirement. ...Read more
The world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It’s the most glamorous day out in the gardening calendar.
The grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are once again blooming with flora as the Royal Horticultural Society prepares to welcome 157,000 spectators to their annual five-day flower festival in May. ...Read more
After her husband passed away in 2014, Sylvie Morgan decided to move from her home in Malmesbury to Paxton Court, Tenby, where she is enjoying an active social life, and has met many new friends! ...Read more
There are many reasons why Brits are choosing retirement properties by the sea. Take a look at our top five reasons why people retire to the coast. ...Read more
Last summer, we honoured eight inspirational over-60s whose impressive feats were changing the lives of the people around them. Our North London Inspirational Generation winner, Jean Hoare, was invited to an exclusive event thanks to her work. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone have introduced a new range of rental and buying choices that can make retirement living even more accessible. ...Read more
Bettys Cookery School tutor Jenny Culver shares her favourite food moments and tells us why Bettys is still one of the UK's favourite places for afternoon tea, 100 years on. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone has officially launched its charity partnership with Beanstalk, a national children’s literacy foundation. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone have carried out a survey to determine the UK’s top 10 favourite pieces of ‘mums’ advice’. Read on to find out more. ...Read more
If you’re looking to book a holiday and need some inspiration, then take a look at our selection of some of the best UNESCO World Heritages Sites to help you plan what could be the trip of a lifetime. ...Read more
More and more people are choosing to put off their retirement and continue working. Plus, in many other cases, those who have already retired are looking to return to work. Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of each situation. ...Read more
eharmony’s relationship expert, Rachael Lloyd explains why online dating can be a great choice for anyone over 60. ...Read more
There are many extra demands placed on our bodies as we progress through life and because of this our nutritional needs also change as a result. It is never too late to revamp your nutrition and nurture your body with a healthier diet. ...Read more
We understand the problem of loneliness amongst older people and we want to do something to combat it. That’s why we have created our latest Pen Pals programme, an outlet to connect older people with other older people in communities by the writing and exchanging of letters. Click to find out more. ...Read more
Friendship is hugely important at every stage in life, and retirement is no exception. What’s more, in retirement you could make the most of the extra free time you have to discover different experiences and meet new people – leading to new friendships and relationships. ...Read more
After decades of 9-5 and routine, the newly-found free time that retirement provides can feel overwhelming. ...Read more
Earlier in 2018, Rightmove surveyed 21,000 people in a bid to find the happiest locations to live in the country. We take a look at the results. ...Read more
Rather than being a time to slow down, retirement can be a chance to try new experiences and become the best version of yourself. ...Read more
The McCarthy & Stone intergenerational living project encourages customers to spend time with children from their local primary school. ...Read more
Looking back to Christmas memories from the 50s and 60s is a wonderful way to celebrate colourful childhoods and festive moments from a different era. ...Read more
Why should retirement stop you from trying a new passion? Angie and Edson Chace, prove that age is just a number with their newfound acting success. ...Read more
Famed for its industry and innovation, the green, modern cityscape now replaces the smoking chimneys from the industrial revolution. There’s a friendly, independent and alternative spirit that can be hard to find in other cities alongside a thriving cultural scene. ...Read more
Following the appointment of John Tonkiss, as McCarthy & Stone’s new Chief Executive Officer in September, we speak to him about his vision for the future.
Popular North Gate Court customer Wally Blazey moved into their McCarthy & Stone apartment with his wife Gladys seven months ago, and the couple have just celebrated their 72nd anniversary. At 92, Wally is one of the two last surviving drivers of the Flying Scotsman, the most famous steam locomotive in the world. ...Read more
Loneliness, being closer to family and downsizing are just a few reasons why moving into a retirement apartment can become a better option in later life. ...Read more
We count down the UK’s favourite Christmas displays as voted by the public. ...Read more
The passing of a life-long partner is, of course, devastating and changes your life irrevocably. Regardless of how near they lived to you, or how resilient your character, a feeling of loneliness is inevitable following your loss. ...Read more
With darker days and cooler weather heading our way, there are plenty of interesting and exciting things you can do with your grandchildren this winter. ...Read more
From recipes that grandchildren will want to make, to seasonal dishes ideal for a night in, our selection of Halloween themed recipes will bring out everyone’s wicked side. ...Read more
Thinking of making the move to our lavish Asbhrae development? Discover a wealth of things to see and do in the local area. ...Read more
Plant containers are a space-saving option for the garden that's easier than working the soil. Leigh Hunt, Horticultural Advisor for the RHS tells us all that's needed to know about upcycling them. ...Read more
Marie Bird, who is 91 and a homeowner at Bilberry Place, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, tells us how moving to a Retirement Living PLUS development has helped her achieve her ambition of living the retirement she always wanted....Read more
Property owners, Cecilia Smith and Jean Ryder, both 64 live at Charlotte Court, Ainsdale, Southport and Grove Court, Crosby, Merseyside. Here, they tell us why moving to a development has transformed their lives for the better....Read more
Stylish apartments, exclusively for retirees who are looking to enhance their lifestyle, are McCarthy & Stone’s trademark. Here’s what to expect from our property types on offer....Read more
September 23rd marks the first day of autumn with cooler days, darker nights and annual harvests ahead. But how can you prepare for the season? ...Read more
As summer fades, England’s largest history and culture festival is back. This September, hundreds of historic monuments and buildings throughout England – including many usually closed to the public – will throw open their doors for free. ...Read more
Discover Inspirational Generation winner and former Olympian, Marjorie Carter’s inspiring story, with a sports career that spanned over 70 years and a refusal to ever give up gymnastics! ...Read more
Where are the best locations in the UK to visit... that you've probably not heard of? We've ranked the best hidden gems around Britain, that are easy to access, and offer a great weekend away with the family. ...Read more
Whether you're a pet owner or have a pet free home, animals of all kinds have been proven to improve the happiness of their human counterparts. To find out more McCarthy & Stone conducted a survey to see how pets enrich their owners lives. Here are the results! ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone spoke to Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Writer and Broadcaster Corinne Sweet about the psychological benefits of owning pets. ...Read more
Helen Bostock, Senior Horticultural Advisor at The Royal Horticultural Society shares her advice on creating the perfect environment for butterflies, by making the most of your outside space no matter what its size. ...Read more
Here we put the spotlight on two retirees whose hobbies have taken them on trips all over the world. ...Read more
Retiring to the seaside – isn’t that every person’s dream? We’ve ranked your ten favourite British seaside destinations in order of preference. ...Read more
Wrap up warm and get walking this winter with us! Discover new trails across the country and explore new scenery with McCarthy & Stone. ...Read more