eharmony’s relationship expert, Rachael Lloyd explains why online dating can be a great choice for anyone over 60. ...Read more
With the summer holidays in full swing, perhaps heading abroad for a quick getaway is on the cards. However, there are plenty of hidden gems right here in Britain that are definitely worth a visit when you want to explore somewhere exciting and new.
Whether you’re after seaside escapes, wildlife retreats or historic monuments that offer the unusual or unique, Britain has an abundance of hidden treasures. And what’s more; you don’t even have to travel too far or spend a fortune to enjoy them.
To find out which of Britain’s hidden gems are the best, we asked people from all over the UK to vote. With one hidden gem per region to choose from and a selection that were somewhat off the beaten track, our final 1,400 voters selected 11 hidden gems in the UK. Read on to find their number one!
Appearing in a listing of the world’s most spectacular theatres, there’s no doubt that the Minack Theatre is a gem in Porthcurno, close to Land’s End in Cornwall. The outdoor theatre itself welcomes more than 80,000 people a year to watch a variety of performances from musicals, concerts, plays and storytelling. It also attracts nearly double that figure each year, for those who just want to take a glimpse at its beautiful coastline and architecture.
Due to the success of its production The Tempest back in the 1930's, Minack Theatre began to grow in popularity. Today, it is used from Easter to September for a full summer season of 20 plays, and it is open for visitors throughout the year.
Margate, Kent, is probably best known for being a popular seaside destination, drawing people to its beaches for years. However, if you look a little closer and avoid the usual tourist areas, you might stumble across the Shell Grotto.
The Shell Grotto is a concealed ornate passageway that sits below the streets of Margate. Its rooms and hallways are covered almost entirely in mosaics of seashells; mussels, cockles, whelks, limpets, scallops, oysters and more. It's a place for a perfect photo opportunity and it's a magical spot for kids to explore.
A National Nature Reserve on the north Norfolk coast, Blakeney Point is home to remarkable wildlife and offers magnificent views of beautiful coastline. A four-mile-long shingle spit protects both Blakeney Harbour and the surrounding saltmarshes, creating the perfect environment for many species.
In particular, the reserve is internationally renowned for its stunning displays of terns in the summer and grey seals in the winter. Hop on a ferry at Morston Quay to experience Blakeney Point and its wildlife at their best.
Located in the North York Moors National Park, these 18th-century landscaped gardens offer a beautiful spot for a summertime stroll. Weave through the woodlands and out onto the terrace where you’ll be greeted by stunning views overlooking the ruin of Rievaulx Abbey.
The gardens are also bookended by two classical temples: at one end the Tuscan Temple and at the other the Ionic Temple. Adorned with paintings and rich plasterwork, step inside the temples to marvel at their craftsmanship. The Rievaulx Terrace also, on occasion, holds outdoor art exhibitions.
Bondant Gardens is a National Trust property in Wales. More specifically, it can be found near Tal-y-Cafn, in the county borough of Conwy overlooking the Carneddau range of mountains. Wales has a plethora of hidden gems, most of which show the regions incredible beauty, but this garden spanning 80 acres of hillside is a definite winner.
The gardens themselves are known for their great conifers, cedars, Laburnum arch, the Pinetum in the Dell and much more. It’s open 362 days a year, has two on-site restaurants, welcomes dogs and picnics and is generally, a fantastic day out for those that appreciate foliage and fauna!
This fascinating house near Rothbury was the family home of Lord Armstrong; a Victorian inventor. The first building in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, it is teeming with wonderful gadgetry, including a passenger lift, telephones and fire alarm buttons – most of which are still working!
And, as well as being an inventor, Armstrong was also a landscaping genius. Take a stroll through the estate’s incredible gardens, which feature one of the largest rock gardens in Europe, five lakes and more than 30 miles of footpaths.
London is awash with hidden gems, but we think a horticultural treasure in the capital city is one worth mentioning. The Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park, London were donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in recognition of the Japan Festival held in London in 1992.
When you’re there, you’ll find a tranquil Japanese-style garden with tiered waterfalls and serene ponds full of Koi Carp. You’ll wander past Japanese maple trees, lanterns and even some wildlife. It’s the perfect spot if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
This unique hilltop park in Matlock is Derbyshire’s oldest attraction, having been open since the 1780s. Although originally accessible only on foot, you can now take a spectacular cable car journey over the Derwent Valley to reach the hill’s summit.
At the top, take a tour of the myriad underground caverns and mines that remain after the area’s lead mining. This reached its peak in the 17th century and allegedly began in Roman times. And, of course, you’ll be able to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding Peak District from the park’s spectacular viewing platform.
Perched dramatically at the head of Loch Awe with Ben Cruachan’s peak as its backdrop, Kilchurn Castle in Dalmeny, Argyll, is one of Scotland’s most photographed castles.
Built by Sir Colin Campbell in the mid-1400s, this castle remained Clan Campbell’s power base for 150 years, only being abandoned in the 1700s. Still largely standing today, you can enjoy magnificent views across Loch Awe atop the castle’s original five-storey tower house.
The Rock Houses are found on a high heath named Kinver Edge and are well known for being the last troglodyte dwellings occupied in England. There is much history surrounding the complete cave-houses which are now owned by the National Trust.
If you’re looking for an outdoor activity with the family, a visit to the rock houses will not only present great views but a bit of history too. You’ll be able to walk around one of the houses that has been restored to its original appearance, as well as other caves showing what life in the 1930’s really would have been like.
Hewn out of the rock in search of slate, the Cathedral Cavern is the main chamber of a small network of connected quarries above Little Langdale. Standing forty feet high, it is dappled with soft light by two windows high in the cavern’s walls, and a magnificent sloping pillar holds the roof in place.
For those feeling adventurous, the cavern can be explored from the entrance of the quarries. Proceed down narrow tunnels to emerge out into this truly awe-inspiring, man-made wonder.
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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
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2018 marks 100 years since the end of conflict – a year to remember the bravery of those who fought, lived and died in the First World War. ...Read more
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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
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
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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
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
It’s sociable and fun, and it’s good for your health and your brain – time to put on your dancing shoes ...Read more
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Baby boomers broke all the rules. Why should they change now they’re older, says Terry Tavner ...Read more
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A huge amount of care goes into every McCarthy & Stone development. Take a look at what goes into the planning, building and designing interiors of each development we build.
Now is a great opportunity to get out on the fairway and get practising. We've looked into some of the best golf courses in the UK, including golf courses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to get you ready and eager to tee off this spring and summer. ...Read more
Creating a beautiful outdoor space on a balcony can bring a lot of pleasure to you and your visitors for minimum effort. Balcony gardening offers the joy of plants but without the work that usually goes with a garden – you shouldn’t have to do much weeding for a start, you won’t get slugs, and there’s no lawn to worry about! ...Read more
It was the shop that gave Brits a passion for interior design, introducing us to flat-pack furniture, bean bags and a peculiar item of bedding called the duvet. ...Read more
Let’s be honest, we’d all love a gorgeous garden that would blossom with just the wave of a weed-wand. But I can’t be the only one who finds that a few minutes pottering turns into hours of pruning, trimming and raking at times. ...Read more
Nearly half of Britain’s pensioners would like to downsize, which could transform their lives and their emotional wellbeing ...Read more
Finding an activity that the whole family can enjoy together can sometimes feel like a tall order, especially amongst the hectic schedules of our day to day lives. However, spending time together in the great outdoors is the perfect way to leave behind those digital distractions and create some precious family memories that will last a lifetime. ...Read more
You may wonder just how you will spend your retirement or worry that you will not find enough activities to fill your time. This can be far from the truth, these active retirees share their inspirational retirement stories ...Read more
Here we put the spotlight on two retirees whose hobbies have taken them on trips all over the world. ...Read more
Here we tell the wonderfully colourful stories of two inspiring women who both have amazing stories to share of a career in aviation and being honoured by the Queen. ...Read more
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Love in later life can seem daunting. If you’ve been married for some years and are recently divorced or widowed, looking for love is a whole lot different today than it was back when you were young. But that’s no reason to be put off – you’re never too old to fall in love! ...Read more
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Are you member of the Inspirational Generation? We want to hear your stories. Enter our competition and tell us why - you could be in with the chance of winning £2,000! ...Read more
Many people feel apprehensive about selling their family home, says Rachel Halliwell. Yet McCarthy & Stone managers see the worry and weight being lifted from the shoulders of homeowners once they move in. It’s like being on a permanent luxury holiday, said one ...Read more
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There’s nothing more bonding for a family than spending quality time together. And a holiday is the perfect setting. With the growing trend for 3G (no, not mobile coverage – three generations!), there’s a huge variety of options. ...Read more
Mary Kent lived at the first McCarthy & Stone Development to be built, Waverley House in New Milton. Here, her granddaughter Tania Harland shares wonderful childhood memories of spending time there, which inspired her to work for McCarthy & Stone when a job opportunity came up 10 years ago. ...Read more
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Come to GrandFest and join us throughout June and July for a celebration of heritage skills in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service. ...Read more
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McCarthy & Stone aims to raise £130,000 for Royal Voluntary Service this year. It’s a partnership of shared values, says Rachel Halliwell ...Read more
Sometimes bonding with a generation different from your own can be difficult, even if they are your grandchildren! Find out how to inspire and entertain your grandchildren this summer. ...Read more
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Whatever you look for in a cruise, whether it's beautiful beaches, luscious green landscapes, city tours packed with culture, or a stop at one of the world's foodie capitals, there's a liner setting sail to suit. ...Read more
Celebrate 40 years of retirement living solutions with McCarthy & Stone. Discover how we are commemorating this special event here! ...Read more
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Our pet-friendly policy is a clincher for some looking to move into a retirement development. See how it gives animals a new lease of life too! ...Read more
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Tony Watts delves into downsizing following the Generation Stuck report, and talks about why we have downsizing all wrong. ...Read more
Take a look at our favourite Christmas Markets across the UK ! Make sure you get into the Christmas-spirit and make a few trips this festive season! ...Read more
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Experience the excitement of the amazing Goodwill Revival! See what it's all about, and how much fun it truly is this year! ...Read more
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McCarthy & Stone go the extra mile with all their customers. Hear how Ruth traveled to meet new customers to go over downsizing plans! ...Read more
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Discover the answers to all your questions about retirement with our guide to later life! Download the PDF on Life & Living! ...Read more
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