McCarthy & Stone have introduced a new range of rental and buying choices that can make retirement living even more accessible. ...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.
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
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
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
Making little changes in your everyday life could reduce the harmful impact on the environment, says Julia Shaw ...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
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
Summer has arrived and Wimbledon is right around the corner, so for all the tennis enthusiasts, we've got 5 surprising facts to get you right in the mood! ...Read more
What do you do with yourself now? It’s a question that retirees are often asked. And actually it's when the fun really starts, say these McCarthy & Stone homeowners. ...Read more
Prospective homeowners will be delighted to know all aspects of their new living space – including the communal areas – have been considered during the design process, helping to make their lives more comfortable and a little easier ...Read more
It’s never been easier to keep your most precious memories alive. From personalised photo albums and keepsakes to specially commissioned biographies and films, there are many ways to create a very special legacy – and have a lot of fun while you’re doing it. Here are a few ideas to inspire you ...Read more
The UK has a wealth of wonderful destinations for such a small country, and we've rounded up alternatives to some classic favourites ...Read more
We look into the perfect recipes to pair with a royal wedding. We've picked out the most delicious, as well as the quintessentially British for the special occasion! ...Read more
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
After her family convinced her to look at a new McCarthy & Stone development in Bromsgrove, West Midlands Shirley Tyler was surprised at how quickly she settled into her comfortable new apartment. ...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
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
Enjoying a fulfilling retirement isn’t just about where you live. How you live plays an equally important role when it comes to getting the most out of what ought to be an extremely rewarding time of life. ...Read more
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
McCarthy & Stone knows that communication is key when it comes to making a decision as big as moving into a retirement development, which is why it has staff ready to talk through the process, says Rachel Halliwell ...Read more
Remember when trailing greenery hung from macramé pot holders in every bay window in the country? Well, the good news is house plants are back in vogue. Here’s how to make the most of them ...Read more
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
Escape to tropical climes this winter at RHS Garden Wisley with their glasshouse of butterflies!...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
An escorted break can provide the best of many worlds – companionship and the chance to see places you may not have otherwise chosen. You may even learn a new take-home skill! ...Read more
Many people have misconceptions about what retirement living means. So we've answered your most commonly asked questions ...Read more
With activities arranged throughout the year at McCarthy & Stone developments, how much you want to get involved is up to you, says Tim Adler ...Read more
House Manager Sue McGrath gives an insight into the life of Mallory Court's homeowners with their 'pot nest' creations! ...Read more
The study by leading retirement housebuilder, McCarthy and Stone, reveals sitting exams, enduring the daily commute and the stress of running a family, are among some of the things the older generation DO NOT miss about being younger. ...Read more
Moving house is always daunting and even more so if you're planning to downsize from a family home. We look at the best ways to make moving home stress-free. ...Read more
A lot of work and careful planning goes into creating the beautiful interiors of a McCarthy & Stone development. Interior designer Hannah Gernon explains how she arrives at the finished results ...Read more
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
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
In her latest blog, Carrick Court's House Manager ponders the adoption of modern technology - particularly the latest smart phones! ...Read more
House Manager Michelle Zoe Leggett gives an insight into the life of Carrick Court's homeowners and asks ‘what is retirement and do we ever really retire?’ ...Read more
Discover coastal properties for sale all around the UK and Ireland with McCarthy & Stone’s unique locations and luxury developments. ...Read more
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
It was a year of social unrest, high inflation, patriotism and punk rock. It was also the year that John McCarthy and Bill Stone built their first retirement apartments. As McCarthy & Stone celebrates its 40th anniversary, we take a look back at the highs and lows of 1977. ...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
Retirement can be a time to reinvent your life, as Judy Robinson and Gwynneth Pedler discovered ...Read more
Discover some of the most historical houses in Hampshire with McCarthy & Stone! Explore these beautiful homes all year round! ...Read more
See how part exchange has changed this family's life in more ways than one! Discover Part Exhange with McCarthy & Stone. ...Read more
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
This year looks to be a bumper one for the arts, with no shortage of blockbuster films, riveting reads and fantastic festivals on the horizon. ...Read more
They'd both lost their partners 9 years ago and moved to a McCarthy & Stone development, but little did Ann and Robin know they were about to start something very special......Read more
Discover your next day out in the UK with our list of top attractions up and down Britain! Plan your next adventure with McCarthy & Stone. ...Read more
Pack your bags and start your travels with McCarthy & Stone! Discover how retirement can be the perfect time to see the world! ...Read more
It’s turning cold and you want your home to be warm and cosy. But that involves some tiresome maintenance tasks – unless you live in a McCarthy & Stone Retirement apartment of course ...Read more
See how Part Exchange changes lives at McCarthy & Stone! Experience how wonderful downsizing can truly be with us today! ...Read more
Rhoda tells us all about her journey to her brand new retirement apartment and how Part Exchange made it easier... ...Read more
We caught up with homeowner Mrs Pinkney in Lincolnshire to hear how she found using McCarthy & Stone's Part Exchange Service ...Read more
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
Chief executive Clive Fenton speaks about his pride in McCarthy & Stone’s philosophy, and how our developments change people's lives. ...Read more
Stuck on where in the world to holiday next? Take a pick from one of these amazing cruises and set sail with Life & Living today! ...Read more
See how McCarthy & Stone homeowner Roland is keeping active during retirement by volunteering at the NCI! ...Read more
Explore Britain's most beautiful gardens this Autumn with our list of favourite UK destinations. Get your scarf on and get exploring! ...Read more
Discover whether downsizing is the right option for you with McCarthy & Stone. See what our brand new developments can offer you here! ...Read more
We are excited about the next few months! Mother’s Day, the feel good movie of the year could well be perfect for your mom this Mother's Day! ...Read more
Tony Watts delves into downsizing following the Generation Stuck report, and talks about why we have downsizing all wrong. ...Read more
Check out our brand new Guide to Grandparenting! Find out how you can make your days with your grandchildren even more fun! ...Read more
Gone is the grey army - retirees say life is colourful, vibrant and active. We ask retirees for their views on what living life in retirement today is like. ...Read more
Meeting someone new in later life, for companionship and love, can seem impossible, but these couples show that it can happen! ...Read more
Discover the greatest golfing destination in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland! Grab your clubs today! ...Read more
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
What does happiness mean to you and those in your life? See what people had to say about their idea of happiness here! ...Read more
Take a look back at the history of Ascot with a twist; there aren’t just horses and bets being placed at this race show! ...Read more
By moving to a McCarthy & Stone development, Don has able to carry on his passion for writing whilst making sure his wife has great care 24/7. ...Read more
Check out what 'stylish at any age' really means with McCarthy & Stone. Stylish isn’t what’s in magazines – it’s what you make it! ...Read more
Read Mary's letter to her 21-year-old self, and see what lessons life she would give her younger self all those years ago. ...Read more
Discover the natural beauty of Scotland with our new developments with the UK's leading retirement developer - McCarthy & Stone. ...Read more
Discover the answers to all your questions about retirement with our guide to later life! Download the PDF on Life & Living! ...Read more
Discover what all the fuss is about and make the move to the Cotswold's. If you’re looking for peaceful sanctuary, look no further! ...Read more
Check out McCarthy & Stone's new assisted living property announcement for Scotland and Wales! This is an exciting one for all our residents! ...Read more
Check out our amazing garden, created by award-winning Chris Beardshaw, for McCarthy & Stone and Life & Living! ...Read more
Discover the British inspiration behind our brand new development in Poole. See how architects enhanced the buildings exclusive location here. ...Read more
Discover Edwina Currie’s life advice on retirement living, and why she refuses to be deemed as ‘old’ in life’s lottery. ...Read more