Retirement Living is fun and packed full of new experiences in St Andrews for David and Anne

03 July 2015

Mr and Mrs Aitkin McCarthy and Stone St Andrews

When retired civil engineer David (74), and his wife Anne (73) – a pharmacist– were planning their retirement they thought they would take the more traditional route of buying a bungalow with a small garden, and they thought they may stay fairly local in the Stirling area where their family home was. 

But quite simply, David fell in love with McCarthy and Stone’s development Scholars Gate in St Andrews when, just by chance, they popped in to view the development’s show complex as David explains:  “We owned a large four bedroom, three public room Victorian property in Alva that was in fact a former manse with a large garden.  And whilst we’d been there for 35 years, we knew it was time to downsize.  It was getting harder to stay ahead of all the DIY and jobs to be done, so whilst it was a huge decision, it was one that we knew we had to take.

“Our daughter owns a holiday home in St Andrews, and we were lucky enough to be able to use it as our base when we decided it was time to downsize – and she encouraged us to stay as long as we needed to because she didn’t want us to rush into any decisions about our next move.  Whilst spending our time at the holiday home we naturally explored the local area, and we discovered McCarthy and Stone!

“I’d always joked with the family they’d see us in a retirement living complex and I’d mentioned McCarthy and Stone.  Our son and daughter felt we were too young, but I felt it was the right time.  We enjoyed a stress-free move with McCarthy and Stone, and we find that we are not spending so much on heating, lighting and other overheads so it’s really been a very good decision. 

“Often we don’t even need the heating to be turned on, and our apartment is very comfortable plus we don’t have maintenance bills to pay for an old property – so it’s really been a very good decision for us to move here.” 

Anne adds:  “Our family felt that it was perhaps a bit early for us to consider retirement living, and to be honest so did I! However, I’m delighted now that we’ve made this move because we have been able to share such a big step together, and of course we are delighted to have found a lovely place to call home. 

“Our family now realise that we’ve been very sensible and we feel very lucky to have such a beautiful apartment in a lovely and quiet part of St Andrews.  From one of our windows we enjoy a view over an orchard and it’s so tranquil, yet the buzz of St Andrews town centre is within a stone’s throw and it has everything that we need.”

Moving to St Andrews has offered the couple a whole host of new interests to absorb their leisure time as David adds: “St Andrews is such a beautiful place and there’s just so much to do.  We’re taking the opportunity to enjoy more concerts at our local theatre The Byre Theatre, and we’re enjoying going to the cinema more often too.  We also enjoy walking to the nearby East Sands and the picturesque harbour.

“Of course, we’re also spoilt for choice of golf courses and although I’ve not played for a few years, I might be tempted to take it up again.  I’m going to enjoy watching The Open when it’s here in July and I plan to take my grandson with me so that’s definitely something to look forward to.”

Anne adds: “I think being a university town, St Andrews has a vibrant community offering lots of music, activities and other events.  There is also a wide range of really good restaurants to choose from, and the best part for us is that it’s all within easy walking distance of our apartment.”

Getting around the area both now and in the future was an important aspect for the couple to consider as part of their move as David comments: “We have family commitments and old friends in Stirling so being able to get around is hugely important to us.  At the moment, whilst we still own a car and are still happy to drive, I realise the time will come when we need to rely on public transport.  There are excellent transport links within Fife, to Dundee, central Scotland and beyond so it’s easy to stay in touch.”

Having the balance of family and old friends near enough to be able to see them regularly is the perfect springboard into the couple’s new life in retirement living as Anne adds:  “We have five grandchildren who are all based in Edinburgh so we see them frequently, and we still have lots of friends in the Stirling area, and in fact David still sings with the local Hospice choir near Stirling.  So it’s easy to stay in touch and be involved because St Andrews enjoys such a prominent position on the east coast. 

“But we’ve also made some lovely new friends at Scholars Gate and in the local community, so we feel incredibly lucky because we didn’t know anyone at all when we moved to St Andrews. 

“There’s a lovely social buzz at the development and there are regular events that we’ve enjoyed getting involved with, including the weekly coffee morning which is a lovely opportunity to catch up with everyone, and we’re already gearing up for our annual Midsummer Party.  Our house manager Elaine is very kind and incredibly attentive which is great – we’re both very happy here and we’re glad we came.”

Facilities at Scholars Gate include a stunning homeowners’ lounge ideal for socialising with friends, beautifully landscaped gardens in which to relax and a convenient guest suite should homeowners have friends or relatives to stay. The development also benefits from its very own House Manager, who will ensure the smooth running of the development, a security entrance system, plus 24-hour emergency call points for added peace of mind for both homeowners and their families.

What’s more, Scholars Gate benefits from a fantastic location, being positioned within easy reach of a host of local amenities including the main shopping area of St Andrews, the famous Old Course golf course, the town’s castle and cathedral, the historic harbour and the popular beaches at the West and East Sands. 

Rosemary Giovino, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for McCarthy & Stone in Scotland, adds: “At McCarthy & Stone we are committed to helping older people stay independent for longer. Retirement Living offers the independence of retaining home ownership, while living in a secure, low maintenance and energy efficient apartment. What’s more, with the maintenance of all external and communal areas taken care of, homeowners can spend more time enjoying their retirement with family and friends.”

For further information about the development and to arrange an appointment, please contact 01334 476944. Alternatively please visit the sales office, open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.30am to 5.00pm.


For further information, please contact Hazel Taylor at Red Angel PR (Edinburgh) Ltd on 0131 441 9803/07709 317 289 or email

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