life in EAST ANGLIA
Discover a magical kingdom in the East of England
East Anglia, formally known as the Kingdom of East Anglia, or the Kingdom of East Angles, is an area in the East of England combining Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. From the 6th century onwards, it was a small independent realm and it joined the Kingdom of England in 918. As you’d expect, the area is steeped in history, as well as boasting a vast array of attractions and outstanding natural beauty. Being a kingdom, it even has an East Anglia flag!
Retirement living in East Anglia
There’s a never-ending supply of surprising and entertaining days out in East Anglia. From Sandringham, Kings Lynn, to the Italianate Palace of Ickworth; the illustrious Cambridge University to East Anglia Transport museum, Lowestoft; the area is packed with historic attractions and legends. Could you be the one to find Bad King John’s lost treasure in East Anglia? The story goes he lost a fortune in the Wash National Nature Reserve in Norfolk in 1216.
Then, of course, there are the tranquil canals and waterways of the beautiful Norfolk Broads National Park and the 500 miles of gorgeous coastline to explore. So what are the best beaches in East Anglia? You’ll be spoilt for choice but try Gorleston-on-Sea Beach, Horsey Beach, Old Hunstanton Beach and Holkham Bay – or for seal spotting you can’t beat Blakeney Point.
If you’re looking for community groups or sociable activities in East Anglia, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. For example, East Anglia Community Arts puts on crafts events for people of all ages.
There are plenty of festivals too, like the Latitude rock music festival in Suffolk; Aldeburgh Festival of classical music or the Cambridge Folk Festival. For something different, try Out There, Europe’s premier circus skills festival in Great Yarmouth – which also hosts a huge Maritime festival.
Foodies are well catered for, with everything from the annual Spring Beer Festival in Chelmsford to the Crab & Lobster Festival in Cromer. Looking for Michelin star restaurants in East Anglia? Try the two-star Midsummer House in Cambridge.
If you’d gladly retire to East Anglia, it’s good to know 83% of McCarthy Stone homeowners experience a sense of community in their retirement home
Although blissfully lacking in motorways, East Anglia is well connected by major A roads and rail networks like the East Coast Main Line, the Great Eastern Main Line and the West Anglia Main Line, which connects the area to the rest of the UK. The Cambridge to London train takes around 50 minutes. You can get from Norwich to London in under two hours and Ipswich to London takes just over an hour.
The biggest passenger airport in East Anglia is Norwich Airport, which can transport you across the UK and mainland Europe. Compact Cambridge Airport also offers travel to some European cities and Stansted Airport offers a huge range of destinations worldwide.
All McCarthy Stone retirement apartments and developments are carefully located be easily accessible and close to local attractions and amenities.
East Anglia is perfect for people who like to get out and about in the great outdoors. Relatively flat, it is idyllic for cyclists with beautiful cycleways, including the National Cycle Route 1, which begins (or ends) with dramatic views of the white cliffs of Dover. The historic university city of Cambridge has one of the highest numbers of regular cyclists in the country.
With diverse wildlife, coastline, canals and rolling countryside there are hundreds of places to be at one with nature. Here are our recommendations for some the best walks in East Anglia – although there are many more: the picturesque Stour Valley and Dedham Vale made famous by Constable’s paintings; the self-explanatory Cambridge colleges walk, or the truly spectacular Norfolk Coastal Path.
And if you crave the bustle of a vibrant city, there are plenty of options too: Norwich, Ipswich and Peterborough all offer fantastic shopping, nightlife and culture.
“My son wanted me to move a bit closer to where he lives, and Atherstone is very pretty, so I was easily persuaded. I was a little bit worried about some parts of the move, but McCarthy Stone’s Smooth Move service made it so easy for me, I had signed within a fortnight!”