life in South West ENGLAND
Lush countryside, magical legends, dramatic coasts and lashings of local cider.
South West England, also known as the West Country, is made up of the counties of Bristol, Cornwall,Dorset, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. It also includes parts of the gorgeous Cotswolds. With a mild climate, as well as lush green rolling countryside, truly unique and globally renown historic attractions, innovative and artistic cities, ancient towns, quaint villages, mythical tales, fantastic local produce and a jaw-droppingly stunning coastline, the region is a magnet for holidaymakers and retirees alike.
Retirement living in South West England
Looking for days out in the South West? You’ll be spoilt for choice. Perhaps you’ll head to glorious Bath, famous for its Georgian architecture, thermal spa water and Roman Baths? Or bohemian Bristol, renowned for its suspension bridge, hot air balloons, Banksy and Aardman Animations? Or free-spirited Glastonbury with its global festival (actually held in the nearby village of Pilton) mystical shops and ancient tor?
For legendary attractions you don’t get more famous than the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge in Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, one of the seven wonders of the world. Wiltshire is also famous for its chalk horses – including Cherhill White Horse near Calne. Dorset, meanwhile is home to another famous chalk image, the Cerne Abbas giant, as well as the stunning Jurassic coast and Durdle Door rock formations. These form part of the South West coastal path that takes you from Somerset through to Dorset via gorgeous Devon and the rugged charm of Cornwall.
Whether you’re after a coastal, or rural retreat, in the South West, the West Country is known for its laid back attitude and artistic, artisanal sensibilities and close knit lively communities. You’ll find plenty of arts and crafts, sports and social clubs to get involved with.
Festivals are popular too, from the huge Pilton pop festival to smaller celebrations of the sea like the Boardmasters surfing and wellness festival at Watergate Bay, Cornwall, or festivals to celebrate all the glorious local food. Try Salcombe Crabfest, Devon, Taunton Gin, Fizz and Food Festival or Dorset Seafood festival and sample some of the region’s finest treats, from clotted cream teas to crab, pasties to cheddar cheese. Not forgetting to enjoy a West Country cider or two.
Searching for rural or coastal property for sale in South West England?
McCarthy Stone offer gorgeous retirement developments and retirement villages in South West England and 83% of McCarthy Stone homeowners experience a sense of community too.
All of our coastal or country retreats in the South West are in fantastic locations close to amenities and attractions - making exploration of the West Country a breeze. By road the region is easily accessible via the M4 and the M5, which takes you all the way to Exeter. From there you can connect to the counties via easy to navigate A roads. From London the journey will take you between 3-5 hours by road.
The Great Western Railway main line, instigated by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, which runs from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads all the way down to Penzance, Cornwall. The Bristol to London train takes around an hour and 15 minutes. Penzance to London take around five and a half hours. London Waterloo to Bournemouth takes just under two and a half hours.
With over 600 miles of spectacular coastline and the South West Coastal Path to explore, the region is a mecca for walkers, surfers, kite surfers and wild swimmers.
So which are the best beaches in the South West? It’s a difficult with so much to choose from but three of the best are Bournemouthbeach, which offers golden sands and plenty of amenities. Summerleaze beach, Bude, Cornwall is a beautiful sandy beach popular with surfers and boasting a beautiful sheltered sea pool for swimming. Finally Lulworth Cove, Dorset is dramatically beautiful with stunning rock formations and fossils.
If you’d prefer country retreats in the South West, the rural landscape is verdant and unspoilt, with two National Parks: Dartmoor and Exmoor. Then there’s the lush countryside and chocolate box villages of the Cotswolds AONB too.
If you’re craving some city culture or shopping in a bustling market town, then the area’s excellent transport connections make it easy to enjoy trips to Bristol, Bath, Swindon, Gloucester, Exeter and Cheltenham.
Retiring in South West England - Frequently asked questions
Where is the South West?
South West England is one of nine regions in the Country and lies in the south-west of England in the UK. The region is mostly bordered by water and the 630+ miles of spectacular coastline can be walked via the South West Coastal path. It is divided from Wales by the Bristol Channel. Notable cities and towns in the region include Bristol, Bath, Bournemouth, Cheltenham, Exeter, Gloucester, Plymouth and Swindon.
What counties are there in South West England?
The South West region is made up of the counties of Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. With its mostly rural population and relatively mild climate as well as rolling green countryside and a stunning coastline, the West Country is a magnet for holiday makers and retirees. Talk to McCarthy Stone about retirement property for sale in South West England.
How much money do you need to retire?
There are lots of variables that make this a difficult question to answer, but one simple guide is to multiple the amount you’d like to live on every year (say £24,000) by 25 (in this case the answer is £600,000). That is the amount you’d need to save. However this figure doesn’t consider things like your annual state pension, benefits, tax, or the equity you might hold in your home. Talk to McCarthy Stone about retirement homes for sale or rent in Swindon.
McCarthy Stone Developments in South West England
“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!”