LIFE IN Cymru Wales
Coastline, countryside, castles, culture and choirs – croeso/welcome to Wales!
Thinking of retiring in Wales – or Cymru (in Welsh)? Who can blame you! The physical features of Wales make this a uniquely gorgeous part of the world. It has 2,700 km of glorious coastline, five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the first to be designated in the UK – the Gower Peninsula, and three National Parks – the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia and the Pembrokeshire Coast – that’s 20% of the country! As well as a cultured capital in Cardiff and a legendary history – with 600 castles.
Retiring to Wales
Wales has a long, proud history, from ancient castles and ruined abbeys to industrial canals and coal mines. Visit Caerphilly Castle, the second-largest in Britain, be awed by the imposing 13th century Conwy Castle, or go deep underground at the Big Pit National Coal Museum. Learn more about local history at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, and archaeology, botany and geology at the National Museum, Cardiff.
You’ll be seriously spoilt for natural beauty too. Explore the great outdoors of Snowdonia National Park, with its mile upon mile of hiking routes, steam trains and scenery that varies from rugged windswept mountainsides to soft sandy beaches. The Brecon Beacons is made up of more unspoilt mountain terrain and magical waterfalls, perfect for walkers, whereas the Pembrokeshire Coast offers world-class beaches, nature reserves and quaint seaside towns. Visit the puffins from pretty St David’s – the UK’s smallest city.
Wales is famed for its powerful singers, from traditional Welsh Male Voice Choirs to Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Aled Jones, Charlotte Church and Catherine Jenkins. You can experience a celebration of Welsh culture, music and poetry at the National Eisteddfod held in August every year.
There are many other wonderful and unusual festivals too: roll with laughter at the Aberystwyth Comedy Festival; experience the eccentric at The Laugharne Weekend - a celebration of Dylan Thomas; get the literary lowdown at the famous Hay Festival, or explore the unique village of Portmeirion at Festival Number 6 in September.
Then there are numerous community food festivals across the country – the biggest, Abergavenny Food festival, attracts 30,000 people.
The Welsh are also passionate about their national sport, rugby. The Principality Stadium, known as the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff, is home to the Welsh rugby team, as well as hosting major concerts and several FA Cup finals.
Looking for retirement homes in Wales? 83% of McCarthy Stone homeowners experience a sense of community in their new property.
Searching for retirement properties for sale in Wales – or for rent? You’ll find our retirement developments are all located in areas with good transport connections and close to amenities such as shops, sports facilities and restaurants.
With so much natural beauty, Wales is wonderful for walkers and cyclists with plentiful trails including the Wales Coast Path.
Travel by road is easy, if not necessarily quick – but on any road trip, that’s more than compensated by the views.
Rail networks provide a great way to explore Wales with main lines running along the coast in North, South and West Wales with stations from Bridgend, Cardiff and Newport serving The Valleys. For stunning scenery try the Conwy Valley Line which goes from Llandudno via Snowdonia to Blaenau Ffestiniog. The Heart of Wales Line takes you through the rolling green hills from Swansea to Llanelli. If the glamour of vintage rail trips is your thing, you’ll love the Snowdon Mountain Railway or the Vale of Rheidol Railway from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge.
Whether you chose to retire in North Wales or South Wales, you’ll find there’s plenty to explore. In South Wales, you’ve got the culture and nightlife of Cardiff, the unspoilt coastline of the Gower with its prehistoric remains, wild ponies, Worm's Head and white beaches at Rhossili Bay.
At the Brecon Beacons National Park, you can explore mountain paths, caves and waterfall walks or hike to the top of Pen y Fan, with its views to the Bristol Channel.
In the North, you have popular seaside towns like Rhyl, Holyhead and Llandudno with its traditional pier, bordered by the breath-taking mountains of Snowdonia. Then, accessed via a suspension bridge, there's the Isle of Anglesey with its stunning landscapes, historic towns and pristine beaches.
Retirement homes in Wales
Retiring to Wales - frequently asked questions
What is Wales famous for?
Wales is famous for many things including its national sport - rugby, historic castles (it has the most castles per land mass in Europe), coal mining, natural beauty and male voice choirs. Singing is a proud part of Welsh culture and it has produced some of the world’s most distinctive voices – including Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones. But it’s also produced some globally famous actors, like Richard Burton, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins – as well as the celebrated poet, Dylan Thomas.
What is the best place to retire in Wales?
How much money do you need to retire?
There are lots of variables that make this a difficult question to answer, but one simple tip 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 flexible retirement living options.
"As if moving into my beautiful new apartment wasn’t enough, everything that led up to the move was handled by McCarthy Stone. I couldn’t believe how easy it all turned out to be; I was left with just two boxes to unpack which suited me and Meira just fine."