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Dover House in Westminster, London
Dover House in Westminster, London
Dover House in Westminster, London

Retire in England

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is it like to retire in UK? Retirees share their experiences living in UK.

William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

How do I meet people in England?

Live in England? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in England about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"As a mother, you can find mum groups in the Oxfordshire county area. You can also attend functions in the town centre to meet people. There is a community centre where you can utilize the gym and take fitness classes," commented one retiree living in Wantage, UK.

"I joined a gym to attend classes. I find this is a good way to meet people of my own age. I tend to go when people are at work and go to classes which are targeted at people my age. I also have gotten involved in church activities," explained one retiree living in Cambridge.

"Become a member of something that interests you, whether a service organization, sport, art, or hobby. For instance, I joined the Royal Horticultural Society, which oversees several gardens in the UK, as well as organizing internationally regarded garden shows, as well as a community ceramics studio," said another retiree in living in London, UK.

"Join The Leeds Library (private) because the public libraries are not so hot. Hang out in local cafes and you soon meet the regulars. Same goes for pubs. Take classes at Swarthmore or any number of colleges," explained a retiree in Leeds.

"There is a BME Black & Minority Forum that meets every tue at lunch time in the Badger center.. it is a good place to start meeting more expats... they have free English classes if needed and have lots of excellent activities... Weston Super Mare is more multicultural than other parts in Somerset. There is an African Shop where I found out plantain and beans :) happy days!!!," explained one retiree living in Weston Super Mare.

"I would recommend finding a congenial neighborhood pub. It is a wonderful place to make friends and find out about local news. Join a class (I take dance with new friends), get involved in nature activities like hiking clubs, photography clubs or birding. Don't be afraid to talk to people and don't be nervous about not understanding every word the first time! Yorkshire accents are quite hard to decipher until one has lived with it for a while. Enjoy the differences instead of dreading them. Relax and people will enjoy your company and ask questions about where you are from," said another member in Driffield.

What is life like in England?

Live in England? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in England what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Wantage is a quiet little village town so most of life is focused on work and family," added another person in Wantage.

"Cambridge is a university city and has a different feel than probably others parts of the UK. Cycling is a big thing here. Not just weekend riding but cycling to work. It is also popular with tourists so they play a big part of economy for this area. We don't socialize that much at pubs but have made a few friends whose houses we go to for meals," remarked another retiree in Cambridge.

"More and more life revolves around work, I would say. And as more people are out at work all day there is less interaction with neighbours," said a retiree who moved to Leeds, UK.

"Weston Super Mare (WSM) used to be a touristic spot but it has gone down a bit and now they are rebuilding it. It has a new Pier full of attractions, a lovely place to come and spend the day with the family. On the other side, 17% of services for drug addiction are based here so there is an eclectic mix of people here. Live revolves mainly around socializing," said another retiree in Weston Super Mare.

"Life in Driffield revolves around family and friends. Sports teams are an important social event," commented one retiree living in Driffield, UK.

"Work is not as important here as it is in the US. People treasure time with their families and friends. Socializing and sports are very important, and the occasional night at the pub with your mates," explained one retiree living in Portishead.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What do I need to know before retiring in England?

Live in England? Answer this Question

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to England, they said:

"Not to expect people to be overly friendly. I moved from the south in the USA so had a bit of culture shock in this aspect. I would recommend living in Oxford itself if you can afford it. You will have a much better experience and more diversity," said another retiree in Wantage.

"I would tell them to either buy a bike or rely on public transportation. Parking and car ownership in and around the city can be expensive and frustrating. I would also say expect to spend more on housing here as it is a city in demand," commented one retiree living in Cambridge, UK.

"London takes time to know and understand, as do Londoners. Do not take our common language for granted - it takes effort to make friends and to settle in, learning English rythms, ways of seeing the world. Do not mistake friendly responses for friendship; in most cases, it's simply their being polite. Be patient and you will eventually feel as though you're accepted," explained one retiree living in London.

"Think carefully of what part of the city you would want to live in. Public transport is good but most people drive their own vehicles. Parking is scarce however," said another retiree in living in Leeds, UK.

"Depends from where you are moving.. if its from abroad... English culture is a challenge, it takes a lot of time to make real friends, but once you are in, you are in!!! :)," explained a retiree in Weston Super Mare.

"I would advise them to research East Yorkshire and it's history and geography. I would ask them to be open to new ways of living (small rooms, electrical and plumbing not familiar, etc.). I would advise them to consider commuting by train or bus for work in one of the larger cities. I would encourage any newcomer to be friendly and open with their new neighbors," explained one retiree living in Driffield.

What type of recreational activities are there in England?

Live in England? Answer this Question

"There are lots of parks that have tennis courts, fields, table tennis and facilities for the whole family. There are a couple of swimming pool/ leisure centers throughout the city," explained one member in Sheffield.

Where will I buy groceries and do other shopping in England?

Live in England? Answer this Question

"Supermarkets in Sheffield offer excellent service and standards with big names such as: Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Asda, Tescos etc," said another person who retired in Sheffield.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Dover House in Westminster, London

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

UK GuideUK Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in UK.

UK Forum UK Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in UK on our UK forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

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An index of all of our site's UK information.

Contribute to UK Network Contribute
Help others in UK by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in UK.

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Advice for people renting and buying real estate in UK.

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