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The Top 5 English Counties to Retire to

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Anyone looking to retire to the United Kingdom from another country might like to carefully evaluate their retirement income before doing so. The UK is a notoriously expensive country in which to live, therefore, this article is more geared towards the people who have healthy bank balances and/or already live in Britain. If you can work your way past the financial side of things, here are the 5 top counties in England for retirees for you to consider.


Devon is a firm favorite when it comes to a preferred retirement option. Nearly the whole county attracts retirees in one way or another, with West Devon and the South Hams perhaps ranking at the top of the list. The county also features as being one of the most popular for tourism in the UK, and is dominated by green rolling hills, with the distinction of being the only county in England to have coasts on two different bodies of water: the English Channel in the south and the Bristol Channel in the north. There are three large settlements here: Exeter (the county town), Torbay and Plymouth—so you are never too far from city living. Devon fares especially well for average sunshine hours per year, at 1530 hours. In terms of safety, the South Hams is ranked 5th for the lowest rates of crime in England.

Blackpool Sands Beach in the South Hams

Blackpool Sands Beach in the South Hams Part of Devon


Also located in the South West of England, Dorset has well over 1600 hours of sun per year, the highest in the UK. From Bournemouth in the east, to Gillingham and Shaftesbury in the north and Bridport and Weymouth in the west, the whole county is popular with retirees. Healthcare is very good in Dorset and crime ranks quite low, as well. House prices can be especially high in the county and as a general rule of thumb, you are likely to find property prices falling somewhat the farther inland you travel.

Durdle England

Durdle Door England


Cumbria boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the whole of England, with the picturesque Lake District National Park right on the doorstep. Some of the best beauty spots include Ullswater and Lowther Castle. The area around the town of Penrith has an excellent reputation for retirees, and has even been given the moniker of ‘Eden’. Penrith Hospital is well-regarded, with a 5/5 rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and crime is ranked as the 13th best in the country. In terms of sunshine hours, however, being farther North than Devon and Dorset, it doesn’t fare so well, with only 1300 hours per year.

North Yorkshire

The area around Yorkshire Dales National Park, taking in the towns of Skipton and Settle, is said to be one of the very best places to retire to in North Yorkshire. The natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales is close at hand, and there are other great beauty spots to enjoy, such as Bolton Abbey and Malham Cove. This area of North Yorkshire does especially well when it comes to crime, and is ranked as the 10th lowest in the whole of England. Airedale General is the local hospital here with a 5/5 ranking from The CQC.

Yorkshire Dales National Park, England

Yorkshire Dales National Park, England


The Derbyshire Dales district, especially along the River Derwent, north of Derby, offers one of the most beautiful and popular parts of the county of Derbyshire for retirees. The towns of Matlock, Buxton, Ashbourne and Bakewell are all exceptionally quaint, charming, and are surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in England. The rainfall is exceptionally low in this part of the country, primarily due to the weather systems hitting the west of the country before reaching this inland area. Crime rates are low in this part of Derbyshire with a ranking of 28th out of well over 300 districts in England.