If you are looking for the best place to retire to in the UK - or simply the best place to live in the UK (you may already be retired or are happy working into your later years) - then do yourself a favour and consider Cumbria and The Lake District.
Most probably in later years or retirement, you will be moving to your 'forever home'. This is it, you are choosing to move somewhere you have always wanted to live, a place you have enjoyed visiting on holiday, perhaps.
It’s time, literally, to live the dream. To enjoy life.
The Lake District is a popular destination for people from across the UK and further. It’s sheer spectacular beauty makes it stand out among other regions.
However, as The Lake District is both a National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, property prices can be steep, so it is a good idea to browse around the fringes.
There is sometimes the misconception that The Lakes - as the area is also known - and its beautiful, diverse county of Cumbria, is largely rural and therefore devoid of culture, shops, restaurants, etc, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
You might already live locally but are considering downsizing, or relocating to another part of Cumbria.
Let’s look at some of the major points you’ll be considering.
How good is the quality of life in Cumbria?
It depends on what is important to you, but if you value fresh, clean, unpolluted air, unspoilt countryside, spectacular views of lakes and mountains, and a relaxing lifestyle with friendly communities, Cumbria will give you the quality of life you are looking for.
You won’t have to travel far to buy anything you need, and there are plenty of places to visit to keep you entertained.
On any given day you can enjoy bustling city or town life, the peace of a village or the isolation of the glorious countryside. The choice is yours.
The cost of living in the Lake District is comparatively inexpensive, and reassuringly, Cumbria is one of the safest places to live, with relatively low levels of crime compared to other areas across the UK.
Will I be able to get around easily in Cumbria?
Contrary to what many may think about The Lake District and Cumbria, there are excellent road, rail and air links.
We have already brought you details of the opening of Carlisle Lake District Airport and the extent of the public transport network across Cumbria. Obviously, air travel is limited right now but we are all hopeful that the situation will start improving early in 2021.
It is easy to get around within the county, and easy to get to and from other regions of the UK.
There are also direct rail links with Manchester Airport, Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and Newcastle so the world is your oyster, really.
Cumbria’s more rural locations often have friendly taxi or minibus services.
Even though Scalesceugh Hall & Villas is only a few miles out of Carlisle, we too have a great relationship with a local taxi firm, with wheelchair-accessible vehicles, to help our homeowners get around.
What is there to do in The Lake District and Cumbria?
If you are going to have more time on your hands, you need to make sure there is enough to keep you occupied in terms of your hobbies and interests.
We will go into all this in more detail in future updates, but here are some Cumbrian headlines...
If you’re a keen walker, The Lake District and Cumbria has a never-ending supply of beautiful routes to explore, from lowland to highland, from meadow to forest, from seaside to lakeside, from beginner to experienced.
There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - the Lake District National Park itself, and Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans.
It used to stretch from west to east coast and much is still visible today. Many people walk its entire length but that’s not compulsory!
If you’re a culture vulture, there are galleries and museums dedicated to Cumbria’s Roman heritage, and many more exhibitions dedicated to other famous notches on the county’s timeline.
You can see the original homes and works, for example, of famous Lakeland authors Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth, and comedy actor Stan Laurel.
Cumbria boasts a number of outstanding festivals, from music to film to literature, all attracting famous names to the region.
There are some fine venues hosting quality entertainment, from theatre and dance to comedy and classical music, notably The Sands Centre in Carlisle, Theatre by the Lake in Keswick and The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal.
The famous lakes that give their name to the region can all be explored, some by boat. Take a relaxing cruise along Derwentwater, Ullswater or the largest natural lake in England, Windermere.
Can I get all the shopping I need in Cumbria?
So much shopping is done online these days, giving you access to goods wherever you are, but if you like to support local businesses, you will delight at the independent stores of great character which are dotted throughout The Lake District and Cumbria, notably in places like Penrith, Cockermouth, Keswick, Brampton, Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere and Hawkshead.
Major names are accessible in Carlisle, including at The Lanes Shopping Centre, and in large towns such as Whitehaven, Workington, Kendal and Penrith.
Where can I eat out in Cumbria with family and friends?
You are quite simply spoilt for choice in Cumbria and The Lake District. The region prides itself on its locally-made and reared delicacies, and its supply of award-winning meats, cheeses, desserts, chutneys, ales and gins.
There is a wealth of quality restaurants, pubs and cafes, wherever you find yourself in the county, from Michelin-starred establishments to great little bistros with the personal touch.
There’s another one on the horizon too, as we gear up excitedly to the opening of our own spa and bistro at Scalesceugh Hall & Villas.
If you want to live the dream, we can think of no better place than in Cumbria and The Lake District - and specifically at Scalesceugh Hall & Villas!