The Best Seaside Towns to Retire to in the UK - Retire Near the Beach

Retirement often beckons with the promise of tranquility and a change of pace. For those seeking to spend their golden years close to the coast, the UK boasts an array of picturesque seaside towns that provide the perfect setting for a peaceful and enjoyable retirement. In this expert selection, we explore five such towns based on multiple criteria, each offering its own unique charm and appeal. From artistic havens to traditional seaside retreats, these coastal gems have been carefully chosen to cater to retirees' desires for a fulfilling and serene retirement near the beach. Let's dive into our handpicked selection of the finest seaside towns for retirement in the UK.

1. Whitstable, Kent

Why it's good for retirement: Whitstable is a charming coastal town known for its vibrant arts scene, historic charm, and delicious seafood. Retirees can enjoy leisurely walks along the pebble beaches, explore the quaint shops, and indulge in fresh oysters. The town's community spirit and friendly locals make it an inviting place to spend one's retirement.

Pros: Picturesque landscapes, rich cultural offerings, excellent seafood, and a sense of community make Whitstable an attractive retirement destination.

Cons: Property prices can be on the higher side due to its popularity, and the town can get crowded with tourists during peak seasons.

Transport Connections: Whitstable has good rail links to London, making it accessible for visits to the capital or to receive guests from other parts of the UK.

Affordability: The cost of living in Whitstable can be higher than some other towns, but there are affordable housing options available in surrounding areas.

2. St. Ives, Cornwall

Why it's good for retirement: St. Ives is a picturesque coastal town with stunning beaches, art galleries, and a mild climate. Its serene environment and scenic beauty provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxed retirement. The town's artistic community and charming streets add to its appeal.

Pros: Beautiful beaches, a thriving art scene, pleasant climate, and a host of leisure activities make St. Ives a retiree's paradise.

Cons: The town's popularity can lead to higher property prices, and during peak tourist seasons, the population can swell significantly.

Transport Connections: St. Ives is well-connected by road and rail, although its location in the southwestern tip of the UK means travel to major cities in the rest of the country might take longer.

Affordability: The cost of living and property prices in St. Ives can be relatively high, but the stunning coastal lifestyle might be worth the investment.

3. Worthing, West Sussex

Why it's good for retirement: Worthing offers a mix of traditional seaside charm and modern amenities, making it an excellent choice for retirees seeking a peaceful coastal town with good facilities. The town boasts a beautiful seafront, a pier, and well-maintained gardens.

Pros: Pleasant seafront promenade, a variety of leisure activities, good healthcare facilities, and a relatively mild climate make Worthing an attractive retirement destination. And beaches.

Cons: Some areas of the town may lack vibrancy, and property prices can be steep in desirable locations.

Transport Connections: Worthing benefits from good transport links, with direct train services to London and other major cities, making it convenient for travel and visits.

Affordability: Compared to some other coastal towns, Worthing can offer more affordable housing options, making it appealing for retirees looking to manage their expenses.

4. Weymouth, Dorset

Why it's good for retirement: With its Georgian architecture, stunning bay, and bustling harbor, Weymouth provides a charming backdrop for retirees looking to enjoy a traditional seaside town. The town's coastal walks, historic sites, and events throughout the year offer plenty of opportunities for leisure and entertainment.

Pros: Beautiful sandy beach, historic charm, excellent water activities, and a vibrant community make Weymouth an alluring retirement destination.

Cons: The popularity of the town can lead to higher living costs and potential overcrowding during peak tourist seasons.

Transport Connections: Weymouth has good rail links to London and other major cities, providing convenient access for retirees and their visitors.

Affordability: While some areas in Weymouth can be pricey, there are affordable housing options available in surrounding areas.

5. Exmouth, North Devon

Why it's good for retirement: Nestled on the East Devon coast, Exmouth offers a tranquil and picturesque location for retirees seeking a laid-back coastal lifestyle. The town provides beautiful beaches, charming gardens, and various outdoor activities.

Pros: Stunning coastal setting, abundant outdoor leisure opportunities, relatively mild climate, and a friendly community make Exmouth an inviting retirement spot.

Cons: Limited major transport links, and access to larger cities might require longer journeys.

Transport Connections: Exmouth has rail connections to larger cities like Exeter, but direct routes to other parts of the UK might involve changes.

Affordability: Exmouth can provide more affordable housing options compared to some other coastal towns, making it an appealing choice for retirees on a budget.


In conclusion, the UK offers a plethora of delightful seaside towns that cater to retirees looking to enjoy their golden years near the beach. Each town has its unique charms, from cultural offerings to outdoor activities, and the decision on the best location will depend on personal preferences and budget considerations. Retiring near the beach offers the opportunity to embrace a relaxed and fulfilling lifestyle amidst beautiful coastal landscapes and a welcoming community.

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