Choosing where to spend your retirement is an important decision. Despite most of us moving home once or twice during our lives, where we choose to retire is perhaps the biggest move of our lives. Where we end up retiring goes a long way to determining the quality of life we can hope to enjoy in our leisure years.

Over a quarter of retired Brits now choose to up sticks and move home in search of the perfect place to call home. Whether it's tighter-knit communities, coastal beauty, somewhere to play golf, or perhaps just a bit of peace and quiet, thanks to the UK's wide range of diverse cities, towns, and villages, there really is somewhere for everyone.

For those looking to retire elsewhere, we will take a look at some of the best places to retire in the UK. To help narrow the search, we will take into account some of the most important retirement considerations, including crime rate, average house price, and population density as well as local amenities and attractions.

1. Bangor

Best Outlier Destination

Previously voted the best place to retire in the UK, the city of Bangor is an attractive location for anyone looking to get the most out of their retirement.

Located in North West Wales' county of Gwynedd, Bangor ticks almost every box with low crime and pollution levels, plenty of transport links, a slower pace of life, but also enough leisure activities nearby to keep you busy.

Despite being a cathedral town, property prices here are still relatively cheap, with the average home costing around £180,000. Unlike other parts of the country, retired Bangor residents are made to feel valued parts of the community, with senior citizen representatives sitting on the town council and boards.

Keeping busy is not hard here either. Membership to local clubs and social groups is encouraged, with retirees and recent relocators easily able to try new activities and meet new people.

And if you fancy some time convening with nature alone, Bangor is ideal too. Overlooking the Isle of Anglesey, Bangor's rugged coast makes for some fantastic hikes. With plenty of beautiful surrounding countryside too, Bangor really highlights the beauty of the UK.

2. Cornwall

Best Coastal Location

For anyone who's visited the county of Cornwall, it will come as no surprise that it is one of the most popular retirement areas in the UK. Besides being one of our most well-loved holiday destinations, Cornwall is perfect for those looking for dramatic seascapes, sandy beaches, sailing, and waking up to the sound of waves breaking against craggy shores.

Those looking to escape a busy city or town will enjoy Cornwall. Its average population density is some ten times lower than cities like Birmingham and means that even those who retire near the region's busier towns like Newquay, or St. Ives, won't be overwhelmed.

Property in Cornwall is not the cheapest, with the average inland price around £300,000 and coastal properties from around £600,000 in the most desirable spots. However, for those that can afford it, areas such as Rock, Padstow, and Truro are some of the most quintessentially British coastal locations on this list.

As a tourist hotspot, Cornwall is busier in the summer months with people flocking for the warmer than average weather the area enjoys. This means there are plenty of attractions, shopping, transport links, and restaurants, including authentic fishing village eateries.

3. Dorset

Best for Quality of Life and Singles

Regularly topping the charts for offering retirees the best overall quality of life, Dorset ticks all the right boxes including good health, public transport services, property ownership, and relationships opportunities.

A popular holiday destination, Dorset's towns, and villages are surrounded by green rolling hills and the English Channel at its southern border. Within the county lies Christchurch, regarded as the retirement capital of the UK, made popular by its year-round festivities, great food and wine, and its famous August regatta. Still capturing the charm of old England, Christchurch's quaint coffee shops, parish church, and high population of retirees means it's a great place to retire.

While there are plenty of great places to choose from in the region, Weymouth, in also somewhere to consider moving to.

As a seaside destination, Weymouth is a great place for friends and family to visit, with grandchildren especially loving the prospect of days out on the beach. The communities making up Weymouth and the surrounding areas are also extremely welcoming of people to the area, with the local council priding itself on making all generations feel welcome.

Being a tourist destination, Weymouth also has plenty going on throughout the year, especially in the summer months when the colourful coastal town really comes to life. With golf courses nearby, plenty of walking opportunities along the famous Jurassic Coast, sea swimming, and community-led events, Weymouth is never a dull place.

Those looking for friendship or perhaps something more would do well to move to somewhere in Dorset. With a higher than average population of over 40 (34%), the county is a great chance to meet someone special. More populated towns like Bournemouth provide ample opportunity for dining, entertainment, and beautiful beachside scenery and have an active senior dating scene.

And, of course, Dorset isn't a tourist trap for no reason. The weather here is relatively mild in the winter and sunnier than usual in the summer. House prices lie somewhere in the middle, with the average home fetching around £300,000, but prices do go up in popular destinations like Christchurch where you can expect to pay nearer £400,000. Combined with a relatively low crime rate, Dorset is an attractive location for retirees.

4. Cotswolds

Most Scenic Destination

If your perfect retirement involves throwing your curtains open in the morning and being greeted with the full majesty of Britain's countryside, then the Cotswolds is for you.

Recognised Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds stretches from South Warwickshire and Worcestershire all the way to Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Famous for its picture-postcard villages like Castle Coombe, the area is the perfect location to relocate to if scenic surroundings are number one on your list of must-haves in retirement.

Home to some of the most picturesque rural landscapes to be found in the UK, the villages and towns dotted within the Cotswolds are charming and considered fantastic places to live by residents. The property here is a little steeper than some other locations on this list, averaging around £400,000 and upwards. But, with mostly detached limestone homes being the norm in the area, nestled in amongst quaint brooks, and winding country roads, the price is worth paying if feasible.

Amongst the more quaint locations to retire, there's Broadway, considered the "jewel" of the Cotswolds in the north of the area. Quite a large village, Broadway resides in the county of Worcestershire and maintains a real sense of community with just a couple of thousand residents.

With Bath, Oxford, and Bristol all short journeys away, too, retiring to the Cotswolds does not cut you off from the pleasures of shopping, eating out, and entertainment. Indeed, with rail links to London, the Cotswolds makes a good base for weekends in the Capital seeing a show or dining out.

5. Edinburgh

Best for Culture

Brimming with beautiful buildings, museums, art, food, and festivals, Edinburgh is the ideal destination for those who want to retire somewhere with a vibrant culture.

As the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh is relatively large with a number of spots to look for a home. There are downtown flats, Georgian townhouses, and some wonderful neighbourhoods lying just outside the city's borders for those who still enjoy the suburban lifestyle.

Dominated by its ancient castle and the extinct volcano that is Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh is a place steeped in culture and history. Around every corner lies a historic building or a home formerly occupied by a famous figure.

Permeating the city is an artistic atmosphere with the Edinburgh Art Fair drawing thousands to the city each year to see the art world’s biggest names and finest emerging talent. Other festivals include the Edinburgh Fringe where the whole city is host to comedians and performers, the Edinburgh Book Festival, the Edinburgh Art Festival, and the musical delight that is the Edinburgh International Festival.

A city in demand, investment in Edinburgh is at an all-time high with development happening everywhere. While the job opportunities this provides may not be of much concern to the retired, the thriving economy it creates helps elevate the quality of life for everyone in the city.

This does, however, increase house prices. While a house and flat can still be had for around £300,000, more desirable properties can fetch as high as a million pounds.

6. Plymouth

Best for Affordability

If staying within budget is vital to your retirement plans, you may want to consider Plymouth and its surrounding areas as a place to enjoy your later years.

Despite lying on the south coast of England nestled among some of the nation's most popular tourist destinations and beauty hotspots, Plymouth's cost of living remains well in line with of most people's budget. The average price of a house in Plymouth remains around £180,000, significantly lower than other locations on this list. And, considering the city's proximity to Dartmoor National Park, is relatively affordable compared to other destinations near areas of natural beauty.

As a port city, Plymouth is perfect for beach walks and being near the sea. And of course, with the channel within sight, if trips to France are your thing, Plymouth's abundant number of ferries makes visiting the continent a cinch. Packed full of parks, pubs, restaurants, cafes, and places of interest such as historic churches, there's also plenty to do in Plymouth itself and is home to numerous activities for those enjoying retirement.

With a lower than average crime rate too, Plymouth regularly finds itself voted one of the best places to retire.

The Best Places to Retire in the UK

Naturally, deciding where to retire is a big decision and while many are choosing to retire in Europe or elsewhere abroad, the UK remains the most popular option.

So hopefully, this list has given you some inspiration and helped narrow your search.

Increasingly, many movers are choosing to rent in their chosen location before buying a property, so there's no reason not to try a location first to see if it's a good fit.

With retirement an opportunity to blossom, there’s really no reason to settle for anything less than exactly what you want!