Sunshine, sea air, sand dunes and stones, it’s little wonder that seaside towns have long been hotspots for the retired. Here in Suffolk, where we boast some of the most beautiful beaches and coastline in the country, this is certainly true.

In fact, a study of the retired population in the UK carried out last year found that a whopping 17.2% of the people living in the South East were collecting a pension – almost twice the number living in the capital.

So why do so many shun big cities to head to the coast?

The health benefits

Well, not only do we like to be beside the seaside, but it seems it may actually be good for us too.

Those who live near the coast tend to be healthier than those who set up home further inland, according to research by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, which found that seaside dwellers live longer, are happier and enjoy a better quality of life.

This is because coastal villages and towns generally form a closer-knit community than you would find in the hustle and bustle of more densely populated urban areas.

They also stimulate the senses – boasting views of wide expanses of open water, the sounds of crashing waves and seagulls and the smell of salt and sea spray – all of which are proven to act as mood enhancers.

On top of this, a seaside environment encourages physical activity – something which is beneficial to people of all ages.

Aging Britain

Now we all know that Britain is getting older. Our country is being shaken by a dramatic “age quake” as, for the first time ever, there are now more people over the age of 65 than there are those under 16.

Not only that, these pensioners are generally much more adventurous than previous generations. So much so that they no longer want to stay put on retirement – they are looking for a change of scenery, a slice of adventure and a chance to enjoy the spoils of a lifetime of work.

A survey carried out in 2009 found that in England, 43% of over-50s plan to move away when they retire – and only 2% of them were interested in moving to London. Just 0.5% of those polled thought the capital would be a desirable place to live while more than 80% wanted to live in a more rural location.

But they were aspirational too – with many saying they would like to indulge their sentimentalism for places where they holidayed as children – such as the British coast.

Hard to come by

Of course, seaside spots do not come up all that often. And anywhere with a sea view is hot property. But we can let you in on a little secret… At the Bartlet in Felixstowe we have some beautiful apartments a stone’s throw from the shore. And many are still up for grabs.

Designed by housebuilder Gipping Homes, the development is steeped in history and offers residents a way of life that many can only dream of. Set in and around a unique Grade II * listed building which was once a “sanctuary of recovery”, the development has drawn on that regenerative power.

The airy, spacious apartments are flooded with coastal light and are set into the south facing cliff-side. The exude luxury, peace and tranquility. In short, they are the perfect spot to enjoy your retirement in seaside splendour.

Gipping Homes are currently developing The Bartlet and the former Bath Hotel in Felixstowe into prestigious apartments and townhouses. For more information about the properties contact agent Banham Dark on 01394 272728 or visit The Bartlet website at