Top 10 UK cities best for retirement

LaToya Harding
Mature couple using a laptop while relaxing at home
HeatingForce found that 64% of Brits plan to move to a different city in Britain when they retire. Photo: Getty

Norwich has been crowned as the best city in the UK for retirement.

That’s according to HeatingForce, which found that 64% of Brits plan to move to a different city in Britain when they retire.

The data analysed answers from 3,435 participants over the age of 40 and not yet in retirement, who were asked if they plan to relocate in retirement and their reasons for or against relocation.

It used an index-based point system on various social and geographical factors, including crime levels, annual sunshine, quality of healthcare, cost of house prices, and access to various leisure activities.

Each category was weighted and the normalised data was added up for each city to find the final score out of 1,000.

Norwich pulled in first with a score of 925 out of 1,000, 21% higher than its closest competitor. It scored amongst the highest for the number of parks and health walks, and also boasted a crime level of just 22 - the lowest in the UK, according to

In second and third place was York and Bournemouth, despite the former having one of the lowest quantities of health walks across the board – dragging down its total score of 767.

Bournemouth was the third best city to retire to with a score of 699 out of 1,000, ranking highest for hours of annual sunshine (1,767 hours), Met Office UK climate averages showed, and with one of the highest average ages at 43 years old.

Following closely behind was Edinburgh, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Plymouth, respectively ranking fourth, fifth and sixth. Plymouth, Aberdeen, Dundee, Portsmouth, Leeds rounded up the top 10.

On the opposite end of the scale, Coventry stood as the worst city to relocate to in retirement with a score of just 13 out of 1,000. It had one of the highest crime levels and lowest health care quality rankings.

Armagh pulled in as the second worst city to retire to in Britain with a score of 46. Armagh ranks among the lowest for hours of annual sunshine and across all analysed leisure activities – both of which are key factors to consider for maintaining mental health.

The Northern Irish city was followed by Birmingham with a score of 76 out of 1,000; primarily ranking low due to holding the second highest crime rate of 65 after Wolverhampton (66).

Nottingham, Newry and London also fell amongst the worst UK cities to retire to.

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