Blue Space Retired Living


The health benefits of blue spaces such as rivers, lakes and the sea are significant, leading to higher levels of physical activity, increased feelings of well-being and a positive effect on mental health generally.

So it's no surprise that Cognatum's retirement estates that are located close to water are particularly attractive to potential purchasers.

John Lavin of Cognatum says, “Traditionally, retirees have headed to the seaside, but there's a growing trend for people to select a retirement destination that brings them close to all kinds of blue space, not just the ocean. Our estates in Bournemouth, Aldeburgh and Torquay, all with easy access to the sea, continue to be highly sought after, but retirees looking for locations with easy travel and amenities are drawn to rivers, lakes and even canals to bring beneficial blue space into their lives.

“While some are looking for water to enjoy their pastimes such as boating, fishing, canoeing and walking, others are simply recognising the appeal of landscape water – a place to watch the watery world go by.

“While homes near the water are undoubtedly an attractive proposition, there are some additional considerations for buyers looking for a retirement home with blue space:

  • Some of the most beautiful coastal areas are rather remote, making you less accessible to friends and family, and restricting your own travel plans.
  • There can be seasonal issues surrounding seaside locations – many are busy in the summer months, and can become very quiet out of season. Try and visit a town in and out of season to get an idea of transitory populations
  • Tourist activity isn't restricted to the seaside, some stretches of river and canal can get very busy with walkers, cyclists and picnickers at weekends and holidays. Pick a warm spring weekend to get a clear idea of activity.
  • If you're buying a property near water, check the flood risk and insurance issues.
  • If you are drawn to a particular location for recreational purposes, check the availability of moorings, membership of clubs, or fishing rights.

Cognatum has two retirement estates that have their own exclusive moorings, one at Henley on Thames, and one at Goring on Thames. Indeed the gardens at both of these estates run right down to the Thames, and Remenham Row at Henley on Thames is perfectly positioned to enjoy the Henley Regatta without leaving home.

Situated as they often are within desirable market towns, many of their non-coastal retirement estates have attractive water features either within the estate itself, or very close by. Currently on the market are:

Bearwater, Hungerford, Berkshire
Once mainly water meadows, Bearwater has its own lake, set in five acres of grounds on the banks of the River Dun where the properties are arranged around two well-established garden squares. Despite the attractively-remote feel, a short walk  along a pretty riverside path brings you into the centre of Hungerford.

A spacious two-bedroom mid-terrace cottage is on the market, offers in excess of £400,000.

Church Leat, Downton, Wiltshire

Water is integral to the character of Church Leat, with some of the properties built over the mill stream, which is a carrier of the river Avon. All the cottages have a balcony or a conservatory to make the most of the delightful setting, and some even have both. A footbridge over the river Avon leads into Downton, which is a large village with a good range of shops, several pubs and a library. For those craving a bigger blue space, the seaside towns of Poole and Bournemouth are less than an hour's drive away.

A three bedroom, first floor apartment with balcony overlooking the leat, and single garage with automatic door is on the market for £399,950.

Bemerton Farm, Bemerton, Wiltshire

Bemerton Farm is converted from the model farm built for the Dowager Countess of Pembroke. There is an enclosed courtyard of stone cottages, a farmhouse and gatehouse, a lovely circular dovecote and a WWII pill box. A nine-hole golf course runs partly around the estate and across the road is a private walled garden on the River Nadder, with open countryside beyond.

A spacious two-bedroom Grade II Listed mid-terrace cottage overlooking the courtyard is on the market for £450,000.

All Cognatum properties are sold on long leases with no ground rents and no restrictions on owning a property, except that one resident must be over 55 years of age.

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