for those who love the outdoors

7 May, 2024


Take a Hike

Walking is the top hobby for British retirees, according to a poll of over 60's.

A retired couple enjoying a hike through the woods

What are the stats?

More than one in three (35 percent) Brits over the age of 60, insist they are more active now than they ever have been, according to new research. And forget bingo or knitting, modern retirees love to spend their free time doing photography (16 percent), growing veg (15 percent) or meditating (5 percent).

Almost half (44 percent) have recently sparked a new interest, such as running (eight percent), learning a language (eight percent), model making (eight percent) or darts (seven percent).

However walking or hiking, emerged as the most loved pastime, with almost a quarter (23 percent) of retirees saying it’s their favourite thing to do in their free time, according to the data from McCarthy Stone.

Playing the guitar (seven percent), chess (six percent), making model railways (six percent), painting with watercolours (six percent) and dress making (six percent). One in twenty (four percent) are even getting into woodwork and jewellery making , while 16 percent of Brits in their fifties are excited to retire so they have more time to explore their local area.

And proving that the lust for life continues well into retirement, around one in nine saying they aim to live life to the fullest rather than slowing down in retirement. Over half (57 percent) agree that interests and hobbies help keep them feeling young.

Kim Caldwell, National Sales & Marketing Director at McCarthy Stone commented: "Hobbies clearly hold a special place in the hearts of the nation. However, changing lifestyles, external pressures and a lack of time often force us to put them to one side, until we have time in later life to delve into them again in retirement.”

Kim continues: “Recent studies have highlighted that hobbies can help lower the risk of depression, while providing higher life satisfaction, happiness, and self-reported health in people aged 65 and over [1]. This is backed up by the fact that nearly three quarters of those surveyed in our poll in the same age bracket agreed that having an interest or passion has a huge impact on their happiness, and a further 42 percent said it makes them feel both engaged and like they’re using their brains – all vital to maintaining independence through retirement.

“What’s clear is that keeping your brain and body busy, finding companionship with like-minded people and finding time to yourself can make a real difference to people’s outlooks in later life. Indeed, retirement is a great time to do more of the things you love, and embrace every moment. For those looking to downsize into a ready-made community with like-minded people, our shared communal facilities make for ideal social hubs – whether to host informal gatherings or regular clubs and events to suit all kinds of interests. Some developments offer arts and craft rooms and sports facilities too.”

The Top hobbies and pastimes for British retirees:

1. Hiking – 23%

2. Photography – 16%

3. Growing veg – 15%

4. Creative writing – 10%

5. Playing Football – 10%

6. Running – 9%

7. Stamp collecting – 8%

8. Learning a language – 8%

9. Model making – 8%

10. Darts - 7%

11. Playing the guitar – 7%

12. Tennis – 7%

13. Snooker – 7%

14. Dancing – 7%

15. Yoga – 7%

16. Chess – 6%

17. Painting with watercolour – 6%

18. Dress making – 6%

19. Badminton – 5%

20. Meditating – 5%


A retired couple enjoying a hike

Outside & Active

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Outside & Active is the home for those who love the outdoors. Our mission is to inspire, inform and educate people about being active outdoors in a fun, safe and sustainable way. We provide inspiration, kit, tech and advice on adventure, camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, running water and winter.

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