Dorchester in Dorset – A Dream Retirement Location
Dorset is increasingly becoming a popular place to move to due to its beautiful beaches, scenic views and rural attractions. The recent coronavirus pandemic has also caused a rethink about where people are choosing to retire.
And the jewel in this West Country crown is the historic Roman market town of Dorchester, the county town of Dorset since 1305, on the banks of the River Frome. The town, inspiration for Thomas Hardy’s Casterbridge, was recently voted as one of the happiest places to live in the UK (according to a survey of 22,000 people by property website Rightmove). The happiness quotient was measured using 12 factors – incidentally many of which retirees also look for when considering an ideal retirement location – including the extent to which respondents felt a sense of community spirit, felt safe and whether the locals were friendly.
Quality of life and hours of sunshine
Above all, it’s the quality of life in Dorchester that attracts many retirees to the pretty market town; the clean sea air, the relaxed pace, the stunning beaches and quality restaurants all add up to better living and make up for the key reasons which people live longer here. Dorset gets more sun than most places, with approximately 364 more hours than the national average and what is more, there are plenty of beaches and countryside to enjoy the additional sunshine in. Situated in the south of Dorset, just seven miles from the coast, Dorchester offers residents a relaxed, yet vibrant lifestyle with a mix of old and new architecture. The high street is vibrant and buzzing with plenty of shops and a fantastic, local food scene stemming from the abundance of locally grown produce.
Somerleigh Court – an independent lifestyle in the heart of Dorchester
Residents at award-winning retirement community Somerleigh Court, set in the heart of the historic town, are able to enjoy an independent lifestyle and take advantage of everything that vibrant Dorchester has to offer. This family-owned community is positioned right on the doorstep of the charming Borough Gardens, a beautiful 19th century park laid out to the design of William Goldring – who was the brain behind Kew Gardens. During the summer months the bandstand in the gardens plays host to numerous concerts. Additionally, residents are able to access the adult fitness equipment at the park.
All the attractions, quaint streets, museums, cafes and shops of the market town are a mere stroll away. Operated by award-winning and internationally renowned retirement community operator, LifeCare Residences, Somerleigh Court comprises 68 one- and two-bedroom apartments and boasts award-winning healthcare services – including an on-site nursing home and specialist dementia unit.
Somerleigh Court offers retirees a fully independent lifestyle, but with the reassurance of care, if needed and all residents have access to generously sized apartments which all have a lovely traditional feel to them. The LifeCare Residences team is proud of the homely feel and sense of community that the residents enjoy. At Somerleigh Court, and across all LifeCare Residences communities, the following support services come as standard; housekeeping, laundry, maintenance support and domiciliary care, allowing residents to relish a more active lifestyle with fewer chores. An activities co-ordinator is also on hand at Somerleigh Court to create a revolving calendar of events, talks and excursions for residents.
A wealth of attractions on the doorstep
Residents at Somerleigh Court are able to keep themselves busy in Dorchester with its deeply interesting history that dates back even before pre-Roman Britain, and there are still some remaining Roman features – it’s a great place for walking and exploring the many historical sites and amazing views. Within the town itself, there are close to 300 structures that are listed by Historic England for their historic or architectural interest. Often described as the ‘Small Town with a Big Story’, Dorchester offers town walks and several types of tours to explore its rich past. St Catherine’s Chapel is a 14th century building with stunning views, and a stroll up Eggardon Hillfort offers one of the best vantage points in the county. The nearby Cerne Abbas Giant is something of a wonderful historical oddity at a whopping 180-feet. Close by is the Maumbury Rings monument which is a wonderful mix of history that is regularly used now for open-air concerts, festivals and historical re-enactments. In addition, Dorchester is steeped in literary tradition – residents are able to visit T.E. Lawrence’s Cloud Hills which still contains original furniture and photographs, and there is also Thomas Hardy’s cottage to visit which is now an atmospheric National Trust property open to the public and host to special events throughout the year. For retirees’ keen on their military history, Dorchester is home to the Tank and the Keep Military Museums. Those with visiting grandchildren can pop along to the Teddy Bear Museum or even head over to the Dorset Country Museum and the Dinosaur Museum. Dorchester and Dorset have a fascinating Jurassic past that appeals to all.
Residents at Somerleigh Court are also able to enjoy the delights of Dorchester’s weekly market – one of Dorset’s biggest and best markets! With a large indoor market and an outside covered section regularly selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, local produce, bread, quality meats, clothes, plants and hot food every Wednesday.
As well as its historic heritage and quaint streets, Dorchester also blends the old with the new with the buzzing Brewery Square, which is a stylish regeneration in the heart of town with a variety of shops, eateries and leisure facilities, including an Odeon Cinema. Dorchester successfully blends all the advantages of town living, with beautiful countryside just on your doorstep.
Additionally, Dorchester has good transport links and is served by two railway stations; Dorchester South to Weymouth, Bournemouth to London (getting you to Central London in under three hours), and Dorchester West to Bath and Bristol. Residents are only a short 15-minute drive away from the infamous Jurassic Coast and the town is also about two and a half hours from London by car, via the M3. There is plenty to do in Dorchester itself of course, making the town an enduringly popular location.
Award-winning Somerleigh Court truly is a very special place – not just for its excellent location, 68 generously sized apartments and a nursing home accommodating 40 beds, but also for its sense of community where residents are able to enjoy a fully independent lifestyle and take advantage of everything Dorchester has to offer.
If you would like to learn more about living at Somerleigh Court, please call Angela Roberts on 013 0521 1836. For further details about LifeCare Residences, our offering and how we can enhance the ‘every day’ please call T. 0800 009 6950.
For those who are unable to visit in person, we are also able to offer virtual tours of our communities at your convenience.