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10 Hobbies to Take up During Retirement

Whether you’re close to retirement - or already there and looking to broaden your interests, start new hobbies or pick up old passions that just didn’t fit in when you were working - we’ve come up with some great ideas to inspire you!

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Never quite got around to tiling the bathroom wall? You’re not alone – research shows that there are over 31 million unfinished DIY jobs in British homes! However, done properly, DIY can be a great way to learn new skills and accomplish something tangible to be proud of. With an abundance of YouTube videos to guide you, there’s no shortage of free resources. But beware – a DIY project gone wrong can sometimes cost more to fix than paying a professional to do the job in the first place. If you’re keen to increase the value of your house, we’ve got a great guide to the most profitable home renovations.

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If spending time outside and getting some exercise isn’t enough of a reason, research shows that gardening has health benefits, both physical and mental. You’ll also be closer to the wildlife in your garden than ever, can create beautiful flower beds and could even get into growing your own vegetables. Gardening not your thing? Why not bring the outdoors indoors - we’ve put together a great list of pet-friendly plants to get you started.

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Bird, plane and train spotting

From the humble robin to the lesser-known chiffchaff, there is an abundance of birds you can spot right in your very own garden. If you want to take it one step further, you may be interested in National Trust membership, which has many areas ideal for bird-watching.

More interested in machinery than nature? Trains and planes are machines that we will never stop marvelling at and there are so many different types that can be spotted across the world. Some spotters record registration numbers, some photograph every train or plane they’ve ever seen, and some only record a specific model. You’ll find your style and are bound to meet some fellow spotters along the way. If you’re particularly keen, you could consider setting up a dedicated Facebook page or Instagram account and connect with others who share your passion.

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Have you always planned to go to Italy? Explore the Scottish Highlands? Or even take a leisurely scenic drive? Now that you’re not limited by a set number of holidays, you’re free to finally tick those dream trips off your list. There are many wonderful cities and countries to see, from places right on your doorstep to the other side of the world - so no matter what your budget is, there is a trip worth taking for everyone. Whether you’re considering a short trip or a longer break, be sure to take security precautions to keep your home safe and sound while you’re away – and if you’re going to be away from home for more than 30 days, check for any implications to your home insurance as you may need unoccupied home insurance.

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Chances are that if you like sport you’ve probably tried your hand at golf once or twice, but now that you’re retired there’s no better sport to dedicate your time to. Whatever your age, this sport keeps you fit and mentally stimulated and on a gorgeous sunny day, a golf course is a wonderful place to be – and if it starts to rain you can always head to the clubhouse!

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There’s nothing more homely than the smell of freshly baked cookies, cakes or pastries. As the Great British Bake Off has shown us, there’s a world of creativity and flavours to discover when it comes to baking and it can be a very satisfying (not to mention yummy) hobby to get into. You probably won’t want to eat it all yourself, so you’ll soon become very popular with your neighbours and friends!

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Aside from being something fun you can do with the grandchildren, painting is a relaxing and rewarding creative activity. To get you started, you could check out local community groups for art classes, which is a great way to meet people and get inspired. There are many options when it comes to painting, from portraits of people to landscapes to still life, whichever subject matter and medium you choose, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you can create.  

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If you're one of those people who just loves to help others, then volunteering could be for you. It’s a great way to keep busy and if you have several different passions, you could spread your time across multiple places. From volunteering to read with children at local schools to running a charity shop, the possibilities are endless. Or if you’re keen to share your career wisdom, why not get in touch with local educational organisations to see whether your skills can be of service?

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Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to knit - or the idea of creating your own clothes or decorative accessories for the home is appealing - all you need is four simple things to get started: time, needles, a ball of yarn and a pair of scissors. Knitting can be a social or a solitary activity and unlike painting, can be done in many situations – whether you’re on the train or soaking up some vitamin D in the garden. To get started, simply get yourself a book, follow a tutorial on YouTube, or join a local knitting club.

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Get a dog

There are so many perks to having a dog in the house, but for many, the reality of having a dog when working full-time is just not feasible - which makes retirement the perfect time. Not only are they great for companionship, but they also encourage daily exercise, are a great way to meet new people, and have been shown to reduce stress in humans. If you’re worried about a dog cramping your social life, many eateries and attractions in the UK are actually dog-friendly – we’ve put together a list of a few of our favourites. If you’re not keen on the idea of long daily strolls, rain or shine, cats can offer companionship too - and they walk themselves!

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Park Home insurance from Towergate

As a specialist insurer of park home and mobile home insurance for 20 years, we’ve worked with our customers to understand what they want. We’ve developed our park home insurance to offer a flexible approach to insurance, giving customers the ability to select additional products to meet their needs.

Get a park home insurance quote online or call 0344 892 1413 for a quote.

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Caravan insurance from Towergate

Our caravan insurance can be built to suit your lifestyle. For more information get a quote online or call us on 0330 173 9442.

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About the author

Adam Summersby, caravan insurance articles author

Adam Summersby is a respected leader with 11 years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including caravan, site operators and excess reimbursement, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.