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National Walking Month is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the health benefits that walking can offer, especially for those over 55. Walking is not just a simple way to stay active, but it is also an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, it not only boosts your mood but it can improve your overall health and wellbeing.  


Let’s start with the benefits of walking.  

If you’re not a regular at the local tennis courts or an avid marathon runner, low-impact walking is going to be one of the easiest ways to get back into exercise. 

Walking can provide a range of health benefits for those over 55, and getting outdoors near your retirement living apartment is free and easy to do. If the feeling of the sun on your face and the fresh air in your lungs still doesn’t entice you to start this healthy habit, we have pulled together 3 of the key benefits of walking that might just motivate you to head out on a walk this May. 

  1. Improved Heart Health: Walking regularly can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve cardiovascular health.
  2. Increased Mobility: Walking can help improve mobility and flexibility, which can be especially beneficial for older adults who may experience stiffness or joint pain. 
  3. Better Mood: Walking can help reduce stress, improve mood, and boost overall mental health and well-being.


3 Easy Walks to Try Out 

Our retirement living villages in Brighouse, Derby and Thornton Cleveleys are perfectly positioned for enjoying a variety of interesting walks. We have picked our favourite walks near each retirement living location. 

1) Alderman Lodge, Brighouse  

The Brighouse Canal Walk is a scenic route that showcases beautiful views of the Calder and Hebble Navigation Canal and the surrounding countryside. The walk begins at Brighouse Basin, which is a picturesque starting point in itself. If you fancy something light to eat before you walk, we recommend stopping at Jeremy’s at the Boathouse for some tapas and sitting on one of the outside tables. It’s a great place to people-watch as the basin is a popular spot for boaters and visitors alike, and it offers a peaceful and tranquil environment to start your walk. 

A view of the lock gates at the entrance to Brighouse canal basin and moorings on the calder and hebble navigation canal in calderdale West Yorkshire

This is an easy walk (we estimate that it will take around 1.5 hours to complete) and can be cut short by simply turning around or cutting across one of the locks. To complete our full recommended walk, you need to follow the canal path towards Cooper Bridge and cross several locks before turning around and heading back the way you came. The locks offer a glimpse into the history of the canal and the industrial heritage of the area and are an impressive feat of engineering that are still used today by boats navigating the canal. 

As you walk along, you’ll be guaranteed to be entertained, there is a healthy mixture of countryside and urban landscapes, with sections passing through woodland areas and others through the more built-up areas of Brighouse. If you are lucky, you might even spot a duck, swan, or one of the other waterfowl that live on the canal! 

One of the highlights of the walk is entering the edge of the charming town of Mirfield at Cooper Bridge, which provides a handy pitstop! This area is home to several pubs and cafes, where you can stop for a coffee or a bite to eat and take a break from your walk. 

Once you have had your pitstop, you can either cross to the other side of the canal to walk back to Brighouse Basin or turn around and use the same path. The marina (at Brighouse Basin) flanks the beginning and end of the walk and is a bustling hub of activity, with boats coming and going, it offers a great place to stop and watch the world go by. 

This is an easy walk suitable for all ages and abilities, and it’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise in a beautiful and peaceful setting. 

2) Albany Lodge, Derby 

Markeaton Park Walk – This easy walk is a great way to explore the beautiful Markeaton Park in Derby. The walk is approximately 1.5 miles long and takes around 1 hour to complete. The walk offers stunning views of the park’s gardens, lake, and woodland areas and is perfect for those looking for a leisurely stroll. 

Markeaton Park Lake

Just a 5 minute drive from Albany Lodge retirement living village sits Markeaton Park. The Markeaton Park walk is a delightful stroll that is particularly beautiful in springtime, when the trees are starting to bud, and the flowers are blooming, making it an excellent time to take in nature. 

The walk begins at the Markeaton Park car park (where you can park your car for free) and is signposted at the car park entrance. From here, the walk takes you through the park’s stunning gardens, which are in full bloom during the spring months. You’ll see a variety of colourful flowers, including tulips, daffodils, and crocuses, as well as blossoming trees such as cherry blossom and apple trees. 

If you are a nature lover, the walk is perfect for you as it takes you to the park’s lake, which is home to a variety of waterfowl, including ducks and swans (perfect to bring the Grandchildren to feed the ducks over long May bank holiday weekends). If you have some extra time, we suggest a slight detour of walking around the lake, taking in the serene and tranquil surroundings and admiring the views of the park. 

If you follow the trail, you’ll be guided to the woodland area of the park which is particularly enchanting in the spring months, with the trees starting to grow and snowdrops shooting up from the earth. The woodland area is also home to confident squirrels (who often sit on the path) so you’ll be sure to spot one. 

Whilst this walk is very short (around an hour long), if you did want to take a break during your walk, there’s a lovely café located in the park’s courtyard, which offers a range of hot and cold drinks and snacks. Alternatively, there are several picnic areas in the park where you can stop and enjoy a packed lunch or a cup of tea. 

We love this walk as it changes with the seasons, it is particularly nice to enjoy nature on weekday mornings to beat the lunch crowd and enjoy the tranquillity of the area. 

3) Royles Lodge, Thornton Cleveleys  

Thornton Cleveleys Coastal Walk – We couldn’t recommend a walk in Thornton Cleveleys that didn’t have sea views! Whilst there are many inland options (including King George’s Playing Fields that are steps away from our retirement living apartments at Royles Lodge) nothing clears out the cobwebs like fresh sea air! 

Thornton Cleveleys Coastal Walk

The Thornton Cleveleys Coastal Walk is a beautiful and scenic route that takes you along the Fylde Coast and offers breath-taking views of the sea and the surrounding countryside. The walk starts at Cleveleys Promenade and ends at Rossell Beach Promenade, and it is approximately 3 miles long. 

The walk is best enjoyed during low tide when you can see the vast expanse of the beach and the sea creatures that call it home. You might spot some sea birds, crabs, and other marine life in the tidal pools and exposed rocks. 

One of the highlights of the walk is the picturesque Cleveleys Beach, a beautiful stretch of golden sand that is perfect for relaxing and taking in the stunning views of the Irish Sea. The beach is a great spot for a picnic, sunbathing, or, if you could even bring your cossie for a refreshing dip in the sea during the warmer months. 

As you walk along the coast, you’ll also see the art installation, Mary’s Shell, and the iconic seafront shelters, which are a popular spot for taking a break and enjoying the view. You’ll pass through the beautiful Jubilee Gardens, where we recommend taking a moment to relax and appreciate the beautiful floral displays and the sea views. 

If you need a refreshment break during your walk, there are several cafes and pubs along the route where you can stop for a coffee, tea, or a bite to eat. Locals favourites include, The Venue, which is located on the seafront or The Queensway, which is situated just off the coastal path. 

The Thornton Cleveleys Coastal Walk is a wonderful way to get some exercise and take in the views of the Fylde Coast. With plenty of highlights along the way, it’s a great way to spend a few hours exploring this beautiful part of the country.


When you come to live with us in a luxury retirement living apartment, you are never too far away from a scenic walk. Walking is a simple and enjoyable way for those over 55 to stay active, boost their mood, and improve their overall health and well-being. So, why not take advantage of National Walking Month and try out these easy walks in Brighouse, Derby, and Thornton Cleveleys? You won’t regret it! 

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Retirement is the perfect time to explore and experience new things, and Derby is a great city to base yourself in while you do so. Located in the heart of England, Derby is easy to get to from many parts of the country, and if you choose to live in our Albany Lodge Retirement village, there are a number of fantastic day trips that can be taken from your base in your luxury retirement apartment. Here are our top five picks for spring 2023:

  1. Peak District National Park: Just a short drive from Derby, the Peak District National Park is a beautiful area of rolling hills, quaint villages, and stunning natural beauty. There are numerous walking and cycling trails to explore, as well as attractions such as Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall. The park is easily accessible by car, and there are also a number of public transportation options available, making it a convenient and enjoyable day trip for retirees.
  2. Nottingham: Located about 20 miles from Derby, Nottingham is a city with a rich history and a number of interesting attractions. Highlights include Nottingham Castle, the City of Caves, and for the more creative types, the Nottingham Contemporary art gallery is a must. The city is easily accessible by bus or train, and there are a number of accommodation options available if you want to extend your stay.
  3. Lincoln: Lincoln is a city with a rich history, and is home to a number of interesting landmarks and attractions. These include the Lincoln Cathedral, the Lincoln Castle, and the Lincolnshire Wolds, an area of rolling hills and pretty villages. The area is a popular destination for walkers and cyclists, and offers a peaceful and scenic escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
  4. Alton Towers: Alton Towers is a popular theme park located about an hour’s drive from Derby. It’s a great destination for families, with a range of thrilling rides, a water park, and a variety of other attractions, perfect to entertain the grandchildren during the school holidays. While the park may be more geared towards younger visitors, there are still plenty of things for retirees to enjoy, such as the gardens and the more relaxing rides.
  5. Birmingham: Located about an hour’s drive from Derby, Birmingham is a vibrant and diverse city with a range of cultural attractions, shopping, and dining options. Highlights include the Bullring shopping centre, the National Sea Life Centre, and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Close enough to enjoy several trips from your base at Albany Lodge retirement living, Birmingham will never be boring, there are a number of things to do in the city, including some more unusual activities including: visiting the Coffin Works museum, which is dedicated to the history of coffin-making; touring the City of Caves, a network of underground sandstone quarries; and exploring the Selly Manor Museum, a historic house filled with period furniture and artifacts. Other offbeat attractions include the Pen Museum, which celebrates the history of pen-making, and the Back to Backs, a collection of historic courtyard houses that have been preserved as a museum.

Living in Derby offers a range of great day trip options for retirees, whether you’re interested in exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture and history, or just having fun. Whatever your interests, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you within easy reach of the city. Just remember to plan your trip in advance and make sure you have all the necessary arrangements in place, such as transportation and accommodation, to ensure a smooth and enjoyable day out.

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If you love the buzz of innovation, relocate to the historic city of Derby!

Famed for having the worlds first factory, Derby has always been home to change. With augmented reality town trails and the revered “Museum of Making” on your doorstep, you’ll never fall short of finding new interesting things to see and do; living in this vibrant city will provide excitement and intrigue.  

 Albany Lodge is just a 10 minute bus journey from this interesting city centre.  

 But the location of our retirement living apartments means there so much more than the city centre to explore, Derby is also home to some of the most beautiful National Trust parks, cosy cafes and clubs.  

For great days out to visit with new neighbours, friends and family, there is plenty to explore.  

 Here are some of our favourite places to discover just a short journey from your retirement living apartment.  

 National Trust Days Out 

 Derby has some lovely National Trust estates with history around every corner.  

 Kedleston Hall is a good place to start to get more familiar with Derby and it’s history. A short 20 minute drive from Albany Lodge, Kedleston offers 800 acres of parkland an exquisite garden, perfect for an afternoon stroll. The Curzon family has lived at Kedleston since the 12th century and continues to live in the hall. The house is full of artefacts from Lord Curzon’s travels to India in the early 1900s as well as extensive artworks gifted to the family. For more information click the link below.  


 Cafes around Town  

 If you fancy popping out for a couple of hours, Derby is the perfect place to find a new local coffee shop with a neighbour from your retirement living village. Derby has a number of independent coffee shops if you fancy a natter with your friends or just sit back and enjoy a good book.  

 Speaking of, the Book Cafe in Derby city centre has brilliant reviews, and it is a perfect place to pick up a book that takes your fancy, have a fresh cup of tea and enjoy time to yourself. For more independent cafes nearby see the tripadvisor’s top ten and see which ones take your fancy! 


 Group activities 

 Retiring can seem daunting at first, but we promise you, there will never be a dull moment. There will be plenty of opportunities to meet like minded individuals, at large number of group activities you can get involved in around the city.  

 University for the Third Age is a brilliant way to keep the brain active, there is a broad range of part-time courses in Derby that you can register for, ranging from from learning a new language to finding a new passion for art.  


If academia isn’t your thing, why not find out what is happening at the Mickleover Community Centre. The community center allows had a broad range of activities to try, from a energetic dance classes to enjoying a knitting session with a new group of friends.  

 Finding the right activities and balance in your retirement living

 community may seem like a big task, but the good news is that, plenty of people have managed it, and for them, retirement has become the happiest time of their life. 


An Aviva study found that 62% of retired people consider themselves truly happy, compared to 42% of people in work. Similarly, some 62% of people said their retirement was better than they had ever imagined. 

 So, getting it right means it could be everything you are looking forward to and more. 


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