The decision to move to Romsey from Cambridge was a practical one for Sally Stonehouse, and now living at Churchill Retirement Living’s Abbey Lodge is benefitting her and all of her family.
Mrs Stonehouse, who is 81, moved from her 17th Century cottage near Cambridge in June.
She said: “My husband died at the end of last year and I knew I couldn’t continue to live in our cottage anymore. I was at least three hours’ drive from my children and there was a garden which I was unable to manage on my own. It was no good remaining up there, so I took the decision on practical grounds – I needed an apartment with no garden to maintain, closer to my son in Hamble and my daughter in Basingstoke.”
Mrs Stonehouse looked around Basingstoke and Winchester but she happened upon Abbey Lodge in Romsey when her daughter was visiting friends there.
Mrs Stonehouse said: “I had retirement living in mind, but I didn’t need anything elaborate and wanted to be independent. It was very lucky we spotted Abbey Lodge as it is ideal. It is extremely convenient – I can walk into Romsey in 15 minutes and there is a bus stop right outside. The place has lovely grounds where a group of Owners is starting to develop aspects gently, so it will look even better.
“It’s a very pleasant place and everyone gets along well. There is a real social aspect to living here. We have weekly coffee mornings and a fish and chips lunch every month. There is a variety of activities, but you join in or not, entirely as you please – there is nothing compulsory. ”
Mrs Stonehouse is thoroughly enjoying her new lifestyle and can now travel regularly to see her family. She said: “I still drive and it really is very easy to get on the motorway from here – I can reach my son in Hamble in about 25 minutes and my daughter in Basingstoke in 40 minutes. It means I can pop in for a cup of tea or they can come here for a meal without it being a huge day trip.”
Mrs Stonehouse has another daughter who lives in Sweden and she has also seen her new home. She said: “All the children have seen my new apartment and are all thoroughly supportive. They think it has been a very good move for me, which is lovely.”
Mrs Stonehouse used the Home Exchange service from Churchill to helped her move. She said: “I used Home Exchange because I wanted to move quickly. I found it was a very sound decision because Churchill bought my house from me which meant I could move swiftly to the apartment I had chosen. It took all the anxiety out of moving.
“And the staff here are exceedingly good. They were friendly, patient and efficient throughout my move. And now that I’m here, their support and advice continues.”
Abbey Lodge, located on Bridge Road in Romsey, is a stylish collection of 29 one and two bedroom privately-owned retirement apartments. Each apartment has been designed exclusively for those in their retirement years and has a number of safety and security features, such as a 24 hour emergency call line and a video entry system, for complete peace of mind.
There is also a Lodge Manager, who oversees the running of the development, and an Owners’ Lounge, which can be used as a place to enjoy a catch up with like-minded neighbours, or for holding events.
The development is set in landscaped grounds in a central location, just a short distance from public transport links, shops and all the local amenities on offer in Romsey.
Abbey Lodge is over 70 per cent sold. Prices start at £228,950 for a one bedroom apartment. To find out more, please visit the Show Complex, open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm, call 01794 725 382.