Blog > 23 hobbies for retirees to take up in 2023

23 hobbies for retirees to take up in 2023

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By Clare Yates • 8th April 2023 • 5 min read

Hobbies for retirees to take up in 2023

After working hard for many years to take care of your family and pay off the mortgage, reaching retirement is the start of a whole new chapter. With many golden years ahead of you to fill and enjoy, now could be the perfect time to take up a new hobby!

Not only could you learn new skills from trying new hobbies after retirement, but you could meet like-minded people and make new friends along the way. You could find yourself getting fitter, too, and enjoying the great outdoors more. 

If you’re planning to retire or perhaps reduce your working hours in 2023, here’s 23 popular hobbies for retirees to help you unwind. All you have to do is choose what your next adventure will be!

Are financial pressures casting a cloud over your retirement? Here at Equity Release Wise we often talk to homeowners who are interested in equity release to boost their day-to-day finances. Find out what’s possible for you: get a free quote or talk to our friendly consultants on 0808 178 3055, or request a call back at a time that suits you.


Getting out in the garden is one of those fantastic feel-good hobbies for retirement that will make your home look great afterwards. You’ll also burn plenty of calories and it can do wonders for your mental health. Plus, you’ll reap the rewards when your home grown flowers and tasty fruit and veg spring up!

If you don’t have a garden then you could grow vegetables and plants on your patio or balcony. Tomatoes, peppers and courgettes do very well in a simple grow bag. The art of Bonsai tree growing is a well-respected gardening hobby for those with limited outdoor space. Or why not apply for an allotment space with your local council? You’ll have more land to work with and meet like-minded folk in your community. 

Don’t discount your indoor space, either. Conservatories and sunny window sills make a fantastic growing space. Cacti and succulents do very well, as do jade plants or ‘money trees’, which can live for many decades with the right care. Growing Bonsai, cacti and money trees is also an ideal retirement hobby for anyone living with mobility issues.


You may already do a walk to the shops or with the dog each afternoon, but there’s something special about taking off for the day in the great outdoors! One of the simplest hobbies for retirees to build into a daily routine, walking is great for your mental health and as it costs nothing, everyone can reap the benefits. 

Walks can be enjoyed alone or with the company of your friends, be they human or canine. From taking a stroll around a scenic park or along the coast, to a more challenging hike with a rewarding pub lunch after. You can tailor your walk to be as gentle or exhilarating as you wish! 

If you want to really go for it then you may find the National Trust website or your local walking group a good starting point. They’ll recommend rambles worth exploring nearby, and you could make some new friends to walk with by joining group walks.


Fishing is a sport that offers plenty of quiet and relaxation. So much so, it’s got to be up there as one of the most stress-relieving retirement hobbies. UK anglers are known to while away the hours in all kinds of weather. But don’t worry, with the proper fishing clothing and equipment, you won’t mind the occasional British downpour!

It can take a bit of time and research to know everything you need, but good things come to those who bait, as they say! Course fishing is a popular beginners route into angling, with thousands of freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers across the UK to explore. With over 25 species of course fish in our waters, you’ll catch carp, bream, pike, eels, catfish and more, before safely returning the fish to the water. 

You can get started with a fishing licence, basic rod and line, landing net, bait box and other essentials. A camping chair and decent waterproof jacket will help to make the experience more comfortable. Speak to your local tackle shop for advice, or ask an angling friend or relative if you can try your new retirement hobby with them before buying equipment.


Perhaps one of the most popular hobbies in retirement, golf offers gentle exercise, fresh air, fantastic social events and competition opportunities. 

If you’re starting out as a beginner then there are three places you can practise golf: driving ranges, 9 hole pitch and putt courses and 18 hole courses. It’s usually recommended you start off on a range; there you can take all the time you need before heading out onto the course.

To get started, speak to your local golf club: they are likely to offer group or private beginner lessons to help you get into the ‘swing’ of things. By joining your local golf club, you can also meet new friends at their social events and start to play competitively when you’re ready.

Arts and crafts

It gives a real sense of satisfaction when you make something yourself from scratch and it’s great to be able to display things you’ve made in your home. If you’re just starting out then there are many different activities to try when you get into arts and crafting.

You could join a painting class, learn how to make quilts, try embroidery or join a knitting or crochet group. There are also some fun arts and craft projects to try at home too, either alone or with the grandkids. 

Many activities are fun for all ages and can become quite addictive once you get started! Try painting by numbers, Hama Beads, Crystal Craft and Sequin Art. Amazon, Hobby Craft and The Range are good places to find great deals on crafting projects.

Many local community centres or village halls run a weekly arts and crafts club to encourage people to take up new hobbies in retirement. Check their weekly events listings to see what’s available locally. 

Jigsaws and puzzles

They say doing puzzles in later life helps to boost brain power and improve your memory and concentration. Not only that, but they’re fun too, either alone or with your partner or someone else. 

It’s easy to see why puzzles are such popular hobbies for retirees. You can choose from jigsaws – try Gibsons for high quality puzzles that last – or buy puzzle books for sudokus, word searches and crosswords, amongst many more. 

Don’t be afraid to venture online too. If you have a tablet or smartphone then there are thousands of games to be found that can entertain you for hours at a time. You can even invite friends to join so you can play against them. Online games include Wordscapes, Words with Friends, Tetris, Mahjong, Scrabble, Chess, Checkers and thousands mo

Volunteer for charity

Charities such as homeless shelters and animal sanctuaries are always desperate for volunteers and would be so grateful for your help. You could work in a charity shop to help the charity raise vital funds to run their organisation. Or, if you love animals, why not get involved with your local RSPCA shelter or other animal sanctuary? Many of them are usually desperate for extra dog walkers or people who will go in and help with cleaning duties.

You can find out about volunteering opportunities in your local community here on the website. Using your time to help those in need can make such a difference to your wider community and further afield.

Learn a new language

Fancy speaking to the locals with confidence on your next foreign holiday? Perhaps you have an interest in ancient history and always fancied being able to read Latin? 

Learning a new language won’t just improve your future travel experiences, it’s a fantastic workout for your brain and helps your memory and focus too! All you need to decide is which language interests you the most and decide if you’d prefer to learn online from home, or with a class.

You can search for a course in your area, learn from home with apps and online classes like those from Babbel, or hire a private tutor. Alternatively, visit the u3a website to discover their online opportunities for later life learning. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone interested in learning new skills or hobbies for retirement.


Many of us have kept the occasional goldfish… often in a glass bowl after winning one at the fairground! Having a marine or tropical aquarium is quite a different experience though, with much to learn about the hobby. Fish tanks are fascinating to watch once set up and make a fabulous display in your home.

To get started, research the type of fish you’d prefer to keep: ‘tropical’ are freshwater fish and ‘marine’ are salt water. If your space allows, aim for a medium sized tank of between 125 – 180 litres. They tend to be much easier to maintain than smaller tanks, where parameters can fluctuate quickly. Buying pre-loved tanks on sites such as Facebook Marketplace and eBay makes the hobby much more affordable. 

Once your tank is fully cycled, you can get your fish in. Knowing which species are compatible comes with time and research, but it’s all part of the fun! Testing with liquid kits and weekly water changes are then required to maintain the correct water parameters. Finally, use bogwood, rocks, plants and moss to create beautiful underwater scenes in your tank. Known as ‘aquascaping’, underwater gardening is a hobby in itself!


When you hear ‘retirement hobbies’ you may not immediately think of cooking. But what better time to experiment with new flavours and ingredients, or maybe transform your diet and create a healthy new you? 

If you live alone, viewing cooking as a hobby rather than a chore can take the boredom out of cooking for one. Or if you’ve spent decades cooking family roasts, why not branch out into new tastes?

Work your way through the herbs and spices; go as hot as you want! Try Mexican, Japanese, Indian and Moroccan dishes… explore plant based ingredients such as tofu and jackfruit. There’s a whole world of interesting ingredients out there.

The BBC Good Food website is a brilliant starting point to find simple or interesting recipes. You could also ask your family and friends for their tried and tested favourites, and nothing beats a traditional recipe handed down over generations. Enjoy experimenting and share your creations with loved ones over a glass of wine – and don’t worry if everything ends in disaster, it’s something to laugh about and learn from!

More hobbies for retirement

Still looking for some interesting hobbies in retirement? UK retirees have so many exciting activities and pastimes to explore, here are a few other hobbies to take up in retirement

  1. Join a book club
  2. Start a blog
  3. Join a band or choir
  4. Start yoga, tai-chi or Pilates classes
  5. Volunteer to read at a local school
  6. Take a photography course
  7. Start a pub quiz team
  8. Begin a woodwork and joinery project
  9. Go travelling – Did you know… Holidays are one of the most popular reasons for equity release!
  10. Upcycle furniture
  11. Take up jewellery making
  12. Fix up an old car in your garage
  13. Offer a dog walking or dog sitting service

How Equity Release Wise can help

If financial pressures are preventing you from being able to fully enjoy your retirement then equity release might be worth a look. By unlocking a tax-free cash lump sum or regular income from your home’s value, you could give your finances a much needed boost. 

From clearing loans and credit cards to topping up your pension income so you can enjoy your retirement hobbies and time with the family – the choice is yours! 

Remember, by its very nature a plan will reduce the value of your estate and the amount of inheritance you leave. Getting advice from a qualified specialist to understand all the pros and cons of equity release is essential before deciding anything – and we can arrange this for you.

To find out if you qualify and how much you could unlock, call our friendly team today on 0808 178 3055 or request a free call back here. If you wish, we can connect you with one of our selected advisers to answer any questions you might have. Alternatively, check your eligibility and get an initial indication of how much tax-free cash you could unlock.

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