"I couldn't be happier!"
A welcoming move to Willowdale
When Russell Wright decided late last year to downsize from his three-bedroom house in Chipping Norton and move into a retirement community, he had one, absolutely non-negotiable requirement.
Wherever he moved had to be a pet-friendly village so that he could bring along his beloved little toy poodle and constant companion, Pinky.
“I visited and had a look around several villages, but found that most don’t allow pets,” Russell says. “I not only found Willowdale to be the nicest place I visited, but was delighted that pets are also welcome here.
“I love that my two-bedroom home here is a freestanding house with a private and securely fenced back yard too, which means Pinky can safely run around outside.”
At 75, Russell says he began to consider the idea of moving into a retirement community after visiting good friends who’d moved into Willowdale and were very happy with their decision.
“Living alone as I do, my three-bedroom house was too big for me and was also getting old, meaning I had to do ongoing upkeep and maintenance work on it. It also had steps, which I hated having to climb up and down because I have some arthritis.
“Willowdale is so nice and flat, meaning it’s very easy to walk around and with no stairs to climb anywhere in the village.”
Russell laughs that when he initially began to think about the option of moving into a retirement village, his first thought was: “Fancy moving in with a whole lot of old pensioners! It will be so boring.”
But nothing, he says, could be further from the truth. “All the people living here are so friendly and pleasant; really nice people. When I first moved in here, a couple of months ago, many knocked on my door to introduce themselves and welcome me to Willowdale, and everyone smiles and says hello when I’m out walking Pinky around the village.
“There’s a beautiful clubhouse with an indoor pool, gym, snooker and darts facilities, and a bar as well which I enjoy visiting to have a beer or two with the boys. Social outings are organised once a month and I’ve been on one so far, to Austral Bowling Club for a Christmas-in-July celebration.”
Russell also describes the staff at Willowdale as “fabulous”, and says he greatly appreciates that the village has gardeners to mow residents’ lawns and a maintenance man readily available for any odd jobs that may pop up.
“I’ve moved into a brand new two-bedroom house with a study, and love that everything in it is so new and modern and it’s all so easy to keep clean,” Russell adds. “I had no particular concerns about security, but I do now appreciate that Willowdale is a gated community, meaning it’s very safe and quiet with no passing traffic at night.
“All in all, I couldn’t be happier.”
You may have to pay a departure fee when you leave this village. You will have to share any capital gains received with the operator of this village.