Retire to the country? Don’t fall for the myths, city folk warned

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Exchanging the harsh reality of urban life for the romance of rural living is a dream for many nearing retirement. But a campaign launched on Wednesday warns against falling for the myth of a rose-tinted third age spent among fields, rose-covered cottages and village greens.

“Contrary to the romantic notion of blissful calm, living in the country is tough, a little bit dangerous and not for wimps,” said Mavis Cheek, the author and commentator on country living, who is launching the national campaign.

“Very few of the myths are true. All you need is one thing to go wrong, and you’re vulnerable to anything from immediate danger to a long life of isolation and poverty,” added Cheek, who moved to Wiltshire in 2001 from London but plans to return to the city “before I become feeble”.

“I cannot imagine growing old here,” she admitted. “If your car breaks down, you need to be able to afford taxis because the public transport is so bad. If you stop being proactive in keeping your brain and social life active, you will find yourself completely unstimulated. If you do something unspeakable at a dinner party, everyone in the area will know about it by the next morning.”

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