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What are the best winter hobbies for retirees?

A woman reads a book and holds a hot drink

The winter season brings with it frosty mornings, shorter days and sub-zero temperatures, but there are still plenty of hobbies that you can enjoy. This is especially true for retired people who may have a bit of extra time on their hands.

Having interests is vital in retirement, and this could involve going out and joining in an activity with others, or it could be pastimes that you do at home. Retirement is the perfect time to explore all those activities you’ve always been drawn to and to discover things you never thought you might enjoy.

Read on to learn about the different activities and hobbies you can do in winter that consider mobility.

The best hobbies to do during winter

  • Reading
  • Winter walks
  • Crafts
  • Tai chi classes
  • Try your hand at baking
  • Jigsaw puzzles


A woman reads a book on a sofa

Not many things are more comforting than cosying up at home and getting stuck into a book. It could be the memoirs of a historical figure or a best-selling book from a recent year; there is something for everyone.

Reading is a great way to escape from a miserable winter day, and you can easily lose yourself in a good novel or learn something new. There are so many benefits to reading, which range from reducing stress and sharpening your focus to helping you sleep better and giving your brain a great workout.

Reading can also be a sociable activity as you can join a reading group, allowing you to meet new people. Your local library might be able to help you join a reading club, so it’s worth enquiring.

If you have limited mobility and need to use lifts for homes or other mobility aids, there are lots of book clubs you can join online. The Book Clubs’ website is a great resource that you can use if you want to join an online book club.

Winter walks

Easy access walking trail

Just because you have limited mobility or struggle to walk long distances doesn’t mean that you are not able to get out and enjoy the nearby countryside, park, or canal.

Walking is one of the most popular outdoor winter hobbies that you can enjoy, and it is a great way to spend time with family or friends. From accessible paths in the woods to flat riverside trails, there are a variety of accessible paths across the UK that are suitable for you and your level of mobility.

The Ramblers website shares some tips for people who have limited mobility and what they can do if they are planning on going out for a winter walk:

“Stiles, steps, and overhanging trees can cause problems depending on how mobile you are, especially if you use a wheelchair. If you’re likely to struggle with them on your own but could manage them with some help, perhaps walk with someone else. If that’s not an option or if they would still stop you in your tracks, research the route well before you head out.”


Arts and crafts is a popular activity for retirees

When the weather takes a turn for the worse, it is natural to turn to activities that you can do indoors, and one of the best winter hobbies you can do in the UK is crafts.

Retirees can get creative and try their hand at art or create little gifts that can be given to their grandchildren. You can also make ornaments from wood and fabrics that decorate your home or try your hand at making homemade jewellery.

The list really is endless as you can try your hand at soap making, papercraft, textiles, mosaics, clay modelling or painting.

There are plenty of clubs and groups that you can join, and you will be able to check online to see what clubs there are locally.

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Tai chi classes

A Tai Chi class

If you are looking for indoor winter hobbies, then one of the best is to attend a Tai chi class. The great thing about this activity is the fact these classes can be adapted and are not over-taxing on your joints.

You can do it as part of a class so you will meet other people, but this activity isn’t just great for your soul, it is great for your body, too. Tai chi is known to improve your coordination and balance, and it is popular with people of all ages.

Earth Balance Tai Chi spoke about some of the benefits you can enjoy from Tai Chi: “I believe these traditional Chinese exercises should be for all abilities, ages and fitness levels. I celebrate Tai Chi and Qigong for everyone; whatever their individual reason for joining or goal is, all are welcome. Some people may be looking for stress relief, some the martial arts discipline, some to strengthen the core and limbs, some to aid recovery from illness, to enhance immune function, some to aid injury, some looking for spiritual practice and some for simple exercise and movement.”

Try your hand at baking

A mother and daughter baking

Baking is a hobby that many people turn to when they retire, and friends and family are the ones who benefit as you can try all the newly baked treats.

Forgetting about the miserable winter weather and instead focusing on honing your baking skills will provide many people with great enjoyment as you will get the satisfaction of achievement.

There are a variety of things you can cook, ranging from biscuits to buns and cakes, but you can also look at baking some healthy alternatives.

If you are taking up baking for the first time, Shivesh, who is the author of the Bake With Shivesh blog, shared one of his main tips for beginners:

“The first and foremost thing you should be remembering, besides the basic ingredients to your recipe, is to always and no matter what blindly follow the given recipe. If it asks you to preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, do that! If it asks you to sift your flour, do that! Follow each step, and in the respective order, the recipe is asking you to. Dessert recipes are actually simple to follow, and they have been tried and tested before being posted, so trust that the order holds a lot of significance. Sticking to recipes is a favour you’ll be doing yourself!”

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Jigsaw puzzles

An older couple putting a jigsaw together

Putting together a Jigsaw puzzle is not just an activity you can try at Christmas; it is the perfect hobby to do during the winter months.

It is not only a great way to keep you occupied, but you can get your grandchildren involved and if the weather is not great, it will help keep them occupied.

Jigsaws have many benefits, including de-stressing you and keeping your mind active, and there are so many different types of puzzles you can choose from.

If you are starting out, it is recommended that you start off with smaller puzzles that are 200 to 500 pieces big, and then you can build up to 1,000-piece puzzles.

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This guide has provided some fun new winter hobbies that you can try when the weather is miserable, so give one of them a go.

Here at Companion Homelifts, we aim to make your home more accessible by installing a home lift, as they are a safe way to travel around your home. You can contact Companion Homelifts here to find out more about the different home lift products that are available.

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