Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

8 rewarding activities to do during retirement

Written by Fiona

November 10 2020

Now you have retired, it is time to try out all of the activities you never had time to do when working. There are so many, including hill walking, mountain trekking, climbing, cycling and more. Here are eight of the most popular and rewarding activities to try during your retirement. 


An enduringly popular activity for retirees, golf is a great way to stay fit physically and mentally as you age. Walking in the fresh air helps to ward off nasties such as heart disease, obesity and high cholesterol and keeps your mind active as planning accurate shots stimulates mental concentration.

Golf is also a great social activity because you will meet people both on and off the course. Have a look around in your area at different golf clubs, compare the costs of joining fees and check out golfing equipment such as clubs, bags, and trolleys made by reliable companies such as Callaway, Wilson, and Titleist.


Fishing is one of the UK’s most popular outdoor activities. Anglers will tell you it’s a great way to enjoy the fresh air, see beautiful scenery and learn the rewards of a technical sport.

Although it doesn’t look physically taxing, fishing requires a lot of core strength and stamina. Wading through water takes good balance and strength. Fishing is also an excellent way of relieving stress because being amid nature is important for the mind. If you enjoy fishing, shopping for supplies can be very enjoyable, as some of the flies and rods are beautiful works of art. Abu Garcia fishing supplies offer high-quality Swedish craftsmanship and a wide range of products. 

Arts and crafts

An enjoyable, relaxing and easy pastime is to take up painting or a form of craft.  Watercolor painting is a very popular activity for retired people. Taking your easel and paints outside on a beautiful sunny day is hugely relaxing and uplifting. Painting is a rewarding activity as there are no rules, and you can let your imagination run wild.  You may even want to join an art class to learn techniques and forge friendships with fellow retirees.

The choice of craft activities you can learn is endless. Take a look online at various crafting websites to see what takes your fancy or find out if there are any classes in your local area.  Popular crafting choices include knitting, crochet, papercraft, quilting and sewing.

A memory quilt for your grandchildren makes a beautiful heirloom to pass down through the generations. Memory quilts are made with personal items such as t-shirts, button-down shirts, jeans, skirts, dresses, pillowcases, and even old blankets. You can incorporate your children’s or grandchildren’s baby clothes or favourite fabric items into it.

Knitting groups are present in most communities and are a great way of getting out to meet new people and have a cup of tea and a chat. You could even try to sell your knitted stuff online or at a local craft fair.

Find your crafting niche and grow your skills through classes, books, online groups, and YouTube.

Pet sitting and dog walking

If you are an animal lover or are on your own and would like some company, you could think about being a pet sitter or dog walker. Perhaps you know a neighbour or a friend who has a dog they would like walked or a cat you could sit with while their owner is at work or on holiday.  Pet sitting is a great thing to do if you want some contact with animals but do not want the full-time commitment and expense of having a pet.


For those who want to keep fit, swimming is a wonderful pursuit as it can be done in any weather, at any time of the day, and is one of the best forms of exercise.  Swimming improves your cardiovascular health as it makes your heart stronger and larger, which reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Because the water holds your body, swimming is very low impact and, therefore, gentle on the joints and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Muscle tone, flexibility, and strength are improved too.

Wild swimming is proving increasingly popular – and is said to have many benefits for mental and physical health.

Volunteer befriender

Getting out into the community and passing on your skills to other people will give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment. 

You can volunteer as a driver to take the elderly to get groceries, or get groceries for them. After shopping, you could stay and chat with them or help them with any cleaning or other odd jobs they need doing. Older people on their own will love to have some friendly company.

If you get into knitting or sewing, you can join volunteer groups that make and send clothes and bedding to vulnerable or impoverished families all over the world.

If you wish to pass on your knowledge and skills to younger folk, you could offer teaching support at a local school or set yourself up as a private home tutor. You may want to teach kids a sport or how to ride a bicycle. 


As the world is now your oyster, why not see more of it? Retirement is a great time to travel to the places you’ve always wanted to visit. 

Perhaps you could hire and motorhome, take off and see where the wind takes you. Or go travelling on a bicycle. You have the luxury of not having to be in a particular place at a specific time, so you can travel as much or as little as you want. Take a world cruise and see other countries and cultures in style.


It is said that everyone has a book in them, so why not let yours out? You could write a thrilling bestseller, an autobiography if you have had an eventful and interesting life, a children’s book with illustrations, or a handbook to a skill or subject of your choice. Thanks to the invention of e-books, it is now relatively straightforward to publish your book and sell it.

If you love writing, but novels aren’t for you, you may want to try writing an on-line blog or a daily column in a local newspaper. Look out for work from home writing jobs where you get paid to write articles for websites from the comfort of your own home. Doing so will keep your brain active and broaden your knowledge.

More Like This


3 GB Ultras wins in a row for Scott Brown


Isle of arran Corbetts: Cir Mhòr and Beinn Tarsuinn


Explore hidden treasures with South Ayrshire snorkel trail


Review: Vango Alpha 300 tent 


Romantic getaways in Florida: Perfect spots for couples


Sunny Corbetts and a claggy Graham on the Isle of Arran