Escape to the New Forest: downsizing proves the right decision

After her husband passed away, Betty Stevens was ready for a fresh start, choosing to downsize to her new luxury home 100 miles away to be close to her family.

Last summer, Betty had visited her daughter and grandchildren in the New Forest and had watched Hanover’s exclusive development at The Boltons in Lyndhurst taking shape.

Betty had run her large family home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire for more than 50 years where her two children grew up. Betty made tentative enquiries about the new Hanover scheme for the over-55s and put her home on the market before Christmas. The house sold quickly, allowing Betty to move into a new two-bed apartment in Hampshire in time for spring.

Half a century in the one location meant Betty had collected a lot of things at her old home. “Downsizing frees you up and makes you strong to get rid of a lot of stuff that isn’t essential,” she said.

Her previous home had stairs, so when Betty’s knees were replaced in 2006 to 2008 it made things a little harder. While her new home in Lyndhurst is on the first floor - which gives a great view of the gardens - there is a lift handy. “It’s wonderful not to worry about stairs. I’m surprised with the space; everything’s fitted in well – the two-piece settee, dining table and half a dozen chairs. I have a long side board too, which all fitted in beautifully. The carpets matched also! It really is beautifully laid out.”

At The Boltons, Betty, aged 81, has no worries about looking after the gardens or window cleaning, but could now focus on looking after herself.

“Moving to The Boltons was definitely the right decision - I am completely independent and self-contained here,” she said. “My larger home was becoming too much to manage. I don’t have to worry about a slate falling off the roof; I’m just responsible for the inside of the property. Looking after the trees in the old house was becoming quite a lot for me. Now, there’s a lot less housework to do!”

Betty, who has just returned from a cruise around the Norwegian Fjords, enjoys the privacy at The Boltons. “There’s no communal room here which suits me. My new neighbour seems very nice and other residents here have introduced themselves. I’ve also had a leaflet to a social event at the bowling club which I will try to go to.”

Since Hanover’s New Forest development was finished earlier in the year, the 26 elegant apartments have been selling fast, with 40 per cent of the one and two-bed luxury homes now sold.

Costs for apartments on the scheme sees one-beds starting from £165,000 and two-beds starting from £235,000. Each apartment features a large open-plan living space, generously-sized rooms and includes top-of-the-range appliances for high performance and to reduce living costs.

The Boltons is close to the High Street in Lyndhurst with all of its amenities, including the doctors, pharmacy, post office and shops.

“This a beautiful area to live in,” said Betty. “Yesterday, my daughter took me to a supermarket across the heathland and we saw ponies, cattle and foals. I am lucky to live here.”

For more details on The Boltons please visit:

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