Top Ten Retirement Hobbies and Pastimes To Inspire You


Once you have retired it is so important to get involved in new activities and make new friends.

Hobbies play a vital role in filling the void left in your day. Many people will have been waiting years for this moment. They know exactly what they want to do…..make dresses for the grand children or  may be build a radio controlled model plane. Many more people find themselves at a loose end.

I hope that the following brief list will inspire you to take up a hobby. There are an endless number of hobbies, so I have decided to give you a taste of the hobbies you may be interested in with useful links to informative sites.

So here we go……..

Radio Controlled Helicopters

Want to relieve stress, relax and have fun….then flying RC helicopters could be for you. There are two totally different skills required…..making the model….and then flying it.

Model helicopters are not toys, but can be lethal weapons in the wrong hands. You will need to have the technical skill to build and prepare the model, as well as having the patience to fly it safely.

An excellent book to buy if you are just starting out is ‘RC Model Helicopters: A Guide for Beginners’, which is available from Amazon.

Here is a video on how to fly a helicopter indoors  Although this review is 7 years old, the Syma S107-G is still available, which speaks for itself.


Origami means paper folding in Japanese, although the craft originated in China over two thousand years ago. Origami is fun, easy, inexpensive and great for sharing with others. 

This site has videos illustrating how to make a number of attractive origami items.


If you want further inspiration take a look at this Pinterest site.

A great starter book is ‘Easy Origami’ by John Montroll


Apart from a range of special pens and papers, the art of calligraphy does not require many materials. However it does require a lot of dedication, patience and enthusiasm for the art form.

Once you have grasped the basic techniques you literally have a home based business at your finger tips. There is always a demand for beautiful wedding invitations and place names and recording family history is another lucrative opportunity.

Here is a short video introduction to calligraphy 

A good book for those of you beginning calligraphy is ‘Simply Calligraphy: A Beginner’s Guide to Elegant Lettering’

Bird Watching

Bird watching has many benefits….gets you outdoors, is great for meeting people, only requires a small investment and does not need a lot of instruction or equipment. There are many clubs and societies throughout the country which organise talks and outings. The UK is a wonderful place for bird watching as a wide variety of birds migrate in the spring and autumn to their nesting and wintering locations.

Here is a video guide to UK garden birds

The definite guide to British Birds is ‘RSPB Handbook of British Birds’

Papier-Mache Art

This highly creative craft has been around for centuries. Many of today’s antiques are made from papier-mache, although you would not believe it from a first glance.


It is a very cheap hobby, which only uses recycled paper, homemade glue and decorating materials, such as paint, stain or glaze.

I made a papier-mache mobile to hang over a child’s cot (See picture) If I can do it, anyone can do it!

This article tells you how to make a bowl, lampshade and a disco.

Here is a video which shows you how to make a papier-mache fish

Digital Photography

The first thing you have to do is to buy a decent digital camera, which can be upgraded with attachments such as a wide angle lens, telephoto and macro.

Nowadays you can upload as many photos as you like to your computer at no cost, so you can learn from your mistakes.

Joining a photographic club or going to evening classes will accelerate your learning curve.

This website has a huge number of tutorials for beginners.

I would also recommend the following book…a bit pricey but worth it…….

‘A Short Course in Using Your Digital Camera’ by Dennis P Curtin

Electronic Keyboard

Investing in a good piano can be expensive…….a more reasonably priced alternative would be an electronic keyboard.

It will not capture the unique sound of a piano, but a keyboard can be a convenient investment for a beginner, as they are easy to use, affordable and best of all, portable. Another bonus is that they don’t need to be tuned.

Here is a website which introduces you to an electronic keyboard if you are a complete beginner.

If you prefer a book, here are two which we recommend…..

‘How to Play Keyboard. A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners’

’10 Easy Lessons – Learn to Play Keyboard. Book, CD and DVD from LTP Publishing’

Both books are currently available from Amazon. 

Antique Furniture Restoration

This fascinating hobby combines a number of interesting skills and interests….woodwork, painting and history for example.

You can buy old, care worn, dark brown furniture at auctions at rock bottom prices and after giving them some tender love and care, you can sell them on for a nice profit.

All you need is some imagination and several coats of paint to transform the reject into the shabby chic or French country furniture which is in vogue today.

You can watch Thomas Johnson restoring an old oak sideboard in this video

Here are two websites featuring furniture restoration…….

How to Restore Old Wooden Furniture

Creating a French Country Look Effect


If you are creative and have an eye for detail, then jewellery design could be for you. Initially most jewellery designers make gifts for their friends and family, from which it can easily evolve to become a lucrative home business.

You can start very cheaply with simple wire jewellery, before you move on to more complicated pieces featuring precious metals and stones.

An excellent series of videos for those of you starting out on this hobby has been made by the London Jewellery School.

If you prefer a book then you might consider purchasing ‘Jewellery Making: a Complete Course for Beginners by Jinks McGrath’

Wine Tasting

There is more than you might think to drinking and enjoying wine. There are many varieties of grape, which can be grown in different soils and climatic conditions. The grape juice can be mixed with the juice from other grapes, which also radically changes the taste of the wine. So an almost limitless number of different wines can be created.

A wine taster observes the colour, the aroma, the flavour and the sensation of the wine on the palate, from which he can assess the value and quality of the wine. As you can imagine wine tasting is a very sociable hobby, especially when you join a club of like minded individuals!

A guide to tasting for a beginner can be viewed in this video  

A good book on wine tasting is ‘Wine: A Tasting Course’ by Marnie Old

An excellent guide to a huge number of hobbies can be found on this site 

PS We would be most grateful if you left a comment or shared this post. Many thanks. Val and Ian



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