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Planning Retirement Online

Hobbies and Interests in later life

If you have some time on your hands, you may be thinking about taking up a new hobby or developing an existing interest further.

This page has been superseded by our Hobbies and Interests section which covers a wide selection of Hobbies including Physical Activities and Sport, Mind Games, Creative Hobbies and The Great Outdoors.

However, this page still provides a useful list of Hobbies and Interests, covering both popular and more unusual hobbies. To find out more simply click on the links that interest you. We've also selected books and magazines that may be of interest - click on the image to see more details.

If you have a particular Hobby or Interest and would like to research and write about it on the web, take a look at our Associate scheme.

Take a look at our separate Arts and Crafts section too.



A good all round site for anyone thinking of expanding their aquarium or just starting out is the UK Fish Keeping association, a directory of National associations,  importers, retailers and web based clubs.





Take a look at our wonderful Art Masterclass section

Astronomy offers a diary of celestial events so that you can plan your gazing with ease, even without the equipment. However, if you do want to get the full kit try BeaconHill Telescopes . As one of the UK’s leading suppliers, they offer a large selection and low prices (delivery by arrangement).  


English Bridge Union. The only word to describe the English Bridge Union site is … exhaustive. This is definitely the site for an experienced player thinking of entering tournaments who wants to know the exact rules (Laws and Ethics) of Bridge. A rather easier site for someone wishing to pick up the game as a hobby is Card Games, which tells you the rules of play for Rubber, Duplicate, and Chicago Bridge. You can also visit the Card Games homepage for information on other card games.


Collecting & Antiques


The Collectors' Club of Great Britain has the most complete listing on collectors' clubs. Using the search facility is easy - just click on the letter you want to search and check the listings for clubs.



You can find plenty of crosswords of all standards on the web and many other puzzles, too. A good starting point is The Crossword Directory which provides puzzles and forums. If you are looking for help in solving a puzzle try One Across which provides suggestions. Maybe you want to develop your own crosswords; you might like to review special software available at Crossword Compiler.

Digital Photography

Scanners are now available for less than 100 and digital cameras delivering almost photographic quality are now at affordable prices.
Digital photography provides some unique benefits: an instant review of your pictures, the ability to edit them on your PC and the capability of publishing them on the web or emailing them to friends and relations. To learn more about all aspects of digital photography visit Digital Photography Courses which provides concise explanation of products and techniques. Armed with this information you can review the latest cameras available at Image Acquire




The Where to Fish Directory as its name suggests is devoted to finding the best fishing spots worldwide, for all different kinds of fishing.




A great idea if you have time, is to invest some of it in making your garden something to be very proud of indeed. The Garden boasts an impressive list of services: hints and tips in the Shed, a retail and wholesale directory in the Nursery, and information on gardening services and products in Services. The Shed page contains not only tips but links to other gardening sites and a directory of gardens you can visit.

Also take a look at our regular Gardener's Diary written by Rosemary martin. is really a one stop gardening website for all your needs. It has the latest gardening news, shows to visit, articles, stories and information about the gardening personalities, clubs, weather reports, questions and answers, tips, screensavers, shop etc. etc. There is enough reading here for a whole wet summer!

To enjoy your garden to the full you might need somewhere to view it from - Alexander Rose offers a wide range of garden furniture and complementary products. From the site you can order a catalogue and locate the nearest store to you.


Genealogy, the study of your family history, is one of the most popular uses of the web.

As this is such a popular subject, especially in later life, we've put together some information and resources to help you in our Genealogy and family trees section covering tips for getting started, searching, family tree software, useful resources and articles.


wpeB.jpg (5645 bytes) Can analysis of someone’s handwriting really indicate their personality? Graphology has become increasingly popular as a partial selection method for jobs, but it is also an interesting hobby and relatively easy to learn. Have a look at Handwriting Analysis . The purpose of this web page is to promote awareness, understanding, and support for handwriting analysis and to provide a central source of information about handwriting analysis. The presentation of this information is balanced and representative of accepted principles. This page has been developed by a group of graphological organizations which are listed on site. Links are supplied to other related web sites which may be of interest. BIG is the British Institute of Graphology homepage. It contains information about tuition and also helpful links.


Medieval History.jpg (4280 bytes)If you are interested in Medieval History then it is well worth taking a look at There is an article by Arthur and Elizabeth Jordan as a result of their interest in the topic. They now lead groups on regular visits to places of interest in different parts of the country. You can see the schedule of these visits on the site and get involved yourself.

Home Brewing

If you have ever fancied being an amateur brewer then Tom and Vince's Homebrew Pages is a great, friendly site to start out from. The pages are designed to help you learn the basics of home brewing, as well as advanced skills and how to produce top quality homebrew. The site has links to many other sites which cover different aspects, but there should be all you need to know right here with Tom and Vince. They have lists of suppliers of the kind of equipment you will need as well as details of books which cover this topic.

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Why not learn juggling? Not only can you amuse and astound your friends, but it’s also great for improving co-ordination and balance. Juggling is the main site for jugglers on the net. It has listings for clubs and societies, events, magazines and software. Most importantly it has lessons on how to juggle clubs, balls ,hoops, and anything else you can think of. The lessons have illustrations and are easy to follow, and there are online catalogues for you to order from.



kiteworld is the home of kite flying on the net. It has everything for the kite enthusiast.  The Kite Society will provide you with some hints and tips about flying kites.




wpeE.jpg (7576 bytes)Scale Modeling Central is a good starting point if you are interested in scale modelling. The site covers equipment, techniques, buying tips, and detailing at both beginner and intermediates levels. It also contains product reviews, feature articles, FAQ’s, and links to related sites.

Hobbies (Dereham) Limited are based in central Norfolk, East Anglia, UK and supply a vast range of toys and model making equipment worldwide through the famous 'Hobbies Handbook'. A quality mail order service, this business has been supplying model and toy makers worldwide for over 100 years. You can order any product from their site: Hobbies (Dereham) Ltd, or from the Handbook here where you can see a range of examples.



This is an unusual hobby, but very satisfying for the creative type. Stayfree gives details of how to design and produce your own puppets and stages in different styles, as well as links to other useful sites and how to book this group for shows.




Amateur radio allows millions worldwide to communicate with each other. Radio amateurs even have their own satellites and can transmit TV pictures from their own homes. The RSGB is the UK's internationally recognised national society for all radio amateurs. Click here to find out more about this exciting hobby.


Do you have the urge to write a novel, short stories or poems? Perhaps you have always wanted to try your hand at journalism. The web is a major source of advice on writing and research resources.

Visit the Writers' Exchange for extensive links to other writing sites and a writing community for sharing ideas.

 If you fancy writing mysteries The Mystery Writers' Forum provides information on forensics, poisons, guns and other topics that will help you get your facts right!

Writing for the web itself is now a major activity and the Trace Project, run by Nottingham University, focuses on on-line writing. There is a structured site tour to take you through the facilities which include writing communities, competitions, conferences and on-line discussions.

Perhaps you are already writing and want to know more about publishing. Have a look at Dan Poynter’s Para Publishing. This gives guidance on every aspect of publishing, including self publishing.

Maybe a course is required to develop your writing talents. The Arvon Foundation runs inexpensive one week residential writing courses at inspiring locations in Devon, Yorkshire and Scotland. Courses include fiction and travel writing, poetry and writing for radio and screen.

Also take a look at one of our past features HOW TO GET YOURSELF PUBLISHED ON THE NET which describes how Carla Ledbetter became a best-selling author through electronic book publishing. In it she provides a useful checklist of how to go about it.

If you haven't found what you want above, take a look at our Hobbies and Interest section, the Sports and activities section, the Arts and Crafts section or go to Amazon where you will be certain to find a book on the hobby or interest of your choice   

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