John and Zoe Shankley, share details of their new adventure with Brio

“We found exactly what we were looking for at Landale Court – before we even knew what we were looking for!”

Contemplating a house move when newly retired is something many people do, although longstanding ties to a family home can often put such thoughts off until later in life - but not for John and Zoe Shankley. Admittedly, making a fresh start early in their retirement wasn’t an easy decision, but this spritely pair are now thrilled to have made the move.

Here, the couple share details of their new adventure as they settle in to the beautiful Landale Court development in Chapelton on the stunning Aberdeenshire coastline.

Their excitement at what the future holds is clear to see…

Born and bred in Stonehaven, Zoe, 63, spent her career in procurement while John, 70, worked in the oil industry. With their joint love and knowledge of the area, a house move locally may not feel like a big upheaval to some, but deciding to move from a detached bungalow - their home for thirty years, wasn’t a decision they took lightly.

“Obviously our family home held a host of memories, but it was situated on a substantial plot which had become increasingly difficult to maintain,” explains Zoe. “We’d dabbled with the idea of downsizing but hadn’t made a firm decision either way until we popped along to an open day at Landale Court, and then, as they say, the rest is history!”

The couple opted for a two-bedroom apartment with a Juliette balcony and moved into their new property at the end of summer. John adds: “We always said we’d make the move if the right property ever came up but hadn’t taken the leap to proactively look. Back in February we attended an open day at Landale Court – mainly for a nosey around if anything – and we instantly fell in love with the views, the location and the warm welcome at Landale Court.”

“It does sound funny”, Zoe laughs, “but we found exactly what we were looking for here, before we even knew what we were looking for! Obviously, it was quite an upheaval to move from our family home, and we had to do a big clear-out, but we also saw it as an opportunity to start afresh and buy new things for our new home. Thankfully the sale of our house went smoothly and everything fell into place. Overall, it’s been an exciting time for us – we couldn’t have wished to move to a more perfect place.”

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Alongside knowing the area well, John and Zoe raised their two daughters in Stonehaven, and are fortunate that they still live close by.

“We also have three grandchildren, so it was important to us that we didn’t move away from the area. We wanted to remain close to our family and friends.” Zoe adds “Lifestyle-wise, this is a new adventure for us both and Landale Court is fabulous in that we can be as sociable or as private as we choose. There’s lots going on to join in with and the facilities here are second to none. In the short time we’ve been living here we’re already making great use of the onsite gym, enjoyed coffee mornings, an Indian food themed event, attended a wreath making workshop, explored the area on many a walk and enjoyed the lovely little cafe just down the road.

“It’s also lovely that the area of Chapelton is so multi-generational – there are people in the same boat as us and young families too, there’s such a nice mix in the community that it already feels so homely. The area really does have the perfect balance – you’d never be lonely here but equally it offers private space if you want to enjoy some quiet time. It’s just idyllic!”

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Zoe and John have also been making the most of the bistro at Landale Court - Slate and Grain. John added: “It’s lovely to have a bistro onsite and we were thrilled to learn that Slate and Grain offers a private dining area too. It’s perfect to hold gatherings for special occasions so we hope to make use of that soon - especially with the festive season in the not-to-distant future.

“We’re really looking forward to wintertime here, our apartment has such wonderful views and being warm and cosy inside our beautiful home during the winter nights will be lovely. We may have moved from a larger property, but our apartment is extremely spacious and perfectly caters all our needs. We must say thank you to the fabulous team here at Landale Court – everyone who works here is so supportive, there’s always a friendly face around and someone to chat to. Ultimately our home feels safe, secure and the finish-quality is excellent. As we head into our journey of retirement together, we genuinely couldn’t wish to live in a better place.”

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