For most of us, going to work is necessary and as the pensionable age slowly creeps up, more people will be working longer.
In the light of that, what we do when we are not working will perhaps become even more important, which is where hobbies and interests can take the spotlight.
Whether it’s stamp collecting or mountain climbing, if you’re passionate about something, or even just have a passing curiosity, a special interest can enthuse and invigorate.
It can also bring us into contact with other people, sharing experiences and knowledge.
Combine your favourite hobby with a holiday with Saga's selection of Special Interest trips Find out more here.
Special interest holiday options
The list of things to choose from is exhaustive – history, music, dancing, walking, antiques, bird-watching, gardening… it could go on forever. You can pursue an interest with a friend, join a club or do it by yourself, although that can be a little tricky if you’re just starting out.
One good way to make a start is to go on a ‘special interest’ holiday which provides an opportunity to not only get an overview of the subject, but to enjoy talks, visits and the company of other like-minded people.
Sounds good? It is and we should know, because Saga won the British Travel Awards ‘Best Special Interest Holiday Company –Large’ award in 2016.
Saga Special Interests holidays cover many themes – music, walking, archaeology, art appreciation, antiques, dancing, gardens and birdwatching. Within these categories are yet more choices.
Every 10 years, the small Bavarian village of Oberammergau perform a Passion Play, celebrating the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The first play, held in 1634, came after the village was struck by the bubonic plague, and promised God that if the rest of the village were spared, they would dedicate a play in the name of Christ every 10 years. No more souls were lost and the residents stuck to their word.
The play has been performed every since, in years ending in zero, except for 1940 due to the Second World War.
The cast is made up entirely of residents of the village and you must have been born, lived there for 20 years or been married to a resident for 10 years to be allowed to perform.
Preparations for the 2020 performance have already begun, with male cast members (apart from those playing Romans) now starting to grow their beards.
Register your interest for the 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play Find out more here.
Taking archaeology as an example, you might want to start off with a holiday close to home, perhaps exploring Stonehenge and Ancient Wessex.
This holiday includes three talks from your archaeology host to really bring this historic landscape alive. Alternatively, you could visit the Castles and Railways of North Wales.
If your interest is fired up or you prefer something further away, you could cross the water to see the legendary sights of Pompeii and Ancient Italy.
With talks from an archaeology expert and visits including Herculaneum and the Phlegraean Fields, it may be just the thing to reveal your inner archaeologist!
If you’re passionate about the Romans, there’s a tour of Sicily with its wealth of ancient sites, or if you’re really hooked, you could even set off for Ancient Egypt with its awe-inspiring archaeological sites.
Discover some of Italy's most important archaeological sites Find out more here.
Old things not for you? What about that all-consuming British passion – gardens?
Our Summer Gardens of Dorset holiday explores the gardens of Compton Acres, Minterne House and more, or head north for the Gardens of Yorkshire or Durham.
If you want to combine your passion with some sunshine, the Moorish and Modern Gardens of Spain may be tempting, especially as it includes a visit to the sublime Alhambra Palace and Generalife gardens.
Alternatively discover the Wild Flowers of Crete or Botanical Cyprus and explore native flora in the company of your horticultural host.
You don’t have to be green-fingered to appreciate our garden holidays, as an expert host will be with you every step of the way. Find out more here.
If you like being active, there’s nothing better than putting on your walking boots and stepping out with a group into some beautiful countryside. That’s no problem either.
We’ll take you Walking in the New Forest, when you can discover ancient forest enclosures, tracks and moorland. You can take in the views and clear air of the Dolomites, or explore the alpine scenery of Slovenia with your mountain guide.
Wherever you choose, you’ll be able to put your best foot forward through some wonderful scenery.
Embrace the beauty of the great outdoors on a walking holiday with Saga Find out more here.
Then of course there’s music, which can be so many things – a diversion, a passion, relaxing, uplifting – which is why we have such a full programme of special interest music holidays.
There are concerts by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Classical Season at the Sage, and Welsh National Opera in a world premiere performance of Iain Bell’s new opera ‘In Parenthesis’.
Opera lovers can also take off to the Verona Opera Festival to hear some of the world’s great arias, while baroque fans can celebrate the music of Bach at Bachfest in the stunning Georgian city of Bath.
Enjoy a wider repertoire from the era at the Valletta International Baroque Festival in Malta. From the 17th to the 20th century, we’ve got it covered.
Not just classical!
But it’s not all classical … you can also relax to the Magic of Mantonvani in Bournemouth, enjoy Jazz and Swing in Jersey or Andalusia, or join in with your favourite Gilbert and Sullivan operettas as you cruise the Rhine.
Because a special interest holiday is special to you, we like to make sure that you get the most out of your holiday, so many of our holidays have an expert host,talks and visits to enrich your experience.
Having an interest can be fun and even life changing,so if there’s something you’re interested in, why not take a look at our full range of special interest holidays.
Explore a wide variety of genres and musical eras on a special interest music holiday Find out more here.