STARTING a new romance at a mature age can seem like an impossible challenge.

But a Hampshire couple had a chance to start a new life together and experience the benefit of falling in love at later age.

Robin Stacey and Ann Matheson never expected to fall in love again after they both lost their partners nine years ago.

Since that happened they both moved to retirement development Dilkusha Court in Hayling Island to live out their lives independently but that was the start of something special for them.

The 75-year-old woman was in the garden of the retirement development when she met Robin on a sunny day.

The pair had not spoken much before but they exchanged glances and smile.

Robin said: “I knew from speaking to fellow homeowners at Dilkusha Court that Ann loved to travel, and I guess at the time I was really after a companion. Someone to keep me company at the same time as visiting some new and exciting places. I asked Ann if she would oblige.”

After a little convincing, Ann agreed on a 10-night break to Lake Garda with Robin.

The couple holidayed together and Ann said that it was the best decision she’d ever made.

“It was glorious and like we’d known each other for ages. Robin really was the perfect gentleman,” she said.

It was on their way back to the country that Ann realised that she had started developing feelings for Robin.

“We had a bit of a ‘Titanic moment’ so Robin calls it, where I was staring out to sea from the back of the boat, and Robin quite instinctively, put a gentle arm around me. For the first time in a while I felt safe, I felt happy, and I knew then we’d be together,” she said.

Six months and plenty of dinner dates and holidays later, Ann and Robin decided they would take the plunge and move in together.

They put their apartments up for sale in Hayling Island and decided to relocate to Hamble, where they purchased a one bedroom apartment at McCarthy and Stone’s Folland Court development, a retirement living complex on Hamble Lane.

Robin said: “The whole experience has felt like something out of a movie, and we really have McCarthy and Stone to thank for that. It was truly the best move either of us have ever made.”

The couple now lives together and spends time at their new home, after having found love at a very unexpected time of their life.