It's interesting about the "dream" of living in the older homes, versus the reality of the issues one may encounter. It seems you have the perfect compromise in a modern home, built to fit in with the historic village. Congrats!
I would caution against assuming that access to the National Health Service, on the same terms as for the rest of us, is automatic, or even easy, for new arrivals. In recent years there have been a number of changes in rules and procedures to guard against "health tourism", including financial and administrative penalties for NHS organisations not being thorough enough in checking eligibility. Plus, as in other countries, idyllic-looking rural areas are not necessarily best-served with facilities (case in point).
Some careful research into the latest rules is required (and probably additional private insurance):
We moved here as Irish citizens, so had the right to live here and be on the health system. There is a “special relationship” between the UK and Ireland. We became UK citizens after we moved here based on my mother being a UK citizen. The article doesn’t make that clear. Patrick is right, not everyone can move here and not everyone can go on the NHS.
Next year I am old enough to go on Medicare in the US, but if we had stayed in the US I would have been paying for private health insurance for ten extra years.
My husband's maternal grandparents were born in County Armagh, Northern Ireland; migrated to the US; and never became US citizens. We considered getting his Irish citizenship especially during the current political climate here in the US. Besides, we really, really like being/iving in Europe. We also considered just getting a resident visa as retired americans. Financially we can do it. But mom is nearly 89, lives nearby, and I feel responsible for her well-being.
We are still considering..... How hard is it do so? Will one option be easier than the other?
You are not automatically an Irish citizen if you were born on the island of Ireland. You may be entitled to Irish citizenship if your parent(s) or grandparents were Irish. You may be entitled to Irish citizenship if you were born outside of Ireland, but you may need to register your birth.