Moving to Scotland(21 Posts)
I am a lone parent of an eight year old girl, living in South East England. After many years of a very diffuclt divorce, I'm looking for a new life and somewhere with acceptable house prices (initially looking to rent, up to £1200 monthly). Always loved Scotland and its people so my questions:
1) From some research, I see many people recommend Edinburgh, Stirling and Perthshire as lovely areas to live - the important thing for us as we won't know anyone is a friendly and welcoming environment, great community as the the neighbours will soon be friends - do places like this still exist??
2) Somewhere where DD won't be bullied for her english accent.
3) Somewhere safe and with low crime rates, children playing together in the area without fear or uncertainty.
4) Sorry if this sounds horrible, but if I'm not honest, I won't receive the right answers... somewhere "middle class", great state schools.
5) Is it true that Scots are much more friendly and open than English people, friendships formed easily?
Thank you in advance.
TimetoMove2 I moved to Edinburgh 5 years ago, and I can say it is a great city. Coming from a Mediterranean country I'm still struggling with the weather
I find Edinburgh very international (maybe because I'm in academia) and a very welcoming city, with the perfect "scale" big enough to offer endless opportunities and small enough to see familiar faces in the street. I also find it very safe, of course there are areas better than other like another city, but my general sense of security is high.
School are also good, and once again, depending where you live some schools have better rankings then other. Houses can be expensive, but for £1200 I think you can rent a nice 3 bedroom flat in a nice area or maybe a semi detached a bit further away from the city centre, but still in a "good" neighbourhood.
The Scottish are very friendly, and I've always felt welcome in this city (and country) despite my obvious accent.
I've been in leisure to other parts of Scotland and they all have their charm.
I belong to Edinburgh but moved to London after uni, met my hubby, married & bought a house there. However we decided to move back to Scotland before starting a family for a number of reasons. Hubby is a cockney but much prefers it here. He works in the financial sector and just found to pressures so different, after 2 redundancies he finds the pace of life so much easier. There is no way he would move back and he still has family (mum, siblings etc) there.
I enjoyed certain aspects of life in the se but yes found it very unfriendly. In the morning when going to work I used to say good morning to our neighbours and was usually either grunted at or ignored. That just doesn't happen where I live now. (This is my experience but I am sure others may say differently).
Edinburgh is certainly not a cheap place to live (although not as expensive as the se. You will find the further away from Edinburgh the cheaper it gets generally. Although Edinburgh has a reasonably diverse population due to university and finance sector so you will find the English accent fairly well accepted.
As a family we love perthshire, very beautiful and peaceful. The best way to decide is to visit and see if it suits. The quieter life doesn't always suit everyone!
Edinburgh is not a city that's known for being friendly tbh, but in my experience it's more that (some) people are quite reserved and might wait to be introduced rather than jumping in and wanting to know all about you.
Having said that, my friend went knocking on all her neighbours' doors to introduce herself when she moved into her flat and found everyone lovely - you might just have to put yourself about a bit more than say, Glasgow which is very friendly (or full of nosey people - take your pick ).
I lived in Edinburgh for 15 years and Glasgow for 20. I love both cities.
Thank you all.
So would you say that it is likley we will soon end up with a good circle of friends if we make sure we are friendly and not reserved?
Also, re Galsgow, I've also heard that it's a very friendly city! :-) Would you say it's more likely that we will have a good community/circle of close friends more easily in Glasgow?
My biggest concern is that we will move, leave lovely friends here and end up desparately lonely and isolated.... also that DD will be bullied for her english accent.
Is Glasgow generally friendly towards the English? I know Edinburgh has a more international population so perhaps easier for all, including English, to fit in?
Ideally, a lovely family orientated area where children can play outside and neighbours pop in for coffee would be lovely!! :-) :-)
Also Perth, have heard really good things about this area. Friendly towards new comers, coffee loving neighbours, good schools?
Can recc Perthshire, particularly Auchterarder, Muthil, Crieff, Comrie areas. Great schools, plenty of out of school activities like brownies, sports clubs etc, community based things (def in Comrie and Muthil), clubs and groups, fitness classes in the village or very close by. Choice of shopping in either Stirling or Perth with easy access to Glasgow and Edinburgh for city centre stuff/culture. Other places that are similar are Thornhill, Gargunnock, Doune, Dunblane (bit bigger with more going on) again all easy access to bigger towns and cities for whatever.
I'm an incomer into Edinburgh. I came from a very friendly part of England. I don't find Edinburgh unfriendly but to me it is a speak if you are spoken to type place.
I found (as I know others have) Edinburgh a difficult place to make friends in, you have to be pro-active and work at it through hobbies and activities. Most of my pals are work colleagues so it is daunting thinking of maternity leave with out my pals around.
Perth / Stirling = cheaper and easier to find a more mixed i.e. non class-ghettoised state school than Edinburgh, also smaller communities so might be friendlier. Downside would be that it would take longer to 'bed in' as the communities there are stable and long-term so you'll be the newcomers for quite a while.
Edinburgh = more expensive and less friendly but has very good state schools if you are happy to rent. As it's just you and DD, you should easily find a 2-bed flat to rent for the price range you mention near the best state schools. Main upside of Edinburgh for you would be that it's more international and there are lots of English people living here so your DD's accent wouldn't be noticeable at all. I know plenty of English people living here who would say that Edinburgh is the easiest Scottish city to be English in, IFSWIM.
Your idea about Scottish people being more friendly than English wouldn't be one that I've come across before, to be honest (Irish, husband is Scottish, East Coast). I find Scottish people on the East Coast, particularly in Edinburgh, to be quite reserved really. I quite like that and it suits my own relatively reserved personality (I found Glaswegians nosey and prone to 'oversharing' when I worked there) but could be an issue if you are looking for a friendly, welcoming environment.
Both dh and I are english, he's lived up here for 30 years, and I have been here 8. In all that time we have never experienced any "anti-english-ness" (well apart from when the world cup was on
We both love Scotland, and have made some very good friends up here. I am sure you will find it so, compared to the south, and you will find that most people will go out of their way to speak to you.
When looking at areas I would look to see where you can work first, then look at commutes. There are lovely parts of Edinburgh, Stirlingshire and Glasgow, but my first concern would be not spending most of the day stuck on the M8/M9/The bypass. £1200 will get you a lovely place to rent, but obviously it will be a lot smaller if you want to be in the heart of Edinburgh, esp the smart areas such as Stockbridge/Morningside.
Do you want to be in a village/city/town?
I am English too and have lots of friends here. I have pre-kids friends and then mummy friends. I have found it no problem to meet people especially since having my son, much easier than when I lived in London.
A lot of people live in flats in Edinburgh, but those aren't conversions but purpose built georgian and victorian flats in the main. Nice large rooms, reasonable soundproofing and a lot have shared gardens, some of which are huge. You do get some houses in central Edinburgh, we live in one, but it is a 3 bed 80s box tucked into an odd corner. If you want houses, and especially older houses with gardens, they tend to be a little further out, though by out we can be talking 20 mins on the bus. My little house in in a close of similar and it is really friendly, a bit like living in the set of Neighbours at times.
Good luck with it all and I hope you find somewhere lovely!
If I was able to move back to Edinburgh then I'd live in Bruntsfield or Marchmont. Flats (unless you're loaded), but big, close to parks, close to the centre and near cafes/things to do for kids/shops.
If you want to live somewhere with a garden and where children play out, have a look at Buckstone, Colinton, Bonaly - I only really know South Edinburgh though.
In Glasgow I live in the West End and love it - similar feel to Bruntsfield I suppose. If I wanted house (and had more money) I might look at Bearsden or Milngavie, or Southside to Newlands.
I've got family who live in Kinbuck near Stirling and say it's very friendly. I also know people who live in Dunblane and would never move. Plus I've got a friend who settled very easily in Perth.
We live in Corstorphine near to the Gyle. We first lived in the Gyle which we loved but we needed a bigger house more in our price range so moved into Corstorphine, which has quite a few schools and various leisure centres and a villagey feel. There is a station at South Gyle and Edinburgh Park for fife, town or Glasgow, good buses into town too. Close to the M8/9 and the A90 and airport. I grew up in chesser and dh grew up in Oxgangs but we're very settled here.
Thank you all for great repsonses. The idea of a little area a little like the neighbours set is so appealing! As there are only the two of us and we know no-one, it would be ideal to find somewhere where interactions between neighbours, especially the children, was the norm - perhaps Glasgow fits this bill more than Edinburgh?
I work in property development, so my job is from home, so no concerns re commute.
It's so comforting to find so many English people have settled in so well with no problems.
I know Glasgow had a terrible reputation in the 80's and 90's but am I right in thinking this has changed? Crime rates decreased and much regeneration?
PamSco, I'm curious, where in England did you live where it was really friendly? I know there are lovely areas here too, but everyone keeps me telling me South East is not as friendly as further North?
There are some lovely parts of Glasgow... milgavie/bearsden/newton means/Thornton hall. All very desirable.
As I said, I've lived herer 7 years, never had single problem.
Glasgow does have a problem with violent crime/drug crime but I can honestly say that if you're paying £1200 a month rent (or even half that) it won't affect you.
It's a big city and the problems are connected with poverty & deprivation, and confined to those areas that have been blighted by poverty and deprivation. It's not something that should be swept under the carpet, but it's also not something that touches the lives of the vast majority of residents.
I live a mile from the city centre and have never had any bad experiences. It's likely you're going to get caught in the cross fire of a gangland shoot out in Milngavie or Hyndland or Clarkston...
Ha! That should read not likely
(pmsl at a shoot out in Milngavie - Ladies who lunch, handbags at dawn )
Bluntly, if it's middle class with an English accent, don't move to Glasgow.
I grew up in the SE of England - London, Essex, Kent, Sussex, Cotswolds - and the 'middle class' is completely different. There isn't the same thing in Scotland, not worse, not better, just very different, the middle class is much less dominant. I say this because you've asked honestly for advice in this area!
If I were you I'd start out in Edinburgh and see how you feel. Edinburgh has some good state schools and competitively priced day independent if you can afford that.
Time I am a Northerner. Not wanting to give my full back story on t'internet.
I'd agree with Lemon Edinburgh seems to fit your bill more. Nothing against any other area at all I've lived north, mid and west in Scotland and I think (imo) the nature of Edinburgh is easier for English.
Meant to add, people say Edinburgh is unfriendly but it's not true. It's very easy to get around in Edinburgh and that helps it not to feel like a lonely place. If you do decide to move I'm sure you'll feel connected quite quickly. And MNers will help you!
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