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Move to Scotland

(21 Posts)
TimeToMove2 Wed 20-Jul-11 18:22:43

Dear all,

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 - however, Galsgow comes up time and again as the friendliest place. 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. Glasgow had a bad reputation in 80's and 90's but is it true this has changed significantly?

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.

letsgetloud Wed 20-Jul-11 21:27:01

Hi there,

Yes Glasgow is a lovely place to live. Don't believe the rumours.

I am not putting Glasgow down but I have had family up from London before who have commented that Glasgow makes them feel a bit claustrophobic. I also have family who have moved from Glasgow (lived here all there days) to down south and have said how they love the space etc. you get down south. ie. Houses as opposed to tenements.

Saying that though there are some lovely area's of Glasgow which are more appealing to the eye.

I lived away from Glasgow for 5 years (in the northwest) and moved back a year ago. I now live in East Renfrewshire in Glasgow. It covers areas like Newton Mearns, Clarkston, Giffnock. (East Renfrewshire is the council name and it covers areas in the south of Glasgow).

My dd1 started school at 7 back here with an english accent. Like you I was concerned about bullying but she was absolutely fine and none of the kids seemed to bat an eyelid. I had moved back to Glasgow as a child and was bullied for having an english accent so I was greatfull to see that times have changed.

Glasgow is also very multi cultural now. This has maybe helped my daughter settle in without any problems.

My neighbours are lovely and friendly, I have now lived at two addresses in East Ren and they have all been lovely. If anything every happened I would not have second thought about approaching them for help. When new people have moved into our street they have come and introduced themselves etc.

The above areas that I have mentioned are middle class areas (apart from me and my lot!) with low crime rate and excellent schools.

You will easily find a lovely house for rent for that amount a month. Probably a bit less.

There are other nice areas like Bearsden, Bishopbriggs, the west end of Glasgow and probably loads of areas in the south of Glasgow but the schools with the best league results are in East Renfrewshire.

I am sure there will be others along soon to tell you about the other area's you should consider.

Sorry I appear to have written a book blush

bourneout Wed 20-Jul-11 21:37:35

Hi there. We moved up last year to the West End of Glasgow, fwiw my responses to your questions are...

1) Round here there is quite a community spirit, my DP describes it as "a village". Most of my immediate neighbours are a bit strange - so I am not that keen to be friends - but I do know most of them to a greater or lesser degree - and they do generally say hi etc (apart from the very strange woman downstairs and the students across the way)

2) I'd be surprised if your DD got bullied if you moved to the West End . It is very cosmopolitan particularly as the Uni attracts a lot of international lecturers, students etc. Also there are a lot of international mums (and some dads) who have married Glasgwegians and settled here. That said - someone with kids the same age as yours might be able to confirm for sure if it's likely to be a problem.

3) Round here is pretty safe I think. Kids generally play nicely together in the many parks. Think this is probably also true of the nice bits of the South side - and posh suburban areas like Bearsden. But there are parts of the city (east end, Govan, Gorbals) which I think are definitely unsafe - and personally I would feel much more uneasy there than I would in rough bits of London. Not sure why I feel like that. There is still a lot of knife crime, football violence around Old Firm games (Rangers -v- Celtic) - and I was horrified to discover they still have Orange marches here. The sectarianism is particularly unpleasant and probably worse in Glasgow than anywhere else in Scotland. Although I hardly ever go there I think the centre of town can be a bit lairy at night - but probably no worse than any other big city.

4) See answer 3 above! Nice areas are West End, South Side (Pollockshaws etc) Bearsden, Milngavie - and related areas. Probably are some further afield but I don't really know them. I think they all have reasonably good schools.

5) mmm. I wouldn't say so especially. People are nice, easy to make mum friends at school etc - but most of my closer friendships are with people who are english or from overseas. Not to malign the scots (my DP is one!) but I think lots of people here already have established friendships/family - so have less need to make friends than people do in, say, London. That said, DD is going to have 4 play dates this week - all with friends within walking distance so it's not as though we've had problems settling in. And people in shops/library/cafe are generally keen to have a chat.

A few more thoughts (sorry this is turning into such an essay!)

1. Don't underestimate how different the weather is! Winters are long, usually wet and very cold. Summers are shorter - and often also wet! It has really bothered me much more than I thought it would.

2. The economy is much more depressed than the rest of the UK. If you need to work find a job before you move. Although things are improving there really aren't many jobs around at the moment.

3. Although it's not a problem round here - there is a nasty anti-english feeling held by lots of Scots for various reasons. I only really found out about it when I worked for a while in a role where people could express how they felt anonymously - and it was quite shocking - and depressing.

4. If I were you, I would seriously look at the West End - as it's probably the easiest to integrate into. There are nice museums, lots of social groups, nice cafes etc.

I could go on for ages ... but then you'd probably be asleep!

MrsGerardButler Wed 20-Jul-11 21:37:40

Have a look at Helensburgh and Cardross and the surrounding areas. Helensburgh has good state schools and a very good private school. It also has a large English population due to the local naval base, so there's no English-bashing going on.

Average rents for a large 3 bed detached house are about £650-£750, so you'd get a lot of house for your money up here.

letsgetloud Wed 20-Jul-11 22:07:09

I agree with bourneout about the anti english feeling but feel like secteranism it is only really prevelent in certain areas of Glasgow.

In the more 'middle class' areas there tends to have been more mobility therefore people have moved about/lived elsewhere and have a bigger/wider perspective on things. They also have empathy toward people new to the area, as quite a few have experienced it.

I have experienced racism from both sides.

I moved back to Maryhill in Glasgow as a child with an english accent and was horrifically bullied for being English. Bullying wasnt taken as seriously back 32 years ago.

When living in the northwest of England I had people tell me that all Scotts are mean, that we are bleeding them all dry because we receive so much more money than the english etc. My daughter started school with a scottish accent down there and was bullied for her accent. Thankfully the school acted on it straight away.

Whereas no one in her new school in Scotland ever teased her or mean to her over her english accent. Her accent was clearly english and has only now (after a year) started getting a scottish twang.

Oh yes and the weather it is most definately wetter. I even noticed the difference between just the north of england and scotland.

Hope this hasn't put you off Glasgow. People are friendly and nice. At least I am wink

annasofmum Thu 21-Jul-11 11:12:25

Hi, looking to move from edinburgh to the bearsden/milngavie area. Anyone have advice on the primary and secondary schools in the area? Have 3 and 1 year old daughters.
Many thanks

TimeToMove2 Thu 21-Jul-11 12:54:11

Thank you for your great responses - it's so lovely to get such detailed advise and very kind of you to take the time!

I'm in such turmoil about what to do really... I have always loved Scotland but then get comments from people here saying to beware it's more "rough", "bad economy", "less safe for a mother and daughter on their own", "lots of beggars on streets" etc. and put the fear of god into me!!

I work from home so no probs in terms of work, thankfully.

Ungratefulchild Thu 21-Jul-11 13:06:50

I moved from London to Glasgow 16 years ago (although I am from another part of Scotland originally). I found it to be an amazingly friendly place compared to London, quite disconcerting at first as people chatted to me on the street.

Glasgow has really improved in the years that I've been here and its got a fabulous and varied cultural vibe. There are lots of great areas and reasonable schools. I live on the Southside and think it is probably one of the best places to live in Britain in terms of amenities. The other great thing about this city is that you are only 2 hrs away from total and complete wilderness smile

weegiemum Thu 21-Jul-11 13:09:35

I moved from very rural NW Scotland to Glasgow 5 years ago. We live Glasgow Southside (Pollokshields/Shawlands) and rent a 3 bed house (not a very classy one) for £750. The area is fab. The schools are good. Its 8 mins into town on the train, people are friendly, we live in a culturally mixed area so no worries with being "English" I would have thought, though you would be amazed at how fast my childrens' gorgeous west-highland lilt turned into something off Taggart - they drink "mulk" and "ginger" (fizzy pop) and love to eat "chups". They also ask for "they" things - "pass me they pens, mum!"

The people who are trying to put you off don't know what they are talking about. For me, when we went to London last year, I couldn't get over the number of beggars on the streets! And here, the drunks are friendly too!!

And there are some fabulous Glasgow mumsnetters!

Ungratefulchild Thu 21-Jul-11 13:20:03

Oh where did you come from weegiemum? I would like to do your move in reverse. I've been trying to move to coigach/assynt for years but theres a real lack of property for sale and jobs in my field.

weegiemum Thu 21-Jul-11 21:11:48

Outer Hebrides! Not a lot of career choice there outside Stornoway. The common joke is that if you don't need a home help you are one!

Ungratefulchild Fri 22-Jul-11 17:18:47

Thats quite a move weegiemum. Do your kids go to the gaelic school?

dawn85 Mon 25-Jul-11 21:05:23

HI I came to glasgow to go to uni and am still here 11 yrs later. Ive lived all over but now live in clarkston which has some of the best rated schools in scotland. The amenities are great, theres a great choice of shops and parks. My husband works offshore and i always feel safe here on my own. The people in glasgow are very friendly. Good luck.

NormanTebbit Mon 25-Jul-11 21:22:27

Another vote for the West End of Glasgow - I too am from south east England but have found people very friendly and a community spirit. You just have to be streetwise as you would be in the south.

I feel very lucky to live here, it's lovely and green, cosmopolitan, there are artists, musicians, actors and students doing interesting stuff among the more everyday things.

I hate the filth though - the amount of broken glass, dog shit and rubbish on the streets is a disgrace.

rainbowtoenails Mon 25-Jul-11 21:50:27

Id say the west end if you want more urban but dont mind flat living, Clarkston if top schools in the suburbs is more your thing.
1250pcm will rent you a palace here, if i had that kind of cash id buy or pay for private school (remember there are no grammars or state selective schools up here)

bourneout Tue 26-Jul-11 06:13:27

I agree with NormanTebbit about the filth. It's seem to have got worse over the last couple of years. I am going to start complain to the council about it. And the roads and pavements have become awful recently too.

NormanTebbit - fancy joining a campaign? <only half joking>

lillybloom Mon 08-Aug-11 13:32:12

Another vote for East Ren here. I love it. excellent schools and good transport links

prettybird Tue 09-Aug-11 11:24:36

I love Pollokshields. Streets are clean where I am! smile

In fact, dh complained last week that the street cleaner came along the pavements on the day that both the blue bins and the purple bins were on the (wide) pavements, so had to weave its way around them.

skrumle Tue 09-Aug-11 11:34:29

£1200 pcm would get you a luxury 4-bed detached house just about anywhere outside of prime west end glasgow!

helensburgh has a lot of english people living in it, both navy and people who have retired here so there is very little anti-english sentiment. milngavie and bearsden would also tick the "middle-class" box as would the east renfrewshire areas suggested.

do you want to live in a city or would you be happy in a town? if you want the city then i would definitely stick with the west end - hyndland/jordanhill/kirklee areas.

weegiemum Tue 09-Aug-11 11:39:08

Ungrateful child - yes they do, all of them. All fluent in a language that I can't speak! I'm most impressed with the place.

Ginswizzler Mon 22-Aug-11 13:22:19

I grew up in Helensburgh and went to the local school with an English accent and had no problems as lots of the kids are naval and therefore English or with English parents. We're near Milngavie now and it's lovely, with easy access to west end and city, so much easier than H/burgh to find jobs and with very good local schools.
We're in the process of moving down south for work though, i would rent for a couple of years to see how you feel about the winter and economic climate.

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