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Moving to the Scottish Borders

(34 Posts)
TrickeyT Thu 10-Jan-13 14:09:18

Hi, we are looking to move to the Scottish Borders...hopefully this year! I have two children, a daughter of 8 and a son of 12. We are all excited about the move and have talked to some of the schools who have assured me they are all very good. However I want to get an idea about where is great to live. We don't really have a preference at the moment. My husband will have to commute to Edinburgh a couple of days a week but the rest of the time he will work from home.

Any advice both positive and negative would be gratefully appreciated!

Spicedrummum Sun 13-Jan-13 15:20:18

Hi there - I've lived in the Borders all of my life having grown up in Jedburgh and moved to a wee village called Ancrum nine years ago. My husband travels to Edinburgh three days a week and it usually takes him just over an hour then he parks outwith the pay parking zone and walks to work in Queen Street, which takes him around 20 minutes.
Ancrum is a lovely wee village although we are looking at a move back to Jedburgh now that my eldest (also 12) has started secondary school. The village primary here only goes up to P5 but is a wonderful start for kids and my youngest (8) will finish there even if we move out of the village. Children then move in to Parkside Primary in Jedburgh (approx 3 miles away) for P6 and 7 (the village school shares a head teacher with Parkside so continuity is not a problem). Then they move on to Jedburgh Grammar.
Jedburgh is a lovely place to live (conveniently situated on the A68 making commuting very easy). Depending on what sort of house you are looking for there are a mixed range and you can check out for local listings. It's a very picturesque town with an abbey, castle and many other historic sites, as well as a good range of local shops and amenities. I work in Galashiels which is about 16 miles away and has lots of larger shops like Next, Asda, Tesco, Matalan etc. Trains will run from Edinburgh to Galashiels in 2014 after a 30 year gap, which will mean far better transport links to the rest of Scotland.
Please do ask me any questions and I can try to help if you have something specific you would like to ask. Oh, and we will be selling our three-bed semi come the spring if you are interested lol!

Yvonneprintemps Sun 27-Jan-13 12:39:07

I think you would like Melrose. It is a very pretty town with lovely shops and the beautiful Eildon hills next to it. The primary school is good and it is in the catchment for Earlston High School, which is excellent. Melrose has the pretty villages of Gattonside, Darnick and Newstead within walking distance. It is on the Tweed, which is always beautiful, and is fab for dig walking! There is a hospital. The people are lovely, there are loads of parents moving into the area all the time. I have four children who all enjoy the outdoorsy lifestyle and if you like sport there are lots of opportunities. There is a good youth theatre group too. The trains will stop one mile away when they come. St Boswells nearby has the best bookshop/cafe and all the local towns have interesting shops and museums. So do move to Melrose because it is fantastic!

Yvonneprintemps Sun 27-Jan-13 12:39:46

Oops, dog walking not dig walking

areluctantborderer Thu 31-Jan-13 10:32:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

areluctantborderer Thu 31-Jan-13 10:37:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yvonneprintemps Thu 31-Jan-13 18:30:17

I still think Melrose is really nice. It's not all about money, it's also all about the fab junk shops and there are loads of artists and craftspeople. There are lots of different people and it is nice to meet people from all over the world. The primary school is ok and my children have lots of nice friends there and are happy. My son gets a lot of support from the staff. I don't see people leaving in droves. So please don't be put off. I think this area is fascinating and draws you in. We are much happier than we were in Fife. So don't be scared off smile

TeaForFive Thu 31-Jan-13 21:34:48

Well we moved here about eight years ago and have no regrets! Anywhere can be cliquey of course and the only thing I really complain about is the lack of local jobs. Have you looked at Tweeddale area, Peebles and Innerleithen? I think the number of new houses built in this area mean that the "outsider" feeling is less apparent, especially if you get involved in what is going on in the town.

BorderBiddy Thu 31-Jan-13 22:28:30

Wow! Please don't be put off moving to the Borders and to Melrose in particular.

We moved here 7 years ago and have never looked back. Melrose has a great school and my son is now at Earlston which is an excellent high school - he loves it. The kids go by bus. I have 2 boys and they love the sport opportunities here, outdoors things and the fantastic animal and bird life. Because of the hospital, there are a lot of people of different backgrounds. I am sure there are some ghastly and aspirational people here as everywhere else! But much less peer pressure on children than a school in the south of England or Cheshire where we lived before. I would say go for it...but get in before the railway while the house prices are still cheap.

I commute to Edinburgh 3 days and that extra bit from Jed would make a big difference to takes an hour door to door. Very much depends on which bit of Edin the job is though. Commute to Edin west is a lot easier from Peebles which is also really nice and good schools. But all the Border towns have a lot of character...Selkirk is also a possibility for commute. Hawick and Kelso probably out of range but grand places to live! Enjoy! Scottish Borders Council website has a lot of useful information here

areluctantborderer Sun 03-Feb-13 00:39:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

worz42 Sun 03-Feb-13 13:46:43

I am recently widowed & have 2 boys 5 & 14. I am thinking of moving from the Scottish Highlands to the borders somewhere to be closer to family who live in Edinburgh & musselburgh.
My eldest son is very into mountain biking & bmxing(?) & we would like to live in a nice community where we would be able to make new friends etc.
Obviously schools are a priority too. I don't like crowds & would prefer to live in a quieter location
Can anyone suggest family freindly community places to live?

Yvonneprintemps Mon 04-Feb-13 09:11:22

The Peebles area might be good. I don't know what it is like to live in but the town is pretty, the high school is good, it has a theatre and it is near Glentress, where there is a big mountain biking scene. Innerleithen is even closer, no idea what living there is like but the school children cleik the devil once a year in a big ceremony! It is close to the biking trails and to Traquair House where they put on events throughout the year.

areluctantborderer Tue 05-Feb-13 08:15:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lorraigil Thu 28-Feb-13 19:26:11

Wow- I have never commented on a thread before but had to join just to comment on this one as I was soooooo shocked.
I have lived in London and Manchester for 12 years and moved to the Scottish borders with my hubbie and 2 year old. I have greatly enjoyed living here for the past 2 years and had no such problems as the previous comments.
It is what you make of it , and not everyone had the same bad experiences. It's lovely to live somewhere where your local shop keepers make the effort to smile and say hello.
The only thing I found hilarious is the lack of advertising and websites to tell propel what's on and where. They seem to just assume people know.
But get talking to people and you soon find your way around. I live in duns which is a little out of the way and an hours commute across the hills to edinburgh, but I had found as a family, this to be an extremely positive and happy move and living in the sticks makes you realise what's important in life.
Definatly come to the borders x

bordersbred Sun 31-Mar-13 15:27:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bordersbred Mon 01-Apr-13 11:20:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crocodile4 Mon 08-Apr-13 12:02:09

I have to totally AGREE with the reluctantborderer, she is absolutely correct in all ways. The local primary school is the MOST unfriendly and insular place I was reduced to tears by their awful attitudes and aye been mentality. The WORST are the rugby club, steer clear. A very beautiful place but full of cliquey people who have never lived anywhere else and dangerously old fashioned and sexist men.People seem to think the local primary is good but go and read the HMI report- not good.If you are happy with your own company then you will be fine but just do not expect to make any friends easily- if you do find like minded people they are usually from elsewhere- also there is NOTHING to do in the evenings apart from two or three restaurants, so forget an interesting social life.Oh and tell your children to speak in Borders accent at all times or else they will be mercilessly teased by the other charming Borders children, very distressing for everyone. I would recommend Peebles or Edinburgh! No apologies for my negativity as it is all based on truth.

Rebbot86 Tue 14-May-13 10:44:03

Just been reading through this post with much interest. We moved up to Edinburgh from Norfolk in November and are now making the move to Peebles. Should i be worried about our 5 year old boy being bullied because he doesn't have a Scottish accent?

Yvonneprintemps Thu 16-May-13 17:08:28


I don't live in Peebles but I have lived in Fife and I now live in Melrose and my children have never experienced this. In both places there were parents from England, Canada, Australia, the US, Germany, Ireland, India, Brazil, Austria.... The list goes on. We have people from Norfolk just round the corner!smile. This means that the children all have different accents too. Don't be worried, the Borders are lovely and Peebles is really nice (really good deli!) and our whole family really enjoys it here. So nice to be in the countryside, so much to do and see and you'll have the Eastgate Theatre too. Don't be put off please!

wanttocomebacktouk Thu 13-Jun-13 07:57:25

Hello, we've been living overseas in Oman, Middle East for over 7 years, before that in Edinburgh for 16 years. Been keen to buy a house in the Borders for about the past 10 years and now actively househunting since last October. Our 3 kids are currently primary age, eldest 9, but by the time we actually move back quite likely at least one will be of secondary age. Heard mixed reports about Borders secondary schools. Heard consistently good reports of Earlston but the catchment looks limiting and all the houses I like are well outside the catchment. Where else is good for secondary education? Heard good things about Selkirk secondary school (from those selling houses) heard bad things about Jedburgh and Hawick heard nothing about Kelso and mixed reviews about Duns secondary school. Some impartial advice would be a great help. Keen to buy no more than an hour and 10 from Edinburgh (in ordinary traffic). Prefer to be central borders rather than West or East. What is life like in Duns, Kelso, Jedburgh, Selkirk? I've heard stories of people feeling like outsiders in the Borders but also heard lots of positive stuff and met lots of friendly people on my househunting trips. Will former expat kids get bullied at any school because of how they sound / where they have come from? Our school (900+ kids ranging from 3 to 18 years) here in Oman is racially and culturally very mixed and there is no issue about your name or your accent being different or where you have come from and fitting in as everyone is so very different and there is a high turnover every year as people change jobs so there are always lots of new kids coming to our school and sadly lots leaving every year. I have read all the threads on this discussion page and sad to read the bad stuff. I have heard the same about Melrose and the Borders in general but also heard very positive things from other sources. Some feedback would be hugely appreciated as I feel like I am going round in circles trying to find a house we like in a 'good' spot when we don't know the area very well and we receive very mixed and often conflicting advice.

Yvonneprintemps Sun 23-Jun-13 11:29:56

This is a conversation we have often, but we don't know anything about the other schools. I must say, though, that I really like Duns. It has a great range of independent shops including a deli, a boutique tea shop and the friendliest Thai cafe ever. It's attractive and house prices are reasonable. Also you have great rivers to play in and Coldingham is a fantastic beach, it's like being in Cornwall. I would rather live there than Jedburgh or Selkirk. Every year the Scotsman does a league table of schools by results which is useful to look at but I don't know when they publish it.

Yvonneprintemps Sun 23-Jun-13 14:35:08

Report from a friend just in: the new headteacher at Duns is a-maz-ing!

LePub Sun 23-Jun-13 15:56:21

Just wanted to add my thoughts to this. I've lived in Tweeddale for about 9 years now.

Peebles has great Primary schools. It can be a bit cliquey too, but there are plenty of outsiders, so it isn't a problem.

My son is big into mountain biking so living near Glentress is great.

I think you will find the aye been attitude everywhere in the Borders with certain people, but you can ignore that.

LePub Sun 23-Jun-13 15:59:28

wantto, Peebles and Kelso are seen as the best High Schools in the Borders. Although I don't have personal experience of either.

LePub Sun 23-Jun-13 16:01:01

Yvonne just noticed youe comment about the Deli in Peebles. It is great, run by soomeone I know. grin

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