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Relocating from England to scotland (Borders or lothian?!)

(12 Posts)
Jo121Cambridge Sun 20-Jul-14 20:20:03

Hi all

I need some help from those with good local knowledge or those who have relocated to scotland already and can pass tips!

We are looking to move from England with our 2 children aged 3 and 6. My husband will need to find work (financial services) so we need to be commutable distance from Edinburgh (car or rail). I need good schools, activities such as swimming, dance classes etc for little ones. Good community spirit where outsiders can integrate without too much hassle.

Im thinking the Scottish Borders or east lothian would be far out enough (as we love the country) but close enough to commute?!

Please can you tell me if I'm on the right path here and which are good areas for primary schools etc. I understand there will be rail network from 2015 in the borders?!

I have researched that peebles is very nice but wondering how long it would take to get into Edinburgh?

Any help on areas would be appreciated. Also any help or advice on relocating?! I was wondering whether to contact a relocation agency to help!

Jo x

Rebbot86 Wed 30-Jul-14 18:49:10

Hiya Jo.

My family and I relocated from Norwich up to Scotland almost 2 years ago and are now living in the lovely area of Peebles. So will try and help you as much as i can with the questions you have asked.

Peebles is about a 45-50 minute commute to south Edinburgh, 1 hour to centre by car, about an hour by bus (these go 2-3 times every hour), there is also an extra bus early in the morning (I think its the x70) which has limited stops. There is no rail from Peebles.
Here is the map of the new railway line and its destinations.

As for Peebles itself; We have found it a very warm and welcoming place with plenty of activities going on to keep little ones and adults alike entertained. We first moved into Edinburgh as i thought that moving to the Scottish Borders might be a bit lonely and actually its been the exact opposite. In Edinburgh i found it quite hard to meet new people and getting my 6 year old into school was hard work as good primary schools seem to be bursting at the seams. Since moving to Peebles i have made new friends and have felt a lot more at home and happy. My son is in 1 of the 3 local primary schools (Priorsford) here and absolutely loves it.

Peebles is very family orientated and there are lots of children's clubs
and activities to keep them busy. My son currently attends beavers, judo and the local football club. There is also rugby, swimming, gymnastics etc.
There are also various activities for adults, 2 local gyms and a number of pubs and restaurants also. If you like walking or mountain biking there are plenty of places to explore. Peebles has a couple of supermarkets and local shops including butchers, bakers, greengrocers etc.
Galashiels is about 45 minutes commute from here and has 2 large 24hour supermarkets as well as lots of other larger stores i.e Next, Boots, B&Q, Halfords, M&S etc - link for the local leisure centre. - this is a link which includes clubs and activities.

Hope thats given you some helpful info.

Becki x

bordersdad Tue 12-Aug-14 09:38:12

Hi Jo,

Becki is right that Peebles is brilliant for families. My concern would be with the commute -- the road north from Peebles can be busy at peak times, and there is a fair bit of development on the south side of Edinburgh, near Penicuik, and more likely on the way. This is obviously an issue for your family to decide depending on your husband's tolerance for driving, where he will work in the city, and how important trips to Edinburgh are for you. In our case, both my wife and I work in Edinburgh and it was important to have a good public transportation option, so that we could easily come home at different times, didn't need two cars, and so on. We also think the train would be much less stressful and we both have the sort of jobs where it's easy to use train time productively for work on a laptop.

I think Melrose would be a safe bet given your interests -- see some of the other mumsnet threads on the issue. It's much smaller than Peebles, but this has some advantages, and it is very close to larger towns with more amenities (especially Galashiels). The train is due to open in September 2015 and seems to be on schedule.

We liked the Borders much more than East Lothian (we're more into hillwalking, nature, etc. than golf courses, and I think the historic towns in the Borders are more interesting). Housing will definitely be cheaper in the Borders too, if that's an issue for you. (Peebles and Melrose are the most expensive areas, but they are still cheaper than most of East Lothian.)

If you have specific questions about places, etc., please ask away. Do you know yet when you would plan to move?


ILoveKnitting123 Fri 22-Aug-14 22:08:47

Hello Everyone,

I am in exactly the same position as you, Jo! Thanks everyone for the info; it's really useful. I come from Edinburgh originally and my husband is from Dunbar (in East Lothian), but we have been living in Cambridgeshire for 4 years. My husband has now got a job in Edinburgh so we are looking at moving back up. We would like to live in a small-ish place (small compared to a city), as even though I grew up in Edinburgh, now that we have a baby I hate the noise, traffic, and crowds in cities. My husband also dislikes cities, so we are thinking the Borders may be a nice option.

I read another thread on here where someone said the Borders can be a bit hard to integrate into - does anyone have experience of that? Hopefully it would be ok, especially with new houses being built and the new railway; and I suppose you will always read mixed reviews of any place. I also read a lot of positive comments about the Borders, so that's great!

I have heard that the roads from the Borders to Edinburgh can be dangerous, esp. in the winter with snow and ice, etc: does anyone have any experience of this? Do you think the train may be a better option for commuting to Edinburgh?

Also, does anyone know if the railway is going to go all the way into Edinburgh Waverley?

Thanks for any info!

bordersdad Sat 23-Aug-14 07:47:34

A lot of Cambridgeshire people moving to the Borders (that's where I lived until recently!). Fiona, I can't answer the question about how open to outsiders the Borders is, because my wife and I are just in the processing of moving, but personally I found those other threads reassuring. I also suspect it depends on where you move to. Again, in our case we thought Melrose would benefit from the hospital, from being the sort of nice place that would attract newcomers, rather than just be home to people who have always lived there, and it was just on the cusp of commutability to Edinburgh meaning, meaning it might be home to a few more people who, like me, aren't local. I will say that everyone we've met in the course of househunting, etc., has been very friendly and I'm not remotely worried about it.

About the railway: I think the roads are totally fine save a small handful of days a year. The train is a better option for us because given the nature of our work we can spend train time productively, and Waverley station is only 10 minutes on foot from our offices. Whether the car is better might depend on where you/your partner work. It will run directly to Waverley, and the start date is Sept 6, 2015. It is supposed to be 55 minutes from Tweedbank (where there will be a free park and ride), 50 from Galashiels, 38 from Stow. Half-hourly service from TB and Gala except nights and Sundays, hourly from Stow except at peak times. There's actually a ton of detail online about the railway if you're interested, we certainly based our move around it.

bordersdad Sat 23-Aug-14 07:49:49

Oh, Fiona, I should have said: If the job is on the south side of Edinburgh, you might want to check out West Linton. It's a really lovely little place about 30 minutes from the city centre outside of rush hour, only 20 minutes to the bypass whatever the traffic. Just inside the Borders and with a rural feel to it, and right next to the Pentlands.

lotsofcheese Sat 23-Aug-14 08:07:18

Have a think about North Berwick: direct train line to Edinburgh, on the coast, good schools & facilities. Also many of the towns surrounding eg Haddington, Aberlady.

ILoveKnitting123 Sat 23-Aug-14 21:12:07

Thanks! That's useful info. We did have a look at North Berwick briefly, and it seems really nice, but the houses seem terribly over-priced unfortunately. I'll think about the other suggestions.

ILoveKnitting123 Sat 23-Aug-14 21:31:13

Also, are the Borders towns the sort of place where you need a 2nd car to be able to get out and about as a stay at home Mum, or can you walk everywhere/take a bus?


Bonnie2002 Thu 30-Oct-14 21:52:29

Hi we are thinking of moving to Jedburgh and was wondering what the local secondary schools are like in the area. My daughter is 12 and loves gymnastics, are there any clubs in the area. Is it easy to fit in? I would love any advice. Is there much for teenagers to do. Thank you ��

clmum8583 Tue 10-Feb-15 10:46:10

Ayton in the Scottish Borders is a delightful little village and the locals are so friendly and extremely welcoming of new people.
It is right off of the A1 and so is a very easy commute as this road is rarely busy.
The primary school is fantastic and there are loads of dancing/drama/gymnastics/music/football/swimming/running clubs around to keep the young ones happy.
House prices will be very much cheaper and there is also a main line railway station 7 miles away in Berwick-upon-Tweed which provides regular services to London if you want to head back down South to visit friends or family.
Hope this helps, if i can offer any further advice please odnt hesitate to PM me. x

Galalass Sat 28-Feb-15 15:24:06

Bonnie Earlston has a good Gymnastics club and the secondary school is very good. You can live in St Boswells, Melrose or as far north as Lauder to go there. Jedburgh is quite isolated as you are on the edge of the Border and the Cheviots. You will have the railway station at Tweedbank a couple of miles from Melrose in about 6 mths time so good for teens etc. to get into Edinburgh.

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