Advice on moving to Edinburgh with 6-y-o

(23 Posts)
user1483828586 Sat 07-Jan-17 23:00:42

Hi amazing mammas and co,

We lost my husband recently. It was expected, he'd been ill for some time, but we thought we had a few more years. We have a happy, sociable, resilient 6-y-o daughter, who is doing well at school and is coping amazingly with the past few years of her Dad's decline and now this. Still reeling but regrouping...It's thrown the cat amongst the pigeons somewhat. I was planning a masters to retrain on an allied health course in London this September. I'm still keen to do this training, it's important for our future, but now I think we'll need to move nearer my Scottish family to achieve this, can't now contemplate 2+ years commuting to London and stressing about our Southern Trains fiasco, ugh hideous to be so much away from DD, and a little Edinburgh adventure for a few years might be just what we need.
We live in a suburb of Horsham (near Gatwick Airport) currently, in a wonderfully strong community, nothing too affluent, everyone is getting by and helping one another, good state schools, in four years here we've made amazing friends and the house is constantly full of other people's children, which we love. To make a move work we need something like this to make another home in. It would probably be the 4-year undergrad, to align more with school holidays and be that bit less intensive so I can balance study and home life.

I'm not mad set on living right in the centre of town. The uni would be QMU at Musselburgh, so somewhere within reach of there, or easy bus to Waverley for the train, would work, but most of all I want us to find somewhere where the kids mostly go to decent state schools nearby, strong community with a good social mix, doesn't need to be too chi-chi but I'd like to feel safe, and to feel welcome and that we can make friends and put down roots. I think we have something to offer too, I'd join any number of committees, very active parent and can bake a mean Victoria sponge for the PTA scene. After all we've only been where we are four year and it feels like we've been settled forever.
I don't madly fancy the seafront, I had cast my eye over Lasswade, but I only currently know my aunt's neighbourhood in Bruntsfield, which I love but I feel being more affluent might lack the sense of cohesion. Just looking for a good balance really.

Does anyone have any advice for a couple of newbies?

Best,

Vic

3nationedinburgh Sun 08-Jan-17 10:35:14

Although you say you don't fancy the seafront, Portobello ticks all your boxes. Cost of housing may be a factor anywhere in Edinburgh if you are on a student budget though, and depending on whether you want to buy or rent.

tyketyler Sun 08-Jan-17 12:17:06

Portobello and near by areas, this is where we are considering at the moment.

user1483828586 Sun 08-Jan-17 14:43:34

Great, thanks so much! And yes from other reading too that does seem like a good fit. What about further inland which might be easier on the budget? Any other areas that would be worth looking into further?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 08-Jan-17 21:04:38

Parts of Musselburgh itself are great - the streets around the racecourse are lovely (though £££). There are newer estates - Gilberstoun and Brunstane come to mind - which aren't very pretty (think modern box houses) but are full of young families and very safe, if a little suburban. You could cycle to college from there, no need for a car which may help with the budget.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 08-Jan-17 21:10:24

needs redecoration but plenty spacious

a bit bigger near the river too and the Esk does flood so check if problems in the past.

2 minutes from school

user1483828586 Sun 08-Jan-17 21:37:59

Thank you so much for doing that! Yes friends have described our taste in houses as 'old and weird'.. that's a significant if rather superficial factor in location choice too. Doesn't have to be spacious though which is how we've made that work budget-wise in the past smile I just feel like if I'm going to make this feel safe and good and positive for the girl, I have to choose so carefully and find somewhere we'll love to live. Hugely encouraged by all this thank you.

user1483828586 Sun 08-Jan-17 21:39:40

How are the schools in Musselburgh? I feel like the Portobello schools are a good bet generally, is that fair? Obviously getting a place for P3 17/18 is another matter..

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 08-Jan-17 21:47:30

Good generally. One thing to be aware of is Portobello is Edinburgh district and Musselburgh is East Lothian - so two completely seperate LAs. When it comes to secondary, Portobello high school is really good and brand new, Musselburgh Grammar (which isn't really a Grammar) is perhaps slightly less well regarded.

Tower bank primary (portobello) is great but bursting at the seams.

BrainLikeASeive Tue 10-Jan-17 19:03:39

I have a 6 year old daughter and have just moved to Scotland from Kent!
We absolutely love this place.
We moved to Haddington. It's about 15 mins from Musselburgh.
The school is just wonderful and I can't get over how many English accents I hear. It's great - my 6 year old twins have settled really well and there are spaces at the school for your girl.
We have just taken up offices in Musselburgh and the commute is minimal.
We had lunch in Edinburgh today. Driving around here is very easy. there's no congestion at all. In fact... there's no traffic! it's weird...

user1483828586 Tue 10-Jan-17 19:17:58

Amazing smile So glad to hear such a positive exerience. What's the school?

Buckeyedjim Wed 11-Jan-17 06:43:44

Despite pp's comment, traffic in Edinburgh can be horrendous and it can easily take an hour to cross the city. Direction of travel matters too, so in the morning there will be more people driving in to the city than going out. Are your family in Edinburgh, is living near them perhaps as useful as living near QM? Maybe try Leith, Restalrig, anywhere on an "Edinburgh east" search on the espc. Prices in Liberton tend to be good, it's south east.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 11-Jan-17 09:21:05

There's definitely traffic! And it's traffic which will be driving at 20 mph come February (in the city centre, anyway).

user1483828586 Wed 11-Jan-17 10:00:51

Thanks. I think the shortest commute to QMU would be the best. Family nearby are wonderful but aunt and grandmother are disabled so it's more about enjoying spending time with them than what they can do for us in terms of childcare. Parents are Aberdeen, very active and involved but clearly not on a day-to-day basis.

FurryMouse Sat 04-Feb-17 18:35:24

Another vote for Portobello here. It's dead easy to get to QMU, and Towerbank Primary is lovely. Secondary when she's old enough would be Portobello High, with its swanky new school building just opened. Portobello itself is extremely friendly, feels very safe, and you'd be welcomed with open arms with your victoria sponges.

user1483828586 Sat 04-Feb-17 20:38:40

smile Thanks FurryMouse...

Leithlass Sun 05-Feb-17 08:59:51

I live in Leith and I'd say you would be better off looking further out towards Portobello - and Haddington would be a great idea if looking for a community feel. Leith still feels quite 'city' and not many families... e.g I live in a tenement flat and it is all flatsharers or couples.

Mum2mumEdinburgh Sun 05-Feb-17 09:23:40

Sorry to hijack the thread but I'm about to do the exact opposite move! We have 2 kids - 2 and 1 and we're looking at Horsham but it's expensive and don't know the surrounding area very well. What suburbs do you recommend?
We live in Corstorphine which has a community feel and great access to the city and airport but the wrong side of town for commuting to QMU. Portobello definitely ticks all your boxes.

user1483828586 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:17:35

Hi Mum2MumEdinburgh... Ha, my specialist subject. Firstly the schools are really all good in Horsham, so that shouldn't restrict you too much. Broadbridge heath is generally seen as a bit down at heel but has the big leisure centre, historically there is a slightly 'rough' bit around Roffey centring on the Co-op and pub at Fitzalan Rd, but we live near there and it's clearly a relative term! We love it here. The classic old Victorian terraces in the centre are near the area of roads named after a Battle of Trafalgar theme - Trafalgar Rd, Nelson Road, etc. If you don't mind driving everywhere and kids not necessarily living in walking distance of their schoolfriends, Warnham is gloriously gorgeous, as is Mannings Heath and the area around there. I'd recommend not living rural, for the full community effect. Our street isn't the prettiest but we know so many people now that I'm glad we didn't go for the chocolate box.

NearlyInthecity Sun 05-Feb-17 17:22:27

Hi I would say Musselburgh. If you looked around Stoneybank you would be able to walk into QMU and you have either Stoneybank or Campie Primary schools to choose from depedning on where in that area. The train from QMU is 6 mins into Waverley to visit family etc. They are also building a new primary school around there but I am not sure about catchments. Have a look at the East Lothian website. In Scotland pretty much everyone goes to their catchment school. So when you get a house you know what school you kids go to.
Tower bank in portobello is good but full full full and house prices are crazy. Much more for your money in Musselburgh and you can still walk into portobello if you want to.
They are also building a new high school in Musselburgh as there are so many new houses going up.

Heatherbell1978 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:30:20

I'm outside Edinburgh, near Lasswade as it happens which you mentioned. It is lovely and would be a reasonable commute to QMU. Schools are well thought of too. Agree with pp about Musselburgh and Portobello. If you want more for your money then Prestonpans would be a good option but mainly all modern housing which might not suit- it's on the train line to Musselburgh (2 stops I think).

Mum2mumEdinburgh Mon 06-Feb-17 07:10:26

user1483828586 Thanks so much for replying, that's really helpful. Great to get some local knowledge. Hope everything goes well with your move smile

BrainLikeASeive Sat 25-Feb-17 17:13:34

Sorry to come back to an old thread - I don't get online very much and came to ask what happens if you take your children out of school for a term-time holiday! But I'll post that elsewhere.

I'm the one from Haddington - and Portobello was my second choice because of the shiny new High School with UBER techy facilities. I'm guessing it'll be well provided for over the next few years considering such a large investment.

Still haven't seen any traffic yet - but then I'm used to London driving and having to literally force your bonnet into stationary traffic just to make any progress!

There's so much housing development going on here... more easterly... there's a tonne of new builds in Wallyford / Prestonpans.

What did you decide to do?

Horsham and that part of East Sussex is lovely. We used to do quite a bit of work over that way. Edinburgh has a similar urban / countryside feel to it...

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