Moving to the Scottish Borders

(33 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!

prowberr Wed 10-Aug-16 16:40:23

Sue and I will be moving to the Borders early next year. We are looking at both East and West coasts at the moment, say Dumfries in the west and Kelso or Melrose the in east. We don't have kids, are both retired but quite active, and like swimming and wildlife watching. Anyone have any preferences for one or the other.

Suzv Sat 20-Jun-15 08:58:29

Hi,I'm looking to move to Duns in the Scottish Borders .
One of my children is of high school age & has special needs.
Does anyone know if there's any special needs schools near by ?

Yvonneprintemps Fri 01-Nov-13 02:18:37

Oh, and property is cheaper in the Duns area, from where you could get the train at Berwick. It's s nice area and Coldingham has a nice beach

Yvonneprintemps Fri 01-Nov-13 02:12:38

To be honest, whenever I look at threads about where to move to they always seem to end up making a decision more difficult rather than easier. Sometimes you just have to try a place out. With Melrose the problem is that the trains won't be here for a couple of years yet and the bus service is terribly slow.

Most people that I know really enjoy living in Melrose. The high street is great and you can do all your food shopping there or go to Finlay Grant for the world's most civilized cup of coffee.

Or you could live in St Boswells with its lovely book shop and proximity to Dryburgh Abbey.

The Borders are beautiful and full of local pride and traditions.

Alternatively, if you were to live in Aberdour in Fife you would be half an hour from Edinburgh by train and it is a very pretty village with a castle and a beach. That's a good option north of the river.

2014newadventure Sat 19-Oct-13 20:30:17

I found this thread very interesting although a little disappointing in some ways. My teenage daughter and I are moving to Scotland next year and were considering living in Melrose or Jedburgh after a visit to the area earlier this year. I would be working in Edinburgh and my daughter hopes to gain entry to the Heriot-Watt campus at Galashiels.

After reading the comments I am concerned about the possibility of 'social isolation'. We are looking for a village atmosphere with access to transport to Edinburgh for my work. I drive but I would be extremely nervous about snow conditions in winter as I have no experience driving in snow so public transport would be better. I know new train services will be available in the future. We were in Melrose on bank holiday and found the shops very quiet but I don't know whether this would be different during the week.

I thought the Borders around Melrose-Jedburgh would be a good choice to settle because the real estate seems much lower priced than Edinburgh but now I am not sure about the community spirit. There seems to be more positive reviews about Peebles but would the public transport be more accessible to travel to Edinburgh for work?

Thanks so much.

RumNRaisen Wed 07-Aug-13 10:11:22

Can only give my own opinion of the borders region but we moved to Hawick almost 10 years ago and are utterly miserable we still feel very much like outsiders, you are reminded of the fact almost daily and life almost seems to go backwards here. Schools are also very behind and SN provision here just doesn't seem to exist as we have sadly found. Although the region looks beautiful with lots of walks etc. there is no shopping or entertainment to be heard of we have watched more and more things close down leaving nothing in its place. Galashiels is really the only town with 24 hour supermarket, high street clothing stores (about 2) but doesn't have much compared to a city if I could choose any of the border towns to be in it would be Galashiels as it at least is near to Edinburgh and a train line is coming in 2015, there is very little to do for children or teenagers anywhere imo and we are currently trying to get out the region entirely. I apologise if this sounds negative and I do hope you have a better time than my family but it helps to get all accounts of life here I think.

crocodile4 Fri 28-Jun-13 17:04:26

Kelso high School is most certainly NOT one of the best in the Borders! As far as exam results go it is clear that both Peebles and Earlston have by far the best results, partly due to their catchment areas and clientele...A lot of doctors from the BGH send their children to Earlston.

Yvonneprintemps Mon 24-Jun-13 14:19:13

There is the Scottish Borders Social Atlas here at

Lots of interesting information about the different parts.

Eg high rates of malignant neoplasms for a rural areasad

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

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 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.

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

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

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.

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 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!

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?

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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?

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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