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Can anyone suggest nice areas in Scotland?

(80 Posts)
alittlehoarse Tue 20-Aug-13 14:39:58

Looking to relocate next spring. At the moment all we know is we want to be in Scotland within an hour(ish) of Glasgow and not more than 2(ish) from Oban. Slight ly flexible here but not too much as have to be able to work within Argyle+Bute.

Prefer detached, enclosed or (easily enclosed) garden. Prefer country life, perhaps a village, currently in a small rural hamlet and it is too quiet. Very limited friends nearby etc. Dc enjoy the freedom but are often bored.

Don't mind small if we could extend (esp if detached) as getting right location is the priority. Just really looking for somewhere quiet, safe, friendly folk and things for dc within a short drive. Currently an hour from nearest sports centre sad

Would prefer a smallish primary school to make the transition easier for dc who currently attend a 30 pupil
primary school. More importsntly would like a reputable high school as eldest approaching that age.

Anyone think of anywhere that would fit my perhaps slightly demanding wish list! Oh and obviously somewhere we can afford to live. Budget around 200-230k.

On top of that I'd appreciate anyone who'd be willinv to hold my hand throughout the whole process as for some reason I am completely shitting myself at the thought of uprooting my wee family but feeling it really has to be done sad

Jeez wine for those who got to the end!

kkag Wed 25-Sep-13 23:54:53

B of A was once known as where professional football players stayed, so they were within easy travelling distance of Glasgow - and that said I know some of them and they and their families are lovely, so that's not a bad thing. But there is an element of wealth in the area and some very nice homes. I think it's almost the posh suburb of Stirling. Is that a bad thing ?

I might advise that you think about when your kids are a bit older and looking for more diverse activities - b of a has the country appeal with a great uni and close enough to Stirling with great shopping etc and superb rail links to Glasgow and Edinburgh etc. best of both worlds for me and it would be near the top of my list if I was relocating further north.

In fact there are a lot of lovely villages in the Stirling area.

Apologies if I am restating but I haven't read the whole thread , skipped to last page !

Isabelconaghan Mon 23-Sep-13 15:49:47

Hi Hope you find what you are looking for.

I love Largs Seaside Town and there is some lovely villages around there, Skelmorlie etc. Largs has a good rail link to Glasgow and you are about a 40 min drive.
I am a Scot currently living in Yorkshire for the last 16 years and I have just bought a wee bolt hole, a 1 bedroom flat in Cove about 15 mile from Helensburgh another seaside Town with good links to Glasgow.

I can't wait to get the keys and get started on sorting it out. I feel blessed. not seen inside yet, we bought it pre auction and the views are to die for. (Shangri-La) a little piece of heaven here on earth. If I can help in any way just let me know

celtiethree Sat 24-Aug-13 22:39:46

Echo what language said the new head of Dunblane has been v positive.

LanguageTimothy Fri 23-Aug-13 19:27:23

In response to Haggis Dunblane has a new head who has done great things and is doing very well again.

wigglybeezer Fri 23-Aug-13 17:28:50

You are making me feel bad about not living in Dunblane! It's where I spent my teen years and it is a great place for kids. I tried to move back there when DS1 was a baby but wasn't able to find a suitable house on our puny budget at the time ( sometimes still wish we had compromised on accomodation ). We live in Dollar, which is lovely but better for teens who go to Dollar academy, not so good for my lot who have to bus half an hour to school.

For what it's worth BofA is a bit flash in places, DH lived there when we met, there are quite a few yummy mummies in big cars and every time a shop changes hands it goes from being a butcher or baker to selling shoes or handbags! It is very nice though and has plenty of down to earth types two, Wallace high is not as middle class as Dunblane though, note I didn't say not as good!

I would be tempted by Kippen or Gargunnock tho, nicer for adults than teens. I was friends with kids from Mclaren high when I was at schhols. Their social life was ruled by the bus timetable.

haggisaggis Fri 23-Aug-13 12:08:44

Dunblane is nice but I'm not sure the High is as good as it used to be. Crieff High School used to get a dreadful reputation but they got a new head and it has been doing better the past few years. I know a few people who send their kids there and they're very happy. Dunblane has 2 largeish and one small primary. The small one used to be quite difficult to get into as it's very popular. Doune could be a nice place to live - think it's got a good community spirit (or at least used to). I think McLaren High in Callander gets a good reputation.
I would plug the area around Braco as it is close enough to the A9 for quick links to Glasgow. Greenloaning is a nice place to live- lots of families with kids - but may be too close to the A9 for you.

Weegiemum Thu 22-Aug-13 09:37:22

My husband is a GP in Cowal, and though he'll be there for the foreseeable future,we've chosen to stay in Glasgow. Mainly because (1) our dc go to the Gaelic school in Glasgow and 4-18 provision doesn't exist outside Glasgow (2) my disability means regular stays in the SGH in Glasgow and I'm not a driver (3) I spent 10 years living very remote and rural (scottish island) and tbh,the opportunities for my work and for our dc were exceptionally limited. Eg dd2 just joined the school orchestra. Wouldn't have happened before! My dd1 moved fairly effortlessly from a GMU with 8 pupils covering P1-7 in a school of 3 classes, to being in a class of 25. In fact she thried on it!
Dh stays away 2 nights a week on call, but his commute is just over an hour. From where we live (South-east Glasgow) Oban is 2.5 hours (once you know the road!) and our 4-bed detached house with enclosed garden and very dog-friendly (!! Dd2 knows the name of every dog in the street!) was £167k.
If you want to live south of the Clyde, you have to take into account the ferry to Dunoon being off. There's been a time every winter when dh couldn't get home because ferries were off and the Rest & Be Thankful was washed out again.
An option no one has mentioned is Lochgoilhead. Small school, an hour from Glasgow, nice community, under 2 hours to Oban. Inverary is the wrong way round for you - hour to Oban, 2 to Glasgow.
Despite being a teacher I'm not very big on schools in the area. Amongst teachers, though, Dunoon grammar doesn't have a great rep, has had big bullying issues and a drug problem on and off.
Hope you find where you'd like to be!

NettoSuperstar Thu 22-Aug-13 09:12:02

Yes, that is what I mean, but I notice it much less now I live in the middle of town.
It was more noticeable when I lived on the estates, first the Navy estate, though in a private rental, and then on the scheme.
I was brought up in a v middle class family, and now live in an HA home, and shop everywhere from the deli to Farmfoods!
Lots of ordinary folk around though, me, for example grin
Other major plus point, the GP surgery is fantastic, this matters to me as I am brittle asthmatic.
Hospital situation a bit pants, but that's the same for the whole county, and the nearer you are to Glasgow the better it gets. I've had all my care moved there as Paisley is hideous, that's the nearest A&E though.
OOH's is at the Vale, they are great, have sent me a Doctor out countless times.
I really would recommend it, particularly since you have a DC of almost high school age, even Arrochar is way out in terms of Cinema/shopping/concerts, even friends really as it's so small.

alittlehoarse Wed 21-Aug-13 21:45:47

Netto excuse my ignorance but what exactly does a town of two halves mean? Do you mean in terms of people? poshies and jeremy kylers? or do you mean there is a good end of the town and a bad one?

Worried you mean the people because what I want most is ordinary folk. Warm friendly decent folk. Folk like me ha ha grin

NettoSuperstar Wed 21-Aug-13 17:25:06

l live in Helensburgh, have been here for 12 years.
I think Rhu would suit you.
I used to hate it here, due to it being too rural (ha), but that's what you want and Rhu is very pretty.
Lots of plus points for you- Good schools and a choice at Primary, not for Rhu, but for Helensburgh and only one I'd say no way to.
DD's just started high school, but it has a good reputation, and everyone who can't afford independent, so most people! send their kids.
The senior partner in my GP practice sent his kids over the Independent.

We have three supermarkets who deliver, have a small Tesco and Co-Op, they are building Scotland's 4th Waitrose (grin), but we also have two independent Butchers, a fishmongers, greeengrocers and deli.
Lots of takeaways, a few restaurants, including a tapas place.
Trains every half hour to Glasgow and Edinburgh, great for teens who want to go to the cinema/shopping/gigs without you having to be taxi driver.
Loch Lomond is a 10 minute drive.
Yes, there are crap areas, but really, not many, and I lived in the worst one and it wasn't that bad, but since you're buying, and with your budget you won't even need to avoid, they won't cross your radar.

It is very naice in places, it is very much a town of two halves, I'm bizarrely in the middle, but have had no problems here, DD is very happy and settled.

alittlehoarse Wed 21-Aug-13 13:32:18

At the moment we are over two hours from Oban, work always means an overnight stay and at least being an hour from Glasgow means we would at least have family nearby for support.

We have lived near Stewarton/Dunlop before but around ten yrs ago and pre dc. I liked the area and it is very close to family but quite a change from where we are now. Dunlop would probably be less of a culture shock. Is this a good area for teens? I'm thinking with train station at least they can get to Glasgow easily for cinema etc. Just want this to be the right move for the dc.

LindaMcCartneySausage Wed 21-Aug-13 10:26:03

Just catching up. I've skimmed the thread, so pls excuse me if I missed something.

I know the villages south of Glasgow very well - Dunlop, Stewarton, Kilmacolm. They are fab, but I can't see how they are ever going to work for you if you are working in Argyll &Bute. The roads would be horrendous during the winter. Would probably opt for Rhu or Arrochar, myself. Close enough to Glasgow, v pretty villages. I'm a big fan of Balfron and Aberfoyle and, if you want independent schools, I know people who commute to The High School Of Glasgow from there. Otherwise, there are decent secondaries.

AlisonClare Wed 21-Aug-13 10:07:38

Just catching up - I lived on one of the Argyll islands. We moved centrally to avoid the Oban school hostel and children not being at home during the week. My youngest moved from a less than 20 pupil school to Newton primary in Dunblane. It wasn't a problem.

Dunblane is growing - lots of 4 bed plus new houses on the edge, which I would avoid. More centrally, closer to the Laighhills and the river, there are smaller older houses and a very quiet feel, and safe for children to walk anywhere. Probably reasonably OK for an escaping dog too.

As others have said - the road to Oban is windy and often slow and it's not possible to rush it, problems with snow and ice in winter especially tyndrum and crianlarich - but a reasonably easy drive once you know it.

LifeofPo Wed 21-Aug-13 07:20:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pinebarrens Wed 21-Aug-13 07:11:00

You made me look expat now I want to move that way!

quoteunquote Wed 21-Aug-13 01:12:01

Rhu, just north of Helensburgh.

expatinscotland Wed 21-Aug-13 01:07:35

Oops, even more than 8 pages. Some exquisite properties, too, well-modernised.

No place is perfect or without its problems.

Depends on what you want, tbh. If you want a rural lifestyle it is the place. The drawback to that is that you travel a long way to get to even an ASDA and have to order everything, and I mean everything, online.

But you do not have such a 'ned' problem, IYKWIM, and the crime reported, bar a murder every other year or so among druggies, is that most of it is 'So and so got drunk and swore at the coppers' or the odd drink driver, particularly in summer.

There is little problem, on the whole. But it is very rural if you are used to a city.

expatinscotland Wed 21-Aug-13 00:53:15

There are 8 pages of properties WAY under you budget.

expatinscotland Wed 21-Aug-13 00:50:12


expatinscotland Wed 21-Aug-13 00:44:46

The good thing about Dunoon Grammar (as the only secondary school is known) is that there is no real competition from independent schools and its geographical catchment is very large. So you get a parental base that is quite involved and all that goes with it. It has a good reputation based on this, and is a modern school with much parental involvement. Many whose children attend are from Inverclyde who have fled due to poor schools across.

Also, a £210k budget will get you much in the way of a quality house and definitely a detached, modernised period family home of at least 3 bedrooms but likely 4.

expatinscotland Wed 21-Aug-13 00:22:30

Dunoon's catchment is so geographically large some board at full council expense, including Lochgoilhead, Tighnabruich, Glendaruel, Otter Ferry, etc. Strachur, IIRC, has the choice of Dunoon Grammar or that high school where they send Inverary, tbh if it's Lochgilphead High School I think I'd homeschool first. IIRC Cairndow goes to Lochgilphead.

There are no independent schools out this way is the thing. The nearest are across in Gourock. There are some, but few, who go that way because it's a ways.

Pinebarrens Wed 21-Aug-13 00:07:11

BoA is lovely but far too many partying students I really wouldn't live there for that reason despite is being very beautiful and actually not that expensive compared to glasow/some parts of Stirling.

Kippen is really nice.

wouldn't touch Port Glasgow/Greenock, I just find them both very depressing. High unemployment and quite a bit of poverty. Schools not great. Gourock & inverkip okish but too close to greenock for my liking.

some parts of renfrewshire are ok.

some parts of helensburgh and beyond (rhu etc) are nice but will you be taking the train? this line can be a nightmare in the winter, frequent cancellations etc.

what about round dunoon way or between dunoon & lochgoilhead? too far? I'm not sure what the schools are like but it is really lovely.

exciting move, good luck smile

3nationsfamily Tue 20-Aug-13 23:46:40

No, Doune feeds in to McLaren High in Callander school catchment areas

expatinscotland Tue 20-Aug-13 23:35:38

Then a place like Helensburgh or Lenzie might be for you.

YY, you know how it works.

These places and others round them work both ways: proximity to city and yet not city life.

I'd do trial drives, tbh, from the places suggested in Stirlingshire and in Argyll and Bute and Renfrewshire.

We are in the Cowal and tbh, are looking to shift closer to Glasgow as just too far out and transport is dear and long.

Just wanting to know where those in Arrochar and Tarbet go to high school and if it's so far they need to board.

Out here, some need to board and we would not live in such a place.

Gourock, Greenock and Port Glasgow look nice but well, there are a lot of people living through here and commuting due to the fact that they find the secondary schools unsatisfactory and cannot afford 2+ lots of private school fees.

Another option is, if you live so far north, do your children have Gaelic?

If so, they can possibly attend the gaelic schools in Glasgow. A separate primary and secondary.

This would allow you to live anywhere in Glasgow, admittedly pricey in a £210K budget for a detached family house, but entirely doable well under budget if the children attend the gaelic medium.

alittlehoarse Tue 20-Aug-13 23:01:37

Do you mean it doesn't have a shop now?!

I am 37 and probably last time I was in Uplawmoor itself I would have been around 15! I pass it on the main rd often however, just don't go up into the village! My cousin used to frequent the hotel for dinner there too!

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