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thinking of moving to Edinburgh

(19 Posts)
theDudesmummy Sat 01-Apr-17 16:34:38

Hi there, I would be really grateful for advice. We are looking into moving to Edinburgh (I have lived in London for thirty years so it's a big step, I still can't quite believe I am contemplating it!). If we did move I would be working in the centre of Dunfermline and travelling to other parts of Fife, but want to actually live in Edinburgh near to major amenities etc. I would need to be able to get to the train station and airport easily as I will have to travel to various parts of England regularly, also I prefer cities.

Can anyone recommend which areas would be nicest? I like greenery but also nice interesting neighbourhoods, and I have an eight-year old son.

Wibblewobble100 Sat 01-Apr-17 18:57:43

Edinburgh is an amazing place to live. Friendly, a nice size, Plenty of culture and buzz. I currently live in Edinburgh and we love it but I also work in Fife are we are planning a move north because I hate the commute. You also get a lot more house for your money in Fife and Dunfermline is still only a twenty min drive to Edinburgh airport and 30 mins by train over the rail bridge ( one of the most beautiful train journeys ever if you ask me) to central Edinburgh. All of these things are relative ... an hour commute to from work via the bypass nose to tail might not seem bad compared to London, and if you own property In London most Edinburgh property will be reasonable. One thing that is weird about this city is schools. A huge number of people privately educate, and living in a good state school catchment doubles the cost of a "lesser school". Best website for houses here is the espc... much more so then right move or zoopla, and you can even search by school catchment people are so obsessed!
Anyway if I were you, and def wanted to stay in Edinburgh I'd look at north Edinburgh- cramond, black hall, Barton being in decent school catchments and close to the bridge to Fife. All are in flight path to Edinburgh airport but it's not Heathrow. A little further into the city, ravelston, trinity, Innerleithen, Stockbridge and comely bank- a longer commute but you could still avoid M8 and bypass to go north. Good luck

Wibblewobble100 Sat 01-Apr-17 18:59:12

Innerleithen should be inverleith.... autocorrect

RunningBetty Sat 01-Apr-17 19:05:47

I would recommend Stockbridge. We had a weekend there recently. It had a lovely energy. Lots of places to eat out. Decent pubs. Walking distance to city centre. Edinburgh is stunning. A wonderful city. I am Glaswegian so not easy saying that!

theDudesmummy Sat 01-Apr-17 19:24:09

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. My son has special needs and the kind of help he needs is not going to be easily available too far out of the city, which is why I am not considering living in Fife. Schools: well I would have privately educated as I did with my other (now adult) kids but that isn't possible because of his special needs. Fabulously academic schools are not for him and here in London we have had a very good experience with a nice mainstream school and putting in extra help. (We actually live in London in the catchment area of one of the hugely sought after primary schools but he doesn't go there because he would not fit in with the heavy academic focus). So I would just be looking for a friendly and inclusive school rather than the obviously "best" one!

I am going to look at all the areas mentioned, thanks so much.

Hamiltoes Sat 01-Apr-17 19:31:18

Wibble has great advice, was going to type a big post but realised I'd likely be repeating everything they said.

Good luck in your search I'm sure you'll be very happy here.

Kennethwasmyfriend Sat 01-Apr-17 20:36:23

The commute to Fife won't be too bad, it's the other direction that's hell on earth! Even so it will be easier if you are in the north or west, if you've to drive across town that will add a lot of commuting time.

OnePlanOnHouzz Sat 01-Apr-17 22:16:08

Another vote for Stockbridge .... we are looking there at the moment !some lovely places of you have a good budget !

dailystuck71 Sat 01-Apr-17 22:33:04

It very much depends on your budget! Edinburgh is really expensive.

ThisMustBeThePlace Sat 01-Apr-17 23:06:44

I was going to say live in Dunfermline as I moved here and love it (lived in Edinburgh for 10 years before that!) grin In edinburgh I prefer the north and west. Trinity is my favourite area but for your commutes I would pick Barnton or Cramond, maybe Craigleith, Ravelston or Blackhall. Depends on your budget really (probably huge if coming from London?) but bear in mind whilst Stockbridge is a vibrant place to live, a lot of the housing stock is flats. In fact a lot of the housing stock throughout the city is flats - that's why we moved out eventually. We wanted to spend about £500k and for that we were not getting the sort of proper house we wanted. I'm not sure if your son's additional needs extend to physical needs.

Schools-wise there is a huge prevelance of private schooling in Edinburgh compared to most of Scotland. I think a lot of the state schools in the city are actually pretty decent but the really good ones are of course popular and often large which I was never too keen on. I'm not clear what kind of school your son would need, would it be mainstream education? Personally I would work out what school he would need to go to and work back from there to figure out where to live. For schools with additional support there are both independent schools (not fee-paying but they have their own governing bodies) and council-run schools. I'm not exactly sure how the system works in London but here each house is within a catchment of a school and to go to a school outwith that catchment you have to do a placing request. For popular schools you will struggle to have success with a placing request. There is an interactive map on the edinburgh city website that shows you the catchment schools for each house which might be useful. Each house has a catchment for four schools - RC and non-denominational primary and the same for secondary.

If you ever did decide not to live in the city itself there are some rural private schools, such as Dollar where quite a few Dunfermline kids go.

Good luck and I hope you do move, the East Coast of Scotland is fab. If you're here for August head to the Pittenweem Art Festival (you'll be desperate to get out of Edinburgh in August anyway I promise).

theDudesmummy Sun 02-Apr-17 10:25:50

Thanks so much! My son is autistic and is on an ABA (applied behaviour analysis) programme but goes to mainstream school alongside that. The issue is that he has to have special tutors to carry out the programme and you are not going to find those outside of a big city. We will be renting not buying initially and have a decent budget, as far as I can see Edinburgh will be much cheaper than London for the kind of place we need (4-5 bedrooms, in London at present we are paying 2900 a month).

With schools here they do have catchment areas but with special needs you can basically ask for any school you want. But essentially, with my son, the actual qualities of the school matter less than their willingness to work with his ABA programme. He is at mainstream school ( with one to one support) alongside the programme and we would be wanting to continue that. We will just have to advocate or even fight for what he needs, but we have to do that here in London anyway!

This idea started as a dream but now is looking real as I have realised I can get a job there. I have always been a big city person and gone on and on about how much I love London, but I now have started thinking it is time for a change (I am in my mid fifties and have done the same job, in the same place, for twenty years, do I really want that to be all I ever know? And the air quality, traffic etc).

Notthisnotthat Sun 02-Apr-17 10:45:29

In Scotland, the local authority will have an additional support needs panel, where they will look at the needs of your child and place them in the school/unit that best suits their needs, whether it's a special school, a mainstream school with an integrated special unit, or a mainstream school with support. The information should be on the authorities website and explain who to contact. If they place your child in a school out with your catchment you should get free transport.

Notthisnotthat Sun 02-Apr-17 10:54:11

Forgot to add, you can apply for a placing request in any school, but the criteria is pretty tight and popular schools can be oversubscribed with catchment children.

dailystuck71 Sun 02-Apr-17 12:18:42

I work in Dunfermline. Not a great amount happening so understand why you like the city environment. Trains to Dunfermline pass through Waverley, Haymarket at the Gyle otherwise you drive.

For areas to live, commute and schools I'd look at murrayfield, roseburn, blackhall and Corstorphine. All easy into the city and easy to get to train stations. If you drive then you've got a lot more options but do take into account how long it can take to get in and out of the city. One of my bosses lives in blackhall. It's quicker for him to get to our Dunfermline office than to drive to our Melville street office. On a clear day blackhall to Melville street would be about 10 minutes!

You've got s good selection of schools within the areas I've mentioned too. Plus quite a few private schools.

ThisMustBeThePlace Sun 02-Apr-17 19:18:19

Not a great amount happening???? shock grin

I'm a bit protective over Dunfermline/Fife as most people thought we were mad to move out of Edinburgh, we think they are mad to stay... wink

If you want a change from London I think this part of the world is a great place to start. From edinburgh you can quite easily explore East Lothian, Fife, the Borders, central Scotland (Stirling, Perthshire) and Glasgow. All different, with loads of history, countryside, culture. And we're awffy friendly! wine

theDudesmummy Sun 02-Apr-17 19:29:06

Thanks! It's a big step but I really think we are going to do it.

museumum Sun 02-Apr-17 19:39:51

do you want to drive to Dunfermline? You will be going against the traffic so I'd recommend somewhere near the bypass. Some areas near the bypass are very rural but you can get easily out from the far south end of morningside / braids and still have the benefits of being in the city (local cinema, restaurants, tons of cafes etc).
I personally would not want to drive from Stockbridge, trinity or anywhere else on the north side as it'll take you longer to get out of town than it will across to dunf.

If however you're thinking of a train commute that's a completely different situation and I'd look at roseburn sort of area to walk to haymarket.

dailystuck71 Sun 02-Apr-17 20:58:37

There isn't if you are honest with yourself. Look at the high street - it's ok if you want a mobile phone, a charity shop or a birthday card. Debenhams and marks are disappointing. Primark is ok. The bottom end of town is dire.

I used to live in Dunfermline. Just work there now.

caribou82 Sun 02-Apr-17 23:44:25

I live in Edinburgh but Dunfermline is a great town.

You're forgetting the Abbey, Palace, new museum and gallery that's about to open, Abbot House, Fire Station Creative, The Glen, The Alhambra, numerous bars and a restaurants. The shops could be better but you've got the standard stuff like H&M, Top Shop, New Look, Debenham's, Primark, M&S etc. as well as the fantastic Maggie's Farm.

Going from London to Dunfermline would be a big step though. It's fairly quiet by comparison! I'd recommend the West side of the city for access to Dunfermline. If you want somewhere that has shops, pubs etc. nearby then Corstorphine or Davidson's Mains would be good provided you get away from the main roads. Stockbridge is great but parking is terrible and it's mostly flats.

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