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Rural living in Scotland for young family(9 Posts)
Hi, my family are thinking about relocating to somewhere more rural in Scotland (having mostly lived in cities). We want access to countryside, hill walking etc, but I'd like to find somewhere with other young-ish families so that we can have a nice social life. Does anyone have any suggestions of rural towns and villages in Scotland that have a good community of young-ish families? Thanks for your advice!
I think there is something called Scotnet in the forums on this site where I think you might get more replies. Also add whether you need to have access to a particular location for work and what your budget is.
There are very very many villages and small towns in Scotland. A huge number have young families “living there...
Can you narrow it down at all?
PIL lives in Kingussie till recently and that I think ticked those boxes. Too cold for me!
@Morag108 Ayrshire is a good area if you like access to the sea, a bit of town and also some pretty landscapes. Would also recommend Aberdeenshire, the city of Aberdeen is pretty nice and the housing prices in Aberdeenshire aren't too crazy, particularly if you like the rural element but also want some relatively easy access. Perthshire has a lot of farming and agriculture, but I lived there growing up and the small town I lived in was a good distance away from a city (made socialising difficult, but maybe that's ideal in the case of teens!)
However, I lived in a market town so it did have quite a lot of friendliness (mostly old people though). Aviemore is very very beautiful, but I imagine expensive.
Hope this helps?
What do you mean by rural, as ‘access to hill walking’ varies from ‘up Arthur’s Seat in the middle of Edinburgh’ to ‘Knoydart’, and everything in between. Scotland has 60% of England’s land mass and 10% of its population so everywhere you go has far far fewer people than down south, and even within that the vast majority of people live in Scottish cities. So wherever you are outside the cities will likely feel pretty rural.
Some questions I have thought about in relation to moving within Scotland in case they’re helpful:
- what’s the broadband like? Is a good question because in quite big chunks (and small pockets) of rural Scotland the answer is ‘shit’, although it varies hugely
- how far away from secondary school are you happy with your kids being? (And how comfortable are you with them going from a primary with 20 kids in total to a secondary with 1200+? I know a few people who’ve done that and it can be really tough) What time in the morning will they have to get the bus?
- how far away from a children’s hospital are you comfortable being? I have been on holiday to places where if my child was ill it would mean a ferry and then a 3-4 hour drive, or helicopters in emergency.
- what’s the travel like? Is there a road that always floods? (See the Rest & Be Thankful). Does it get cut off in snow? Do you need two cars? Do you need snow chains?
- do you want pretty or rugged? I always think the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway are lovely and quite ‘human’, whilst there are much wilder places further north
- how community building do you want to be? Very remote communities are desperate for families to move in to help save schools which will otherwise close and to keep communities doing. Other areas are full of retired people. Look at local press for ideas
- how dark will it be in the winter? Pick a place on a weather app and look at the sunrise and sunset times vs where you are now. It’s amazing in summer but less so in December and again, that affects how early you want to be up and about for school, work etc. The difference really does make a difference (Aberdonian speaking)
- do you want a commuter town or a rural market town? (The latter are sadly not as pretty as their English counterparts, generally speaking). You get quite a lot of rural still being close to Edinburgh or Glasgow for eg and there will be a lot of families living there.
Lots of places have a single website for property eg www.bspc.co.uk or www.espc.co.uk so you can see what you can afford. Unless that’s no object in which case Country Life’s Scottish edition is out now
Fingerbobs what a brilliant post. Mumsnet should archive that. English living in Scotland 37 years.
@Fingerbobs brilliant post, realistic and helpful - many that most wouldn't think of.
Disclaimer Highlander here suffering from many of the negatives you mention but benefitting from too many to mention positives!
@Morag108 narrow it down a bit 😉
Thank you! I have thought a lot about moving somewhere more rural, as you can see so am delighted to share.