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To be worried that the Scottish Borders are anti-English?

41 replies

Woodworm2020 · 11/01/2024 17:45

My husband and I are considering moving from London to the Scottish Borders with our two year old son as he has a job opportunity in Edinburgh. We have been incredibly excited and looking specifically around Lauder. I have came across a few things online and heard a few comments in passing that there is quite a strong anti-English sentiment in that area. This obviously makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. I’m wondering whether there is anyone from the area that can give an honest perspective? Or anyone from England has moved up to the Scottish Borders. How have you found it? I’m not going to know anyone and was really hoping to be able to immerse myself in a community and now worry that actually that community may not welcome us.
Any advice or insight would be so very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

OP posts:
kelsaecobbles · 11/01/2024 17:48

I am near by and it feels like half the population is English - it's the border - people move across it all the time

It also voted less for independence as a result

You get bad people anywhere

PamelaParis · 11/01/2024 17:49

I think people in the Borders would be less anti-English than most other places in Scotland as there's lots of crossover. They might well be anti London money in the local property market though which is a different issue!

ichifanny · 11/01/2024 18:12

I’m from west of Scotland but it definitely gets less anti English the closer you get to the border so it’s probably the best place to be . Not saying the rest is just less so near the border , they tend to vote Tory more there too .

Lifesapurpledream · 11/01/2024 18:18

I’m at the tip of the Scottish Borders close to Edinburgh and Midlothian. Definitely not anti English here my DH is English. I’m in a village and it’s a lovely community. There are lots of English people who have moved here not aware of anyone ever having a problem.

SwishSwishBisch · 11/01/2024 18:20

Anti English or anti Westminster? Important not to get these two mixed up.

curtaintwitcher78 · 11/01/2024 18:22

The Borders isn't just one big town. They each have their own vibe, demographic and identity.
In saying that, the borders are full of English people so I'm not sure where your source got their info. You'll be fine.
Just out of curiosity, if the job is in Edinburgh why wouldn't you move there? Also full of English folk.

RoonilWazlib21 · 11/01/2024 18:23

I'm in Galashiels which is just down the back road from Lauder. I can't say I've noticed an anti-english culture at all until it comes to rugby or football and even then it's just light banter.

Sparklybanana · 11/01/2024 18:29

I was in Aberdeen for ages and I had to spend ages pretending to understand Scots so i could hide my englishness but it was so hard so I just said "aye" a lot....
In all seriousness, you will have some anti English sentiment but mainly if you tred inside a pub for a sports match. Even my Scottish friends got in on the English bashing on that one. But I still talk to them so not that bad. Our biggest argument is more attuned to whether a can of coke is really definable as 'juice'. There may be the odd word here and there but the friendliest, kindest bunch of people I met, truly a village where everyone knows everyone, was in aberdeendeenshire. Maybe some casual banter but nothing that made me scamper back to England until Sturgeon shitted on my house price and then tried to increase my tax. As long as the SNP, the lack of heat in summer and having to travel far to get anywhere is not an issue then you are unlikely to regret it.

RunnerDown · 11/01/2024 18:31

I was born there although moved many years ago. It seems incredibly unlikely that they are more anti - English than any other part of Scotland. There are more reasons to think they would be less anti -English.
Because there are some very nice places to stay where you have access to the countryside but are in striking distance of Edinburgh there has been an influx of people moving to live there from outwith the area. So I think there will be a mixed community and it’s less insular than it used to be.
Much of the anti-English sentiment in Scotland is driven by a feeling of being in a minority and constantly having your wishes and principles ignored. For example Scotland voted to stay in the EU and always votes for a left wing government but gets a right wing Party in charge . Most folk can completely separate that feeling from any ill feeling towards an individual person who is English. They would be judged in the same way any other person of any nationality would be .
Not to say that there aren’t any ignorant Scottish folk about . There are plenty , and there is unjustified prejudice here as there will be in parts of England. But I think the majority of people will be welcoming .

ScierraDoll · 11/01/2024 18:32

There are twats where ever you go. There is a lot of anti English sentiment here in Wales but generally people will be polite to you.

Hep1989 · 11/01/2024 21:12

We moved from London to Glasgow then to a small village on the west coast. In the 8 years we’ve been here I’ve never had any problems with anti English sentiment. My village is wonderful, so many community events/ clubs. If you throw yourself in I’m sure you’ll be welcomed.

Woodworm2020 · 12/01/2024 06:31

Thank you so much for all of your replies. They are extremely helpful and have given us lots to think about!

OP posts:
tttigress · 12/01/2024 06:51

Why not live on the English side of the Scottish boarder? You maybe able to pay less tax as well.

I actually got the impression that anti Englishness was more concentrated in cities/towns of the central belt anyway. With the SNP actively busing their supporters to protests in other locations that have no problem with the English to create a hostile atmosphere.

Alcyoneus · 12/01/2024 07:29

Stay on the English side of the border. Scotland is now a bigger shithole than UK in general. Higher taxes, worse education and healthcare. And a rabid government always trying to stay relevant by getting more and extreme.

Kwam31 · 12/01/2024 07:34

Think we've found the anti Scottish idiot.

mollycobb · 12/01/2024 07:34

Tttigress beat me to the tax point. With such a big move I would presume it's for a job with a decent salary so make sure to run it through a tax calculator to compare Scottish resident tax with English. Anything above £43k and there starts to be a significant advantage to staying south of that border. You need to weight that up along with commuting time and costs and if DH has to be in the office every day or not.

Anti English sentiment is a thing but varies from town to town ime. You will get the odd arsehole anywhere of course. I don't know the borders well but would have guessed it's more accustomed to english people. Edinburgh certainly is but house prices are crazy. Go for plenty visits to anywhere you consider and spend time in local cafes/shops, ask people for directions etc and no doubt it will become apparent.

liveforsummer · 12/01/2024 07:43

Lauder is super handy for Edinburgh. Takes 15/20 mins to get to the outskirts and you can park and ride too if you want to avoid traffic from there. No one is going to care that you're English. There will be plenty other English people, many who will have done similar to you for a handy commute. It wasn't the nicest town when I was growing up in the borders but like many has really improved in recent years and has a nice high street with a good range of shops unlike lots of towns these days.

StillCreatingAName · 12/01/2024 07:54

I’d pop this message on Scotsnet @Woodworm2020 as it’s not an AIBU then, should get you more practical advice.

I did your move in reverse, Sco to another part of the UK. As pp said, it’s mostly a grievance against Westminster but unfortunately it comes out in anti-English rhetoric. People in glass houses and all that, as the SNP Scottish government are utter numpties, but if your neighbour voted for them, be prepared for the passive aggressive welcome to the neighbourhood. Don’t be sucked in by the freebies, they were only ever introduced as vote bribes, read the small print on them and do the maths around income tax before making your move. You’re best to go to Edinburgh itself if budget allows, for an easier place to land…or lovely Northumberland if your DH doesn’t have to be in the office every day.

RunnerDown · 12/01/2024 08:50

Peebles is a lovely town and in easy commuting distance of Edinburgh.
The anti-snp rhetoric on mumsnet is much more unpleasant than my experience irl .

EvesamtsirhC · 12/01/2024 09:14

I've never experienced any anti-English abuse and I've lived in the Central Belt for 18 years. I work with the public so interact with all sorts of people. I now live in a little village and although my accent sticks out like a sore thumb, I've never had any comments or ill feeling.

thechangling · 12/01/2024 09:17

I grew up in The Borders. It's a great outdoorsy lifestyle particularly if you like rugby, horses and / or walking. Not sure I'd choose Lauder, but if you like it, go for it.
It's not anti- English (my parents are English and still live there).
I moved away a long time ago as there's not much to do beyond rugby, horses and/ or walking! Having said that, the Trainline from Tweedbank up to Edinburgh is a massive positive and now gives easy access to a lot going on in Edinburgh

StillCreatingAName · 12/01/2024 09:40

RunnerDown · 12/01/2024 08:50

Peebles is a lovely town and in easy commuting distance of Edinburgh.
The anti-snp rhetoric on mumsnet is much more unpleasant than my experience irl .

Yes, but that’s because the majority of people are civilised enough not to mention it in every day settings. It’s unfair to the OP to pretend it doesn’t exist and that, yes in parts of Scotland some folk don’t hold back to be polite about it.

Pitbulllove · 12/01/2024 09:41

I live in the Borders (East side) and don’t notice any anti English sentiment at all. There’s definitely a lot of racism though, and the only demographic in scotland to vote tory.

Dotjones · 12/01/2024 09:45

YANBU. There's a lot of anti-English racism around the borders and it gets worse as you go further north until you pass Glasgow/Edinburgh. By the time you get to the Highlands it's largely fine though avoid the Western Isles (to be fair, they loathe mainland Scots too).

Scottishskifun · 12/01/2024 09:47

There is always slight undertones in some people mostly not though.
Although be warned our tax rates are higher and not by a little bit anyone over 25k pays more and if your DH is a high earner they are shortly to introduce another tax band, so if your looking at a borders town you might be best being in an English Town and getting a fast train instead! I'm not in the new tax band but pay 2k more in tax then English colleagues.

It's worth weighing up the pros and cons! Also the 2 year old funding for nursery hasn't been confirmed for Scotland (think the Scottish govt are hoping people will forget.....) It's definitely worth doing your sums over!

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