Are you thinking of moving to Scotland?
Whether you are drawn to the country for the fresh air, the stunning highland, or the welcoming locals, there is an abundance of reasons why people decide moving to Scotland is ideal for them.
We understand you may have some doubts about moving home.
It is therefore understandable to have even more worries when moving to a whole new country!
You are probably asking yourself what would life be like when moving to Scotland.
We are here to help ease your mind.
Regardless of whether you know everything or nothing about life north of the border, living in Scotland is sure to offer something to appeal to you!
It is important to do some thorough research before you try to buy a home in Scotland.
The process is different in several ways compared to the rest of the UK, so “forearmed is forewarned” as they say.
Zoopla has a very helpful step-by-step guide packed with advice and tips about purchasing a property in Scotland.
Apart from the actual purchasing process, the first thing you will notice about Scotland’s property market is the cost. Prices are generally much lower when compared to the Southern half of the UK.
As is the norm anywhere in the world, you will pay more for a home if you choose to live in a city. However, living in a Scottish city means properties are nowhere near as expensive as London.
Numbeo, the cost-of-living comparison website, indicates that in June 2023, you can expect to pay 65.2% less for a similar property in the centre of Edinburgh than in London.
Some of the cheapest homes are in the Scottish county of Ayrshire where, according to Rightmove, the overall average price of a home over the last year has been £193,863.
North Berwick in East Lothian is among one of the costliest locations in Scotland. You can expect to pay an average of £480,057 for a home here.
If you are planning to lease a property, you can also expect to be paying less.
Again, using London as a comparison, the average rental cost for a one-bedroom apartment in a city such as Edinburgh is half the price sitting at £1024pcm, 50.5% lower than London’s £2070 average!
Cost of Living
Whether it is the weekly shop, housing or the price of clothing or entertainment, it is true that the cost of living is broadly cheaper than South of the border.
Unless you are lucky enough to land a high-paying job, it is important to bear in mind, however, that your earning potential is also lower in Scotland too
Again, where you live will affect your expenditure. Scotland’s cities are inevitably more expensive. Edinburgh is the costliest whilst Dundee, Glasgow and Stirling are among the cheapest.
Many make savings by living in less populated areas and making good use of Scotland’s great transport connections and cost-effective public transport provision by commuting to work.
Scotland is home to more world-class universities per head of population than almost any country in the world and what is more, there are no university fees, another cost-saving potential.
Obviously, there is no set price for day-to-day supplies in Scotland.
Below is a list of some basic items and what you may pay for them:
- 1 litre of milk: £0.99
- 1 litre of petrol: £1.60
- Loaf of Bread: £1.07
- 12 eggs: £2.05
- a meal in a budget restaurant: £15
- meal for 2 in a mid-range restaurant: £60.00
If you are out and about but have a limited budget, check out the following website which lists all sorts of interesting things you can do and see for free!
As well as major motorways that make inter-city travel quick and easy, Scotland also has 12 National Tourist Routes and the North Coast 500, known to be one of the world’s most beautiful road trips.
The transport system in Scotland’s most populated regions is of an excellent standard with busses, trains and major roads offering access to most regions.
The extensive railway services (owned by Network Rail) link most of the country and extend on into England.
As of 2018, the total route length of the rail network in Scotland is 2,819 km (1,752 mi). 709 km (441 mi) of the rail network is electrified, and there are 359 stations.
Regular ferry services run between the Scottish mainland and its outlying islands.
Scotland has five international airports running scheduled services to Europe, North America and Asia, as well as domestic services to England, Northern Ireland, and Wales.
London is only an hour away and Frankfurt only 90 minutes, so it is easier than ever to make that all-important meeting.
With so many wonderful and unique things to see it is good to know that getting around Scotland could not be easier, no matter what mode of transport you choose to take.
Nature and Wildlife
Coastal adventures, pristine untouched wilderness, mountains, and valleys, from the highlands to the islands, you can’t help being caught up in the drama of the landscape.
Plus, Scotland is every photographer’s dream.
There are two national parks to discover teeming with wildlife.
Unlike the national parks of many other countries, the national parks of Scotland are not areas of uninhabited land owned by the state.
The majority of the land is in the ownership of private landowners (including conservation bodies such as the National Trust for Scotland), and people continue to live and work in the parks.
Mountains are a common feature. Glen Coe is one of Scotland’s most iconic and popular places. www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/glencoe
Located in the West Highlands, its towering peaks, haunting history, abundant wildlife, and options for outdoor adventures are a powerful draw for many.
Rugged peninsulas and forests are home to elusive mammals such as Pine Marten and Scottish Wildcat, while its highland areas provide habitat for Red, Roe and Sika Deer, and rarities such as Mountain Hare.
Hiking routes such as the classic West Highland Way, the most popular walking holiday in the UK are the absolute best way to get up close to both nature and wildlife.
The clear crystal waters of the North Coast are easily comparable to the Caribbean but without the hot sun.
Sanna Bay, Sands Beach, Luskentyre and Sandwood Bay Beach are unrivalled and an absolute must-see.
Not just for their beauty but whales, dolphins, seals puffins and many other species live in or alongside these waters.
Kayaking is a popular water sport; it provides rowers with a close encounter as some seals and dolphins have become quite used to being observed.
There is no doubt about it, Scotland comes to nature and wildlife, Scotland comes into its own.
Although very successful, the school system in Scotland is not the same as in the UK. It has its own qualification framework that is separate from the one set for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
It is another important area which requires some thought and planning before your move if you have or are planning a family.
Distinct from the rest of the United Kingdom, Scottish education offers a characteristic emphasis on a broader free-thinking education to over 700,000 children across the country.
Like the rest of the UK, it is mandatory for all children between the ages of 5-18 to attend school.
Children are taught under a system known as Curriculum for Excellence, which places an emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and skills development.
State schooling is free and unlike the UK, higher education is also fee-free up until the age of 25.
Over 50,000 students study at Scotland’s fifteen universities, some of which are amongst the oldest in the world.
Scotland’s universities are complemented by the provision of Further and Higher Education at 43 colleges.
In 2022, the latest annual SQA Results were higher than estimated.
34.8% of Higher-level exam entries in Scotland were awarded an A grade, compared with 24.3% being awarded a B grade, and 19.8% a C grade.
Although the previous year had the highest share of A grades being awarded, the conditions in which the 2020 and 2021 exams were assessed were significantly different from previous years due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Stats as per Statista.
Here is a simple but helpful explanation of Scotland’s education system.
Moving to Scotland means there are some different rules to understand when it comes to universities.
Scotland offers free education for individuals with permanent residence.
This is clearly a major bonus for any families potentially planning a move here.
If your children live in Scotland and go to any University in the UK, their education will be free.
On the other hand, if you live in England, you will have to pay regardless of where the University is.
Furthermore, Scotland offers world-class education!
Scottish Universities consistently rank very highly in the league tables.
For a list of the best universities in Scotland visit the Times Higher Education website.
Renowned for its famous cobbled streets, stunning castles, and lively arts scene, Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, merges historical prestige with a cosmopolitan lifestyle.
The city has long been a leader in education and engineering and has also become an extremely popular location for notable individuals in the worlds of art and literature.
Edinburgh is quickly becoming one of the top destinations not only for Scots to relocate to but for people from across the British Isles.
This is largely thanks to the city’s flourishing finance sector, the array of outdoor locales and affordable homes.
Whilst only the seventh most populated city in the UK, Edinburgh feels far less crowded than many major cities.
The city is also easy to navigate, thanks to the excellent transport network.
Residents can arrive in Glasgow in just under an hour by train and can even reach London in around 4 hours!
Residents of Edinburgh are in for a treat when it comes to nature.
There is a truly excellent range of nature and woodland trails dotted across the city. One of the best locations is Holyrood Park.
This 650-acre natural haven with its own loch, (extinct) volcano, cliffs, and the ruins of prehistoric forts!
Glasgow maybe your top pick if you are moving to Scotland.
Sitting on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland.
Once an industrial powerhouse lined with Victorian buildings, Glasgow has recovered from its post-war decline.
Key industries include commerce, tourism, culture, and sport.
Glasgow was also the proud host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Packed with street art, stylish bars, and an excellent live music scene, Glasgow has escaped its reputation as an old town.
If you are moving to Scotland from within the UK, you will be happy to know unpredictable weather is the norm!
However, don’t be fooled into thinking Scottish weather is the same as the rest of the UK.
Moving to Scotland will certainly increase the likelihood of sledging!
Snow is a far more common sight here than it is further south.
Lovers of snow are sure to be satisfied when moving to Scotland!
But it is not all snowmen and icy roads.
Summer in Scotland is certainly an excellent time of the year.
With a summer climate akin to the rest of the UK.
Moving to Scotland ensures residents can enjoy long summer strolls in the stunning highlands.
The country’s coastline totals an astonishing 12,000 miles!
From the soft white sands and turquoise waters of Orkney, the northwest coast and the Hebrides, and the broad windswept golden strands of the east coast.
Scotland is also home to some truly stunning beaches that rival many across the world.
Check out some of the best seaside locations here.
Ready to Start Moving to Scotland?
Have you decided to take the leap by moving to Scotland?
Moving to Scotland is an excellent choice for many.
Living here certainly has heaps to offer those who decide to make the move north.
Scotland offers its residents a wide range of properties at affordable prices, some outstanding activities to indulge in, top schools and some world-renowned locations to live in.
If you are thinking of moving to Scotland and have found your dream home, we are here to help you get moving.
You can start planning your move with the help of our Scotland Removals service from White & Company today.
For your convenience, White & Company are also happy to offer you a home survey via our virtual video survey service.
We can gather all the relevant information for your move from the comfort of your own home.
So, fill out a quick quote form to see how we can get your dream move to Scotland underway.
Max is a seasoned writer and blogger in the real estate and home moving sectors, as well as a knowledgeable source of information for expatriates living and working abroad. His detailed insights have helped thousands of people move and live abroad with greater simplicity and ease.