Relocating to Scotland - any comments

balidey

Distinguished Member
As part of my looking for a new job, there are several I have seen that are in Scotland. Previously my wife would not have even entertained that thought, but she has suddenly hit me with the bombshell that she would love to move up there too.
We live in the east midlands. We have had holidays in Scotland before, in summer, only as far north as Stirling. We loved Edinburgh and Glasgow.
So I have applied for a handful of jobs, all with better salary than I am on now, but not heard anything back yet (bloody infuriating applying through agencies who just don't reply!).

Anyway, we are under no illusion that moving that far north is going to be a big change for us, and I wandered if anyone had done it, or if anyone had any other useful comments to add?

Just to add, we have 3 kids, 1 is nearing the end of primary school, 1 in middle of secondary, the eldest, just about to start GCSEs. We think the plan may involve the eldest living with grandparents here until exams are over.
All our immediate family live in this area (part of the reason to move? ;))

Some of the jobs I applied for are just over the border, a couple are as far north as Inverness and even one on the north coast, so about a 12 hour drive!

Property prices seem significantly less than here. We have only just started thinking about a move, so not even valued our house yet. The further north, the more house and land you get for the money.

So any comments about any part of living, working, schooling etc from people who live there or even better, people who have moved there from England? We have googled it plenty, but most of what we read is from people promoting areas and schools.
 

Cocksure

Well-known Member
Lucky B! Is all I can say if you do move :smashin:

Mind you it does depend on where you move to, but even so :)

Edit
Be careful on some of the places you apply for, as parts of Scotland have similar house prices to London. Parts of Edinburgh and Perth for example.
 
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Astaroth

Well-known Member
Their education system is very different, they dont have GCSEs & A Levels but their own systems. I dont know if they've changed since my days living up there but back then you did one set of exams at 16/17 and could then go into a 4 year degree at uni or do an extra year at school doing Highers when you'd then typically go straight into 2nd year at university and thus have a 3 year degree like in England/Wales.

The rest of it, well its all still the UK and so not really that different. Weather is wetter/colder but they are also generally better prepared for it. Just like the north/south divide in England there is a certain macho element to being able to cope with the weather better than anyone further south than you are etc.

When I was there ther were a few quirks like water meters being almost non-existant and council tax covering the cost of water if you're on mains. There are a lot more properties that arent on mains water or sewerage, particularly the more north you go (out of towns obv). Similarly having oil rather than gas is more common in the rural areas - a tank you get topped up rather than being piped. None cause problems, just if you have a septic tank need to be careful with cleaning products and if you're not then factor in having to pay for it to be cleaned/emptied more often.
 

InvisibleDuncan

Well-known Member
Their education system is very different, they dont have GCSEs & A Levels but their own systems. I dont know if they've changed since my days living up there but back then you did one set of exams at 16/17 and could then go into a 4 year degree at uni or do an extra year at school doing Highers when you'd then typically go straight into 2nd year at university and thus have a 3 year degree like in England/Wales.
Yep, this is still the case. You have Standard Grades instead of GCSEs, followed a year later by Higher Grades (after which you can go for a 4 year degree at a Scottish university), followed a year later by Advanced Highers (the equivalent of A-Levels - they used to be called Certificate of Sixth Year Studies in my day!) which can lead you on to a three-year degree.

Note that if you live in Scotland, you (well, your kids) would be eligible for free university education in Scotland, and Scotland does have some superb universities. However, I believe there are currently fairly worrying issues with normal secondary education in Scotland; the government dedicate all their time to agitating about independence rather than actually governing, and as a result the standard of education has fallen quite substantially over the last decade or so. Obviously, that will vary from place to place.

There can be some issues with anti-English feeling, but I think it's actually quite rare and will again depend on where you end up. My English niece has lived in Inverness for the past 5 years or so, having taken her degree in Edinburgh, and I don't believe she's ever had any problems like that in either place. Most people are lovely, warm and welcoming.

Oh, and if you go too far north - beware of the midges.
 

balidey

Distinguished Member
It took 3 replies until the mention of midges :D
Thanks guys, the schooling system is something we knew a little about, but I didn't know about the free Uni places.
 

Cocksure

Well-known Member
Free prescription too i think.

Some of the food is different in that they sell things that you can't get hold of in England, and likewise some English food is hard to find in Scotland (toad in the hole for example).

McDonald's sell Iron Bru as standard, deep fried pizza/mars bars at most fish and chip shops, lots of little things really. In some ways it's part of the UK, in others it's an independent country (BBC 1 Scotland shows different programs to BBC 1 England quite often) in lots of little ways.
 

Astaroth

Well-known Member
deep fried pizza/mars bars at most fish and chip shops
Actually this is more regional.

My girlfriend when I lived up in Dundee was mortified when she ordered a pizza supper (they drop "and chips" in exchange for supper) and they put the pizza in the oven not the fryer.

Still not worked out what "red pudding" is that was available from most the chippies but never seen anywhere else - black & white puddings were the normal thing just large sausage sized, battered and deep fried
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Free university education - though we have that in the UK as mad JC will probably be in power by then.

Cheaper housing - though not in all areas, Aberdeen and Edinburgh for example.

You might get to break away from the UK and remain in the EU if the even madder NS has her way.

But if the UK does ever get Brexit sorted out and Scotland join the EU then Scotland can expect massive immigration.

Entry qualification question:

You are a big football fan. England are playing Germany in the World Cup Final. You have no ties with Germany what so ever. Who do you support?

Cheers,

Nigel
 

balidey

Distinguished Member
Entry qualification question:
You are a big football fan. England are playing Germany in the World Cup Final. You have no ties with Germany what so ever. Who do you support?
Cheers,
Nigel
I don't follow football. So bullet dodged.
 

Astaroth

Well-known Member
I don't follow football. So bullet dodged.
Not really.... there'll be an assumption that you're following England and just not brave enough to say so. General rule is, you simply cheer for anyone whos playing against England.

England games and when Braveheart was on TV were the only two times it wasnt safe to go into a pub with an english accent
 

Astaroth

Well-known Member
Red pudding - Wikipedia

Wouldnt mind trying it :)
OP if you do move then you will need to try it and report back :D
Yes, I googled and found it just after posting.... don't think Wikipedia was so complete when I last looked a decade ago or so and certainly not when I lived there almost 20 years ago. I recall it being much "whiter" than the photos but I guess the chip shop version may use more fat to cut the price than the more artisan butchers version
 

misterS3

Active Member
I'd take the whole declining education system with a pinch of salt.

It's better than most and from comparing between my family North and south of the border, more in England go to fee paying / private schools and they do far more in terms of private tuition. But that's only anecdotal. All I'm saying is wherever you're moving, check the league tables for schools in that area. There will be bad and good everywhere.

I've lived in London, Manchester and I'm from Glasgow. Lifestyle choice is Glasgow. London was great on my early 20s but I got fed up of the lack of space and commuting.
 

balidey

Distinguished Member
I've been checking rightmove and noticed that a lot of properties in Scotland are now not using the 'offers above' as much. Many are 'selling price' and some are 'offers in region of'. Where as I also see more UK houses adopting the Scottish 'offers above' tactic.

All I need now is a job offer or two. Those red puddings are calling me....
 

Fat_Tony

Distinguished Member
We moved to Northern Ireland nearly 15 years ago, the varying property prices meant we moved from a 3 bed end of terrace on an estate to 15 acres in the middle of nowhere and a nice big house for almost identical prices. Obviously if I ever wanted to move back that would throw up problems but its not on the cards.

I would never take such a drastic risk at this stage of life but back then we had few responsibilities so nothing to lose, it was the best move we ever made and wouldn't ever want to move back to England.
 

deantown

Distinguished Member
Spent the first 23 years of my existence in Edinburgh and the Lothians and still travel up there regularly. I have never heard of red puddings. In my youth I used to get a fish supper and a single white pudding on the way home from the pub, lovely .
 

bigjb

Distinguished Member
What location is the job on the north coast.

Going back around fifteen years the English were known as the white settlers around Inverness. The flights from Inverness to London on a Monday morning were always full and the same on the Friday evening return.

Lots of lovely sightseeing locations and beaches all close by to Inverness.

The north coast would be even better.
 

Sargalicious

Standard Member
Hi, the education is generally okay and in most cases is very similar to the England, the only 'real' differences of consequence are the names of the exams. GCSE's exist in 'National' format and 'A' levels are 'Highers'. From my experience of teaching both in Scotland and England, the standard is pretty similar.

Andrew
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
As part of my looking for a new job, there are several I have seen that are in Scotland. Previously my wife would not have even entertained that thought, but she has suddenly hit me with the bombshell that she would love to move up there too.
We live in the east midlands. We have had holidays in Scotland before, in summer, only as far north as Stirling. We loved Edinburgh and Glasgow.
So I have applied for a handful of jobs, all with better salary than I am on now, but not heard anything back yet (bloody infuriating applying through agencies who just don't reply!).

Anyway, we are under no illusion that moving that far north is going to be a big change for us, and I wandered if anyone had done it, or if anyone had any other useful comments to add?

Just to add, we have 3 kids, 1 is nearing the end of primary school, 1 in middle of secondary, the eldest, just about to start GCSEs. We think the plan may involve the eldest living with grandparents here until exams are over.
All our immediate family live in this area (part of the reason to move? ;))

Some of the jobs I applied for are just over the border, a couple are as far north as Inverness and even one on the north coast, so about a 12 hour drive!

Property prices seem significantly less than here. We have only just started thinking about a move, so not even valued our house yet. The further north, the more house and land you get for the money.

So any comments about any part of living, working, schooling etc from people who live there or even better, people who have moved there from England? We have googled it plenty, but most of what we read is from people promoting areas and schools.
I married a Scot and accordingly relocated north of the border - I moved from Warwick to Loch Lomond (not far from Glasgow with easy access to M8/M74 and north into the scenic highlands). Never regretted it as there are so many positives. Better air quality, less traffic, so much real-estate for your money, genuine right to roam, friendly people (most of the time and some areas of Glasgow excluded), easy access to some of the most scenic areas in the UK etc etc

I will probably get shot down for this but Edinburgh is more English than Scottish and the east coast as a whole definitely gets the better weather. Personally I would recommend you stay near the central belt as it is better connected (motorways/trains/international airports and access to Glasgow and Edinburgh which collectively have just about everything you could ever want) although clearly Aberdeen is dripping in money and infrastructure. The Highlands are beautiful but personally I wouldn't want to live there - a little too remote for my tastes. The Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway are also lovely but seem to be the first place to get snow/ice and the last place to lose it.

Downsides are you will pay slightly more tax (if on the 40% rate of tax) and I suspect Scotland will be independent one day (although personally I hope not!). I have to admit, I also struggled with some elements of pronunciation of place names for my first few years - "you pronounce that like an Englishman" - "I am an Englishman!".
 
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