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Our Scottish Dream - advice needed for relocation!

Hi there...I'm hoping that there may be some people out there who can offer me some advice to help my family and I move to Scotland.  I have loved the place since my first holiday age 13 and I have now realised, 20 years later, that Scotland is where I want to raise my children and create a better life for my family.  We currently live in Manchester and we are more than desperate for a change of lifestyle.  Our goal is that by March 2018 we will be gone from here and will hopefully have our own home in Scotland. 

So, I am after some insider knowledge about some of the best places to live.  We love The Highlands as it is the area we know best, but we are not really fixed on a particular location (although I do have a great fondness for Fort Augustus).  Our budget is £100,000 and we would like something rural but not too far from a primary school.  We would even go for a plot of land and live in a caravan whilst we built a home if we needed to.  We are community minded hard workers and our dream is to eventually have a couple of eco-friendly holiday cabins.  We are not rich people, but we have a lot of determination!

If anyone has any advice about great locations, then please let me know.  Also, I'd love some info regarding planning permission issues, such as how long the process has taken for people on here and how expensive it was.  Thank you all - I hope someone can help!


  • VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    edited April 2017
    Hi @ourscottishdream

    Welcome to the community :)

    Scotland is a great place to live (I moved here from New Zealand myself) but one thing you might want to factor in is what kind of work you and your partner are looking for. For some career paths you might need to be in one of the bigger cities, or depending on what you do you might find a smaller town to suit your needs. Have you had a look online to see what kinds of jobs are available throughout the country that would interest you? That might be a good place to start :) 

    There are definitely smaller/more rural areas not too far from cities as well, which might be of use to you. For example plenty of people live in Fife but work in Edinburgh as it's an easy ride on the train. 

    Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 
  • VisitScotlandJulieVisitScotlandJulie Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @ourscottishdream

    We'd love to have you here!
    You might find the Talent Scotland website useful. The link below takes you to a page which describes different regions of Scotland for those looking to relocate. It also advises on where to look for jobs and the practicalities of relocation.

  • Thanks @VisitScotlandJulie and @VisitScotlandAmanda - that's really useful information. My partner and I currently run an independent Art and Vintage shop in an affluent part of Manchester but it is not the lifestyle we want so we're pretty much open to doing anything when we start our new Scottish life - we both have experience and qualifications in various things so hopefully we'll be able to find something.  I think we'd both love something that involved outdoor/woodland type work so I think I'll start doing some research. Thanks for the boost I needed to get towards the next level of our plan! x
  • @VisitScotlandJulie - that talentscotland website is awesome!  That is exactly what I needed.  I've just emailed them so hopefully it'll put me on the next step towards our goal. Thanks for the recommendation.
  • DMWScotlandDMWScotland VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017
    Hello @ourscottishdream!

    If you love outdoors, working with a passionate community, looking to have eco-friendly holiday cabins, one place I love that springs to mind is the Isle of Arran. Probably because I would like to live there one day! I've only ever been a visitor, so I haven't experienced a real working life there. It's Scotland in miniature!

    Small numbers in the primary schools I would imagine, one secondary school. Maybe too remote for you? It's fairly easy to get the ferry from Brodick to Ardrossan and jump on a train to Glasgow if you need a city fix.

    Might be worth looking at. The island is a popular place to visit, so renting out your caravans could work well. The scenery is spectacular! Check out Visit Scotland's page. I also have a few stories on my blog about some the walks I've done.

    I hope you find the perfect place. Even if it's not Arran, go for a wee holiday instead :).

    All the best in your search!
    I blog about places I've explored in Scotland on Love Exploring Scotland  <3
    Follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube :)
  • Thanks @DMWScotland - I've never visited the Isle of Arran so that's something we definitely need to do.  I love the idea of island life (although my partner isn't too keen) - I was fantasising about the Isle of Lewis but I've accepted that that is too remote for our needs right now. We're going to do a bit of a tour for a week in the summer and check out as many places as possible so I'll definitely put the Isle of Arran on our list - thanks for the tip!
  • DMWScotlandDMWScotland VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    You're welcome @ourscottishdream. The good thing about Arran is you can feel as remote as you want, but also come back to some kind of civilisation. Best of both worlds for sure! Let me know what you think if you visit :)
    I blog about places I've explored in Scotland on Love Exploring Scotland  <3
    Follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube :)
  • FullStopNextChapterFullStopNextChapter VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    @ourscottishdream - My partner and I moved from rural Herefordshire up near to Perth back in October 2015. I can wholeheartedly say it is THE best decision we have ever made. Thankfully my other half was able to transfer with his job quite easily and I continued with my photography business. I have had to rebuild my client base and supplier network but that is easy enough.

    We chose Perthshire because it has great links to Edinburgh and Glasgow by rail and road (both just over an hour by road). We can be on St Andrew's beach in under an hour too or the Cairngorm National Park in less than two hours. Perfect for us.

    Good luck with your research and the move  
    Join in my new chapter over on the blog. Discovering all things that make Scotland the place everyone wants to visit. 

  • ourscottishdreamourscottishdream Member ✭✭
    Thank you @FullStopNextChapter - that's very useful.  We currently live in a supposed 'nice' part of Manchester but it is truly not a nice place to live or run a business.  We can't wait to get to Scotland!  Just planning a little 3 day home-seeking adventure over the next bank holiday w/end so will definitely check out Perthshire.  Thanks again - its great to hear of other English folks who have successfully made the move.
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