Moving/Relocating To Scotland: 11 Must-Know Tips & Pointers

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Suppose you are looking for a place in the United Kingdom (UK) that offers a historical vibe, beautiful nature, and affordable cost of living. In that case, you should consider moving to Scotland.

Scotland is the second-largest country in the UK and is home to 5.51 million people. If you live in Scotland, you will see why the Scottish people are known as the friendliest in the UK. Expats living in Scotland understand how friendly and welcoming the local people are.

In this article, we will let you in on the pros and cons of living in Scotland, and many tips to help you settle in the country.

1. Be Aware Of The Pros And Cons Of Living In Scotland

Living in Scotland offers many benefits, such as free health care, proximity to recreational spots, and more. However, like many things, it comes with its own downsides. Knowing these downsides beforehand is important so that you can make the necessary preparations.

Therefore, here are some pros and cons of living in Scotland to give you an idea about how to adapt to this country.

The Pros Of Living In Scotland

Free Health Care

The Scottish government manages the National Health Service (NHS) to provide free health care services to the residents. If you are employed or self-employed in Scotland, you can receive free healthcare from the NHS.

If you are an expat, remember to find information about registering for healthcare services before moving to Scotland. You can ask your employer, school advisor, or immigration staff when you apply for your visa.

Work-Life Balance

You can maintain a work-life balance when living in Scotland. There are many things to see and enjoy in Scotland, from magnificent buildings and gardens to exciting events and festivals.

You will not run out of things to do during your vacation time or days off. Having things planned to destress is the best way to balance work and personal life.

Stunning Scenery

Scotland is a beautiful country with stunning scenery. The best thing is you can enjoy sightseeing in many ways here. For example, you can drive, take a bus, train, or boat tour.

Please make sure that you have a bucket list of places to see. Visiting beautiful places in Scotland, such as national parks or historical sites, will give you a deeper insight into the culture in Scotland.

The Cons Of Living In Scotland

Culture Shock

Many people from overseas may find it challenging to understand the Scottish accent. However, with frequent communication with your local friends, you will eventually understand the accent.

If you are from countries where the clubs close at 6 or 7 a.m like Spain, you need to change your party schedule in Scotland. Most clubs close at 3 a.m here, and only a handful close at 4 a.m.


There are different council tax bands, from A (the lowest tax) to H (the highest tax). This classification is based on the accommodation you live in, such as the type and whether you have a TV or not.

Therefore, it is crucial to know the type of accommodation you will live in before moving to Scotland. You can ensure which council tax band your accommodation is and avoid the higher tax band.

2. Get Familiar With The Climate In Scotland

The climate in Scotland is classified as temperate and oceanic. It means Scotland experiences mild temperatures during all four seasons. Thanks to this climate, it is possible to explore Scotland all year round.

The coldest temperature during winter in Scotland is 32°F (0°C) and the highest temperature in summers ranging from 59 to 63°F (15 to 17°C). On the other hand, Scotland’s highlands experience around 250 days of rainfall while other parts of Scotland experience 175 days of rainfall.

3. Find Out The Cost Of Living In Scotland

In general, the cost of living in Scotland is relatively more affordable than in the rest of the UK. That’s why Scotland is a perfect destination for students, professionals, and business owners.

On average, a family of four spends around £2,100 to £2,900 per month. On the other hand, most single households spend about £835 to £900 per month. These living expenses are relatively affordable because the average annual salary in Scotland is among the highest in the UK.

Most people in Scotland earn about £25,600 to £31,672. You can use this information as a benchmark for your salary here.

  • Here are some tips that you can use to save more money in Scotland:
  • Choose a neighbourhood outside the city centre area;
  • Get vouchers and discounts by using a mobile app like Vouchercloud;
  • Use a reusable cup because most coffee shops will give you a discount for using it; and
  • Get recommendations from your new friends or colleagues about cheaper shopping options.

Image Credit: Unsplash

4. Best Places To Live In Scotland

If having a work-life balance is your priority, you’d definitely want to check these happiest places in Scotland. According to Rightmove, the following cities have the highest happiness index in Scotland.


Stirling is ranked the 6th happiest place in the UK and the highest in Scotland. This happiness index includes the community’s friendliness and sense of community, amenities, and opportunities to develop their skills.
In addition, Stirling is generally pretty safe. However, it is still essential to find areas with the highest safety rates.

The housing prices in Stirling are reasonable. The average house price is £201,372, and the monthly rent is £985.


Ranked the 11th happiest place in the UK, Perth offers a high safety rate because the local police patrol around the town regularly.

Additionally, Perth is overall an excellent city to work and live in. It has picturesque scenery, beautiful architecture, and it is pretty easy to commute around the city.

The average house price in Perth is relatively low, at £180,532, and the average monthly rent is £627. The affordability and safety make Perth perfect for single young professionals, families, and students.


Inverness ranked 51st for the happiest place in the UK. It is no wonder because the residents in this city feel safe and secure to live and work here.

Most people move to Inverness because of the economic growth in this area. However, Inverness also has beautiful landscapes and historical sites that you can visit to destress. Therefore, this place is perfect if you want balanced work and personal life.

The average house price in Inverness is £209,967, and the average monthly rent for an apartment is £748, making housing relatively affordable.

5. Seize The Opportunities In Scotland’s Job Market

In general, Scotland provides a competitive salary and many career development opportunities. Regardless of your work experience and skillset, finding a job in Scotland is possible.

Here are some of the sectors with high demand jobs in Scotland:

  • teaching and education;
  • technology;
  • pharmacy;
  • healthcare;
  • creative industries; and
  • science.

You can find available positions in these sectors by visiting job portals or asking for information from your local friend.

Remember to find a job before moving to Scotland. It is to ensure you are financially secure before arriving in a new country.

6. Navigate Your Ways: Public Transport And Driving In Scotland

There are various means of transportation that you can use to travel within Scotland. There are buses, express coaches, rail stations, ferries, Glasgow subway, and Edinburgh tram for the public transportation services.

To explore the Highlands areas, you should drive a car. The locations of tourist destinations spread far apart from one another, making it difficult to explore by public transport.

If you decide to drive in Scotland, you need to know the basic traffic rules, such as always driving on the left side of the road, learning the speed limits, and making sure you have a valid driving licence to drive in Scotland.

7. Learn About The Catchment Area Policy In Scotland

There is a catchment area policy for schools in Scotland in which schools will prioritise the children that reside within their catchment areas. Therefore, if you plan to transfer your children to schools in Scotland, you should research schools available in your neighbourhood.

The catchment areas maps were published on the city’s official websites. For example, you can find the catchment area map for schools in Edinburgh on its local government website.

Image Credit: VisitScotland

8. Snap A Picture With These Landmarks As The Background

There are iconic landmarks in every city in Scotland. You can create wonderful memories by taking pictures at these famous landmarks. Here are the must-visit places as follows:

  • Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders;
  • Scott Monument, Edinburgh;
  • Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh;
  • The Kelpies in Falkirk, Scotland;
  • Loch Ness, Scotland; and
  • Stirling Castle, Stirling.

9. Events You Cannot Miss In Scotland

Learn more about Scottish culture and get closer to the people by attending festivals and events in Scotland. There will be food, performances, and adventure to experience during the festivals.

Below are some of the festivals that you cannot miss if you want to experience the culture and nature of Scotland:

  • Up Helly Aa;
  • The Edinburgh Festival Fringe;
  • Hogmanay – New Year’s Eve;
  • St. Andrew’s Day;
  • Dumfries & Galloway Wild Spring Festival; and
  • Scottish Traditional Boat Festival.

It will be best to attend the festivals with your local friends, so they can be your guide. Besides that, you can expand your friendship circle with local friends and colleagues by going to festivals together.

Image Credit: Unsplash

10. Local Delicacy To Make You Feel Like Home

Your experience living in Scotland will not be complete without tasting the traditional Scottish dishes. For your reference, here are some of the famous traditional Scottish dishes that you must try in Scotland:

  • Cullen skink,
  • Scotch pie,
  • Shortbread,
  • Haggis,
  • Cranachan, and many more.

For the drink, whisky is the most popular one in Scotland. There are over 100 distilleries in Scotland that you can explore by joining a tour.

11. Things To Prepare Before Moving To Scotland

Before moving to Scotland, you need to prepare the following things. These points are crucial to ensure your relocation is seamless without unwanted obstacles.

The Right Documents

After you have your moving date, make sure to start the process of obtaining the required documents as soon as possible. Whether you are moving to work, study, or as a spouse, having the proper documents will help your relocation process go as planned without legal problems.

If you are moving for a job, having documents such as a work visa and work permit will help your employer do their administrative procedure.

Important Contacts

Please make sure you have the important contacts in your relocation note, such as real estate agent and employer or school advisor. Remember to contact them a couple of weeks before your moving trip, so they can prepare any essential thing before your arrival.

Engage Sanelo

Whether you are moving locally or internationally, it will be better to have a professional deliver your belongings to the new city. You will have less stress because you won’t have to carry heavy luggage during your trip.

Conclusion About Moving To Scotland

Living in Scotland offers better opportunities for your career and education, accessible healthcare services, proximity to beautiful landscapes, and an excellent public transport system.

Additionally, the cost of living and the housing prices in Scotland are relatively affordable. This makes Scotland perfect for anyone, from students to families. You can easily find the safest areas in Scotland with affordable housing prices online.

You will also love Scotland for its community and culture. Participating in local events and festivals can get you closer to the locals. You can also visit museums and historical sites during weekends or off days to learn more about the local culture.

Before heading to Scotland, you need to prepare for your relocation well. Please make sure you have all the required documents packed, and contact the important parties a couple of weeks before the moving date.

To get an even more seamless relocation process, engage Sanelo to ship your belongings to Scotland. Whether you are moving locally or internationally, our team is ready to assist you through the relocation process and ensure that your needs are met.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Scotland

Can A British Citizen Move To Scotland?

If you are a British citizen planning to move to Scotland, you need to obtain a visa from the UK home office. It is because the UK government set the immigration policy in Scotland.

Can I Live In Scotland As A US Citizen?

Scotland welcomes people from different parts of the globe every year. You can move to Scotland as an American citizen with the correct visa. There are also expats groups that will help you adapt to your new environment.

Is Scotland A Good Place For Expatriates?

Overall, Scotland is a good place for expats. Scottish people are generally friendly to people from other races and backgrounds. Besides that, there are expats groups that will help you to adapt and settle in Scotland.

Can I Engage Sanelo To Ship My belongings To York From Overseas?

Yes, you can! Sanelo has a team that will walk you through the international shipment process, such as the paperwork for immigration clearance. Please contact us for more information to adjust the process to fit your needs.

If you want more information and tips about moving to other cities in the UK, check out the following articles:


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