Are you thinking about making the move from London to Edinburgh or Glasgow? Whether you’re returning to raise a family or simply looking for a better way of life, there are many fantastic reasons to move from London to Scotland. You’ll find great employment opportunities, affordable houses for rent or purchase, an easier commute and an overall better living standard (at least we think so!).

Moving from London to Scotland can be complicated and there are many things to consider. Our comprehensive guide will help you get settled, find the best places to live in Scotland and of course secure excellent employment opportunities.

Best Places to Live in Scotland for Financial Sector Professionals

For financial and business services professionals looking to move from London, Scotland is an obvious choice. Outside of London and the South East, Scotland is the UK’s most important financial centre and has recently developed strong financial services like investment management and global custody. There’s also been substantial growth within the business services sectors too.

Most of this activity is concentrated within Scotland’s main cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. As such, it makes sense to either base yourself within the city centre or one of the many excellent commuter towns. There are great transport links between Edinburgh and Glasgow and you’ll find that many large organisations have offices in both.

Best Places to Live in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has developed a reputation as a fantastic place to live. A study conducted by Deutsche Bank, which examined the salaries, rental costs, weekend breaks, and general living standards of 47 cities across the globe, ranked Edinburgh as the second most desirable city in the world. We must admit, it’s hard not to fall head over heels for Edinburgh’s classic beauty, excellent restaurant and bar scene, and surrounding nearby nature. Not to mention the more practical benefits like great employment opportunities and convenient commute times.

Now, you’ll need to choose where in Edinburgh you’d like to live -- not an easy decision by any means. There are a number of excellent neighbourhoods and where you live will probably largely depend on whether you’re moving to Edinburgh as a family or single individual. Areas like Morningside, Stockbridge, Cramond and South Queensferry are particularly well-suited for those with small children as they have great public schools and local amenities like quality restaurants and coffee shops. On the other hand, single individuals may want to consider living in more central locations like New Town or Leith.

Average House Prices in Edinburgh

House prices in Edinburgh have remained relatively consistent and on average are roughly half the cost of property in London. Prices naturally vary by area and whether you’re renting or buying. On average, a one bedroom flat in Edinburgh city centre within easy walking distance of Waverly or Haymarket train station will cost between £500 and £1500 per month.

When it comes to buying a house, prices vary largely depending on neighbourhood and size. According to Zoopla, the average Edinburgh property price is around £275,068. In general, flats tend to be a bit cheaper at £220,287 while detached houses cost around £506,146. Prices will also vary by area. Regardless, you’ll find that prices are shockingly affordable when compared to London.

Best Places to Live in Glasgow

Glasgow, as Scotland’s largest city, is also a popular option for those moving from London to Scotland. Londoners are more likely to feel at home in Glasgow as Glasgow has a fantastic mixture of old historic neighbourhoods and modern buildings and strong city vibes. It’s a city packed with excellent museums, cocktail bars and pubs, restaurants and renowned nightlife. Plus, it’s also known for its super friendly residents, who’ll quickly help you make friends in your new city.

Glasgow has a number of great neighbourhoods from the ultra-trendy West End to family-friendly Shawlands. Within easy walking distance to Glasgow Botanical Gardens as well as independent pubs and coffee shops, Hillend is quickly becoming one of the best places to live in Glasgow for single individuals and young families. Neighbourhoods like Shawlands, Bearsden and Scotstoun offer plenty of green spaces, coffee shops and excellent public schools and as such are quite popular options for young families.

Average House Prices in Glasgow

Living in Glasgow is significantly cheaper than other major European cities. You’ll find that renting or buying a house in central Glasgow will cost FAR less than in London. For instance, renting a one bedroom flat in the centre of Glasgow can cost as little as £350 per month.

Purchasing property is also very affordable in Glasgow with average house prices in desirable neighbourhoods like Hillend starting at £93,908. Could you image buying a house anywhere, let alone the most desirable neighbourhoods, in London for less than £100,000?!

Best Places to Live Near Edinburgh or Glasgow

If you’re looking for a quieter pace of life or even lower property prices, you might want to consider one of the wonderful nearby commuter towns.

  • Falkirk. Situated between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Falkirk is a fantastic option for people commuting to both cities. It’s well connected with regular train services to both cities and bus services to Sterling. Average property prices are around £156,000.
  • Linlithgow. Also, smack in the middle between Edinburgh and Glasgow, the quaint village of Linlithgow is another excellent choice. Here, you’ll find a picturesque town with a 15th-century palace and based on the banks of Linlithgow Loch. There’s also excellent local schools and a collection of great restaurants and pubs. Average property prices are around £215,333.
  • Stirling. Slightly further afield, Stirling is a town in its own right and an excellent choice for young families. The kids will love exploring Stirling castle and can benefit from some fantastic local schools and when they’re a bit older even attend Stirling University. Adults will enjoy the wide range of pubs, restaurants, and shops on offer. Average property prices are around £179,806.

Moving from London to Scotland: Family Life

In addition to cheaper rental and property prices, moving from London to Scotland also has a host of other benefits for young families. Many people don’t realise that moving to Scotland could actually allow their family to receive better healthcare. As Scotland has a much smaller population than England, the NHS isn’t as oversubscribed so wait times are less and it’s often possible to get same day appointments. Some services, like prescriptions, are available free of charge.

Parents considering the move will also be happy to hear that Scotland has an outstanding reputation for education. According to Scotland Now, Scotland has more world-class universities per capita than almost anywhere else in the world and the highest concentration of universities in Europe.

This emphasis on education is also present within secondary and primary schools with students benefiting from a free comprehensive state education system. Private schools are a popular option in Edinburgh, but there are also some great public schools like the Royal High School, one of the oldest schools in the world!

Working in Edinburgh or Glasgow for the Financial Services Sector

Scotland has an established worldwide reputation as a financial hub. According to the Global Financial Centres Index, Edinburgh outranks other key European cities like Moscow, Helsinki, Madrid, St. Petersburg, Lisbon, Milan and Budapest. At present, it’s estimated that Edinburgh employs about 35,000 people in financial services and a recent report in The Scotsman claims that Scotland may soon offer more financial service job opportunities than London.

Here at Change Recruitment, we specialise in placing talented individuals within premium positions and have access to some of the hottest and latest job openings within the financial and business services sectors. We’ve found that individuals with in-demand specialist skill sets and experience in London-based companies are easily placed within choice positions.

We typically place candidates in new roles within six to eight weeks from CV submission to offer, sometimes quicker depending on a few factors like candidate availability for interviews and role urgency. At the moment, we’re hiring for a broad range of roles and have excellent opportunities available in Project Manager Investment Operations, Business Investment Operations, Middle Office Analyst, Credit Risk Modelling, Credit Risk Specialist and IT Auditor roles.

Speak directly to one of our specialist recruiters today.