Moving to Edinburgh in late June with young!!

Hello good folks!

Any advice or recommendations would be so helpful if anyone is reading this :)

We are a family of 4 and my husband is being relocated to Edinburgh for work and we are excited for our new adventure. I'm trying to find a good neighborhood for us to live! Both kids will be in Secondary school age 11 and 13 so I would like a neighborhood that has other similar aged kids. Our daughter is interested in the arts; dance, acting etc and our son is interested in science, space, swimming and art as well. Are there neighborhoods that have access to such extra curricular activities? We will have 1 income for a while and looking to rent, budget around 800-1100GBP  monthly. Also, we have a dog.
So I'll start here: can anyone recommend neighborhoods and schools I can look into?


The Robinson's

Hi Robinson's and welcome to the Forum. :)

To be honest, I can't think of anywhere where you'll get all of the above in one place; however, a quick Google search has thrown up quite a few hits; follow this link and it will give you an idea of what's on (I was surprised just how much there is to be honest).  Glasgow isn't that far away and you've also got the Scottish mountains to the north.

As for your dog; this link will give you some ideas.

Hope this helps.

For arts, dance and the like, make sure you are in the catchment for Broughton High school. They have the National Dance centre. Their catchment is mostly Stockbridge, Comely Bank, the arty area. Be real careful about the catchment. … hment_maps
There are some terrible secondary schools in Edinburgh as well as some very good ones.

So, AVOID Castlebrae, Craigroyston, Forrester, Tynecastle, Wester Hailes Education Centre, Liberton ( a poorly maintained school, so much so that an internal wall fell on a student, killing her), Drummond, Gracemount.

Really good schools: Boroughmuir, James Gillespies, Firrhill, Currie, Portobello, and Broughton has really picked up due to hosting the National Dance Centre and to a lot of wealthy Stockbridgers setting aside private school education for the local state school. Queensferry is a good school, but be aware, the only Lothian Buses route for that area is 63. Important here - good public transport links are vital because it's way to expensive to park around Edinburgh. We all have monthly bus passes, a bargain at £50 a month for 24/7, and use them whenever we need to go somewhere like the city centre. For St Thomas Aquinas, you have to be practising Catholics to get a place.

Okay schools: Trinity, Leith, Craigmount, The Royal High (this was a really good school but when Craigroyston was redeveloped the Royal High took on their students, with the resulting drop in attendance/results etc.), Balerno (should be really good but has a bullying problem)

If you are wanting to rent a house (because of the dog) try the Firrhill area. But again, take a good look at Lothian Buses site and try to stay close to the bus routes as well. For example, Winter 2010, Balerno got snowed in. As in seriously snowed in. The bus doesn't go much into Balerno so the streets weren't cleared. For 6 weeks. That's a LONG time to trek down to the bus stop because you can't get your car along the street.

If you are not so keen on shovelling snow, (lovely to look at, lovely to see, but not outside my front door, please) stay to the north side of the city, so finding somewhere in the Borughton High School catchment. If you don't mind and you want a house, then the south side up around Firrhill is good. Their catchment abuts Boroughmuir's. So either of those catchments would be okay. But again, look at the buses to those schools. Your children will at some stage be using them, so it's not just the buses outside your house that matter; it's where they go to.

Stockbridge has a lovely swimming pool, and in any event, most of the secondary schools here have their own pools. But if you want to live close to the main Commonwealth pool, then you will probably need to rent a flat to make sure you are in James Gillespie's catchment. 

Plus, a lot of these schools are oversubscribed. We even rented a flat sight unseen, when we came here, and the eldest still didn't get a place at the closest school.

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