American needs to find the best place to live in Scotland with kids

I am an American expat who has been living in Scotland most of 2009.  I married a Scotsman and we have 3 children, ages 6, almost 4, and 16 months.  I have been living in Dumbarton and I feel very isolated and out of place here.  I like Scotland and have traveled around a bit.  I just don't think Dumbarton is the place for me.  It is my husband's home however.  He is willing to move, but he doesn't know much about any other areas except Largs (which I love and he hates). 
I am currently back home in the US (Minneapolis), but will be going back to Scotland soon.  I would like to start looking at new places to live before I get back so I have some suggestions for my husband.
Any help from anyone who has spent any time in Scotland is much appreciated.  Also would love to hear from any other American Expats about your experience.  I have had a hard time adjusting to many things in the UK.

Sent you a PM.

Does your husband work in Dumbarton?  How far is he willing to commute?

What do you find most difficult to adjust to?

Saw your post and wondered if I might be able to help. I lived in Edinburgh for many years both as a foreign student, and then as a married mum with a family.
Where will your work or your husband's work be located when you return to Scotland? If it is near Edinburgh or in Edinburgh, we can possibly help with accommodation.

Well, my husband is still in Scotland.  He is working in the Glasgow area, but is trying to find a new job.  I really really liked Edinburgh and am pushing to move to that area.  I felt at home there.  I am planning on finding a job where ever we end up.
I am really worried about schools because my oldest daughter loves her school in the US and I know the transition will be hard for her.  My younger two kids will adapt fine.
I also feel like I know my way around Edinburgh a little bit already.  I got so lost in Glasgow.  My husband is a Glasgow man though.  I just don't know if I can make him go east!:)

I saw your post and would like to tell you about my experience of living in Edinburgh. Like your husband I'm also from the West Coast of Scotland. I definitely would NOT choose Edinburgh to live in despite saying that you felt at home there. But there is a big difference from visiting and actually living in the City of Edinburgh. Edinburgh at one time was voted one of the unhappiest places to live in the whole of the UK!! See link … North.html But aesthectically speaking it is one of the most beautiful. It depends what your priorities are. As for myself "the people maketh the place". And having lived and worked in Edinburgh for over 20 years I can honestly say I hated every minute of it. (I couldn't leave for a number of reasons ). It is a very cold and unfriendly place. My sister lives in Largs and Largs is an excellent place to live in (despite the rain!). I'm surprised your husband doesn't like it!! It is a bit livelier than Dumbarton and you'd feel less isolated. Prestwick and Troon are also very nice places, as well. The people in Ayrshire are extremely warm and friendly. However, people from the East feel more settled in the East and likewise people from the West feel more settled in the West, it is very subjective thing. I'm sure your husband will feel happier in the West of Scotland and for that reason I think you should not force him to move East. You may feel perfectly comfortable living in Edinburgh but unfortunately I don't think your husband will. Take note there is a long established rivalry between Glasgow (West) and Edinburgh (East). Essentially we both can't stand each other!!!  Your'e American amongst Scots and it will take a lot of getting use to wherever you decide to move. I wish you the very best of luck!!

Hi there!

Even though my opinion is totally biased, I will share it anyways.
I moved to Scotland with my family almost 4 months ago, after having lived in Romania, USA, Denmark and Argentina before.
In my years of expat, I have never felt home more quickly and in a more natural way as I did here in Scotland.

Many people told us, both before we came and after as well, that life in Inverness is very different from the one you experience in Edinburgh or Glasgow, or even Aberdeen. I've only visited these last cities for days at a time, so I wouldn't be able to tell you if it's better or not.

All I can say, is that my family and I LOVE Inverness. It is not big, but it has everything you need and more. The views are just breath-taking. Loch Ness just steps away from you, the mountains, the islands, the castles, etc.

But most importantly, the people in the Highlands (may be it is extensive to all Scotland), are just so warm and welcoming, that it is impossible not to feel at home almost immediatelly.

I hope you find it useful.



We ha jut moved with our 3 year old son to a village just outside Livingston, it is fabulous, really friendly, Livingston is great for shopping, entertainment and kids things, we are really happy here, I recommend you look into living in West Lothian.

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