Possible move to the borders

Good morning

I'm after some advise!

Myself and husband are looking to move from central england to the scottish borders.

Our background, I'm originally from Somerset and husband grew up in tenby Wales. We have 2 children, son aged 6 and daughter about to turn 3.

We would love to give them the lifestyle and benefits scotland has to offer.

In saying this, I would welcome some feedback from others have already made this leap and learn from your experiences. As well as any advice that is on offer!! Jobs, schools, best places to live, clubs etc etc

My employment background is customer services management and project management. My husband is grounds/gardens.

Our house is being listed next month so this is all getting a bit real.

Thank you in advance

Sophie x

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

You asked for advice, then didn't ask us any specific questions, so I can only speak in general terms.

The Scottish borders are certainly a great place to live, with the National Parks on both sides of the border, it has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK.

Of course, the greater the open spaces, the greater the cost of housing, the lesser opportunities for work and the public facilities are probably not what you're used to in the Midlands.  We live in a small village in North Yorkshire which is not a million miles away from where you are expressing an interest; our public services are not up to much and they've closed our bank, library and post office; that said, we love it here and wouldn't go anywhere else, just we had to travel a long way to get a decent job and thank goodness for the internet.

I'd be very cautious selling up just yet; the COVID problems are not going to go away in a hurry and employment such as you're looking for may be hard to get.  Perhaps look for work first, then once you find something that will support you both, try an Airbnb to see how you like it before you take the plunge.

If you have any specific questions, please come back to us.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

Thank you Cynic

Your right - advise was probably the wrong words. I was probably after more suggestions and any feedback on locations including past experiences of others that have already made this sort of move.

Thank you very much for your advise and comments.  I will certainly look into work options etc prior to making any full commitment. I'm actually on a 3 month notice with my current employer and can potentially work remotely but am yet to raise that until I am sure what our long term plans wil be.

Thanks again x

Hi Sophie,

The borders is a beautiful area, and the hills and countryside are stunning.  I I have lived with my wife and doggy in Stow, near Galashiels. Stow is a tiny place and we soon found out that's not for us, so we moved to Edinburgh. The location was beautiful, though, and the tiny road from Stow to Lauder has spectacular view over the hills. 

There are lovely places and it all depends on your needs for employment etc, as well as personal preferences. 
We don't have children, so I can't help you with any advice on schools, and both my wife and I are working from home for a big international company, so we weren't as dependent on local companies/businesses.

The places I really like in the Borders are Peebles and Melrose. Jedburgh and Hawick are also nice.  Peebles is a bit bigger than the other places, but still not very big. It's on the river Tweed, and has a nice city center.  Galashiels is an option too, it has schools and a large 24h Tesco, but isn't really quaint or picturesque.   

I think you would definitely benefit from driving up here and look around for yourself to see the different locations, as soon as Covid allows you to do so of course. 

Good luck with your planning!

Take care,

Hi Sophie,

We moved away from the Borders for retirement near the coast just before lockdown. We lived in Hawick for 6 years. The Borders is very scenic but remote. The A7 is a tedious route before you get to any main route on the M7, M74, or the M720 Edinburgh bypass. That got to us in the end.

For this reason, I would suggest you look to living near Galashiels in Melrose or Tweedbank. This brings you closer to the A720 for Edinburgh or south via Berwick via the A68  You will also have the rail connection into Edinburgh, which is very convenient from Tweedbank, for broadening employment and business opportunities. Avoid the small towns as they can be very insular

You have good schooling options there too, if you have children and close to amenities in Galashiels, which has become the main shopping venue for the big supermarkets in the Borders.

I trust this helps, from someone who has lived there.


Nice info Chris. Let's hope Sophie comes back and responds.

Expat Team