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Meet Scotlands People, Move to the Scottish Highlands and Islands

Aug 15, 2008
Scotland tours are never complete without meeting Scotlands people and visiting the Scottish highlands and islands but what is it like moving to such beautiful locations?

There are many reasons why people relocate anywhere, so why the Scottish highlands and Islands? I myself am not a native Scot, but like many others have fallen in love with the place. I may moan about the rainy, windy days but I can't imagine living anywhere else!

I have experienced both sides of Scotland from one of the remotest islands to Scotland's largest city. Both are equally beautiful in their own way and have character like nowhere else I've lived.

Living in the Outer Hebrides completely changed my life. I had no idea such places hidden away in the UK existed (although it was marked on the BBC weather map all along!) It's a shame not many people get to experience Scotland in its raw form and only get to touch the tip of the iceberg on what there is to see. When you finally move to Scotland, you loose that 'touristy' feeling and you become connected to the place in a completely different way.

Scotland is littered with places where you might consider moving and it can only take that one visit before you have your heart set on a place. Whether you're looking for the good life on a croft or wanting the fast pace of a city there is something for everyone. I've experience both and have loved every minute of it. If only I could take what I have in the city to the Islands, then it would be perfect!

Schools

If you have children it is important to bare in mind the difference in the school system. The primary schools can work in two ways depending on where you are. Children start primary school at the age of 5 until the age of 11 (P1 to P6) to which they then move up to Secondary school. However in some highland and island communities they might combine the primary school with the first 3 years of secondary school (to S3) and pupils then move up to secondary school at the age of 14 instead (S1 to S5).

It's a much simpler system I feel and saves a lot of moving around. From seeing my brothers experience of moving from England to Scotland, it was a much smoother transition between the schools as in the highlands and islands in particular they tend to be more prepared for pupils moving from a different curriculums. Personally, I had more problems moving schools within the same county in England. One thing to keep in mind; Scotland doesn't have GCSE's or A-Levels. Instead they've got Standard Grades and Highers!

Housing

In some parts of Scotland buying a house is quite different compared to the rest of the U.K. For the different laws that surround buying a house it is best to get in touch with an estate agent within the area that you are interested in buying.

In the highlands and Islands it is very common to croft your own land. My family does this to rear their own animals on a two acre plot of land right next to a loch overlooking the sea. It is also popular for to rent their land out to local farmers for keeping animals or growing certain crops. It doesn't make you a great deal of money, but it is great for the local economy in the long run and it's so nice seeing baby animals prancing around in the spring!

In Scotland it is very popular to buy and build your own 'kit house'. Overall this is a cheaper way of getting yourself on the housing market. I have seen 2 bedroom one storey houses going from 30,000 (excluding the price of land) which is great because you can design it the way you want!

In the cities however, in recent years I have seen the price of houses creep to level with the rest of the U.K. Though cost of living seems to be less than I've experienced in England, everything else is pretty much the same. Glasgow and Edinburgh are the most expensive, but there are a lot of online forums which you can join to find the best areas of the cities to rent or buy and the council tax hot spots.
About the Author
American Journalist Scott Higson writes for several websites including Scotland Tours where you can search freely for the best hotel deals worldwide. Travel article directory Articles Abroad and the make money from writing site where you will find lots of tips and information about making money from writing.
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