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Expat Exchange - 8 Best Places to Live on the Coast in Scotland
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St Andrews, Scotland


8 Best Places to Live on the Coast in Scotland

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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Summary: If you're planning to settle on the coast, here are the 8 best places to live on the coast in Scotland.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen, is a coastal city located in the northeastern part of the country, with a population of approximately 200,000 people. It is situated about 120 miles north of Edinburgh and 150 miles northeast of Glasgow. The city's waterfront features a mix of sandy beaches and rugged coastline, offering picturesque views of the North Sea. Aberdeen enjoys a maritime climate, with average temperatures ranging from 1°C (34°F) in winter to 18°C (64°F) in summer. Public transportation in Aberdeen is well-developed, with a comprehensive network of buses and trains connecting the city to other parts of Scotland and the UK. The city is also served by Aberdeen International Airport, offering flights to domestic and international destinations. Aberdeen offers a variety of recreational activities, including golf, with several renowned golf clubs in the area, such as Royal Aberdeen Golf Club and Trump International Golf Links. There are also numerous parks and green spaces, like Duthie Park and Hazlehead Park, which provide opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation. While Aberdeen is not as touristy as other Scottish cities like Edinburgh or Glasgow, it still attracts visitors for its rich history, architecture, and cultural events. Rental properties in Aberdeen can vary in price, but a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water may cost around £800-£1,000 per month (approximately €940-€1,175 or $1,100-$1,375 in USD), while a modern 3-bedroom property could be around £1,200-£1,500 per month (approximately €1,410-€1,765 or $1,650-$2,060 in USD). For grocery shopping, residents have access to both large chain stores, such as Tesco and Asda, as well as smaller local shops and markets. People enjoy living in Aberdeen for various reasons, including its relatively affordable cost of living, access to quality education and healthcare, and the city's rich cultural heritage. The city's coastal location also offers residents the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities and stunning natural scenery.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of Scotland's finest, head to The Silver Darling, a seafood haven perched on the edge of Aberdeen's bustling harbour. With panoramic views of the North Sea, indulge in their locally-sourced menu featuring the freshest catch of the day. For a more casual dining experience, visit Foodstory, a quirky, eco-friendly café offering a delicious array of vegetarian and vegan dishes. Don't miss their famous avocado toast and homemade cakes. When it comes to accommodation, The Chester Hotel is a luxurious boutique option, boasting elegant rooms and an award-winning restaurant. Alternatively, for a more budget-friendly stay, consider the Sandman Signature Aberdeen Hotel, a stylish and comfortable choice located in the heart of the city.

Dundee

Dundee is a coastal city located on the eastern coast of the country, boasting a population of approximately 150,000 people. The waterfront of Dundee features a mix of sandy beaches and rugged coastline, offering picturesque views of the North Sea. The city is situated about 60 miles north of Edinburgh and 80 miles northeast of Glasgow, making it easily accessible from these larger cities. Dundee has a comprehensive public transportation system, including buses and trains that connect the city to other parts of Scotland and the UK. The climate in Dundee is temperate, with average temperatures ranging from 2°C (36°F) in winter to 19°C (66°F) in summer. Recreational activities in Dundee are diverse, catering to various interests. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy playing at the Downfield Golf Club or the Caird Park Golf Club, while nature lovers can explore the beautiful Camperdown Country Park or the Riverside Nature Park. There are no specific swim clubs in Dundee, but the city has several public swimming pools and leisure centers for those who enjoy swimming. Dundee is a moderately touristy city, with attractions such as the V&A Dundee design museum, the historic ship RRS Discovery, and the McManus Art Gallery and Museum. Rental properties in Dundee vary in price, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water costing around £700 (€820, $970) per month, while a modern 3-bedroom apartment would cost around £1,000 (€1,170, $1,390) per month. For grocery shopping, residents have access to large chain stores such as Tesco, Asda, and Lidl, as well as smaller local shops and markets. People enjoy living in Dundee for various reasons, including its rich history, vibrant arts and culture scene, and the stunning natural beauty of its coastal location. The city also offers a high quality of life, with affordable housing, good job opportunities, and excellent educational institutions, such as the University of Dundee and Abertay University.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of Scotland's finest, head to The Tayberry, a multi-award-winning restaurant offering a modern twist on traditional Scottish cuisine. With stunning views of the River Tay, this is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or special occasion. For a more casual dining experience, try The Giddy Goose, a vibrant eatery with a diverse menu of wood-fired pizzas, tapas, and sharing platters. If you're craving something sweet, The Bach is a cozy café offering delicious homemade cakes and artisan coffee. When it comes to accommodation, the Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa is a popular choice, boasting a prime waterfront location and luxurious amenities, including a spa and pool. Alternatively, the Hotel Indigo Dundee offers a boutique experience, set in a beautifully restored 200-year-old jute mill, blending history with modern design.

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St Andrews

St Andrews, is a picturesque coastal town located on the east coast of Fife, boasting a population of approximately 17,000 residents. The town is situated about 50 miles northeast of Edinburgh and 80 miles east of Glasgow. St Andrews is known for its stunning coastline, featuring a mix of sandy beaches and rugged cliffs, making it a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. The town enjoys a temperate maritime climate, with average temperatures ranging from 1°C (34°F) in winter to 19°C (66°F) in summer. St Andrews is renowned for its recreational activities, particularly golf, as it is home to the world-famous Old Course at St Andrews Links, which is considered the birthplace of golf. Other notable golf courses in the area include the New Course, the Jubilee Course, and the Castle Course. In addition to golf, the town offers beautiful parks such as Craigtoun Country Park and Lade Braes Walk, as well as opportunities for coastal walks and water sports at the West Sands and East Sands beaches. The town is quite touristy, attracting visitors from around the world who come to experience its rich history, beautiful scenery, and world-class golf courses. Rental properties in St Andrews can vary, but a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water may cost around £1,200 per month (approximately €1,400 or $1,650), while a 3-bedroom property could be around £1,800 per month (approximately €2,100 or $2,500). For grocery shopping, residents have access to both large chain stores such as Tesco and Morrisons, as well as smaller local shops and markets. People enjoy living in St Andrews for its charming atmosphere, friendly community, and the wide range of recreational activities available. The town's rich history, beautiful coastal setting, and world-class golf facilities make it a highly desirable place to live and visit.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of Scotland's finest, head to The Seafood Ristorante, perched on the edge of the West Sands beach, offering panoramic views of the coastline and a menu filled with fresh, locally-sourced seafood. For a more casual dining experience, try The Saint, a cosy gastropub serving up delicious comfort food and an impressive selection of craft beers. Alternatively, indulge in a traditional afternoon tea at the iconic Old Course Hotel, where you can enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries while overlooking the world-famous golf course. When it comes to accommodation, the luxurious Fairmont St Andrews boasts two championship golf courses, a spa, and stunning clifftop views. For a more intimate stay, consider the charming Albany Hotel, a family-run Georgian townhouse nestled in the heart of the town.

Inverness

Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, is a picturesque city located on the northeast coast of Scotland. With a population of approximately 70,000, it is a thriving hub of culture and history. Inverness is situated near the mouth of the River Ness, which flows into the Moray Firth, a large inlet of the North Sea. The waterfront is characterized by a mix of sandy beaches and rugged coastline, offering stunning views and opportunities for coastal walks. Inverness is well-connected to larger cities such as Aberdeen and Edinburgh, with regular train and bus services available. The city also has a reliable public transportation system, making it easy to navigate and explore. The climate in Inverness is temperate, with average temperatures ranging from 1°C (34°F) in winter to 17°C (63°F) in summer. There are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy in and around Inverness. Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Inverness Golf Club or the Castle Stuart Golf Links, while nature lovers can explore the beautiful Ness Islands or the Caledonian Canal. For those interested in swimming, the Inverness Leisure Centre offers a range of aquatic facilities. Inverness is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cultural scene. Some of the city's top attractions include the historic Inverness Castle, the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, and the famous Loch Ness, home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Rental properties in Inverness vary in price, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water costing around £800-£1,000 per month (approximately €940-€1,175 or $1,100-$1,375), while a modern 3-bedroom property would be around £1,200-£1,500 per month (approximately €1,410-€1,765 or $1,650-$2,060). For grocery shopping, residents have a choice of both large chain stores such as Tesco, Asda, and Aldi, as well as smaller local shops and markets. The Eastgate Shopping Centre is a popular destination for retail therapy, offering a wide range of shops and eateries. People enjoy living in Inverness for its friendly community, beautiful surroundings, and rich cultural heritage. The city offers a high quality of life, with excellent educational facilities, healthcare services, and recreational opportunities, making it an ideal place to call home.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness boasts a vibrant culinary scene that is sure to delight any foodie. For a taste of local fare, head to The Mustard Seed, a charming riverside restaurant offering a seasonal menu of Scottish and European dishes. If you're craving something more exotic, Rocpool Reserve Hotel's Chez Roux serves up delectable French cuisine in an elegant setting. For a more casual dining experience, try The Castle Tavern, a traditional pub with a fantastic selection of local ales and hearty pub grub. After a day of exploring, rest your head at the luxurious Kingsmills Hotel, set in four acres of picturesque gardens, or opt for the boutique charm of the Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel, located on the banks of the River Ness.

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SJB-Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model. Our clients benefit from their country’s most favorable tax environment by utilizing the efficient investment vehicles we offer. Our commitment to quality service is reflected in our stellar reviews, with over 300 testimonials boasting 95% five-star ratings.

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SJB-Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model. Our clients benefit from their country’s most favorable tax environment by utilizing the efficient investment vehicles we offer. Our commitment to quality service is reflected in our stellar reviews, with over 300 testimonials boasting 95% five-star ratings.
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Oban

Oban, is a picturesque coastal town situated on the west coast, boasting a population of approximately 8,500 residents. The waterfront of Oban is characterized by a rugged coastline with rocky beaches, offering stunning views of the surrounding islands. The town is about 160 kilometers from Glasgow, the nearest large city, and is well-connected by public transportation, including buses, trains, and ferries. The climate in Oban is temperate, with average temperatures ranging from 3°C (37°F) in the winter to 15°C (59°F) in the summer. The town offers a variety of recreational activities, such as hiking, sailing, and wildlife watching. Popular spots include the Oban Distillery, McCaig's Tower, and the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round at the Glencruitten Golf Club, located just outside the town. Oban is a popular tourist destination, known as the "Gateway to the Isles," as it serves as a hub for ferries to the nearby islands. The town offers a range of rental properties, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water costing around £800 (€940, $1,100) per month, while a 3-bedroom property would be around £1,200 (€1,410, $1,650) per month. For grocery shopping, residents have access to both large chain stores, such as Tesco and Lidl, as well as smaller local shops and markets. People enjoy living in Oban for its stunning natural beauty, friendly community, and relaxed pace of life. The town's rich history, vibrant culture, and access to outdoor activities make it an attractive place to call home.

Local Recommendations:

For a true taste of Oban, head to Ee-usk, an award-winning seafood restaurant with stunning views of the bay. Here, you can indulge in the freshest local catch, from oysters to langoustines, all while soaking in the picturesque surroundings. Another must-visit eatery is The Waterfront Fishouse Restaurant, where you can savor delicious seafood dishes, such as the Oban Bay lobster or the West Coast scallops, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. For a more casual dining experience, try the Oban Seafood Hut, a charming outdoor kiosk offering a variety of seafood delights, including crab sandwiches and smoked salmon. After a day of exploring, rest your head at the luxurious Perle Oban Hotel, a beautifully restored Victorian building with modern amenities and a prime location in the heart of town. Alternatively, enjoy a cozy stay at the family-run Barriemore Guest House, which boasts elegant rooms and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, all just a stone's throw from the bustling harbor.

Aviemore

Aviemore, is a picturesque town nestled within the Cairngorms National Park, boasting a population of approximately 2,500 residents. While it is not located on the coast, it is situated about 40 miles south of Inverness, the largest city in the Scottish Highlands. The town is well-connected by public transportation, with Aviemore railway station providing regular train services to major cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness. The climate in Aviemore is characterized by cool summers and cold winters, with average temperatures ranging from -1°C (30°F) in January to 15°C (59°F) in July. Aviemore is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding. The Cairngorm Mountain resort is a major attraction for winter sports, while the Rothiemurchus Estate provides beautiful trails for walking and cycling. Golfers can enjoy a round at the Spey Valley Championship Golf Course, and the nearby Loch Morlich offers opportunities for water sports such as kayaking and sailing. Tourism plays a significant role in Aviemore's economy, with visitors flocking to the town to experience its stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities. Rental properties are available for those looking to stay in the area, with the average monthly rent for a modern 2-bedroom property near the water being around £800 (€940, $1,100) and a 3-bedroom property costing approximately £1,200 (€1,410, $1,650). For grocery shopping, residents have access to both large chain stores such as Tesco and smaller local shops like the Aviemore Village Store. People enjoy living in Aviemore for its breathtaking scenery, friendly community, and the abundance of outdoor activities available right on their doorstep. The town's location within the Cairngorms National Park makes it an ideal base for exploring the wider Scottish Highlands, while its excellent transport links ensure easy access to the rest of the country.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Aviemore offers a delightful culinary experience for visitors. The Old Bridge Inn is a must-visit, serving up delicious local produce in a cozy, rustic setting. For a more refined dining experience, The Rowan Tree Country Hotel offers an exquisite menu featuring traditional Scottish dishes with a modern twist. Don't miss out on the Mountain Cafe, a popular spot for a hearty breakfast or a scrumptious lunch, with its stunning views of the Cairngorms. When it comes to accommodation, the Macdonald Aviemore Resort is a top choice, offering luxurious rooms and a range of amenities, including a spa and a championship golf course. For a more intimate stay, consider the Cairngorm Guest House, a charming Victorian property with a warm, welcoming atmosphere and exceptional service.

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SJB-Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model. Our clients benefit from their country’s most favorable tax environment by utilizing the efficient investment vehicles we offer. Our commitment to quality service is reflected in our stellar reviews, with over 300 testimonials boasting 95% five-star ratings.

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SJB-Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model. Our clients benefit from their country’s most favorable tax environment by utilizing the efficient investment vehicles we offer. Our commitment to quality service is reflected in our stellar reviews, with over 300 testimonials boasting 95% five-star ratings.

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Stonehaven

Stonehaven is a picturesque coastal town located in Aberdeenshire, with a population of approximately 11,000 residents. Situated about 24 kilometers (15 miles) south of the city of Aberdeen, Stonehaven is easily accessible via public transportation, including trains and buses. The town's waterfront boasts a combination of sandy beaches and rugged coastline, offering stunning views and opportunities for leisurely walks or more adventurous hikes. The climate in Stonehaven is generally cool and temperate, with average temperatures ranging from 1°C (34°F) in the winter months to 17°C (63°F) in the summer months. Rainfall is relatively common throughout the year, so it's always a good idea to pack an umbrella when visiting. Stonehaven offers a variety of recreational activities for both locals and tourists alike. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round at the Stonehaven Golf Club, while those looking for a more leisurely activity can take a stroll through the beautiful Dunnottar Woods or Mineralwell Park. For those interested in swimming, the Stonehaven Open Air Pool is a popular spot during the summer months. Stonehaven is a moderately touristy town, attracting visitors with its charming atmosphere, historic sites such as Dunnottar Castle, and local events like the annual Stonehaven Fireballs Ceremony on Hogmanay (New Year's Eve). Rental properties in the area can vary, but a modern 2-bedroom property near the water may cost around £800 (€940 or $1,100) per month, while a 3-bedroom property could be around £1,200 (€1,410 or $1,650) per month. Grocery shopping in Stonehaven is convenient, with a mix of larger chain stores such as the Co-op Food and smaller, independent shops like Charles McHardy Butchers and Giulianotti's, a local ice cream and confectionery store. People enjoy living in Stonehaven for its friendly community, beautiful coastal scenery, and easy access to both the countryside and larger cities like Aberdeen. The town offers a relaxed lifestyle with a range of recreational activities and amenities, making it an attractive place to call home.

Local Recommendations:

For a true taste of Stonehaven, be sure to visit The Marine Hotel, a charming eatery offering fresh seafood and stunning views of the harbor. Another must-try is The Carron Fish Bar, home to the famous deep-fried Mars Bar and a wide selection of traditional fish and chips. For a more upscale dining experience, indulge in the exquisite cuisine at The Tolbooth, a historic building turned restaurant with a focus on local produce and seafood. After a day of exploring, rest your head at the luxurious Ship Inn, a cozy, nautical-themed hotel with a warm atmosphere and friendly staff. Alternatively, opt for the picturesque Arduthie House, a delightful bed and breakfast boasting beautiful gardens and a delicious homemade breakfast to start your day right.

Kirkcaldy

Kirkcaldy, is a charming coastal town situated on the eastern coast of the country, boasting a beautiful waterfront with sandy beaches and a picturesque promenade. With an approximate population of 50,000, Kirkcaldy is located just 19 miles north of Edinburgh, making it easily accessible to the larger city. Public transportation is available in the form of buses and trains, connecting Kirkcaldy to other towns and cities in Scotland. The climate in Kirkcaldy is temperate, with average temperatures ranging from 3°C (37°F) in winter to 15°C (59°F) in summer. Recreational activities in Kirkcaldy are abundant, with options such as golfing at the Kirkcaldy Golf Club, enjoying the green spaces at Beveridge Park and Ravenscraig Park, or taking a leisurely swim at the Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre. While not a major tourist destination, Kirkcaldy offers a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere for visitors to explore its rich history, architecture, and natural beauty. Rental properties in Kirkcaldy vary in price, with a modern 2-bedroom property near the water averaging around £600 per month (approximately €700 or $820), and a modern 3-bedroom property averaging around £800 per month (approximately €930 or $1,100). For grocery shopping, residents have access to both large chain stores such as Tesco and Asda, as well as smaller local shops and markets. People enjoy living in Kirkcaldy for its friendly community, beautiful coastal scenery, and its proximity to larger cities like Edinburgh. The town offers a variety of recreational activities, good schools, and a range of shopping options, making it an attractive place to call home.

Local Recommendations:

For a delightful culinary experience in Kirkcaldy, head to the Waterfront Restaurant, where you can indulge in delicious seafood dishes while enjoying stunning views of the Firth of Forth. Alternatively, visit the renowned Oswald House Hotel, which boasts an exquisite menu featuring locally sourced ingredients in a charming Georgian setting. For a more casual dining option, try the Pancake Place, a family-friendly eatery offering a wide variety of sweet and savoury pancakes. When it comes to accommodation, the Beveridge Park Hotel is a popular choice, offering comfortable rooms and a convenient location near the town centre. For a more luxurious stay, consider the Dean Park Hotel, which features elegant rooms, a stylish bar, and a beautiful garden to unwind in after a day of exploring Kirkcaldy's attractions.

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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.
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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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St Andrews, Scotland

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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