Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Glasgow, Scotland

15 Best Places to Live in Scotland

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Summary: If you're thinking about living in Scotland, here are the 15 Best Places to Live in Scotland in 2023.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is home to approximately 500,000 residents. It is located about 72 kilometers (45 miles) from Glasgow, another major city in Scotland, and is approximately 534 kilometers (332 miles) from London. Edinburgh boasts an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and trains, making it easy to navigate the city and its surrounding areas. The climate in Edinburgh is generally cool and temperate, with average temperatures ranging from 1°C (34°F) in winter to 15°C (59°F) in summer. There are numerous recreational activities available in Edinburgh, catering to a wide range of interests. For golf enthusiasts, there are several golf clubs in and around the city, such as the prestigious Royal Burgess Golfing Society and the Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society. Nature lovers can enjoy the many parks and green spaces in the city, including the famous Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Holyrood Park, which is home to Arthur's Seat, an ancient volcano and popular hiking destination. Additionally, Edinburgh is known for its rich history and vibrant cultural scene, with attractions such as the iconic Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland, and the annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world's largest arts festival.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of Scotland's finest, head to The Kitchin, where Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin serves up a seasonal menu showcasing the best of local produce. If you're in the mood for something more casual, try The Scran & Scallie, a gastropub offering delicious comfort food with a modern twist. For a truly unique dining experience, book a table at The Witchery by the Castle, a gothic-inspired restaurant with an enchanting atmosphere and sumptuous cuisine. When it comes to accommodation, The Balmoral Hotel is a luxurious choice, boasting elegant rooms and a prime location on Princes Street. For a more boutique option, consider The Dunstane Houses, a pair of Victorian townhouses offering stylish rooms and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Glasgow

Glasgow

Glasgow is a vibrant city with a rich history and a thriving arts and culture scene. The city is home to approximately 600,000 residents and is located in the west-central lowlands of Scotland. Glasgow is situated about 42 miles (67 kilometers) from Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and about 96 miles (154 kilometers) from the popular tourist destination of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The city boasts an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trains, and a subway system, making it easy for residents and visitors to navigate the city and its surrounding areas. The climate in Glasgow is temperate maritime, with average temperatures ranging from 3°C (37°F) in January to 15°C (59°F) in July. There are numerous recreational activities available in Glasgow, catering to a wide range of interests. For those who enjoy golf, the city is home to several golf clubs, including Glasgow Golf Club and Haggs Castle Golf Club. Nature enthusiasts can explore the many parks and green spaces throughout the city, such as Kelvingrove Park, Pollok Country Park, and the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. Additionally, Glasgow offers a variety of cultural attractions, including museums, galleries, and theaters, as well as a thriving music scene with numerous live music venues and festivals throughout the year.

Local Recommendations:

Glasgow's culinary scene is a delightful mix of traditional Scottish fare and innovative global cuisine. For a taste of the city's finest, head to Ubiquitous Chip, a beloved institution nestled in the heart of the West End. Here, you'll find an enchanting courtyard setting and a menu that showcases the best of Scotland's larder. For a more casual dining experience, Paesano Pizza is a must-visit, offering authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas with a Glaswegian twist. Finally, treat yourself to a memorable meal at The Gannet, an award-winning restaurant that serves up modern Scottish dishes with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. When it comes to accommodation, the luxurious Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel is a popular choice, boasting a prime city centre location, a world-class spa, and elegant rooms. For a more boutique experience, consider the Dakota Glasgow, a stylish hotel with a chic bar and grill, located just a short walk from the bustling city centre.

Allianz CareAllianz Care
Get Quote

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

Allianz CareAllianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.
Get Quote

St. Andrews

St. Andrews, is a picturesque coastal town with a population of approximately 17,000 residents. It is located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Edinburgh and 16 kilometers (10 miles) southeast of Dundee, making it easily accessible from these major cities. The town is well-connected by public transportation, with regular bus and train services available for convenient travel. St. Andrews experiences a temperate maritime climate, with average temperatures ranging from 3°C (37°F) in winter to 16°C (61°F) in summer. The town is renowned for its recreational activities, particularly golf, as it is home to the world-famous St. Andrews Links, which includes the Old Course, New Course, and Castle Course, among others. These prestigious golf courses attract enthusiasts from all over the globe. In addition to golf, St. Andrews offers beautiful parks and green spaces, such as the St. Andrews Botanic Garden and Craigtoun Country Park, perfect for leisurely strolls and picnics. The town's stunning coastline also provides opportunities for beach walks, water sports, and wildlife watching, making St. Andrews an ideal destination for a variety of outdoor pursuits.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the charming town of St. Andrews, visitors will find a delightful array of culinary experiences and cozy accommodations. For a taste of local seafood, head to The Seafood Ristorante, where floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning views of the coastline while you indulge in fresh, sustainably sourced dishes. For a more casual dining experience, try The Saint, a gastropub offering a modern twist on traditional Scottish fare. After a day of exploring, retire to the luxurious Old Course Hotel, boasting elegant rooms and a world-class spa, or the quaint Albany Hotel, a charming Georgian townhouse with a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Inverness

Inverness is a charming city located in the Scottish Highlands, with an approximate population of 63,000. It is situated about 256 kilometers (159 miles) north of Glasgow and 269 kilometers (167 miles) northwest of Edinburgh, making it relatively accessible to other notable cities. Inverness is well-connected by public transportation, including buses, trains, and even an airport for those traveling from further afield. The climate in Inverness is generally cool and 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, both offering beautiful courses and stunning views. Nature lovers can explore the Ness Islands, a group of small islands in the River Ness connected by picturesque footbridges, or take a leisurely stroll through the lovely Whin Park. For those interested in history and culture, the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and the iconic Inverness Castle are must-visit attractions. Additionally, Inverness serves as a gateway to the famous Loch Ness, where visitors can embark on boat tours in search of the legendary Loch Ness Monster.

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.

Traveling MailboxTraveling Mailbox
Connect

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.

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Traveling MailboxTraveling Mailbox

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.
Connect

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen, also known as the Granite City, is located in the northeastern part of the country. It is approximately 209 kilometers (130 miles) north of Edinburgh and 212 kilometers (132 miles) northeast of Glasgow. Aberdeen boasts an extensive public transportation system, including buses and trains, making it easy to explore the city and its surrounding areas. The climate in Aberdeen 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. Aberdeen offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors and locals alike. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy playing at several golf clubs in the area, such as the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs in the world, and the Trump International Golf Links, a modern and luxurious golf course. Nature lovers can visit the beautiful Duthie Park, which features a winter garden, boating pond, and play areas for children. Hazlehead Park is another popular destination, offering woodland walks, sports facilities, and a petting zoo. Aberdeen's coastal location also provides opportunities for beach activities, such as surfing and sailing, at the city's award-winning beach.

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 vibrant city with an approximate population of 148,000. It is located on the east coast of Scotland, about 96 kilometers (60 miles) north of Edinburgh and 104 kilometers (65 miles) south of Aberdeen. Dundee is well-connected by public transportation, with regular train and bus services to other major cities in Scotland and the UK. The city experiences a temperate maritime climate, with average temperatures ranging from 1°C (34°F) in winter to 19°C (66°F) in summer. Dundee offers a variety of recreational activities for residents and visitors alike. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy playing at the Downfield Golf Club or the Caird Park Golf Club, both located within the city. Nature lovers can explore the beautiful Camperdown Country Park, which features a wildlife center, botanical gardens, and walking trails. Dundee is also home to the V&A Dundee, Scotland's first design museum, and the historic RRS Discovery ship, offering a glimpse into the city's rich maritime history.

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.

Allianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

Learn MoreGet Quote

Allianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

Learn MoreGet Quote

Perth

Perth, is a picturesque city located in central Scotland, with a population of approximately 47,000. It is situated about 72 kilometers (45 miles) north of Edinburgh and 61 kilometers (38 miles) northeast of Glasgow, making it easily accessible from these major cities. The city is well-connected by public transportation, with regular train and bus services linking it to other parts of Scotland and the UK. Perth experiences a temperate maritime climate, with average temperatures ranging from 1°C (34°F) in winter to 18°C (64°F) in summer. The city is known for its beautiful parks and recreational activities, offering a variety of options for both locals and tourists. One of the most popular parks in Perth is the North Inch, a large public park that runs along the banks of the River Tay. The park is home to the North Inch Golf Course, a historic 18-hole golf course that dates back to the 15th century. Another popular recreational spot is the South Inch, which features a large open space for sports and leisure activities, as well as a children's play area and a skate park. In addition to golf, Perth offers a range of outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, and fishing. The city is also home to several sports centers, including the Perth Leisure Pool and the Bell's Sports Centre, which provide facilities for swimming, badminton, and other indoor sports. With its rich history, beautiful parks, and diverse recreational opportunities, Perth is a charming destination for visitors to Scotland.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the heart of Perth, lies a culinary scene that's sure to delight any foodie. Begin your gastronomic journey at The Post Box, a contemporary eatery offering a seasonal menu of locally sourced ingredients. For a taste of the Mediterranean, head to Paco's Restaurant, where you'll find a mouth-watering selection of Italian and Spanish dishes. And don't miss the chance to dine at 63 Tay Street, a fine dining establishment boasting stunning views of the River Tay. After a day of indulging, rest your head at the luxurious Parklands Hotel, a boutique property with a serene garden setting. Alternatively, opt for the historic Royal George Hotel, a charming 18th-century building with a prime location in the city center.

Stirling

Stirling is a vibrant city with a rich history and stunning scenery. Located in central Scotland, it is approximately 56 kilometers (35 miles) from Glasgow and 61 kilometers (38 miles) from Edinburgh, making it easily accessible from these major cities. Public transportation in Stirling is well-developed, with regular train and bus services connecting it to other parts of Scotland and the UK. The climate in Stirling is temperate, with average temperatures ranging from 1°C (34°F) in winter to 15°C (59°F) in summer. There are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy in and around Stirling. The city is home to the iconic Stirling Castle, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and a glimpse into Scotland's royal past. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the nearby Ochil Hills or take a walk through the beautiful Gargunnock House Gardens. Golfers can tee off at the Stirling Golf Club, which boasts an 18-hole course set against a stunning backdrop of the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle. For those who prefer indoor activities, The Peak sports complex offers a range of facilities, including a swimming pool, ice rink, and climbing wall. With its rich history, beautiful scenery, and diverse recreational opportunities, Stirling is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Scotland.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of Scotland's finest, head to Hermann's, a cozy restaurant offering traditional dishes with a modern twist. The warm atmosphere and friendly staff make it a must-visit when in Stirling. If you're craving Italian, Mamma Mia's is the place to be. This family-run eatery serves up delicious homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas that will transport you straight to Italy. For a more casual dining experience, try The Birds and The Bees, a charming gastropub with an excellent selection of local beers and a menu full of mouthwatering dishes. When it comes to accommodation, the luxurious Hotel Colessio is a top choice. This beautifully restored Victorian building boasts elegant rooms and an on-site restaurant, making it the perfect base for exploring Stirling. For a more intimate stay, consider the charming Castlecroft Bed and Breakfast, where you'll be treated to stunning views of Stirling Castle and warm Scottish hospitality.

Allianz CareAllianz Care
Get Quote

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

Allianz CareAllianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.
Get Quote

Oban

Oban, is a picturesque coastal town situated on the west coast, approximately 151 kilometers (94 miles) from Glasgow and 98 kilometers (61 miles) from Fort William. Known as the "Gateway to the Isles," Oban serves as a hub for tourists exploring the nearby islands and the stunning Scottish Highlands. The town is well-connected by public transportation, with regular train and bus services to major cities and ferry services to the islands. Oban experiences a temperate maritime climate, with average temperatures ranging from 4°C (39°F) in winter to 15°C (59°F) in summer. Recreational activities in Oban are abundant, with a focus on outdoor pursuits and exploring the natural beauty of the region. Visitors can enjoy hiking, cycling, and wildlife watching in the surrounding countryside and coastline. Oban is also home to the Glencruitten Golf Club, an 18-hole parkland course designed by James Braid, offering stunning views of the town and the nearby islands. For those interested in history and culture, the town boasts attractions such as McCaig's Tower, a Colosseum-like structure, and Dunollie Castle, a historic ruin overlooking the bay. Additionally, Oban's picturesque waterfront is lined with a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars, providing ample opportunities for relaxation and entertainment.

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.

Fort William

Fort William, is a picturesque town nestled in the Scottish Highlands, with a population of approximately 10,000 residents. It is situated about 164 kilometers (102 miles) northwest of Glasgow and 193 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Inverness, making it a convenient destination for travelers exploring the region. The town is well-connected by public transportation, with train and bus services linking it to other major cities and popular tourist destinations. Fort William experiences a temperate maritime climate, with average temperatures ranging from 1°C (34°F) in winter to 15°C (59°F) in summer. The town is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and skiing. It is home to the United Kingdom's highest peak, Ben Nevis, which attracts thousands of climbers and hikers each year. The Nevis Range Mountain Resort is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. Fort William also boasts several beautiful parks, such as the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way, which offer scenic walking and cycling routes. While there are no golf clubs within the town itself, the nearby Spean Bridge Golf Club and Dragon's Tooth Golf Course in Ballachulish provide excellent golfing opportunities for visitors.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Fort William boasts a delightful array of culinary experiences and cozy accommodations. For a taste of local cuisine, head to The Crannog Seafood Restaurant, where you can indulge in the freshest seafood while enjoying stunning views of Loch Linnhe. Alternatively, savor the flavors of India at Spice Tandoori, a popular spot for mouthwatering curries and naan bread. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Inverlochy Castle Hotel, a 19th-century castle turned hotel, offering sumptuous rooms and fine dining. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Alexandra Hotel, a charming establishment with comfortable rooms and a convenient location near the town center.

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye, located in Scotland, is a picturesque island known for its stunning landscapes and rich history. The island has an approximate population of 10,000 residents. It is situated 216 kilometers (134 miles) northwest of Glasgow and 275 kilometers (171 miles) northwest of Edinburgh. The Isle of Skye is connected to the mainland by the Skye Bridge, making it easily accessible by car. The climate on the island is mild and wet, with average temperatures ranging from 4°C (39°F) in the winter to 14°C (57°F) in the summer. Recreational activities on the Isle of Skye are abundant, with a focus on outdoor pursuits. Hiking and walking are popular activities, with numerous trails available for all skill levels. Some of the most famous hiking spots include the Old Man of Storr, the Quiraing, and the Fairy Pools. Wildlife watching is another popular activity, with opportunities to spot seals, dolphins, and various bird species. While there are no golf courses on the island itself, the nearby Isle of Raasay offers the Isle of Raasay Golf Club for golf enthusiasts. Additionally, the island is home to several parks and gardens, such as the Armadale Castle Gardens and the Dunvegan Castle Gardens, which showcase the natural beauty of the Isle of Skye.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Isle of Skye, with a visit to The Three Chimneys, a world-renowned restaurant offering a true taste of Skye with its locally sourced ingredients and exquisite dishes. For a more casual dining experience, head to Scorrybreac, a charming family-run restaurant nestled in the heart of Portree, where you can indulge in delicious Scottish cuisine with a modern twist. Don't miss out on the seafood at The Oyster Shed, a rustic eatery offering the freshest oysters, mussels, and langoustines caught daily from the surrounding waters. After a day of exploring the island's breathtaking landscapes, unwind at the luxurious Skeabost House Hotel, a stunning country house hotel set amidst private grounds, or opt for the cozy and intimate surroundings of the Cuillin Hills Hotel, boasting spectacular views over Portree Bay.

Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran, is a picturesque island located in the Firth of Clyde, with an approximate population of 5,000 residents. It is situated about 56 kilometers (35 miles) southwest of Glasgow and 64 kilometers (40 miles) west of the mainland town of Ayr. The island is easily accessible by ferry from Ardrossan, with regular services provided by Caledonian MacBrayne. The climate on the Isle of Arran is temperate, with average temperatures ranging from 3°C (37°F) in winter to 15°C (59°F) in summer. Recreational activities on the Isle of Arran are abundant, with options for both outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking relaxation. Hiking and walking trails are plentiful, with the island's highest peak, Goatfell, offering stunning views of the surrounding area. For golfers, there are seven golf courses on the island, including the popular Brodick Golf Club and Lamlash Golf Club. The Isle of Arran also boasts beautiful beaches, such as Kildonan and Blackwaterfoot, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a refreshing swim. Additionally, visitors can explore the island's rich history and heritage at sites like Brodick Castle and the Machrie Moor Stone Circles.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Isle of Arran, with a visit to the charming Creelers Smokehouse Restaurant. This family-run gem offers a mouthwatering selection of seafood dishes, including their famous smoked salmon. For a more casual dining experience, head to the Drift Inn, where you can enjoy delicious pub grub and local ales in a cozy atmosphere. Don't miss the opportunity to sample the island's finest produce at The Parlour, a farm-to-table eatery that showcases Arran's best ingredients in their ever-changing menu. After a day of exploring, rest your head at the luxurious Auchrannie Resort, which boasts stunning views, a spa, and two award-winning restaurants. Alternatively, opt for the charming Kildonan Hotel, where you can enjoy a warm welcome, comfortable rooms, and breathtaking sea views.

Orkney Islands

The Orkney Islands, located off the northeastern coast of Scotland, are an archipelago of around 70 islands with a population of approximately 22,000. Situated about 16 kilometers (10 miles) north of the Scottish mainland, the islands are roughly 210 kilometers (130 miles) from the city of Inverness and 340 kilometers (210 miles) from Edinburgh. The climate in the Orkney Islands is temperate maritime, with average temperatures ranging from 3°C (37°F) in winter to 12°C (54°F) in summer. The islands are known for their rich history, stunning landscapes, and abundant wildlife, making them a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Recreational activities in the Orkney Islands include hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the numerous archaeological sites, such as the Neolithic village of Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar. While there are no golf courses on the islands themselves, visitors can enjoy a round of golf at the nearby Stromness Golf Club on the Orkney mainland. Other popular attractions include the Italian Chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war during World War II, and the Orkney Brewery, where visitors can sample local beers and learn about the brewing process.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Orkney Islands, with a visit to The Foveran, a renowned restaurant offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape and a menu featuring the finest local produce. For a more casual dining experience, head to Helgi's, a cozy pub serving delicious seafood and traditional Orkney dishes. Don't miss the opportunity to sample the local whiskey at Highland Park Distillery, where you can also enjoy a guided tour. Rest your head at the luxurious Kirkwall Hotel, a charming establishment with a rich history and comfortable accommodations. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the island's natural beauty with a stay at the Ayre of Cara B&B, a delightful bed and breakfast boasting spectacular sea views.

Shetland Islands

The Shetland Islands, located in Scotland, are a remote and picturesque archipelago with a population of approximately 23,000 people. Situated about 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of mainland Scotland, the islands are closer to Norway than to other major Scottish cities like Edinburgh or Glasgow. The Shetland Islands are accessible by ferry from Aberdeen or by flights from various Scottish airports. Public transportation on the islands is limited, but there are bus services connecting the main settlements, as well as inter-island ferries for island hopping. The climate in the Shetland Islands is cool and temperate, with average temperatures ranging from 3°C (37°F) in the winter to 12°C (54°F) in the summer. The islands are known for their stunning landscapes, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, making them a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Recreational activities in the Shetland Islands include hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the numerous archaeological sites, such as the well-preserved prehistoric village of Jarlshof. While there are no golf courses on the islands, visitors can enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery at spots like St. Ninian's Isle or the dramatic cliffs at Eshaness. Additionally, the Shetland Islands are home to several parks and nature reserves, such as the Hermaness National Nature Reserve, which provides a habitat for a variety of seabirds, including the iconic puffin.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of the Shetland Islands at the acclaimed Frankie's Fish & Chips, where you can indulge in the freshest seafood, caught daily from the surrounding waters. For a more upscale dining experience, head to The String, a contemporary restaurant and bar offering a seasonal menu of locally sourced ingredients, paired with an extensive wine list and craft cocktails. Don't miss out on the traditional Shetland Sunday Teas at the Walls Bakery, where you can enjoy a selection of homemade cakes, sandwiches, and scones. When it comes to accommodation, the Busta House Hotel is a charming 16th-century property nestled in the picturesque village of Brae, offering a perfect blend of history and modern comforts. Alternatively, opt for the contemporary Lerwick Hotel, boasting stunning sea views and a prime location in the heart of Lerwick, the island's capital.

Scottish Borders

The Scottish Borders is a picturesque region in the southeastern part of Scotland, known for its rolling hills, moorland, and valleys. It is situated approximately 56 kilometers (35 miles) south of Edinburgh and 89 kilometers (55 miles) north of Newcastle upon Tyne, making it easily accessible from these major cities. The region is well-connected by public transportation, with regular train and bus services available for visitors and locals alike. The climate in the Scottish Borders is temperate, with average temperatures ranging from 1°C (34°F) in winter to 15°C (59°F) in summer. There are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy in the Scottish Borders, catering to a wide range of interests. For golf enthusiasts, there are several golf clubs in the area, such as the Roxburghe Golf Club and the Peebles Golf Club. Nature lovers can explore the beautiful countryside by visiting parks like the Tweed Valley Forest Park or the St. Abbs Head National Nature Reserve. The region is also rich in history, with numerous castles, abbeys, and stately homes to visit, such as the Melrose Abbey and Floors Castle. Additionally, the Scottish Borders is home to various walking and cycling routes, offering a great way to experience the stunning landscapes and picturesque towns and villages.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the picturesque Scottish Borders, the enchanting Windlestraw is a must-visit for foodies. This intimate, award-winning restaurant with rooms offers a seasonal six-course tasting menu, showcasing the finest local produce. For a more casual dining experience, head to the quirky Cobbles Inn in Kelso, where you'll find hearty pub grub and a great selection of local ales. If seafood is your passion, don't miss the chance to dine at the renowned Oblo Bar & Bistro in Eyemouth, where you can indulge in the freshest catch of the day. When it comes to accommodation, the luxurious Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course in Kelso is a popular choice, boasting elegant rooms, a championship golf course, and a serene spa. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the region's rich history with a stay at the charming Ednam House Hotel, a stunning Georgian property set on the banks of the River Tweed.

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.


Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Glasgow, Scotland

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
Get Quote

Allianz CareAllianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
Get Quote

Contribute to Scotland Network Contribute
Help others in Scotland by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Scotland.

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal