There are plenty of reasons for moving to rural Scotland, with the wonderful natural landscape and bargain property prices among them. What are the key factors to take into account to make a good decision?
Access to the Towns and Cities
It is easy to under-estimate the size of Scotland and the remoteness of many regions. Up to 80% of the population live in the central belt that includes Glasgow and Edinburgh. This means that there are vast areas in the Highlands that are almost empty.
It can take over six or seven hours to get from a Northern spot like Brora or Wick to the big cities, while driving there and back will take about ten hours. Therefore, it is important to think about how important it is for you to be close to a town or city.
Prices tend to get lower as you reach more remote areas. This pink castle with nine bedrooms near the Cairngorms National Park was put up for sale at £1.5 million in 2020, which is remarkable when considering what is on offer, so there could be potential bargains across a wide spectrum of prices. You can get a UK mortgage sorted out quickly online at Trussle, where it is possible to compare deals and use a mortgage calculator to work out the maximum amount you are able to borrow. With approval in less than 24 hours, you’ll soon be ready to make an offer quickly.
Protection from the Weather
For many people who move there from sunnier climes, Scotland’s weather could be one of the factors that cause them to think twice. It is worth remembering that the temperature and rainfall levels vary quite considerably across the country, though in any part of Scotland you will want a water-tight property with good central heating.
The Gulf Stream brings warm water to the West coast of Scotland, meaning that this side of the land is generally a good deal warmer than the East coast. Palm trees and other exotic plants can be grown fairly easily in many parts of the West, meaning that keen gardeners can look for a property that gives them scope for creating an interesting garden.
As for the rain, the Western Highlands sees the most rainfall and this region is often ranked among the wettest parts of Europe. Don’t forget that the lowest temperatures ever recorded in the UK both came in the North of Scotland, with a freezing -27.2 °C in both Braemar in 1982 and Altnaharra in 1995.
Work and Lifestyle
One of the big issues with moving to rural Scotland is the lack of work opportunities, which is why many people who move here plan to work remotely or retire. If you need to find a job then you will want to start researching your options before deciding where to live.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing are among the main industries, making up 15% of the rural economy’s total jobs according to Scottish Government figures from 2018. Accommodation and food services also account for 15% of all work to be found here, so if you are looking for a property to use as a B&B or restaurant there is an existing tourism infrastructure in many places. As for the lifestyle, it is clear that a certain type of person will be attracted to start a new life here. Rural Scotland offers the chance to get back to nature and if you get a house with plenty of land it could be perfect for growing your own vegetables and living a simpler lifestyle.