11 Joys of Moving from London to Edinburgh
If you are a Londoner considering moving to Edinburgh from London, there are plenty of things to cherish. Relocating to Scotland from England can be very exciting, and especially moving from London to Scotland. Compiled below are some rather unknown or overlooked ones as well:
Relief in Cost of Housing:
Edinburgh is not exactly a cheap place to live, especially when compared to other Scottish cities like Glasgow or Dundee. The city centre is also more expensive to live in, than Manchester or Birmingham. But if you are coming from London, the cost of housing shall be a relief.
The rents in Edinburgh are on average half the rents in London, or even cheaper depending upon the part of London you are moving from and the part of Edinburgh you select for your next residence. If you are renting a 2 bedroom place for £2000 per month in London, a similar property can be picked up for £1000 per month in Edinburgh.
The rule isn’t any different for bought properties, if you would spend half a million for a two bedroom flat in London, a similar flat in Edinburgh would set you back quarter of a million pounds.
Reduced Car Insurance:
This is something a lot of people don’t realise, that after you move to Edinburgh and call your car insurance company for a change in address, you can most likely expect a refund.
The cost of car insurance in Edinburgh – keeping all other things constant – is less than that in London, so if the only thing you are changing is your address you can in certain cases, expect as much as 50% reduction in your premium. Please don’t quote us on it, as insurance quotes are very complex, but in general you won’t be expected to pay the same.
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Reduced Crime Rate:
Although safety is a perceived concept, but going by official statistics, Edinburgh is a much safer capital than London. And the reduction of your car insurance premium is an indication of that too, less probability of theft or even accidents, compared to London.
Edinburgh doesn’t seem to have a huge knife crime problem or the same levels of petty crimes compared to the southern capital. The level of scams etc. is low too. And people generally feel safe, unlike some London neighbourhoods.
Rush hour in Edinburgh is very different to that of London, there is no North Circular (A406) or M25 which move at snail’s pace everyday between 4:00pm – 7:00pm and the scene isn’t very different in the morning rush hour. In Edinburgh, you do get stuck in traffic but the delays are usually between 10-15 minutes, the infamous Sheriff Hall roundabout on the city bypass gets busy and the Scots love to moan about it, but it is always moving and even a half mile queue clears in 15 minutes or less. Only if the Scots had ever heard about the London traffic nightmares!
No Congestion Charge or Low Emissions Zone:
There is no congestion charge for vehicles and there is no low emission zone. The parking tickets are cheaper too; not that you want them away, but it’s good to know.
You can drive to the centre and drop your loved ones to the train station without paying anything extra, there is a even a drop off point at the Waverly train station, so you can drive right into the station, drop off passengers and drive away. Please don’t forget to check our blogpost ‘12 Surprises of Moving from England to Scotland
Better Air & Water Quality:
The lack of congestion charge or low emissions zone is because the Edinburgh air is very clean compared to the London’s polluted air that the Mayor of London is currently struggling with. The tap water quality is also much better in Edinburgh and most residents drink tap water without any hesitation unlike some Londoners.
Edinburgh is a city but it is also the size of a large town, with official population of just under half a million – although if you add tourists, it is much more, e.g. in August every year the city swells to over 1 Million people due to the tourists – you can’t be pushed to live miles away from work and average commute to work is significantly less than what an average Londoner would be used to.
You only have to go 5-7 miles outside the city centre and the suburbs starts, equivalent of what you would expect 5-7 miles outside the M25 probably. To put things in perspective some people live outside town, and their commute to city centre is still less than 20 minutes using public transport. For instance, if you lived in Musselburgh, which is a town in East Lothian (county), you can still get to the city centre within 20 minutes during the day, using public transport. If you drove in the middle of the night, it would be a 12 minute drive as the distance is less than 6 miles.
The city has frequent buses and now a tram too, outside town there are park and ride facilities as well, connecting to the city centre via trains.
Better Public Health Services:
A lot of people don’t realise that Scottish NHS is separate to the English NHS, and with only 5 Million people the NHS up north is less burdened, the queues and waiting times are much less in Edinburgh, and it is possible to get same day appointments at surgeries and be seen at the hospital emergencies without waiting for long hours, as is frequently seen in London. Scotland also has an NHS 24, which is 24/7 service where you can speak to members of staff for medical advice, at the time of writing it is unclear if a similar service is available in London.
More Scenic with loads of Natural Beauty and Architecture:
Whilst London has its own charm, Edinburgh is an extremely scenic city, with rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, hills, and the sea, all in one place. Not only is the city stunning, all of this creates various outdoor activities for different age groups with different preferences.
A walk along the beach can be a daily thing, some prefer to climb up Arthur Seat every day; it’s a hill in the middle of the city. Cyclists have plenty of options and can take various routes exploring the city and the outskirts, unlike their war with the bus and car driver in London. Overall there are more outdoor opportunities at your door step for those who live in Edinburgh.
The city’s architecture is world renowned with plenty of the city centre covered by UNESCO as world heritage city, the new town being only 200 years old and old town being 400 years old. Architecture is a personal preference though, and since London has plenty of beautiful architecture too but it is worth mentioning that you won’t miss the buildings when you move up to Edinburgh, instead you have a whole different type Architecture to explore.
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Better Shopping Experience:
Retail stores in Edinburgh have relatively less customers but are still well staffed, which can change your entire shopping experience. So if you went to buy a pair of trainers, it is easy to find someone who can just be assisting you for a good 10-20 minutes while you try and choose your shoes.
Overall Improved Happiness:
When you move from London and experience all of the above, your improved quality of life shall bring you happiness, and in some cases improve your happiness levels. People in streets of Edinburgh appear to be quite happy compared to the morning commuter on the London underground.
Before you think it was an attempt to have a go at London, don’t forget to read the not so great things you will experience after you move from London to Edinburgh, and yes that includes the weather too.