Moving from England to Scotland – 12 Surprises


If you are considering moving from England to Scotland, you need to get familiar with subtle differences between the two regions – or countries as some Scots would like to say. Some things are definitely different up north, and some areas will have bigger differences than other. For instance, if you are moving from London to Scotland, you may experience are huge difference, compared to someone coming up from Newcastle. The further away you are from Scotland the greater the cultural difference. The closest border town between England and Scotland is Berwick upon tweed, and people in Berwick are very family and used to Scottish stuff, the border is literally less than 5 miles away and a lot of the Berwick residents work in Scotland, so it is only natural that people are familiar with the Scottish side.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when relocating to Scotland:

No Tuition Fees in Scotland:

For those planning to start University, make sure you end up in Scotland, 3 years before the degree programme starts and you could save thousands of Dineros. First University degree is completely free in Scotland (as of 2024), so you shall be saving a considerable amount of money on University fees. Currently an undergraduate degree costs over £39k at the University of Edinburgh, which English students have to pay for.

Moving from England to Scotland

Moving from England to Scotland

But for  existing residents of Scotland it is completely free. In fact it’s not just the fees, depending upon your circumstances, students can also get a bursary to help with their living costs. Some bursaries cover the entire living costs; you definitely have a better chance of getting free education in Scotland as opposed to England. SAAS is the Student Award Agency of Scotland, which deal with fees and bursaries, and their website can be a good resource if you would like to find out more about funding etc. 


Relocating From England To Scotland

Call Now 01313321373

Enquire Here

No Prescription Fees:

It’s not just the youngsters going to University who will love moving to Scotland, the mature and the retired ones also have reasons to cherish relocating to Scotland. Currently (2024) one has to pay £9.65 per prescription in England, there are no NHS prescription fees in Scotland. So for those visiting the doctor fairly frequently, that’s a lot of saving by just moving to Scotland. It can take a huge toll of the older population who are on repeat prescriptions. In Scotland, patients are even getting medicated Dandruff shampoos for free on prescription, which are sold in Boots for overs £10 each.

Scottish NHS is separate to the English NHS, and since Scotland only has a population of 5 Million people the NHS up north is not as much burdened as the one in England, the NHS waiting times are much less in Scotland, and one can even get same day appointments at surgeries and be seen at the hospital emergencies without waiting for too long. Recently, the NHS Scotland has also been under huge stress but the difference is so visible that it can be felt by the patients. For instance, residents of Edinburgh would have no idea, how difficult it can be to get GP appointments in certain boroughs of London. 

This may also be true for smallish towns in England, but if you are moving from a bigger city like London or Manchester you are bound to experience a difference. Scotland also has 24/7 service where you can speak to members of staff for medical advice, it’s called NHS 24/7. At the time of writing it is unclear if a similar service is available in England.

It may also be true the other way around, if you move from a small town in England and end up moving to Glasgow or another big city. End of the day it is about resources and the population using those resources. So it may not always be true that you would experience better medical facilities, but checking the average waiting times etc. before selecting your town, and comparing it to where you are coming from may be useful.

Reduced Crime Rate when moving from England to Scotland:

Although safety is a perceived concept, but going by official statistics, Scotland overall has lesser crime than England, it could be simply because it is a small population or simply because it is in the north, who knows!
Some of the English cities like London have a huge knife crime problem, whilst Scotland may have its own share of crime issues, knife crime in particular isn’t very popular. This alone is a good enough reason to be moving from England to Scotland, especially for ones with children.

Again, this isn’t always set in stone, you could be coming from a smallish safe neighbourhood down south, and move into a rough neighbourhood. It is always advised to check each area independently and compare it to where you are coming from. But most likely than not, you shall be expecting reduced crime rates in the community.

Different Jurisdiction:

Whilst most people do realise that Scotland is a different administrative unit, but what some people don’t realise is that it is a completely separate jurisdiction, it has its own parliament, plenty of devolved powers, and local Scottish laws, which could cover all areas of life if you start living in Scotland. Therefore, property purchases can be very different to England. Similarly, family matters, child custody, divorces, asset division, are not always the same as England. The Scottish legal tradition is distinct and different from that of England. To the point, that Scottish lawyers cannot practice in England and vice verse, although both are common law jurisdictions. 


Easier to get divorced:

Talking of jurisdiction and separate laws, it is much easier to get divorced in Scotland, especially if both parties consent to it. Scotland has a form of divorce procedure called the simplified DIY – Do it yourself –divorce procedure, and it enables couples to get divorced by just filling in a few forms themselves and by mutual consent, without blaming either party. This is significantly different to what the English were used to, where there had to be a faulty party. However, in recent years the English have been trying to catch-up and have come up with a NO FAULT divorce, so they are trying to copy the scots and make divorces more accessible. Whether it is a good thing or not, remain debateable. 

Looks like the Scots want to make getting divorced easier than applying for a travel visa for going abroad.


Property Purchase when moving to Scotland:

Purchase of property is significantly different in Scotland too, whilst the overall procedure has a lot of differences, which you can let the solicitors take care of. The one major difference is also with the way properties are priced. Properties in Scotland are commonly listed as ‘Offers Above’ which means you have to bid over the stated price and other potential buyers can outbid you, so buyers end up in a bidding war and can end up not knowing how much money would buy their next home, as opposed to England, where houses simply have asking prices and you can either buy for the asking price or even offer less than the asking price.

Fixed price sales are not very popular in Scotland and only become popular during the recession periods only. The distinction between leasehold and freehold doesn’t exist in Scotland, properties in Scotland are generally sold under freehold like conditions.

In England, verbal offers can be communicated via estate agents, and then the lawyers can deal with the paperwork eventually. However, in Scotland, only a qualified conveyancer (lawyer) can put in a legal offer on behalf of the client. Although, the offer can be placed free of charge, it still has to be a legally authorised person to do it.


Scotland has its Own Currency:

Scotland has its own currency, so get used to funny looking bank notes. Well, actually they aren’t funny at all. But, since the English are not used to seeing the Scottish notes, they tend to take a detailed glance.. Don’t worry it’s something you get used to fairly easily.
Besides, if you are collecting the Scottish bank notes, some of them are very colourful and don’t in huge circulation, so they can appear to be very unique, when compared to the overall currencies in circulation in the UK.

Better Traffic in Scotland:

Now this is not to say that England has bad traffic everywhere but if you are moving from bigger cities, you are certainly going to feel the difference in Scotland. Firstly, there are less cars on the road due to reduced population. Secondly, the drivers in the north are super courteous. Give ways are the roundabouts can look like everyone just trying to show off their patience and courteousness. For example, if you are moving from London to Scotland, you shall experience the most relief. London traffic is known to be the most horrendous in the country.

Having said that, English road tend to be in much better condition than Scottish ones. If you compared the two Capitals, although London has really bad traffic, the roads in London are in much better conditions than those of Edinburgh. It is unclear, if it is the local councils or the weather – which it cannot be, as Norway has great roads – but for some unknown reason, Edinburgh residents have to put up with bad road quality compared to London. It would be safe to assume, that the comparison would be somewhat similar between other English and Scottish cities, except the Motorways, as Scotland doesn’t seem to have many 🙂

Moving to Scotland from England


More DayLight:

Well this is only true for summer, but it’s well worth it. Imagine a 20 hour day in June, and you can just do so much with that daylight. You get at least a minimum of 1 extra hour of light in Scotland during summer. Sadly, this is the opposite in winters, the days are shorter, colder, and gloomy, so keep that in mind.

If you do not like it hot during summers, the 30 plus degrees types of days, which south of England can experience in Summers, then you shall love Scotland. Scotland does not tend to overheat in summer months, the temperatures will always invariable remain in early 20s (degrees Celsius) unless you are lucky to get high 20s. This relief is of course compensated by colder and harsher winters, so be prepared for the trade off.

Reduced Car Insurance when you move from England to Scotland:

If you are moving from a bigger city, car insurance premium are definitively going to surprise you positively. Whilst the English countryside also enjoys low insurance premiums but if you compare cities, there is a significant difference. The biggest difference you are likely to experience is if you are moving up from London to Scotland, because London has the most expensive car insurance postcodes in the counrty.


Moving from England to Scotland
Call Now!

0131 332 1373


The Weather in Scotland:

The weather is Scotland is certainly more miserable than the English weather, no matter what city you compare it with. Scotland in general is windier. It rains a lot in Scotland and winters are dull and miserable, a notch above England. So please be mentally prepared to embrace the not so exciting weather in Scotland. Long summer days can sometimes be seen to compensate for some of the misery brought by the Scottish weather.  For instance, if you are moving from London to Scotland, you shall experience a great deal of weather difference. Compared to, if you were moving up from NewCastle.


The Accent when moving to Scotland from England:

The Scottish accent is quite a unique one. It isn’t only the accent; Scots have their own words, which are unheard of in England. After all, Gaelic was Scotland’s language and has heavily influenced the English that’s spoken in English. When you are looking at Loch Lomond on the map, it’s actually Lake Lomond, but a lake in Scotland is called a Loch. Can you imagine if Lake District was in Scotland? It would be called Loch District. Once you move up here, you shall get used to frequent use of words like Aye (for a Yes), and Wee (for everything that may or may not be little).

Hopefully you find these differences helpful! And, if you have any observations of your own, please feel free to share. We shall be happy to add your suggestions right here. For instance, people moving from London to Scotland have a different experience. Compared to people moving from other parts of England.

We wish you all the best with your move to Scotland.


Moving from England to Scotland
Call Now!

0131 332 1373

Moving from London to Scotland