Moving from Scotland to England – Things to Consider

Moving from Scotland to England can be quite a challenge in a lot of ways. It’s not just the logistics of relocating to England from Scotland that you have to look into; there are multiple facets to be considered. We outline some key differences below.

And if you are moving in the opposite direction, you may want to read 12 surprises of moving from England to Scotland.


On average, England is slightly warmer than Scotland, and certain parts definitely get a lot more sunshine than you would be used to in Scotland. Of course, it varies with the town you are moving to and from, but the general rule that England is warmer still applies. For instance, if you move from Inverness or Aberdeen to Bournemouth or Brighton, you are definitely going to experience warmer temperatures in your new home. And it’s not just the warmth. It would probably be drier, with more sunny spells then you are used to up north.

If you're moving from Scotland to England you may notice that it's generally warmer!

If you’re moving from Scotland to England you may notice that it’s generally warmer! (Click on photo for attribution details.)


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Income TaxIncome tax

Scotland and England, being two separate jurisdictions, have different income tax brackets. A lot of people don’t seem to realise this – after all, they are both parts of the UK! We won’t cover the details of the two taxation regimes here, but a summary may be helpful.

The differences may not be huge, but the gist is that if you are a medium to high earner, you are better off in England. If you earn over roughly £33k per annum, England will tax you less than you would be taxed in Scotland. However, if you are a low earner (under £20k per annum), you are better off being taxed in Scotland. Scotland has a slightly softer approach to low earners, expecting high earners to contribute a bit more to the society.

So, if you are moving to England from Scotland, remember to check how the taxation is likely to affect your circumstances. You may want to contact a taxation expert or even HMRC to get some clarification.

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More People

One of the pluses of moving from Manchester to Edinburgh is the famous Edinburgh International Festival.

Scotland is only shared by 5.4 million people, and with England having over ten times the population, it is likely that your new town will have more people. In fact, the average population density in England is 1,106 people/sq. mile, wheareas it is only 176 in Scotland! If you are planning to move to one of the English cities, just get ready to expect more people everywhere!

This is not to suggest that you cannot find peace and tranquility in England, because it offers some beautiful countryside living too. The population factor is more applicable to the cities, and there are far more cities in England than there are in Scotland! Here is a list of UK cities by population. You’ll see that Glasgow and Edinburgh are the only two Scottish cities in the top 20 and that all but two of the rest are in England.


With more people comes more traffic, so cities like London, Manchester, Birmigham, etc., experience traffic nightmares which are not comparable to the traffic problems of Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness.

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It isn’t a conclusive or definitive fact – so don’t quote us on it – but the NHS up north seems to be functioning a bit better than the one down south. This may be due to the lack of population pressure (though other explanations may also be valid). If you are someone who is heavily reliant on medical care on a daily or weekly basis, it may be a good idea to choose an English town that can meet your needs.

Health Care

Bigger cities may have longer waiting times and queues, but equally may have more advanced facilities, compared to a small Scottish town. Therefore, if you need specific medical assistance on a regular basis, you may actually be better off in a particular English city. The point to note is that there is a certain degree of variation in the quality of NHS service all over the UK. In conclusion, please check before relocating to England from Scotland if your chosen destination offers appropriate medical support!

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Because England is south of Scotland, these countries experience slightly different day lengths over much of the year. If you are moving to England during winters, the good news is that you will have on average more daylight hours than you would in Scotland. This is a definitive plus… unless you are a nocturnal millennial, in which case Scotland offers perfect long nights with very short days during the winters!


Blackout Curtains

Similarly, if you are moving down to England in summer, you will have some more night time, taking away the need for blackout curtains. It dawns far too early in Scotland for you to have a proper night’s sleep, unless you war a blindfold, have such curtains, are insensitive to light or are normally a very early riser – like those who habitually get up at 3:45am. In England you can expect the light to be delayed by 30 minutes or more, depending upon how far south you move.

All of the above is only applicable if you are going some distance away – towards the south of England. If you are only moving from a Scottish border town to Berwick-upon-Tweed, of course, there won’t be much difference in terms of daylight hours etc.

Read: Joys of Moving from England to Scotland

If you're moving from Scotland to England you're probably moving south, but not necessarily, as this map of the border shows. In fact, you'd be travelling more than half a degree north if you moved from Dumfries to Berwick-upon-Tweed.

If you’re moving from Scotland to England you’re probably moving south, but not necessarily, as this map of the border shows. In fact, you’d be travelling more than half a degree north if you moved from Dumfries to Berwick-upon-Tweed.



Yes, because the border runs at an angle to the lines of latitude (SW to NE) there are even Scottish towns which are not as far north as some of their English neighbours. A good example would be if you moved from Dumfries in Scotland to Berwick-upon-Tweed in England. You would be going more than half a degree north (from 55.7702 degress north to 55.0709), and the points above wouldn’t apply. Enough complications!


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Tuition FeesTuition

Likely to start university in England in the near future? Your kids going to be attending university there soon? If either applies, we advise you to budget for university expenses. University degrees in England are no longer subsidised, let alone free. This information is vital for families with students. If you are Scottish or have been living in Scotland long enough, the SAAS might cover your fees for an English University, if it’s your first degree. But, without going into detail, it is advisable to be mindful of university fees not being the same in England and Scotland!



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More Specific Information

There is so much variation within English and Scottish cities, that it is difficult to generally compare the two countries. More specific differences can be stated when you are talking about two named cities. For instance, if you read 8 Joys of Moving from Edinburgh to London you’ll find clear points of comparison. Our Moving from Inverness to London Blog will give you yet another perspective.

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Aberdeen to London

Edinburgh to Birmingham

Edinburgh to Bristol

Edinburgh to Cambridge

Edinburgh to Leeds

Edinburgh to Liverpool

Edinburgh to Manchester

Edinburgh to Oxford

Edinburgh to Sheffield

Glasgow to London

Inverness to London

Moving abroad

For our Canadian friends, those moving back home or within Canada, especially Toronto, GTA and Ontario regions, we would highly like to recommend Long Distance Movers in Toronto. Just like ourselves, they have transparent prices, they do fixed quotes, and provide a reliable and professional moving service. Some of our clients from Scotland have used them when they moved back to Canada, so we thought to make the recommendation public. You can mention that you were recommended by 1st Movers Edinburgh and they would be glad to hear that. They conduct moves all over Ontario and beyond. One of our client used their service for moving from Toronto to Ottawa, previously.