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Moving to Edinburgh

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

22nd Jun 2020 (Last updated on 30th Jul 2020) 8 minute read

Edinburgh is a vibrant city, rich in both history and culture. Stunning architecture can be found at almost every turn and independent businesses are flourishing in the city, including local artists, cafes, cocktail bars and boutique hotels in wonderful historic buildings.

Covering a total of 264 sq km, the Capital of Scotland has long been a hub for industry, creativity and culinary experiences and is growing at a rapid pace. The population of the city is currently 513,210 and according to Scotland’s National Records, Edinburgh is expected to grow by 28.2% by 2037. 

In addition to the creative and historical experiences in the city, Edinburgh also boasts a number of high performing job sectors and a range of excellent education opportunities, from primary school through to University. 

To help you with your move to this beautiful city, Compare My Move has created an ultimate guide for your Edinburgh house removals, including information on property, employment, education, crime and entertainment.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Property in Edinburgh
  2. Best Places to Live in Edinburgh
  3. Schools and Education in Edinburgh
  4. Where to Work in Edinburgh
  5. Transport in Edinburgh
  6. Entertainment in Edinburgh
  7. Crime in Edinburgh
  8. Moving to Edinburgh with Compare My Move

Property in Edinburgh

Although the city is undoubtedly more affordable than many areas of London, Edinburgh is still one of the more expensive cities in the UK to buy a property. House prices saw a 3% rise in the past year, however, property prices had dropped over the last decade, with prices 34% down on 2007 when they averaged at £434,351.

As you might expect, properties in the city centre are significantly pricier than those on the outskirts. Currently, the average property price in Edinburgh is £331,446. For those opting to rent, expect to pay an average of £1,324 pcm. Of course, these figures vary depending on the location within the city. 

When it comes to moving to or within Edinburgh, the average cost of moving in the city currently stands at £1,204.27, with the summer months being the most popular time of year to move, according to Compare My Move’s data.

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Best Places to Live in Edinburgh

When choosing an area to live in, different areas can appeal to different demographics. However, when it comes to the City of Edinburgh, whether you’re looking for family-friendly places, student areas or up and coming places for professionals, there will be somewhere to suit you. 

Below we’ve listed 5 of the top locations in and around the beautiful Scottish capital. 

AreaAverage Asking PriceAverage Asking Rent (pcm)

Leith

£258,890

£1,118

Old Town

£294,133

£1,320

New Town

£508,392

£1,411

Barnton

£381,333

£1,159

Peebles

£242,276

£1,075

Data was taken from Zoopla, correct as of July 2020

1. Leith

Leith is an old shipping port in Edinburgh that has recently been rejuvenated and is now home to highly regarded seafood restaurants, waterfront bars and cafes, galleries and shops. Most notably, this is where you will find The Kitchin, Tom Kitchin’s Michelin star restaurant. The average property price for Leith currently stands at £258,890 and is below the average cost of a property in Edinburgh.

2. Old Town

The area of Old Town is where you will find the Royal Mile, lined with lively cafes and bars and stunning architecture and cobbled wynds dating back to the 12th Century. The area also leads the way to Edinburgh Castle. If this sounds like your ideal locations, the average price for a property in Old Town is £242,165.

3. New Town

New Town is popular with professionals and is one of the wealthiest parts of Edinburgh. The historic area was built during the 18th and 19th century and is made up of Georgian townhouses, wide avenues and independent retail. On the edge of New Town, you’ll find the breathtaking Royal Botanic Gardens. Houses in this area cost considerably more than areas such as Leith or Peebles, with the average house price currently at £508,392.

4. Barnton

Barnton is an affluent suburb located in the north-west of Edinburgh. Here is where you’ll find the esteemed Royal High School of Edinburgh, one of Scotland’s oldest schools. Properties in this area cost considerably more than other parts of Edinburgh, with the average asking price for a property at £336,781.

5. Peebles

Peebles is located to the South of Edinburgh centre. Like much of Edinburgh and the surrounding areas, there is a wealth of culture and appreciation for the arts, with Eastgate Theatre hosting a variety of performances, including music, theatre and dance. For those looking to explore what nature has to offer, Glentress Forest is found to the east of Peebles, with many walking routes located to the west. The average house price for Peebles currently sits at £242,276, making it one of the more reasonable areas to live around Edinburgh,

Schools and Education in Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is considered one of the world’s top Universities, especially for Arts and Humanities and Computer Science. Dating back to 1583, the University provides high quality teaching for 26,000 undergraduates, over 15,000 postgraduates, in addition to employment for more than 15,000 members of staff. 

In addition to the University, Edinburgh is known for having some of the top primary and secondary education in the country, both private and public. The city boasts 18 nurseries, 94 primary schools and 23 secondary schools managed by the City of Edinburgh Council and is home to the Royal High Schools, one of the oldest schools globally. 

When it comes to finding a school for your children, we’re compiled a list of the top Primary and Secondary schools in the city. 

The 5 Best Primary Schools in Edinburgh

Primary SchoolLocationAge Range% pupils achieving the expected level in reading nationally at the end of P7 (Age 11/12)*

Tollcross Primary School

Edinburgh

4-12

79%

Stockbridge Primary School

Edinburgh

4-12

79%

St Mary’s RC Primary School

Edinburgh

4-12

79%

Royal Mile Primary School

Edinburgh

4-12

79%

Sciennes Primary School

Edinburgh

4-12

79%


The 5 Best Secondary Schools in Edinburgh

Secondary SchoolLocationAge Range% of Pupils Achieving Five Highers*

Boroughmuir High School

Edinburgh

12-18

72%

James Gillespie's High School

Edinburgh

12-18

66%

St Thomas of Aquin's

Edinburgh

12-18

60%

Firrhill High School

Firrhill

12-18

53%

Balerno Community High School

Balerno

12-18

53%

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Where to Work in Edinburgh

In 2018, Edinburgh was awarded the title of “Most Attractive City to Live and Work in” in the UK, from a study issued by the Royal Mail Group. It found that Edinburgh was home to the largest number of start-ups and office expenses were around half of those in London. 

Finance has always been a major industry in modern Edinburgh and has been a focal point for Scottish banking for more than 300 years. Major employers include the Bank of Scotland, Standard Life and Scottish Widows. 

Tech and Digital are also thriving industries, with Edinburgh boasting a host of tech-related start-up companies. Furthermore, Edinburgh specialises in developing offshore wind power and is key in Scotland's renewable energy effort.

Edinburgh is known as the cultural capital of Scotland, with 12 major festivals including the world-famous Fringe Festival generating millions for the Edinburgh economy. These cultural events mean a whole host of job opportunities for musicians, artists and performers, not to mention jobs in tourism.

Transport in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is largely a walking city, with many areas accessible on foot. That said, public transport in the city is very useful and easy to navigate, mainly through trams and bus services. Edinburgh trams have 15 stops that connect Edinburgh Airport New Town and buses run 24 hours a day with frequent services. 

Edinburgh is also cycling-friendly, with paths and lanes helping your commute or day out around the city. Alternatively, taxis are available throughout the city.

Entertainment in Edinburgh

Whether its music, comedy, theatre or any of the arts festivals, when you move to Edinburgh, you should definitely make sure you attend any one of these forms of entertainment. The city hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Edinburgh is home to a plethora of historic sites and breathtaking views. Visiting Edinburgh Castle makes for a great day out with the family or friends– you can absorb history and then relax by taking in the beautiful city from the castle.

Walking around Holyrood Park is another option for a day out, where you can also enjoy panoramic views from Arthur’s Seat. Edinburgh is also famous for its independent shops, boutiques and record shops, in addition to a range of high street stores. 

The city offers a number of options for eating out and drinking, with everything from Michelin starred restaurants to more reasonably priced and family-friendly eateries. 

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Crime in Edinburgh

Crime rates in Edinburg are reportedly lower than the average for Scotland, with the city considered a safe place to live overall.  A poll conducted in 2014 saw Edinburgh voted the safest of the ten most populous cities in the UK. 

A recent map of Edinburgh crimes, created by a French data scientist, has revealed the areas with the highest number of street crime reports across the city, using crime and newspaper reports from the last 10 years. Both the town centre and Leith showed higher amounts of crime. This could be due to the areas having a higher population. With the exception of Leith, the further out of the city, the less crime is a factor according to the map.  According to Travelsafe-Abroad, the risk of mugging, pickpocketing and scams was considered low, with terrorism ranking as the highest crime risk due to Edinburgh being a capital city in the United Kingdom.

Moving to Edinburgh with Compare My Move

When it comes to your move, Compare My Move is here for you. We can help you find the surveyor and conveyancing solicitor you need and we work with the best Edinburgh removal companies. We can save you both time and up to 70% off with our professional and verified partners.

Adele MacGregor

Having written for PerformanceIN, WalesOnline, Grazia Magazine and The Olive Press, Adele now writes advice articles for home movers, first-time buyers and house sellers alike.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Co-Founder and Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the co-founder and director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.