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Moving to Edinburgh From London

Ashleigh Williams

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

18th Apr 2023 (Last updated on 23rd Feb 2024) 8 minute read

London is the most popular city in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Full of life and job opportunities, you are never short on things to do.

Even so, many people looking for a quieter lifestyle and to settle down are deciding to move to quieter cities in the UK.

Edinburgh is a fantastic city in Scotland. It’s full of character, and beautiful architecture and has a slower pace of life than London.

This article is a guide to moving to Edinburgh from London.

  1. Why Are People Moving From London to Edinburgh?
  2. What Do I Need to Do to Move to Edinburgh?
  3. Property Prices
  4. Travel and Commuting
  5. Work and Salary
  6. Cost of Living
  7. Education
  8. Culture/Art
  9. Nightlife/Social Scene
  10. Is it Worth Moving to Edinburgh from London?
  11. Removals from London to Edinburgh

Why Are People Moving From London to Edinburgh?

The Mirror states that between 2015-2017, 21,740 people moved from London to Scotland. There are many reasons why people are choosing to move from London to Edinburgh.

One of the main reasons people are moving from London to Edinburgh is because of the lower cost of living. In comparison to London, the cost of living in Edinburgh is lower which is appealing for those looking for a higher amount of disposable income.

Being a historical city that’s full of culture, Edinburgh is attractive for those looking for a change of scenery away from the hustle and bustle of London. Although it’s a city full of things to do, it’s more relaxed.

While Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, it's a lot less populated and crowded. Only 553,569 people live in the city compared to 9.6 million in London*.

*Data taken from World Population Review

What Do I Need to Do to Move to Edinburgh?

As Edinburgh is part of the UK, you don’t need any specific documents or visas when moving to Scotland from England.

If you’re looking to buy a property instead of renting, there is one fundamental difference to keep in mind. In Scotland, the surveying process differs and the seller legally has to pay for a home report.

This home report is like a RICS Home Survey, and covers the following aspects:

  1. Single Survey
  2. Energy Report
  3. Property Questionnaire

A Home Report costs around £585 - £820 and a seller will be fined for non-compliance.

Ensure the Home Report has been carried out within 12 weeks of the property appearing on the property market.

Read more on: Guide to Buying a House in Scotland

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Property Prices

According to the UK House Price Index, the average house price in Edinburgh is £322,220. Rightmove states that £743,741 is the average property price in London. Property purchasing in Edinburgh is 57% cheaper than in London, which is a significant difference.

The best areas of Edinburgh to live in include Marchmont, Stockbridge, the New Town, and Bruntsfield. More affordable areas include Leith, Gorgie and Abbeyhill.

Many people choose to live in Edinburgh city centre as it’s a convenient location and a lovely area. Affluent neighbourhoods include Ann Street and Danube Street.

Average rental prices in Edinburgh according to are around £1,686. In London, the average rental costs are far higher at £4,642. With rental prices over 2.5 times cheaper, it’s easier to see why so many people make the move out of London.

Travel and Commuting

Edinburgh has a rail service that is reliable and regular, especially if you live close to the centre of the city. The bus systems run 24 hours a day, which makes travelling via public transport convenient.

There is a tram system in the city, which helps to connect different areas such as Edinburgh Airport. It’s easy to get around the city centre by bike as it's part of the National Cycle Network.

Edinburgh doesn’t have an underground system like London. This isn’t needed in the city as the current public transport systems are sufficient. Buses are the most common form of public transport.

Road links are good, however, parking in the centre of the city is not always easy, which is worth keeping in mind. Some of the roads need to be resurfaced and are quite narrow. The A1 is the main road connecting Edinburgh to England.

Work and Salary

According to Adzuna, the average salary in Edinburgh is £37,191. The area is well known for its business sector. While it isn’t as large as London’s, it’s still popular and employs thousands of people.

Other popular work sectors according to Expat include teaching, government, NHS, banking and financial services. The Tech sectors in Edinburgh are prevalent.

The average wage in London is £41,000 according to Payscale. The most common roles in London are not too dissimilar to Edinburgh. They include banking, finance, and the public sector.

Workers in London are paid a London Living Wage, which is why the average job role in London is higher than in other areas of the UK. This is to offset the increased cost of living in the capital city. This increase in pay doesn’t always reflect the extra costs.

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Cost of Living

Consumer prices in Edinburgh are 20% lower than in London. As the cost of living is lower it’s an appealing city to move to.

Here are some cost of living examples to highlight this:

Cost of Living ExamplesLondonEdinburgh

Public transport pass (monthly)



Basic utilities (monthly)



Fitness club membership (monthly)



Chicken fillets



Bottle of wine



Taxi starting price






Restaurant meal for 2 people



Cinema ticket (one ticket)



* Data taken from Numbeo statistics


The education system in Scotland is not too dissimilar to England and has a high-quality education system.

Edinburgh has many top-performing schools. These include Boroughmuir High School and James Gillespie’s High School.

Edinburgh has 6 universities in total, which is a significant amount considering it’s a smaller city. These universities are:

  • University of Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Queen Margaret University
  • Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)
  • Royal College of Surgeons

There are 18 universities in London to consider, including King's College London, Imperial College London, and The London School of Economics and Political Science.


The culture and art in Edinburgh are varied. While the city itself is not as multicultural as London, as a nation, Scottish people are known to be open and welcoming. This is great for those that may be moving to Scotland for the first time.

The majority of Scottish people in the city will celebrate Scottish traditions, such as Hogmanay and Burns Night. They are proud of their roots, and there are many historical locations to visit. This includes Edinburgh Castle, which is situated in the centre of the city.

The city is full of beautiful architecture and the old town has well-known cobbled and windy streets. It’s recognised as one of the six UNESCO world heritage Sites in Scotland. This emphasises its cultural, historical and scientific significance.

There are several museums and art galleries including the Scottish National Gallery, and the National Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh is known as the art capital of Scotland.

Comedy is particularly prevalent and celebrated in the city. It’s home to Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which is a renowned comedy festival held each year.

Edinburgh is well-known for its live music scene. There are always different artists performing in local bars and at venues such as the 02 Academy Edinburgh and Usher Hall. There are also many theatres including Festival Theatre and Edinburgh Playhouse.

Nightlife/Social Scene

Edinburgh has a great nightlife and social scene. The Royal Mile, George Street and Princes Street are home to the majority of the clubs and bars in Edinburgh.

While Edinburgh is a lot smaller compared to London, it’s not short of things to do. There are many local and independent pubs, bars and coffee shops to choose from.

Edinburgh is well-known for its live music scene. There are always different artists performing in local bars and at venues such as the 02 Academy Edinburgh and Usher Hall. There are also many theatres including Festival Theatre and Edinburgh Playhouse.

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Is it Worth Moving to Edinburgh from London?

If you’re looking to save a significant amount of money on rent and your cost of living, it would be beneficial to make the move to Edinburgh. There are many things to consider before doing this.

Here are some pros and cons to help you make the decision whether it is better to live in London or Edinburgh:


  • Lower cost of living
  • Cheaper property prices
  • A beautiful city that’s full of history
  • Wide range of job opportunities
  • Less polluted city
  • Less crowded
  • Free university for those living in Scotland for more than 3 years
  • You don’t have to pay for a survey when purchasing a house


  • The surveying process differs in Scotland, which can be confusing for those used to surveying in England
  • Surveying process in Scotland is more expensive as a seller
  • Weather is more unpredictable and it’s a colder city
  • Tax bands in Scotland are different to England

Removals from London to Edinburgh

Edinburgh is located roughly 412 miles away from London. Given the distance, you can expect your removal costs to be significantly higher than if you were to move locally.

It will cost around £1,216 according to the results of our cost of moving house calculator. This figure is based on the average property prices in both locations and the distance travelled.

When moving, you may likely need to use additional services offered by moving companies, such as packing. These come at an extra charge. Here are some estimated costs for these services:

  • Packing - £250
  • Dismantling and reassembling - £125

If you’re moving from London to Edinburgh, it’s essential to use a trusted and verified removals company. Here at Compare My Move, we can assist you with this by connecting you with up to 6 removal partners.

All costs listed in this article are correct at the time of writing. Costs may vary slightly and this is just an estimated number.

Ashleigh Williams

Having written book reviews and content for For The Love of Books for over five years, Ashleigh now creates advice articles for Compare My Move, focusing on all things home-related.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

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

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