A snapshot of… Scotland

A snapshot of… Scotland

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom; its capital is Edinburgh and its largest city is Glasgow. The country has a population of 5.2 million and its official languages are English, Gaelic and Scottish. In recent years Scotland has become more ethnically diverse which found that one in six Scottish households is not multi-ethnic.

The country can be roughly divided into three areas – lowlands, Highlands, and islands. Living in Scotland – you will be surrounded by towering mountains, glittering lochs, and miles of golden beaches.

Where should I live in Scotland?

Scots are more loyal residents to their homeland than any other part of the UK with 83% of Scots saying that at any given opportunity, Scotland is where they would most like to live. With all of the beautiful green spaces, low crime levels and the high quality of health services, Scotland as a place to reside is often a popular choice.


Facts about the city:

  • Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city
  • It’s located on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth
  • It is the second most populated city in Scotland with an estimated population of half a million
  • It’s home to the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace, Queen Elizabeth’s II second home
  • It is the largest financial centre in the UK after London
  • JK Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter novel at a coffee shop in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and a city full of history, culture, high employment, and is home to the world’s largest arts festival.

Popular areas to live in Edinburgh are:


Situated within walking distance of Central Edinburgh and New Town, Stockbridge is thought of as a fantastic area to raise a family, owed to its good schools, parks and cafés. With popular tourist visits to see the Royal Botanic Garden, its desired location, a one-bedroom flat will start from £700 per month and a two-bedroom flat from £900 per month.


This area is one of the most sought-after areas in Edinburgh to own a property. The area offers the best of both worlds. It is close to the city centre, only fifteen minutes away on a bus, but far enough to feel like you are out of town with excellent green space to explore. This area is perfect for families as it has some of the best state primary and high schools in the city and has a variety of family-friendly cafes and restaurants for you to try.


Facts about the city:

  • Perth is located on the banks of the River Tay
  • It has a population of around 50,000
  • It has been referred to as the ‘Gateway of the Highlands’ because of its location

Perth is located in the heart of Scotland, which means it has excellent transportation links to the rest of the country, with about one hour’s drive from the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow and a 30-minute drive from Dundee. The surrounding lochs and glens are quintessential Scotland and the area is rich in history. Perth offers some beautifully built houses from the 19th century. You will find stately Georgian town-houses and early Victorian properties.

Perth, as the former capital of Scotland, is a bustling city. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to relax and meet friends or browse through high street shops and boutiques. And if you are interested in arts, the city has two theatres: City Hall and Perth Museum and Art Gallery. The compact city centre is surrounded by public parks, such as the North and South Inch. You can also easily escape Perth to enjoy the stunning countryside, where hiking, climbing, and camping are all popular pastimes.

A one-bedroom flat to rent in Perth starts at £400 and a two-bedroom flat £500 per month.


Facts about the city:

  • Glasgow is the fourth-largest city by population in the UK, after London, Birmingham and Leeds
  • The name ‘Glasgow’ derives from a Gaelic phrase meaning ‘green valley’ or ‘dear green place’.
  • It is the only city to have won the ‘Curry Capital of Britain’ title four times
  • At 62 metres high, Cineworld Glasgow is the tallest cinema in the world

Located in the West of Scotland, Glasgow is a thriving metropolitan City and a popular place to live in Scotland. An underground transport system, growing industries and the longest bar in Europe makes it quite a desirable spot to live in Scotland.

Glasgow is one of the most affordable cities to rent in the UK and is much cheaper than Scotland’s Capital City Edinburgh. Properties in Glasgow’s city centre naturally costs a little more than those outside it, nevertheless, a one-bedroom flat in the centre currently starts from £701 per month and a two-bedroom apartment from £900 per month.


Facts about the city:

  • Home to Scotland’s oldest daily newspaper
  • Scotland’s safest city
  • Great place for dolphin spotting
  • Unemployment accounts for just 1.8% of Aberdeen’s population

Aberdeen is home to approximately 215,000, including 15,000 students. It is is the third largest city in Scotland after Glasgow and Edinburgh. Also known as the Granite City, as the area is populated by many buildings made from granite. The city can provide you with a fulfilled lifestyle as it offers culture, diversity, excellent food and leisure activities.

There are three universities in Aberdeen which include the University of Aberdeen which ranks 40 and specialises in engineering, arts, and social sciences. The University of Aberdeen Dental School which ranks fourth in dentistry establishments. The International School of Aberdeen is located near the main city centre and offers the chance to study International Baccalaureate programmes.

Overall, Aberdeen offers a diverse city which has benefited from a steady increase in economic growth over the years. The city is heavily invested in oil and gas, as it is known as the oil capital of Europe.

A one-bedroom flat to rent in Aberdeen starts from £400 a month and a two-bedroom flat from £550 a month.


Facts about the city:

  • The inventor of the adhesive postage stamp was born in Dundee
  • The first radio broadcast was sent from Dundee
  • In Dundee in 1965 construction began on the largest teaching hospital in Europe
  • In 2010 Dundee was voted as one of the seven smartest cities in the world

Dundee sits on the east coast of Scotland, and recent regeneration has transformed the area on the River Tay into a modern city, with shops, restaurants, bars, galleries and other cultural venues. Dundee is divided by a line of hills, which runs from Balgay Hill through to Gallow Hill. The city is fairly compact, making it easy to travel by foot and excellent public transport is available too.

A one-bedroom flat in Dundee starts from £350 per month and a two-bedroom flat from £580.

The Scottish Countryside

Although Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow are popular places to reside in Scotland – more rural areas are also top of the list. This includes Inverness and the Western Islands. The more rural areas of Scotland offer fresh air, an uncrowded and clean environment, healthy living, excellent quality housing, and a sense of community. To live in the Scottish countryside will provide you with a pleasant and safe environment, a cultural life and first-rate educational opportunities. Employment rates are one of the lowest in the country and pollution will also be lower than any other city in Britain.


Popular countryside areas include Portree, in the Isle of Skype which is famed for its natural beauty.


Plockton, a picturesque harbour town of which lies on the west coast in the Highlands, looking out onto Loch Carron.


Other beautiful countryside locations include Tobermory, Millport, Kirkcudbright, Kelso and Linlithgow.

Average living expenses

Housing Cost
Monthly rent for 900Sqft furnished accommodation in an expensive area £1,000
Monthly rent 900Sqft furnished accommodation in a normal area £900
Utilities for one month (heating, electricity, gas) for two people £220
Internet 8Mbps (one month) £29


Transportation Cost
1 litre of petrol £1.21
Monthly public transport ticket £49
5-mile taxi trip £13


Entertainment Cost
Basic dinner out for two in a neighbourhood pub £28
Two cinema tickets £16
Two tickets to the theatre £80
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant with starters, mains, dessert and wine £50
One cocktail £11
Cappuccino £2.88
1 beer in a neighbourhood pub £3.14
1 month of gym membership in business district £35


Transport in Scotland

When it comes to getting around Scotland, you will find travelling to the main tourist spots very easy and with little careful planning, more remote areas are readily accessible too.

Top destinations by train in Scotland include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen. To give you some perspective, it takes around one hour to get from Edinburgh to Glasgow, less than three hours from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, and Dundee is around one hour thirty minutes from the capital.

Furthermore, all of Scotland’s major towns and cities are served by short and long-distance bus services. Long-distance buses are known in Britain as coaches and are a popular way to travel across the country. Popular coach operators include Scottish Citylink, Stagecoach, Megabus and the National Express.

Trains from the capital to other major UK cities:

Edinburgh to Manchester – 3 hours 17 minutes

Edinburgh to Newcastle – 1 hours 25 minutes

Edinburgh to Birmingham – 4 hours 13 minutes

Edinburgh to London – 4 hours 22 minutes

Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh airport is located in the Ingliston area of the city, just 6 miles away from the centre, and handles over 12.3 million passengers a year and it was the sixth-busiest airport in the UK. The airport has one runway and as an international airport, it flies to over one hundred destinations.

Other main airports include Glasgow Glasgow Airport, Prestwick Airport, Aberdeen Airport, Inverness Airport and Dundee Airport.

Things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh CastleInterview

Edinburgh Castle is perched upon the cliffs of a former volcanic rock, in the heart of the city. The castle is the home to the Honours of Scotland, which are the UK’s oldest crown jewels, the One O’clock Gun, which is still fired ceremonially every day and the Stone of Destiny, which is still used in coronation ceremonies to this day.

When you visit the castle, you will experience stunning views of the city, the National War Museum and St. Margaret’s Chapel – the oldest building in Edinburgh.

Loch Ness

This beautiful loch is masked in mystery, resultant of a long, thin green creature that circles the deep waters and occasionally raising her head above the water for a picture. Although Nessie, the Loch Ness monster is a popular reason for peoples visit to the Loch, where she lives is even more fascinating. The area offers peaceful walks with sheer natural beauty.

What is the Loch Ness monster?

For many decades, tales of a large monster living deep beneath the dark area of Loch Ness have circulated around the world since the first photograph emerged in 1933. There have been over 1,000 eye-witness accounts and copious amounts of unexplained evidence, however, science continues to be baffled by the existence of Nessie.

There are several boat trips and Nessie tours that take place from Inverness, Fort Augustus, and Drumnadrochit.

Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park

This safari park is located in Stirling and will offer you views of giraffes, lions, elephants, tigers, and meerkats. You can also experience the park’s famous monkey drive-thru, walk with free-roaming lemurs in Lemur Land, see the popular sea lion and bird of prey shows or take a boat ride to Chimp Island all included in the price of your entry ticket.

Entry to the park will cost £16.25 in advance for an adult and £13.25 for a child in advance.


Pollock Country Park

Pollock country park is on the outskirts of Glasgow and has over 360 acres of woodland and open countryside within its boundaries as well as a superb network of paths and trails. The park is home to an elegant stately home, where the Maxwell family lived for six centuries. Voted Europe’s best park in 2008, it provides a much-needed breathing space away from the industrial backdrop of Scotland’s biggest city.

The park often holds frequent events from photography exhibitions, theatre shows, and jazz performances.

Scotland’s Infamous Football Stadiums

There are a number of football stadiums across Scotland and the most popular are Celtic Park and Ibrox Stadium.

Celtic Park has a capacity of 60,411, is home to Celtic FC and is the largest football stadium in Scotland and the sixth-largest football stadium in the United Kingdom.  This stadium is commonly known by Celtic fans as Paradise.

Ibrox stadium is home stadium is home to the Rangers FC and the stadium is the third largest in Scotland. An interesting fact is that the Rangers’ hold record attendance of fans at 118, 567.

Things you should know about moving to Scotland

  1. The Weather

The Scots have a love-hate relationship with the weather, simply because you can experience all four seasons in a single day. Although the temperatures are typically the lowest throughout the whole UK, when the sun has his hat on in Scotland – there is nowhere more beautiful.

  1. Football Social Code

The Scots love their football and you should be warned that Celtic vs Rangers is often a controversial topic as their rivalry is steeped in history and tradition.

  • If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com – and one of our Specialist Advisers will be happy to guide and support you through your journey to the UK. We look forward to hearing from you!
  • Alternatively, head over to our Facebook Group: IMG Advisor for an online support network of IMG’s who want to relocate to the UK.

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Overview of IELTS
Alternative to IELTS? – Occupational English Test
GMC Registration – what routes are available?
Overview of PLAB
What does the online GMC Registration Application entail?
Applying for jobs in the UK
Interviews with the NHS
Tier 2 Visa Process Overview
Preparing for your move to the UK – things to consider
After arriving in the UK – things to consider
What should I expect on my first day/ week/month?
CV Tips
A snapshot of… London
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Overview of MRCPCH
Overview of MRCEM/FRCEM
Overview of MRCS

4 thoughts on “A snapshot of… Scotland

  • I’m an obstetrician and gynecologist with West African Fellowship.
    I have mrcog1 and attempted part2 . Yet to get desired IELTS score for GMC. I’ll be doing MSC Clinical Embryology in Scotland come this Sept.
    How can I be assisted to practise while here for MSC and afterwards.

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