With rural vistas, nature, culture, heritage and community spirit in abundance, figuring out where to find rural properties in Scotland can prove to be challenging.
For those looking for a taste of country life, Scotland’s towns and villages present affordable properties nestled amidst some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the UK.
In this article, we highlight some of the top locations that you might wish to include in your search for ideal rural properties in Scotland.
Wester Ross is a scenic region in the northwest highlands with a scattering of small villages, including Ullapool (the largest in the area), Applecross, Plockton, Lochcarron and Strathpeffer. The travel time to the mountains for a day hike is short, while a drive to a larger town is in the vicinity of two hours.
Here you can be assured of views of mountains and lochs from your living room window.
Big supermarkets might be a drive to get to, but many now deliver making the rural setting of Wester Ross more popular to live in while the heating may be on for more months of the year up here, there are other benefits. It is also easy to locate schools, dentists, doctors, and tradespeople in villages.
In this community, individuals extend a helping hand to one another, and newcomers are embraced with open arms.
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
Close to the central belt of Scotland, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is an ideal choice for anyone seeking rural properties in Scotland to find that tranquil retreat or enjoy loch-side living. With 22 lochs and 20 villages in the area you’re spoiled for choice.
Glasgow is around an hour’s drive south and Stirling is half an hour’s drive east and well-connected for trains and services. A local bus service also runs between towns.
Callander is the main town and property here, featuring stone townhouses and cottages, is in high demand, while the surrounding countryside is dotted with estates, farmhouses and villas.
Lammermuir Hills, East Lothian
The outstanding natural beauty of the Lammermuir area in East Lothian is concentrated around the Lammermuir Hills.
The high moorland is away from the main road network, and offers a quieter life and better value for money. But if you ever need a change of scenery, Edinburgh is just a train ride away along the East Coast railway line.
Longformacus, Ellemford and Cranshaws are the main settlements, with property consisting of farmsteads, houses and estate cottages.
Pubs, shops and public transport are in short supply, but those looking for rural properties in Scotland who love walking will be blessed with breathtaking views and wildlife. Two reservoirs offer excellent angling.
Tweed Valley, Scottish Borders
If you are looking for rural properties in Scotland that are not too remote, Valley in The Borders offers the perfect balance, and if you like mountain biking, then this is the place to live. Tweedbank Station in Melrose provides a rail link to Edinburgh with a journey time of around an hour.
Peebles, Galashiels and Melrose are the best-known towns with sports clubs, festivals, sports events and a genuine sense of community. There are also excellent schools in the area.
Smaller villages along the route of the Tweed River such as Stobo, Innerleithen, Glentress, Cardrona, and Walkerburn, may not have the amenities of the larger towns but offer access to open countryside and the quiet life.
The Western Isles, also known as the Outer Hebrides, are stunningly beautiful but very remote. Stornoway is the main town on the Isle of Lewis, with a regular ferry to Ullapool on the mainland.
Most areas in the Western Isles have high-speed internet, so connecting to the mainland cities and the rest of the world is easier nowadays.
The Western Isles also offers a range of amenities as well as history, heritage, culture, whisky and wildlife watching. There’s also a range of clubs and sports and it’s an ideal place to live for those with an artistic flair, with endless inspiration in the landscape.
The Shetland Islands is the UK’s northernmost archipelago, situated above Orkney and equidistant between Faroe and Norway. Here you’ll likely find traditional cosy cottages with their distinctive character and architectural heritage, as well as grand coastal estates.
Stunning landscapes and breathtaking vistas provide a beautiful backdrop where an array of essential amenities and recreational pursuits such as hiking and hillwalking can take place.
Shetland’s vibrant cultural scene thrives with traditional music, arts, and crafts, as well as annual festivals and events that celebrate the island’s rich heritage.
The community spirit in Shetland is strong, with social clubs, community centres, and local events fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie among residents.
Traveling to mainland Scotland is possible via regular ferry services and flights.
The Orkney Islands are an archipelago off the northern coast of Scotland. They offer a serene and unique rural living experience.
Known for their rich Neolithic history, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Skara Brae, these islands blend ancient heritage with a vibrant local culture.
The community is close-knit and welcoming, providing a strong sense of belonging. Residents enjoy a peaceful lifestyle amidst stunning landscapes, from rugged coastlines to gentle green hills.
The islands boast an abundance of wildlife, offering opportunities for birdwatching and nature exploration.
The maritime climate ensures relatively mild winters and cool summers.
Living in Orkney is ideal for those seeking rural properties in Scotland, offeringa tranquil life, steeped in history and natural beauty, away from the hustle of urban centers.
Black Isle, Highlands
Despite its name, Black Isle is not an actual island but a peninsula bordered by the Moray Firth and Cromarty Firth. Nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, with a diverse landscape and a rural feel, Inverness is a half-hour drive away, providing a wider selection of shops and entertainment.
The region also boasts a range of amenities and services and there are various community events, festivals, and markets. Its idyllic villages and historic towns, quaint streets and traditional pubs create an enchanting atmosphere.
Black Isle is home to a close-knit community that fosters a strong sense of belonging.
Port Appin, Argyll & Bute
For an idyllic locale in which to move to, consider Port Appin on the west coast of Scotland. Its enchanting lochs and majestic hills will appeal to those who like an active lifestyle, with outdoor pursuits such as kayaking, sailing, fishing, hiking, and cycling on offer.
Oban, around 20 miles to the south, serves as a hub for the surrounding area and offers a wider range of amenities, services, and entertainment options.
Nature enthusiasts are also spoiled with Port Appin being home to a diverse array of native creatures such as porpoises, otters, seals and sea eagles.
The housing stock is a blend of traditional and modern architectural styles ranging from charming cottages in quaint streets to elegant homes with breathtaking sea views.
Killearn is a small town nestled at the base of Queen Elizabeth Forest Park with a picturesque rural outlook of lochs, rivers, and mountains. The town is a commutable distance to Glasgow, fifteen miles to the south, while Stirling is a mere half an hour’s drive away.
With its range of properties including traditional stone cottages, period houses and modern family homes, Killearn offers a mix of styles to suit various tastes.
In terms of education, Killearn offers a selection of schools in and around the village that provide quality education for children of different ages. Making it an attractive proposition for those seeking a rural lifestyle with access to an excellent education.
Searching for a property in Scotland
With so many areas to consider, it can be challenging to navigate the local markets when searching for rural properties in Scotland.
A UK wide Property Finder can not only assist in deciding on locations that best work for your lifestyle and preferences but will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of the perfect property.
For a no obligation discussion regarding your plans to buy a property in Scotland please do get in touch.