Best 10 Places To Live Outside Edinburgh

Best Places To Live Outside Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, combines historical beauty and modern lifestyle. Living in Edinburgh’s heart might not be everyone’s choice. Some prefer quiet areas or different lifestyles just outside the city.

In this article, we are going to explore the best places to live outside Edinburgh.

South Queensferry

Best for: Sightseeing, Local Culture

Ideal for: Sightseeing enthusiasts, history buffs.

South Queensferry offers a mix of history and natural beauty. You find breathtaking views of the Firth of Forth and the famous Forth Bridge. It’s perfect for people who love old towns and scenic views. The main street is full of local shops and restaurants. Living here means enjoying a quiet life with easy access to Edinburgh. It’s great for short visits or long stays. People who enjoy history, small-town charm, and coastal scenery will find South Queensferry very appealing.

North Berwick

Best for: Beaches, Golf, Family Life

Ideal for: Beach lovers, golf enthusiasts, families.

North Berwick is a beautiful seaside town. It has lovely beaches and is known for its golf courses. The town’s high street is full of charm, offering a relaxed lifestyle. It’s only 30 minutes by train from Edinburgh, making it convenient for work or city visits. This town is ideal for families and anyone who loves the sea and outdoor activities. North Berwick provides a peaceful living environment with the bonus of stunning natural landscapes.


Best for: History, Family-Friendly Living

Ideal for: History lovers, families.

Linlithgow is a place rich in history, known for its royal palace. It offers a blend of historical sites and natural beauty. It’s a great place for families, with good schools and a strong community feel. People who enjoy history and want a family-friendly town will like Linlithgow. It offers a calm lifestyle but still keeps you close to the city.


Best for: Rural Lifestyle, Local Amenities

Ideal for: Those seeking tranquility, rural lifestyle enthusiasts.

Haddington is a quiet market town in East Lothian. It offers a peaceful rural lifestyle with all necessary local services. The town is a short drive from Edinburgh, combining country living with city convenience. People looking for a tranquil place to live will find Haddington ideal. It offers the charm of country life with easy access to urban amenities.


Best for: Family Living, Nature

Ideal for: Families, nature lovers.

Dalkeith, located southeast of Edinburgh, is a favorite for families. It is near the city and has many amenities. The town is known for its country park and good schools. Living here gives you a comfortable life close to nature and city facilities. Dalkeith is perfect for those who want a mix of city and country life. It offers easy access to Edinburgh and a friendly, community-focused environment.


Best for: Shopping, Commuting to Edinburgh

Ideal for: Commuters, modern lifestyle seekers.

Livingston, in West Lothian, is known for its shopping centers. It is a main place for people working in Edinburgh, thanks to good transport links. The town provides a modern lifestyle with all the necessary amenities. People looking for a busy, amenity-rich environment will enjoy Livingston. Its proximity to Edinburgh makes it a practical choice for commuters.


Best for: Outdoor Activities, Community Feel

Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts, those seeking slower pace of life.

Peebles, a small town in the Scottish Borders, is surrounded by beautiful countryside. It is ideal for people who love outdoor activities. The town offers a slower, community-driven way of life but is still within commuting distance to Edinburgh. People looking for a quiet life in nature will find Peebles perfect. It offers a peaceful setting with a strong sense of community.


Best for: Coastal and Suburban Living

Ideal for: Beach lovers, suburban lifestyle seekers.

Musselburgh, close to Edinburgh, is known for its good public transport connections. It offers coastal and suburban living with many local amenities and activities. The town is suitable for those who want a blend of beach and town life. It’s convenient for commuting to Edinburgh and provides a variety of recreational options.


Best for: Peaceful Living, Outdoor Activities

Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, those seeking peace and quiet.

Balerno, a quiet village on the outskirts of Edinburgh, is ideal for peaceful living. It is close to the Pentland Hills, offering walking and cycling opportunities. This place is good for people who enjoy calm settings and nature. Balerno gives easy access to outdoor activities while being near the city.


Best for: Golf, Beaches, Upscale Living

Ideal for: Luxury lifestyle seekers, golf enthusiasts.

Gullane, in East Lothian, is famous for its world-class golf courses and beautiful sandy beaches. It’s an upscale area, with property prices showing its desirability. This town is perfect for those looking for a high-end lifestyle. Gullane offers luxurious living with stunning natural scenery.


1. What are the most family-friendly places to live near Edinburgh?
Families often look for good schools, parks, and a sense of community. Areas like North Berwick, Linlithgow, and Dalkeith are popular for their excellent educational options and family-oriented atmospheres.

2. Which locations outside Edinburgh offer the best value for renters?
While rent can vary, Haddington and Dunfermline generally offer more affordable options compared to some coastal towns like North Berwick, which can be pricier due to their high demand and scenic locations.

3. Are there towns near Edinburgh suitable for retirees?
Peebles and Balerno are excellent choices for retirees. These areas offer peaceful environments, easy access to nature, and a slower pace of life while still being accessible to the city for cultural activities.

4. What are the commuting options like for these areas outside Edinburgh?
Most towns and villages on the list, including South Queensferry, Livingston, and Musselburgh, provide reliable public transport services, such as trains and buses, which connect them to Edinburgh, making commuting fairly simple.

5. Can you find coastal living outside Edinburgh?
Yes, coastal towns like North Berwick, South Queensferry, and Musselburgh allow one to enjoy seaside living with the convenience of being close to the capital city, offering the best of both worlds.


If you enjoy historic towns with cultural richness, these places offer that and more. For family-friendly living with good schools and a strong community feel, these towns are ideal. Beach lovers and those who appreciate seaside living will find perfect spots nearby. People preferring a peaceful rural life but still want easy access to the city will discover suitable villages and towns. For a luxurious lifestyle with leisure amenities like golf courses, there are upscale areas waiting.

Choose the right place for you based on what you love and need.

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