The best places to live between Edinburgh and Glasgow (Top 7 options)

Scotland is a varied and beautiful country with plenty to see and do, but if you're working in Scotland then chances are you'll be spending the majority of your week in either Glasgow or Edinburgh. This is fine for younger workers who can afford to rent there, but for those who are looking to buy it can pose an issue. Edinburgh is too expensive to live in for most people, and Glasgow doesn't quite have the open spaces that many families are looking for. Luckily, there are a number of places between Edinburgh and Glasgow which are great to live in, and we wanted to highlight them. Let's get into it:


Livingston is a town which is slightly closer to Edinburgh than Glasgow but is still in the middle of the 2 cities. It's 18 miles from here to Edinburgh, and 31 miles to Glasgow, so quite fairly split between the 2 locations. Although it doesn't have as much to see and do as Glasgow or Edinburgh, Livingston is the largest town in West Lothian and there is a surprising amount to do. The real highlight here is the shopping - The Centre boasts more than 150 shops to explore, plus the Livingston Designer Outlet is the largest of its kind in Scotland. So if you like to shop until you drop, Livingston is an ideal place to live.



Linlithgow is just 8 miles from Livingston, but definitely feels like a significant step down in terms of hustle and bustle. You won't find endless shopping here, but you will still find lots to enjoy. The real highlight is Linlithgow Loch, which is lovely for walks and for sitting around with a picnic.  From the loch you can enjoy views of Linlithgow Palace, an impressive 15th-century building. From Linlithgow, you're about 21 miles to Edinburgh and 33 miles to Glasgow, but the train from Linlithgow to either of the cities will take no more than 30 minutes either way, which is very useful.



Falkirk is the first town in this list which is slightly closer to Glasgow than Edinburgh, but to be honest it's pretty much bang in the middle - it's only 24 miles from Glasgow, whereas you're around 28 miles to Edinburgh, so not much in it. The main benefit of living in Falkirk would be excellent the surrounding areas, as the town itself doesn't have too much going for it. But having said that, we love The Kelpies, and attractions like The Falkirk Wheel are among the most interesting in the country. But as we said, the really great thing about Falkirk is that you're very well situated to explore the surrounding areas, as it is a very centrally located town within Scotland.

The Kelpies from a distance


To the South of Glasgow and Edinburgh you'll find Biggar, a quaint town which is quite underrated in our opinion. You're about 40 miles to Edinburgh and almost exactly the same distance to Glasgow, so not necessarily close to either city but certainly situated in between them. Aside from the 2 local museums and a handful of pubs and restaurants, there isn't a huge amount to do in Biggar. But if you're looking to live somewhere quiet yet well-placed between Scotland's 2 major cities, this town might be a great option.



Dunblane definitely isn't particularly close to either Edinburgh or Glasgow, but it is very centrally located between the 2 cities (about 32 miles in either direction by car), so we wanted to include it as an option. We also think that Dunblane is a great place to live - you've got some lovely schools, great places to explore nearby (like the Trossachs National Park), and you're well connected to Edinburgh and Glasgow via train. It is definitely a bit pricier here than Livingston or Biggar, but we think you do get a bit more for your money in terms of things to do and places to explore.


Bridge of Allan

A stone's throw to the South of Dunblane and about as far away from Edinburgh and Glasgow is Bridge of Allan, another small town but there is actually quite a bit to see and do here. Firstly, we have to mention the fish and chips here which is excellent. Plus, there is a brewery in town which is a lot of fun to visit. You've also got Stirling University just along the road, where you can walk around the lovely lake and feed the swans. Plus, you're only a short bus journey into Stirling city centre where you've got a cinema, pubs, and a restaurants. The school in Bridge of Allan is also highly-rated, and the mix of students and workers living in the town gives the place a really fun and interesting feel.



We've mentioned Stirling a couple of times now - if you're looking for a city to live in which is between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Stirling is your best bet. It's very well connected to both cities by train and bus services, and Stirling has its own selection of pubs and restaurants (plus a castle, which is probably better than the one in Edinburgh) if you want to enjoy yourself without travelling at the weekends. You do have students around the town too, and the Dollar Academy private school near Stirling is much cheaper than any of the private schools in Edinburgh but scores just as well in terms of exam results.


Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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