Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday, 4 July 2009

North [of Scotland] 'cheapest for seaside home'

If you want to have a home at the seaside, and many people do, then the least expensive part of the country to achieve this ambition is the north of Scotland, according to this report based on a property survey by Bank of Scotland. Perhaps unsurprisingly the least expensive seaside location (in a town) is Wick. There are certainly spectacular locations there, but it can be both bleak and 'bracing' and probably attracts only a relatively small number of people from outside the area who seek actively to live there. The prices are merely a reflection of market supply and demand for this location.

The other 'cheapest' locations are apparently Girvan, Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Thurso. The final three suffer/benefit (depending on what you are looking for) from many of the same characteristics as Wick, in my view. As for Girvan, it is located in the south-west of Scotland on the Clyde coast, parts of which have traditionally been sought out by wealthier Glaswegians who wish to have a home near the seaside. Quite why Girvan is different is unclear to me, but there must be specific local conditions for its position in this particular survey.

Now for the five 'most expensive' seaside locations (St Andrews, North Berwick, Nairn, Dunbar, Dalgety Bay). I'd say that apart from generally being more attractive places, although I'm not familiar personally with North Berwick or Dunbar (but from what I've heard), but they all share a couple of other characteristics. Each is home to, or is close to, at least one well-known golf course and all have pretty good transport links and are not too distant from conurbations to which people might commute for work. I happen to live in Nairn, as readers of this blog will be aware, and it is certainly a pretty location with many attractions. There are downsides to living here too, of course - lousy winter weather (like the whole of the UK!) and great distance from the Channel Tunnel or a major airport - apart from those, however, I can think of few negatives. And the long daylight hours in the north of Scotland during the summer months and living as I do about 50 yards from a beautiful beach in a designated 'green area' of the town are certainly some of the area's major attractions for me.

PS/ Further to my post here, last night was the first in the last five that I have managed to have a semi-decent number of hours of uninterrupted sleep as the pain was not quite so intense, but courtesy probably of better pain-management rather than any underlying change, even if the shingles rash now seems to be under control, although still scary to look at.

8 comments:

  1. Glad you're feeling just a little better, get well soon!!

    As for bleak and bracing.. mmm! I love that sort of environment, usually comes with excellent wildlife. Count me in!

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  2. Thanks Jae :)

    Well, get thee up to Wick then! But apart from the romanticism of this bleak and bracing spot, some more practical issues might come to seem important - how to earn a living up there and the expense and difficulty of travelling far out of the area. The Highlands of Scotland, specially the large desolate, but often spectacularly beautiful, moorland areas, are devoid of much human life for a reason, just as the south-east of England is bursting at the seams and generates a huge proportion (even today) of the national income, for a reason. More people want to live there and can find a sound economic basis for doing so.

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  3. What was that report of Scottish sun seekers basting themselves in chip fat yesterday? "Scottish sun seeker? I thought, that's optimistic.

    I did notice how light it was as such a late hour when you posted that picture the other day. 9:40 is the latest lightness here, ~10mins later down in Cornwall though.

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  4. If we're dealing in cultural stereotypes here, lol, I think that few Scottish people would waste 'chip fat' on anything so mmundane as sunbathing - I expect most people think they'd be frying their Mars' Bars in batter in it!

    Seriously though, we've been having glorious weather up here in the last week and today seems so far to be more of the same - I've just looked out my window and i see there are already some people on the beach, some in the water swimming or paddling with a few in wetsuits for the water-skiers or para-skiers amongst them. The long daylight hours here are marvellous - we pay for it in the winter, though, when our days are very brief.

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  5. Hi Bill, Good to hear you are getting some relief and hope you are feeling better soon, Shingles is not nice and my sister-in-law suffered about 6 years ago, though she said that after medication things were a lot better. Here's hoping it's the same for you.

    Whilst I do like the seaside and lived a bit nearer whilst in Aberdeen for some 20 years, now having moved well inland we love the fact that we are no loner plagued by the haar. One day last week I traveled home from work in Aberdeen where it was a nasty 17C to be greeted by 28C at home.

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  6. H Fitaloon

    Thanks for your kind comments - I'm trying Ibuprofen this afternoon, it's the first time I've ever taken it and it seems to be more effective with this particular pain than paracetamol, so I may alternate it with aspirin; I now think it unlikely I'll have to resort to the Amitriptyline, which I have in the refrigerator and which the doctor suggested I take only in extremis.

    Yes I live right at the sea-shore just outside Aberdeen during part of my childhood and the haar could be awful, but of course the climate further up the Moray Firth (really from Findhorn on the south side, to the Tarbert peninsula/Portmahomack on the north side often has quite different weather from areas just a few miles inland and usually better. I've just been watching the Ladies' final on the TV, whilst keeping an eye on the cricket match going on outside my window. The beach is pretty busy here to day, too, but yes, some parts of inland Aberdeenshire are lovely specially at this time of year.

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  7. Yes, many moons ago, in a September it was, I rode a bike race which started and finished in a town called Alford. The area was lovely rolling farmland and it was a scorching day. Somehow I managed to perform quite well.

    The harvests are definitely later up there I couldn't help but notice. September as against July, early August down in the "deep south".

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  8. Now that brings back memories! My first visit to Alford was when I was still at primary school in Aberdeen and went there as part of a school trip for a week's camping at the start of the summer holidays. Ah, happy days!

    Of course growing seasons are shorter and sharper (and as you say later) up here. Mind you the lushness of Sussex and Kent can't be beat either, and with chalk formations which are so similar (like the climate) to Champagne in France that some of the best 'sparkling' wines outside of Champagne itself now come from there.

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