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Bradford and Edinburgh
Bradford: Not Everybody’s Cup of Tea?
Depending on the location of your workplace in the Leeds-Bradford area, you might move to Bradford — 15 kilometers to the west — and commute to Leeds from there. This could be a great option for expats on a budget since Bradford is among the 10 cheapest cities in the UK. However, cheap living comes at a price, too.
While some areas within the Leeds Inner Ring Road still show obvious signs of socio-economic deprivation, Leeds has fared much better in Britain’s post-industrial age than its neighbor. Parts of Bradford are struggling with the unsavory consequences of deindustrialization: unemployment, poverty, racial tensions, and social unrest. Nonetheless, it would be rather unfair to paint too grim a picture. Living standards in Bradford are extremely dependent on each local area, and an urban regeneration project is well under way.
For example, Bradford is home to the National Media Museum, the most visited museum outside of London. The City Park, with its beautiful pool and fountains, was only opened in 2012 and provides attractive leisure facilities. Such local sights are well worth a visit. And don’t forget to taste the curry! After all, Bradford retains its title as the Curry Capital of Britain, and its special contribution to British cuisine provides plenty of eateries for every budget, from curry corner shops to high-class dining.
Hills, Hounds and History: The City of Edinburgh
Moving even further north, we are leaving England behind. Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a popular destination for overseas residents. It attracts more international migrants than any other city or town in Scotland, especially from Ireland, Poland, Spain, as well as China and India. There are also smaller expat communities of overseas workers from France, Germany, Italy, and Lithuania, Australia, and the United States. And let's not forget about the international student population attending one of the four universities in the “Athens of the North”!
The city with roughly 496,000 residents is a fairly self-contained unit, although the sprawl of the larger urban area adds another 400,000 inhabitants. Hilly, green, and full of historical buildings, Edinburgh has a distinct charm of its own. It consists of seven administrative districts. Each of them includes a variety of residential neighborhoods.
Even the picturesque city center with the medieval Old Town, the Royal Mile, and the splendid Georgian architecture of the New Town has not succumbed completely to tourism and retail. You might not exactly become the Queen’s next-door neighbor at Holyrood Palace, but it is entirely possible to live in the center of town.
Residential Districts in the Scottish Capital
The City Centre and Leith is one of Edinburgh’s six large administrative divisions. As mentioned above, the central parts of Edinburgh do provide various residential areas. For instance, chic Stockbridge has a picturesque small-town atmosphere, whereas the streets round Calton Hill are the go-to area for party animals, night owls, and the local LGBT community.
Many areas near the large park locally known as The Meadows are popular among Edinburgh’s students, while the West End – Edinburgh’s cultural center – is much more posh and expensive. The former port town of Leith is now an increasingly gentrified seaside area. If you like living close to the waterfront, start your housing search there.
The other districts of Edinburgh are named after their location in relation to the city center: North Edinburgh, West Edinburgh, South Edinburgh, and East Edinburgh, as well as Southwest Edinburgh on the outskirts. Some of their residential neighborhoods deserve a particular mention.
The Southside has some elegant Victorian neighborhoods like Morningside. In the southwest, Haymarket & Dalry are particularly well-connected, with links to the railway network and the international airport. West Edinburgh, on the other hand, includes plenty of garden suburbs and urban villages. Places like East Craigs form a peaceful suburban part of the city’s “green belt”; areas like Barnton are unassuming, though affluent neighborhoods with good transport links for commuters to the city center.
For far more detailed area guides, please refer to the local property agency ESPC.com.
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