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Some visitor centres are open – check individual web pages for more information. Our trails, toilets and car parks remain open. Plan ahead and enjoy your visit safely.

Thinking of applying for a job with us? With offices from Golspie to Galloway and forests from Skye to Stonehaven, our staff can be found the length and breadth of the country. Many live and work surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, but it takes more than postcard-friendly views to make a home...

We asked colleagues from across the country to tell us about their local area. Some were born and raised there; many moved specifically to work with us; few would trade the communities, experiences and opportunities they found there!

Choose a location from the map, click a link or scroll to find out more about each area:

 


 

Achmore

Why live here? Mike says:

"The Skye and Wester Ross area forms part of Scotland’s stunning west coast. My family and I engage in sports such as hill walking, mountain biking, shinty and sailing. Other activities include wildlife watching, camping and days out sightseeing. It’s a great area to explore on foot or by vehicle."

View from a hilltop of Plockton, Loch Carron and the hills beyond

The relative remoteness brings peace and solitude while promoting a good community spirit.

 
View from a hilltop of Plockton, Loch Carron and the hills beyond

The relative remoteness brings peace and solitude while promoting a good community spirit.

"The rugged beauty of this area is something I never tire of looking at whether observing or engaging with it, and the relative remoteness brings peace and solitude while promoting a good community spirit."

 


 

Golspie

Why live here? Hugh says:

"The northern Highlands are an amazing place to be. A land of clean air, big skies, wide open spaces, mountain and forest, beaches and bog. From the drier climes of the eastern seaboard towns and villages, it is only an hour’s drive to the north and west coast, to Ullapool, and the magical mountain landscape of Assynt."

A land of clean air, big skies, wide open spaces, mountain and forest, beaches and bog... Once in the northern Highlands, you will never want to leave.

Two mountain bikers stopped at the top of a hill to look at a panorama of loch and hills

 
Two mountain bikers stopped at the top of a hill to look at a panorama of loch and hills

A land of clean air, big skies, wide open spaces, mountain and forest, beaches and bog... Once in the northern Highlands, you will never want to leave.

"It is said that we are remote, but actually, the Golspie office is around one hour north of Inverness, a small city that has everything you could wish for, including theatre, cinemas, shops, and airport. And from there, it’s only a couple of hours to Perth and the central belt beyond. But if surfing and sailing, walking, hill walking or climbing, cycling and mountain biking is for you, once in the northern Highlands, you will never want to leave."

 


 

Inverness

Why live here? Eelco says:

"Having spent time travelling and seeing many pretty places, I got the opportunity to settle in the Highlands. I’m confident the Highlands is at the top of my list in terms of sheer beauty and access to outdoor pursuits. I spend most of my free time climbing, mountain-biking, hill walking and camping, usually within an hour or two from my home in Inverness."

A man and two women walking along a wide path next to the River Ness, overlooked by Inverness Castle

Having been here for over three years now I feel I’ve barely scratch the surface of all the things to see and do.

 
A man and two women walking along a wide path next to the River Ness, overlooked by Inverness Castle

Having been here for over three years now I feel I’ve barely scratch the surface of all the things to see and do.

"There’s easy access to the Cairngorms (great for wildlife and biking), the Moray Coast (usually dry and sunny) and my personal favourite, the North-West, where the landscapes keep amazing me. Climbing a rock face overlooking the west coast and the lochs of Coigach and Assynt with eagles soaring overhead is incomparable to anything I’ve experienced anywhere else."

"Having been here for over three years now I feel I’ve barely scratch the surface of all the things to see and do. So many more bothies to visit, hills to walk and climb, islands to explore and trails to ride. I know, I sound like a hopeless romantic but that’s what the Highlands have done to me. Oh and Inverness has all the amenities you need but who cares about that when you can talk about eagles!"

 


 

Torlundy and Fort William

Why live here? Ken says:

"Lochaber, the outdoor capital for the outdoor enthusiast! The location offers a multitude of opportunities in every direction. In just a stone’s throw, you can experience the thrill of climbing the best peaks in Scotland, walking the sea shores along the Morar sands and of course taking a trip to the small isles..."

"The Great Glen allows easy access to the East coast and Inverness, while the rugged west coast around Sunart, Mallaig and sound of Mull offer exceptional water sports opportunities be that sailing or sea fishing."

A real sense of community enfolds you when living here. The West Highlands provides the perfect place to share with your family.

A hilltop view overlooking Fort William town and the loch beyond

 
A hilltop view overlooking Fort William town and the loch beyond

A real sense of community enfolds you when living here. The West Highlands provides the perfect place to share with your family.

"The glens abound with wildlife – salmon and trout in the rivers and lochs, black grouse, eagles and deer on the hills, red squirrels in the woods and otters in the rivers."

"A real sense of community enfolds you when living here. For those who want to enjoy and appreciate raw beauty, and experience peacefulness, the West Highlands provides the perfect place to share with your family."

 


 

Lochgilphead and Oban

Why live here? See what Ian, Raymond and Jeni have to say…

Ian says:

"The largest collection of Ancient oak woodlands and other semi-natural habitats, combined with attractive shorelines, make it a great place to explore. There are many walks – Lochgilphead is like a hub, with the forest roads and trails emanating out like spokes of a wheel."

"Argyll is an affordable place to live, with a good community spirit. The people are friendly, and when you join say, the running club, you find kindred spirits revelling in the gaps between rainy days, really enjoying the spells of pleasant weather!"

A birds eye view of Oban Bay and Oban town

Argyll has everything that my family and I would ever want from the beautiful scenery to good schools and great activities for the children.

 
A birds eye view of Oban Bay and Oban town

Argyll has everything that my family and I would ever want from the beautiful scenery to good schools and great activities for the children.

Jeni says:

"The never ending expanse of natural environment; from forests, moor and mountain tops to watercourses, lochs, sea and beaches... just some of the reasons I love living in Mid Argyll."

"The view is ever-changing, and there is a variety of wildlife. The trails, footpaths, land and archaeology in the area are all open to explore. Outdoor pursuits, including hiking, cycling, kayaking and paddle boarding, are all things I enjoy living here."

"The weather is variable, but that just adds to the excitement, and as long as you’re prepared for 4 seasons in one day then there’s no excuse not to enjoy it! The active, healthy and free lifestyle I live up here now makes up for the lack of retail options – living in rural Mid Argyll is not a challenge... just an opportunity."

Forests, moor and mountain tops to watercourses, lochs, sea and beaches... Just some of the reasons I love living in Mid Argyll.

A wildflower-covered shoreline in front of cottages

 
A wildflower-covered shoreline in front of cottages

Forests, moor and mountain tops to watercourses, lochs, sea and beaches... Just some of the reasons I love living in Mid Argyll.

Raymond says:

"I was born in the small village of Arrochar, Argyll and have lived in Argyll for the majority of my life and I can’t ever see me wanting to leave. Argyll has everything that my family and I would ever want from the beautiful scenery to good schools and great activities for the children."

"In the summer my children spend most of their free time swimming in Loch Lomond whilst my wife paddleboards nearby. In the Spring and Autumn we all enjoy the wonderful scenery while walking the forest trails in and around Arrochar and Tarbet and rambling up the plentiful hills and mountains including the renowned Cobbler and Ben Lomond. In the winter my children enjoy the winter sports including skiing in Glencoe."

"Argyll is also well known for its wonderful wildlife and there are great opportunities to spot anything from Golden and White Tailed eagles to beavers, stags and salmon. As well as the multitude of rural activities the towns of Oban and Campbeltown can provide ample shopping opportunities as well as the wonderful seafood restaurants. Oban is also known as the gateway to the Islands – you can take to the seas on a Cal Mac ferry and explore the wonderful islands of Scotland’s west coast."

 


 

Huntly

Why live here? See what David and Euan have to say...

David says:

"Our family love outdoor pursuits... based here, we have easy access to the Cairngorms for walking, cycling and skiing, to the rivers of the Spey and Findhorn for canoeing and we go surfing at the beaches of Lossiemouth or Sandend. The Moray Firth offers stunning coastal walks and opportunities to sea kayak between the many coastal villages such as Portknockie, Portsoy and Gardenstown. When combined with the beautiful coastal forests of Culbin and Roseisle or inland to the likes of Bennachie you are not short of choices on how to spend your evening and weekends enjoying the outdoors."

The villages and towns combine a sense of history and tradition in a rural landscape. The ancient, cathedral city of Elgin is connected a network of smaller market towns including Forres, Keith and Buckie. The village of Findhorn boasts a thriving alternative arts and culture scene, while Tomintoul skirts the breathtaking natural beauty of the Cairngorms National Park, a gateway for adventure seekers and nature lovers. This area also has close links to the lively cities of Aberdeen and Inverness, both of which are within easy travelling distance by road or rail."

A view through wildflowers towards Cullen village and the North Sea

From the sandy beaches and pine forests of the Moray coast, to the mountains and lochs of the Cairngorms and the rolling heartlands of Aberdeenshire, there is something for everyone.

 
A view through wildflowers towards Cullen village and the North Sea

From the sandy beaches and pine forests of the Moray coast, to the mountains and lochs of the Cairngorms and the rolling heartlands of Aberdeenshire, there is something for everyone.

Euan says:

"The North-East of Scotland is a truly diverse place to live. From the sandy beaches and pine forests of the Moray coast, to the mountains and lochs of the Cairngorms National Park and the rolling agricultural heartlands of Aberdeenshire, there is something for everyone."

"The area is an ideal place to live for those interested in outdoor activities and the abundance of wildlife present means you never know what you’re going to see, from the resident bottlenose dolphin colony in the Moray Firth to pine marten in one of the pine forests."

"The cities of Aberdeen in the East, and Inverness in the West are also both easily reachable from anywhere in the Moray and Aberdeenshire area for those looking for a bit more in the way of urban excitement."

"The diverse range of habitats and forestry practices, coupled with one of the driest and sunny climates in Scotland, means the North-East is a great place to live."

 


 

Inver and Dunkeld

Why live here? See what Robin and Hazel have to say...

Robin says:

"I moved to Perth from the Central Belt to take advantage of the natural playground that the hills, mountains, lochs, rivers and woodlands Perthshire has to offer. Since moving here I found that Perthshire is far more than that!"

There is a great wee community of amazing food producers. Perthshire is well known for distilleries but there is a great selection of local producers and eateries to choose from too. Did you know there are two independent coffee roasters in Perthshire?"

The scenery is amazing – A simple act like driving to work on a cool autumnal morning with the changing foliage and hanging mist becomes a truly inspiring journey... and for those rainy days there are numerous artists and galleries to visit. Both Pitlochry and Perth have popular theatres. All this and yet all Scotland’s main cities are within easy reach.

A simple act like driving to work on a cool autumnal morning with the changing foliage and hanging mist becomes a truly inspiring journey... and for those rainy days there are numerous artists and galleries to visit.

A sandstone monument surrounded by white painted houses in the village of Dunkeld

 
A sandstone monument surrounded by white painted houses in the village of Dunkeld

A simple act like driving to work on a cool autumnal morning with the changing foliage and hanging mist becomes a truly inspiring journey... and for those rainy days there are numerous artists and galleries to visit.

Hazel says:

"Perth itself is not only the gateway to the Highlands but well connected to the whole of Scotland. Whether it be by car or train you can be in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Inverness within one to two hours. If it is the outdoors you crave, you are never very far away from some stunning beaches, spectacular mountains and – as we are in the heart of big tree country – fabulous forests."

"We have some of the best locally produce food! You will find local farmers’ markets which showcase the very best of Perthshire’s Larder directly from suppliers. Throughout the year you will find seasonal fruit and vegetables, fresh eggs, lamb, venison and cheese to name but a few."

"If you are looking for the good life, this is the place to be. Eating and drinking features high on the list of many things to do with an abundance of restaurants and distilleries."

A stone shelter in a woodland overlooking river rapids

We have some of the best locally produce food! You will find local farmers’ markets which showcase the very best of Perthshire’s Larder directly from suppliers.

 
A stone shelter in a woodland overlooking river rapids

We have some of the best locally produce food! You will find local farmers’ markets which showcase the very best of Perthshire’s Larder directly from suppliers.

"As for recreation, we have one of the best fishing rivers in Scotland, the river Tay. For the more adventurous, you can enjoy sports like canyoning, kayaking and even white water rafting! If you just want a relaxed stroll, we have many forest walks where you might encounter red squirrels and deer. The trees are particular beautiful in October when they have their autumn colours and are great for conker- hunting. Other sports that are well catered for are cycling and skiing."

"House prices within Perthshire are very varied. Locations such as Dunkeld and Pitlochry are at the top end of the scale compared to similar properties in the outlying villages. The town of Perth itself is growing with new housing developments on the outskirts in various phases. One of which is centred around a brand new secondary school which opened in 2019/20."

 


 

Glenbranter and Strachur

Why live here? Rebecca says:

"I grew up in Glasgow and spent my childhood holidays sailing the West Coast with my family. The topography of this part of Scotland is beautiful with dramatic hills and sea lochs."

There is such a sense of community here, life feels very remote although it is only 60 miles from Glasgow.

A view across a loch towards the coastal houses at the village of Tighnabruaich

 
A view across a loch towards the coastal houses at the village of Tighnabruaich

There is such a sense of community here, life feels very remote although it is only 60 miles from Glasgow.

"My house looks over Loch Fyne and I enjoy wild swimming all year round. There is such a sense of community here, life feels very remote although it is only 60 miles from Glasgow."

"There are fantastic walks through Atlantic Oakwoods and there are great opportunities to see some of Scotland’s iconic or rare species from Red Squirrel to Golden Eagle."

 


 

Aberfoyle and Stirling

Why live here? See what Will and John have to say...

Will says:

"Living in the Trossachs has inspired us as a family to combine exploring mountains like Ben A’an with breath taking wild swimming in Loch Achray. There is fantastic scenery and loads of opportunities for outdoor adventures. We also have access to great Scottish culture in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh and to world class sporting venues like Murrayfield."

"The town of Callander has a primary and secondary school in safe walking distance from home with a vibrant and very warm rural community – and our teenage children benefit from local seasonal tourism work!"

"You can also eat and buy locally produce from a number of great producers and retail outlets such as great local bakers and whisky distilled on the river Teith. The good transport network means you can head off in any direction though generally we are very happy staying where we are!"

Silhouette of someone looking at a loch and forest from the pointed hilltop of Ben A'an in the Trossachs

Mountains, lochs, forests, coastline, all easily accessible in a relatively compact area offering a huge range of outdoor activities.

 
Silhouette of someone looking at a loch and forest from the pointed hilltop of Ben A'an in the Trossachs

Mountains, lochs, forests, coastline, all easily accessible in a relatively compact area offering a huge range of outdoor activities.

John says:

"Stirling, being a small city, has all the benefits of a much larger city but without too many people! Being centrally located, access to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth is very good, by both road and rail."

"The biggest benefit however, is being on the doorstep of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, the first National Park designated in Scotland. As the designation indicates, it has some stunning scenery. Mountains, lochs, forests, coastline, all easily accessible in a relatively compact area offering a huge range of outdoor activities – I don’t know why anyone would choose to live anywhere else!"

 


 

West Calder

Why live here? See what Hamish and Yvonne have to say…

Hamish says:

"Being a fan of both the outdoors and city life, I feel the Lothians is one of the best places to live in Scotland. Edinburgh provides all you could ask of a city – stunning architecture, a rich history dating back to the bronze age, museums, theatre and a thriving music, food & drinks scene. Not to mention the 650 acres of Holyrood park dominated by Arthur’s Seat and providing superb views of the city and the surrounding landscape."

"Yet despite the diversity of urban pursuits on offer, it’s not hard to escape to the outdoors with the beautiful beaches of East Lothian, as well as the Pentland and Moorfoot hills all within easy reach."

Despite the diversity of urban pursuits on offer, it’s not hard to escape to the outdoors with the beautiful beaches of East Lothian, as well as the Pentland and Moorfoot hills all within easy reach.

The red, cantilever Forth Rail Bridge over the Firth of Forth

 
The red, cantilever Forth Rail Bridge over the Firth of Forth

Despite the diversity of urban pursuits on offer, it’s not hard to escape to the outdoors with the beautiful beaches of East Lothian, as well as the Pentland and Moorfoot hills all within easy reach.

Yvonne says:

"Central Scotland is a great location that allows you to enjoy both the outdoors and have easy access to the cultural pursuits in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I am based in Fife with my family and we can quickly reach the mountains and forests in the Trossachs and Perthshire, the hills of the Pentlands and Lomonds, or the coast for walking and swimming. The Firth of Forth offers stunning coastal walks and we enjoy the seafood and relaxed atmospheres of Elie and St Monans."

"We get lots of opportunities to see world class wildlife including whale and dolphin watching at Kinghorn and bird watching at the Bass Rock, the Isle of May and the ospreys at Carron Valley. Carron Valley is also a major centre for mountain biking. All of this is a short train journey away from the atmospheric cities of Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow, were we enjoy walking and visiting museums, festivals and lots of eating out."

A view over an area of flat fields towards the Ochil Hills

Central Scotland is a great location that allows you to enjoy both the outdoors and have easy access to the cultural pursuits in Edinburgh and Glasgow

 
A view over an area of flat fields towards the Ochil Hills

Central Scotland is a great location that allows you to enjoy both the outdoors and have easy access to the cultural pursuits in Edinburgh and Glasgow

 


 

Newton Stewart

Why live here? See what Keith, Emma and Kim have to say...

Keith says:

"Galloway is ‘Scotland in miniature’ they say and they are not far wrong. An area of Scotland not well known among Scots and the rest of the world and yet once visited never forgotten."

"Lush rolling hills that change every month as the farmers change the crops, vast woodlands – it’s the most afforested area in Scotland – with a wide range of walks and mountain bike trails to enjoy. Tiny country roads that are quiet and ideal for road cycling covering some of the most scenic areas in the country. A fabulous coast with huge sandy beaches for kids, dogs and adults to enjoy all year round."

"...and the food is to die for, organic ice cream, world renowned whisky and gin producers, cheese, jams, chocolate factories and saltmarsh lamb not to mention the growing vegan offers using local produce. It’s just as well there is plenty to do to work it all off!"

"The people are friendly and have a passion for the area, they support local and love the countryside that they have to themselves and on top of that there are the absolutely massive skies that are also exceedingly and award winningly dark, allowing you to see the Milky Way along with constellations that you never even knew existed."

The people are friendly and have a passion for the area, they support local and love the countryside.

Clear, star lit skies above Clatteringshaws Loch

 
Clear, star lit skies above Clatteringshaws Loch

The people are friendly and have a passion for the area, they support local and love the countryside.

Emma says:

"Galloway is a largely rural area offering a variety of Scottish landscapes. From forestry to rolling hills to dramatic coastlines to quaint villages and towns."

"The area is home to fabulous mountain bike trails, with trails for a variety of abilities, and there are also some 300 miles of forest road to explore as well as multiple walking trails, forest drives, water sport lochs and historic upland routes."

"Despite the “off the beaten track” reputation, Galloway is surprisingly close to Newcastle, Belfast and Glasgow - all approximately two to three hour travelling time away. In Galloway itself, there are a number of towns scattered throughout that each have unique characteristics. Wigtown is ‘Scotland’s National Book Town’, where you can discover literature not known in conventional book shops, and where there are regular book festivals. Kirkcudbright is a coastal ‘Artists’ Town’ – known for its links to the Glasgow Boys – and Castle Douglas is a ‘Food Town’, and will not leaving you wanting for prime local food produce."

"A forest such as the Galloway forest is not found elsewhere in the UK. The woodland rolls over the hills for as far as the eye can see. Each morning the mist lifts from the trees leaving for spectacular scenery. Each night, the darkest area of the country (it’s a Dark Sky Park) allows the night sky to be scattered with stars."

A man walking across grass towards a large coastal cliff face

Galloway is a largely rural area offering a variety of Scottish landscapes. [But] despite the “off the beaten track” reputation, it's surprisingly close to Newcastle, Belfast and Glasgow.

 
A man walking across grass towards a large coastal cliff face

Galloway is a largely rural area offering a variety of Scottish landscapes. [But] despite the “off the beaten track” reputation, it's surprisingly close to Newcastle, Belfast and Glasgow.

Kim says:

"I may be biased but Galloway pretty much has it all - Galloway Forest Park is the UK’s largest Forest Park, and within this area there is an expanse of wilderness allowing you to spend a day out on the hills yomping up the Merrick, frolicking in the water at the Otter Pool along the Raiders Road or spending the evening star gazing within the nationally recognised dark sky zone."

"Visitor centres such as Kirroughtree accommodate not only hikers and dog walkers, but also plays host to the 7Stanes mountain bike tracks. Outwith the forest park there are a plethora of pretty coastal towns and the famous book town of Wigtown."

"But most importantly to me there is the wildlife... pine marten, red squirrel, salmon, night jar and golden eagle are all but a few of the wildlife wonders that you may encounter. What is not to love about living in Galloway?"

 


 

Ae and Dumfries

Why live here? See what Robin and Emma have to say...

Robin says:

"Dumfriesshire is a quiet corner of Scotland, yet close to the motorway and west coast railway for easy access to Glasgow and the north of England."

"Dumfries town itself can be explored easily on foot or bike. Cycle paths run along the River Nith, through beautiful parks and gardens, and connect to sites such as the Crichton campus which hosts a number of colleges and universities."

A vibrant community spirit has established many grassroots music, arts, and sports festivals, and there’s always plenty of new projects and activities to get involved in.

Sandstone bridge over the River Nith in the town of Dumfries

 
Sandstone bridge over the River Nith in the town of Dumfries

A vibrant community spirit has established many grassroots music, arts, and sports festivals, and there’s always plenty of new projects and activities to get involved in.

"In less than an hour the stunning scenery and wide skies of the Solway coast can be enjoyed from clifftop paths and sandy beaches. Barnacle geese overwinter on the saltmarsh here and are one of the wildlife spectacles that make this area popular with nature lovers. Further inland, the forests and hills of the Southern Uplands offer fantastic opportunities for walking and cycling, such as on Criffel hill and in the forest of Ae."

"The local area is rich in history and culture. Attractions include the spectacular castle of Caerlaverock and the Cistercian ruins at New Abbey. A vibrant community spirit has established many grassroots music, arts, and sports festivals, and there’s always plenty of new projects and activities to get involved in."

"Having originally only moved to Dumfriesshire for a temporary job we have now lived here for over twenty years. It has been the perfect location for raising a family and enjoying a relaxed lifestyle."

Two mountain bikers riding down a hill towards Ae Forest

As well as the beautiful hills and stunning views across the Solway Firth to the Lake District, there are great transport links connecting you to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and even Belfast.

 
Two mountain bikers riding down a hill towards Ae Forest

As well as the beautiful hills and stunning views across the Solway Firth to the Lake District, there are great transport links connecting you to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and even Belfast.

Emma says:

"What’s not to love about living in the South of Scotland? With our coasts and forest parks giving you access to an abundance of recreation opportunities including the world class 7Stanes mountain bike trails, lochs and coasts for water sports lovers, and ample interest for historians and Robbie Burns lovers, there’s something for everyone."

"As well as the beautiful hills and stunning views across the Solway Firth to the Lake District, there are great transport links connecting you to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and even Belfast when you need that hit of city life."

 

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