Friday, 18 December 2015

Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles

are the three best places to live in Scotland!

And that's official! In fact, Orkney (the second most northerly group of islands belonging to the UK) has come top of the 'Best Places to Live in Scotland' list for the third year running closely followed by Shetland (the most northerly group) with the Western Isles coming third.

Seaside village of Hamnavoe, Orkney
Photograph by Colin Smith/Geograph UK CC-BY-SA 2.0

'Quality of Life'

In the 2015 Bank of Scotland 'Quality of Life' survey Orkney retained it prime spot for, amongst other reasons, its low crime rate, its low unemployment rate and (surprisingly for Scotland) its good weather - Orkney's rainfall level is lower than the Scottish average.

The survey placed Shetland in second place for similar reasons coupled with the magnificent coastal scenery and the spectacular wildlife - especially birds.

The Western Isles have climbed up the rankings to third place which confirms what every islander already knows - island life is the best life!

Benbecula, Western Isles
Photograph by AlastairG/Geograph UK CC-BY-SA 2.0
Having visited both Shetland and the Isle of Skye I can vouch for the laid-back lifestyle found there, in fact, Shetland is the only place I have ever flagged down a taxi and not had to pay the fare because he was 'going that way anyway'! That just doesn't happen on the mainland.

The 2015 Bank of Scotland 'Quality of Life' survey lists the top 10 most desirable places to live in Scotland (see the list here). Unfortunately, where I live in the Ancient Kingdom of Fife on Scotland's east coast doesn't feature anywhere in the list!


  1. Scotland sounds like amazing and beautiful place to live. or at least visit. I like the laid back lifestyle.

    1. Some of the islanders I have met are so laid back they almost fall over!