Scotland is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in the world, the history is fascinating, the men are handsome and the whisky is delicious. But don't eat the macaroni pies."
JK Rowling says it all. (Although she might not be entirely right about the pies.) Scotland is widely-regarded as an outstanding place to live, and that's not just marketing fiction.
In fact, this year's pan-European survey, an EU index comparing all Europe's regions, found that Scotland has the best quality of life in the UK.
The index measured factors such as health, safety, tolerance, access to education and personal rights - based on data collected from 37 UK regions.
But like the first Harry Potter book, the survey certainly doesn't tell the whole story.
Choose a great place to live and work
Scotland’s great outdoors, as beautifully shown in Scotland's latest bike thriller Danny MacAskil’s Wee Day Out, rivals that of Canada and New Zealand for jaw-dropping beauty. And, if stunning scenery floats your boat, it's often all within an hour’s travel distance of many of Scotland's business centres.
Imagine, an hour after work, and you're on the golf course, mountain bike route, walking path, or gin trail.
Scotland’s cities – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Perth, Stirling, Inverness and Dundee - all have their own distinctive attractions too. Edinburgh and Glasgow, for example, frequently win awards as leading European and UK centres, with a rare mix of culture, commerce, history and property.
And, like Potter and his magical mates, the Scots often play nicely too. The survey revealed that Scotland is a tolerant nation, measured according to its treatment of minorities, gay people, those with disabilities and gender.
Choose an affordable place to live
Along with highly competitive salaries, Scotland offers weekly household costs that are around 20 per cent cheaper than London and 10 per cent cheaper than the rest of the UK. More often than not, house prices can be lower too, especially compared with the super-heated markets of somewhere like London.
The EU Social Progress Index survey also found that education was another area where Scotland out-ranked other parts of the UK, judging factors such as the proportion of people attaining degrees, enrolled in school or attending adult education courses.
Did you know that Scotland has the highest number of top 100 research institutions per head of population in Europe/world?
Well, now you do.
Choose sport and leisure
All work and no play? No way, this is Scotland for heaven's sake. We take our work-life balance very seriously.
You'll find leisure activities to suit every age and taste in Scotland. Add in world famous events like the biggest arts festival in the world in Edinburgh every summer and St Andrew's Day. There's also theatres and exhibitions, nightlife and children's activities - not to mention food and drink that'll leave you speechless. Oh and did we mention wonderful natural produce to the pleasures of whisky, craft beer and gins?
Sport always draws the crowds too. Even if the national teams sometimes try the patience. However, with the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and (Sir?) Andy Murray putting Scotland on the map globally, there are more smiles to add to the local's traditional passionate and competitive spirit.
Oh, and you never know, live up here and you could bump into JK herself, or maybe just taste if those macaroni pies really are worth their crust.
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