The best places to live by the sea in Scotland, with stunning beaches, great pubs and amazing views

The great thing about living in Scotland is that you’re never far from the sea. Thanks to our unique geography, nowhere in Scotland is more than 40 miles from the coast.

But what if you want to take it a step further than visiting the coast for a day or vacation and actually move there heart and soul?

For many, moving and living by the sea is a dream


For many, moving and living by the sea is a dreamCredit: Alamy

If that sounds like something you would love to do now or in the future, then you’re in luck The times has done the work for you and compiled the Best Places to Live By The Sea 2023 in the UK list, highlighting the top four places in Scotland.

According to the newspaper: “The selection of the best places to live on the coast includes bustling commuter towns, seaside resorts and spectacular scenery.”

“All contrasting places have something to offer at any time of the year, with the kind of communities, connections and convenient amenities that keep the holiday spirit alive year-round.”

It’s no surprise that the absolutely stunning village of Arisaig was one of the four. The beaches here are similar to those in the Caribbean as they are lapped by the Gulf Stream making them some of the finest in Britain.

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Pretty Arisaig


Pretty ArisaigCredit: Alamy
Camusdarach Beach


Camusdarach BeachPhoto credit: Getty
Traigh Beach near Arisaig with the islands of Eigg and Rum in the distance.


Traigh Beach near Arisaig with the islands of Eigg and Rum in the distance.Credit: Alamy

The Times said: “From the famous beach of Camusdarach (featured in the film ‘Local Hero’) to the myriad of secret coves, there are turquoise seas, brilliant white sands and incredibly dramatic sunsets over the islets of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna . The water temperature is the only indication that this is not the Caribbean.

“Arisaig is remote but for this part of the world the connections and facilities are surprisingly good. There is a train to Fort William (an hour’s drive away) for the major supermarkets and the night train to London. The village itself has a shop, pub, post office, marina and golf course and a popular primary school.”

Average house prices in the village are £389,000, but the authors added: “They rarely come on the market and then sell quickly.”

The popular seaside resort of Helensburgh in Dunbartonshire was also chosen as it is within 30 minutes of Glasgow and within easy reach of the Munros and Highlands ski slopes.

Helensburgh's beautiful boardwalk


Helensburgh’s beautiful boardwalkCredit: Alamy
Children love paddling in the sea at Helensburgh Beach


Children love paddling in the sea at Helensburgh BeachCredit: Alamy

The Times said, “It’s hard to imagine a cheaper place to explore work-life balance opportunities.” With some great places to eat and drink (Sugar Boat, La Jupe) and a good high street, Helensburgh is a fertile one soil for independent companies.

“The best houses are as attractive as their surroundings – many Victorian and Edwardian mansions on wide leafy streets, ranging from £550,000 to over £1million.”

But don’t despair if you’re short on cash, the average house price is £219,000.

North Berwick in East Lothian has everything you could wish for in a seaside town.

The busy High Street in North Berwick, East Lothian makes it a great place to live


The busy High Street in North Berwick, East Lothian makes it a great place to liveCredit: Alamy
West Bay Beach in North Berwick


West Bay Beach in North BerwickCredit: Alamy
The huge, dog-friendly Seacliff beach near North Berwick


The huge, dog-friendly Seacliff beach near North BerwickCredit: Alamy

The High Street is a bustling place full of shops, cafes and pubs, there are world class golf courses on your doorstep, it’s only a 30 minute train journey to Edinburgh and it even has its own volcano!

The Times said: “Best of all, however, are the two beaches, which offer easy ways to enjoy all the benefits of life by the sea.”

“Whether it’s taking an open water dip with the Bass Rock Swimmers, sailing with the East Lothian Yacht Club or tossing a ball in the sand for the dog while the evening light catches the Bass Rock, you can do it here. There are even special offers.” Adapted beach wheelchairs are available so everyone can enjoy a day at the sea.

“Unsurprisingly, houses are expensive – the biggest and best single-family homes cost in excess of £2million, and two-bedroom apartments start at a steep £320,000.”

This is the most expensive of all four locations, with average house prices in North Berwick standing at a whopping £533,000.

You can’t get any closer to the coast AND city life than staying in Portobello, with its two miles of sandy beach and easy drive to Edinburgh.

Portobello beach is a popular spot for both locals and tourists and can get very crowded in summer


Portobello beach is a popular spot for both locals and tourists and can get very crowded in summerCredit: Alamy
Portobello promenade


Portobello promenadeCredit: Alamy

The authors said: “With a growing list of quirky shops and businesses – artisanal bakeries, gourmet dog treats and the brilliant Portobello Bookshop – this is the perfect seaside suburb.”

“Princes Street is only a 20-minute bike ride or 30-minute bus ride away, but Porty’s fresh air and independent spirit are a welcome contrast to Edinburgh’s stuffy commercial heart.

“No wonder the Georgian and Victorian tenements and townhouses have become the destination for young families, artists, authors and foodies keen to enjoy a Pittenweem lobster roll at the seaside seafood shack Shrimpwreck.

“Together they have developed a strong sense of community, evident in everything from the Wild Ones’ swim group to a book festival, youth theater group, yoga and meditation.

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“You’ll pay a premium for a prime location between the High Street and the Promenade, say on Bath Street or Regent Street, where two-bedroom apartments cost more than £360,000 and apartment buildings around £800,000.”

The average price for a house in Portobello is £286,000.

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Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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