Jody (serving), Liz, Ethan (18) and Eliza (16)

How long have you been an army family?

Twenty years and counting…

Time in Edinburgh?

We are just four months in.

How many other military families live there?

The army presence, in a city like Edinburgh, is significant, with families from neighbouring Redford and Dreghorn Barracks sharing a patch and those from 2 SCOTS living out at Glencorse near Penicuik.

What’s your quarter like?

We’re in a standalone quarter, but friends on the patch talk of substantial, if old, houses often with big gardens.

Are there any employment/ training opportunities?

Living in a city opens up a wide range of opportunities that are inevitably harder to come by in a rural setting. Edinburgh is no different, although some professions do ask those inbound from other UK nations or the EU to jump through certain hoops before applying for work here so it’s worth checking the small print before making a career move.

What about schools/childcare?

There are a number of primary and secondary schools within range and so families can broadly choose what best suits, whether that be for proximity, educational reputation, learning support or wraparound care.

Where do army families get together and who supports you?

A proactive welfare team runs a variety of services from the Community Centre on Dreghorn Barracks using social media to communicate effectively. Patch WhatsApp groups, meanwhile, cover everything from babysitting to the classic, ‘has anyone got a spare egg?’.

How do you find the cost of living?

The cost of living seems lower than in the south, whether that be in terms of the cost of a pint, a haircut or a taxi. That being said, our budget for travel has had to increase significantly and the 364,000 (only a slight exaggeration!) independent coffee shops in Edinburgh might prove tempting for some!

What are the best and worst things about living there?

Edinburgh is an utterly charming city; it boasts beautiful architecture, fascinating history (much of which is free or reduced for the military), stunning countryside within easy reach, a strong independent presence on the high street and an effective, reasonably-priced public transport network. Downsides? Its weather (spot the ever-present woolly hat!) and, for us, the distance from family and friends.

Would you recommend it as an army posting?

As someone with no connections to a Scottish regiment and little prior knowledge of the city, we have found it very welcoming and easy to navigate, with entertainment to suit every interest. I would heartily recommend a posting here but suggest sourcing the thickest, down jacket prior to making the move!

Want to share your experiences of army family life? Get in touch by emailing

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