It’s all going on!

The region offers an exceptional environment to live and work. Impressive mountains and world famous coastlines are home to a national park, the vibrant city of Inverness, hundreds of towns and villages and around 100 idyllic islands which are home to 100,000 people.

If you’re considering the move here are the top five reasons to come to Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. 

Quality of life

The stunning natural environment, offers ample opportunities for climbing, camping, hiking, surfing, snorkelling, swimming, and wildlife watching. However, there’s more to Highland and Island life than the scenery.

Think of a social life revolving around community, a night out where everyone knows your name and welcomes you in.

Think of smaller class sizes, where young students get the time, space, and attention to thrive in their favourite subjects.

Orkney islands have a great reputation as a place to live, work and study. It often comes out top in ‘happiness’ surveys.

A recent Halifax quality of life survey rated Orkney as the best place to live in the UK. Low crime, good schools and a population who are among the happiest and healthiest in the whole UK are just a few of the draws to the region.

Digital connectivity

The roll-out of better, faster, and more reliable broadband services has created a boom in home working. Technological advances over the last decade have connected many communities to the wider world.

For many people, the global pandemic was their first introduction to remote and hybrid working. But, Highland and Island communities were already well ahead of the curve, using technology and local networks to break down barriers to work and employment.

Many residents now operate as ‘green crofters’, cultivating their land for livestock and crops while also boosting their income with opportunities that arise from remote working.


While traditional activities such as fishing and farming are still big employers, many communities are now beginning to take advantage of opportunities in the public sector and financial services as well as the emerging renewable energies, and aquaculture sectors.

Jobs are also a key focus of the £100m islands growth deal, which was signed in January by the Scottish and UK governments. The scheme aims to create 1,300 jobs over 10 years in Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.


Living in a Highland or islands community is about much more than beautiful views, it’s about a sense of place, and knowing the people, language heritage and culture. You should expect to be busy in our rural communities; volunteers are always needed, even many emergency responders are volunteers. 

When problems arrive, it’s often your friends and neighbours who will offer help. You can find that local residents are supportive, encouraging, and welcoming, creating a strong feeling of togetherness. 

Seasonal sensations

Long, light summer nights, fresh crisp autumns, the allure of the Northern Lights, and stunning snowscapes show that Scotland’s weather has more to offer than just the wet and the cold. 

As Billy Connolly, Scotland’s most famous comedian says: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong type of clothing.”

While the winters may be long, and dark, come spring the land, wildlife, and reawaken. Cruise ships and ferries bring tens of thousands of curious visitors as Scotland’s outer islands buzz with events and festivals.

In February, Shetland celebrates its Viking roots, with the world-famous Up Helly Aa festival. Squads of helmeted and fire-wielding locals gather to drink, dance, and sing, culminating in the ceremonial burning of a replica Viking longship.

Come and join us

Scotland’s Highlands and Islands are not only special places, they are made up of and attract special people. If you’re ready to take the next step to develop your career and your quality of life, you can find out more at: Be here | HIE