March 27, 2019
With its vibrant atmosphere, diverse range of amenities, and stunning natural surroundings, Livingston certainly presents an enticing option for anyone considering a move. From its welcoming community spirit to the abundance of recreational activities and modern conveniences, Livingston offers a truly fulfilling and well-rounded lifestyle.
But what could your life look like if you chose to buy a house in Livingston? We’ve gathered all the essential information about living in Livingston, to help anyone that’s thinking of buying a property in the town.
Originally named “Levingston” or “Levingestoun” after the Leving family who owned the land, the town gradually transitioned from a rural settlement to a thriving industrial centre. In the 1960s, Livingston underwent a transformative period when it was designated as a New Town. This led to extensive development, aimed at providing affordable housing and addressing overcrowding in nearby cities. The town experienced remarkable expansion, witnessing the construction of residential areas, commercial centres, and modern infrastructure.
Throughout its history, Livingston has flourished as a hub for industry, attracting major companies and fostering economic growth. The town’s manufacturing, technology, and retail sectors have played vital roles in its success.
There are a range of attractions in Livingston that preserve the town’s history and offer visitors and residents a chance to learn more, like The Almond Valley Heritage Centre. This award-winning family attraction sheds light on the region’s industrial history, allowing visitors the chance to gain an insight into how this industry shaped the area and its profound impact on the local community.
There is a decent range of cultural events and activities to enjoy in Livingston. Art enthusiasts can explore the Howden Park Centre, a renowned venue that showcases contemporary art exhibitions, live performances, and workshops. It also has a state-of-the-art theatre that hosts a variety of theatrical productions, including plays, musicals, and dance performances.
The town’s close proximity to Edinburgh means that a wealth of cultural options are in reach, just a short journey away. From the National Museum of Scotland, to the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival – there is plenty to keep you occupied at the weekends.
Livingston boasts a thriving food and drink scene, with a range of options on offer. For upscale dining experiences, the Houston House Hotel offers exquisite menus featuring both traditional Scottish cuisine and international flavours.
There are plenty of warm, traditional pubs in Livingston, like The Livingston Inn, which is a real local favourite. It serves up classic pub fare, including hearty burgers, fish and chips, and Sunday roast dinners.
Ristorante La Campana is another popular restaurant in the town, providing delicious and authentic Italian food.
Stack & Still has you sorted for breakfast, with its vast menu made up of every kind of pancake you could imagine.
Livingston is renowned for its extensive shopping scene, making it a shopaholic’s paradise. The Livingston Designer Outlet is Scotland’s largest designer outlet, featuring over 70 high-end fashion, lifestyle, and homeware brands offering discounts all year round.
The Centre is another popular shopping destination; home to a diverse mix of stores, including fashion boutiques, electronics retailers, beauty salons, and bookshops. It offers a comprehensive range of shopping options all under one roof.
In addition to these shopping centres, Livingston boasts a variety of standalone stores and smaller shopping areas scattered throughout the town. From supermarkets to specialty shops, you’ll find everything from everyday essentials to unique treasures.
Livingston offers a fantastic range of sporting and outdoor pursuits, catering to both active enthusiasts and spectators. The town is home to various sports facilities and outdoor spaces where residents and visitors can engage in a range of activities.
For sports enthusiasts, the Xcite Livingston Leisure Centre is a hub of sporting activities, featuring a swimming pool (complete with waterslides!), gymnasium, sports halls, and fitness classes. The centre provides opportunities for swimming, basketball, badminton, and more.
Football fans can support and watch matches of Livingston Football Club, also known as the Lions, who compete in the Scottish Professional Football League. The club’s home ground, the Tony Macaroni Arena, offers an exciting atmosphere for live football matches.
The surrounding areas of Livingston offer abundant outdoor activities. Almondell & Calderwood Country Park is perfect for scenic walks, cycling, and wildlife spotting. Beecraigs Country Park provides opportunities for fishing, horse riding, and hiking trails.
Water enthusiasts can explore the nearby Linlithgow Loch, where sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding are popular activities. The Union Canal offers tranquil waterside walks and cycling routes.
Livingston is an incredibly well connected place, and getting around the town and surrounding areas couldn’t be easier. Within Livingston, a comprehensive bus network operates, connecting various neighbourhoods, shopping centres, and other key destinations. This makes it easy to navigate the town and reach desired locations efficiently.
For those commuting to nearby cities, Livingston enjoys exceptional transport connections. The town is well-served by both train and bus services, with regular services to Edinburgh (20 minute journey) and Glasgow (50 minute journey). This provides convenient options for individuals working or studying in these major cities.
Additionally, Livingston benefits from its proximity to major road networks, including the M8 motorway, which runs through the town. This allows for easy access to various destinations throughout Scotland, including Edinburgh Airport, which is just a short drive away.
For those preferring to cycle or walk, Livingston has an extensive network of cycle paths and footpaths, making it a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly town.
Livingston boasts a thriving economy with a robust and diverse job market that provides abundant job opportunities for its residents. The town’s strategic location, coupled with excellent transport links, has attracted numerous businesses to establish their presence in the area.
One of the major industries in Livingston is the technology and electronics sector. Companies such as Sky UK, a leading telecommunications and broadcasting company, and Teknek, a global manufacturer of cleaning equipment for electronics, have significant operations in the town. These companies contribute to the local job market by offering a variety of roles, from customer service and technical support to engineering and manufacturing positions.
The retail sector also plays a vital role in Livingston’s economy. The Livingston Designer Outlet is a major shopping destination, attracting visitors from far and wide. The outlet’s presence has created numerous job opportunities, including retail positions, management roles, and hospitality positions within the dining establishments.
Moreover, Livingston hosts several business parks, including Alba Campus and Houstoun Industrial Estate, which are home to various businesses across different sectors. These parks provide a range of employment opportunities in fields such as logistics, distribution, manufacturing, and professional services.
While many residents find employment within Livingston itself, the town’s proximity to Edinburgh and Glasgow expands the job market further. Commuters benefit from the convenient transport links to these cities, which offer a wide range of industries and employment prospects.
Parents considering buying a property in Livingston can take comfort in the range of educational options for families, as the town ensures access to quality schooling. Livingston is served by various primary and secondary schools, providing a diverse selection to meet the needs of students.
One highly regarded primary school in Livingston is Williamston Primary School, which has received positive feedback from parents and boasts a strong academic reputation. Similarly, Bankton Primary School is known for its supportive environment and dedicated staff.
For secondary education, Inveralmond Community High School is a popular choice, recognized for its inclusive ethos and commitment to student achievement. Deans Community High School is another well-regarded secondary school, focusing on providing a nurturing environment for students to thrive academically and personally.
In addition to these schools, Livingston is home to several other educational institutions offering specialised programs. For example, West Lothian College provides a range of further and higher education courses, while St. Margaret’s Academy offers a comprehensive curriculum with a focus on academic excellence.
More information about specific schools including their catchment areas and OFSTED ratings can be found on the Education Scotland website.
If you need advice for first-time buying in Livingston – or if you’re looking for a reliable mortgage broker in West Lothian – don’t hesitate to contact us today.
We’re experts on all things mortgage-related (and our services are always 100% free).
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