Central Scotland comprises the two major cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, together with several smaller counties in the corridor of land between them, and the larger counties of Argyll and Bute, Stirling and Fife to the north.

The southern parts of Angus and the new county of Perth and Kinross, together with the towns of Perth and Dundee, can also be classed as part of this region. Outside the cities, there are a number of small farmhouses and large castles, but little in between. The equivalent to the English rectory or large farmhouse is the manse or factor’s house, but these are relatively scarce and command a premium.

To the east of central Scotland is lowland, which begins to rise in the north; the west is mainly upland, with mountains and sea lochs. The climate is mild, and wetter in the west than the east.

The Scottish tolerance for commuting is lower than the English, so prices drop significantly within an hour’s drive of Glasgow and Edinburgh. The central belt between Glasgow and Edinburgh is less popular with commuters than the areas to the north and south of each city; prices are also lower.

Perth and Kinross is the most sought-after county in the region, and prices are higher there. Central Scotland is a good base for country sports such as fishing, shooting and stalking. The region also has some of the world’s most famous golf courses, including St Andrew’s on the east coast of Fife.

Major towns

Glasgow, Edinburgh, Motherwell, Coatbridge, Paisley, Greenock, Dunfermline, Stirling, Perth, Dundee.

Transport links

Train: King’s Cross to Edinburgh 4hr 19min; Euston to Glasgow 4hr 54min; King’s Cross to Stirling 5hr 18min.

Car: Edinburgh is 410 miles from London, via the M1, A1, A1(M) and A68; Stirling, 435 miles, via the M1, A1, A1(M), A68 and M9; Glasgow, 397 miles, via the M1, M6, A74 and M74.

Public schools

Glasgow Academy (0141-334 8558). Co-educational, age range 4-18, day. www.theglasgowacademy.org.uk

The High School of Glasgow (0141-9549628). Co-educational, age range 4-18, day. www.glasgowhigh.com

Craigholme School, Glasgow (0141-427 0375). Girls only, age range 3-18, day. www.craigholme.co.uk

The Kelvinside Academy, Glasgow (0141-357 3376). Co- educational, age range 4-18, day. www.kelvinsideacademy.org.uk

Dundee High School (01382 202921). Co-educational, age range 5-18, day.

www.highschoolofdundee.co.uk

Edinburgh Academy (0131-556 4603). Boys only (co-educational nursery and sixth form), age range 3-18, day and boarding. www.edinburghacademy.org.uk

Fettes College, Edinburgh (0131-332 2281). Co-educational, age range 7-18, day and boarding. www.fettes.com

George Watson’s College, Edinburgh (0131-447 7931). Co-educational, age range 3-18, day and boarding. www.gwc.org.uk

St George’s School for Girls, Edinburgh (0131-332 4575). Girls only, age range 3-18, day and boarding. www.st-georges.edin.sch.uk

St Margaret’s, Edinburgh (0131-668 1986). Girls only, age range 3-18, day and boarding. www.st-margarets.edin.sch.uk

Leisure

Golfcourses: St Andrews (01334 475757); Elie (01333 330301); Gleneagles (01764 662231).

Hunts: the Lanark and Renfrew; the Linlithgow and Stirling; the Eglington; the Fife.

Yachting clubs: Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club, Royal Tay Yacht Club, Royal Forth Yacht Club.

Fishing: rivers Tay, Forth, South Esk, North Esk and Islay.