Top Three Best Market Towns In Scotland Are In Dumfries & Galloway

According to a new study commissioned by Royal Mail four of the top ten market towns in Scotland for work-life balance are found in Dumfries & Galloway with D&G taking the top three spots, although there is a good spread in the top ten across the Highlands, islands and the rest of Scotland also.

The small town of Langholm takes the top place among the Scottish market towns due to consistently better than average scores across all the categories. Dumfries sits in second place as a result of short commuting distances, relatively few people working long hours and low unemployment. Kirkcudbright takes third place due to low unemployment, low crime and good access to services.

Dornoch (4th) in the Highlands also does well due to its good services, low crime and minimal unemployment. Lerwick on Shetland (5th) and Kirkwall on Orkney (6th) feature in the top ten. Both island communities stand out in particular for their short commuting distances.

Wigtown (7th), Renfrew (8th), Campbeltown (9th) and Peebles (10th) also appear in the top ten.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail saidThis new study demonstrates the breadth of market towns providing attractive places for people across the UK to live and work in. For people who value a good work-life balance, there are plenty of market towns to choose from. Royal Mail connects communities and businesses across the UK, delivering to nearly 30 million addresses.

As the UK’s pre-eminent delivery company, Royal Mail is uniquely placed to observe how different market towns perform as places to live and work.


The findings are based on a number of categories in each country including average earnings, house prices, access to services, crime figures, skill level of the local population and unemployment figures. Data from the 2011 UK Census is also used.