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From New Zealand To North Berwick

Posted 7 December 2021 by Helen Christie

Tom and Helen reclaimed the active, outdoor life they loved by moving to Dandara’s Barley Brae development in North Berwick...

After previously living in New Zealand for several years, Tom Crombie, 36, and his partner Helen Singleton, 31, longed to leave the bustle of city centre life in Edinburgh behind and reclaim the active, outdoor lifestyle that they had once so much enjoyed.

This time, however, they didn’t have to go to the other side of the world – they found just what they were looking at Dandara’s Barley Brae development, just half an hour away in North Berwick – East Lothian.

“We had always considered making a move out to North Berwick eventually, but lockdown last year really made us reassess our lifestyle and so we have probably made the move four years earlier than we had originally planned.”  says Tom. “We were in a lovely flat in Edinburgh with a puppy and we realised that we didn’t actually need to be there anymore. As soon as restrictions lifted last summer, we started looking for somewhere where we could recreate the New Zealand lifestyle which we had loved and with family in East Lothian – North Berwick was an obvious choice,”

As soon as the couple saw Dandara’s Barley Brae development, they knew it ticked all the boxes for them: “We fell in love with the house straight away – it had loads of light, a lovely big garden, and was bright and spacious with a high specification.” 

The couple reserved a four-bedroom detached family house, and after living in a two-bedroom flat with a shared garden, it was wonderful to have so much space to call their own, especially during the continuing lockdown restrictions. With four bedrooms they are able to have a spare room for when guests are allowed as well as an office space for each of them, to make homeworking a pleasant experience.

Tom, 36, runs an online learning business, My Online School, with 1,500 pupils around the world, and has decided to continue working flexibly for part of the week even after Covid restrictions end. However, the straightforward commute into Edinburgh by train from North Berwick only takes half an hour, so it is easy for him to head back into the city when he does need to be in the office. Marketeer Helen, 31, used lockdown to set up her own thriving business working from home as a yoga teacher - @lotuslilyyoga.

While the option to work from home proved ideal, it was the leisure and recreation opportunities that the area offers that really led the couple to make the move. “We can’t wait to get involved in all the outdoor sports that we love – like walking, cycling and water sports. Obviously with the beach on our doorstep, it’s also a great location for Helen's new yoga business.  Helen and I were so excited about the move we even bought a brand new barbeque before the house sale had been agreed,” adds Tom.

The Barley Brae development where they purchased their new home was named after the rolling landscape of barley fields in this part of Scotland. The popular development by housebuilder Dandara was designed to appeal to those who love the great outdoors with homes set around a park and play area in the middle, and green spaces, allotments and footpaths surrounding the edge, giving a sense of peaceful, coastal country living. The third member of Tom and Helen’s family, Ollie the dog, is also loving the move. After spending his first year in a flat, he now has a great life, with a substantial garden and long beach walks on the doorstep.

Lisa Archibald, head of sales for Dandara East Scotland, says: “The seaside market town of North Berwick is proving to be a real draw for those who want to enjoy a healthy, rural lifestyle while still being within an easy commute of Edinburgh – and this has been reflected in the popularity of our development at Barley Brae, where there are only a handful of four bedroom homes remaining for next year.

“Our Barley Brae development has been especially popular with buyers looking to enjoy the great outdoors, not just from Edinburgh but from all over the UK with buyers coming from London. We are also seeing this trend at all our new developments throughout the Lothians, where young professionals or families are swapping city life for more of a balance – but are still within striking distance of Edinburgh for work commitments. Whether it be proximity to the beach or the mountain bike and walking trails in the Pentland Hills, this is definitely a trend we don’t see going away anytime soon.”

Homes currently available with Dandara East Scotland in The Lothians currently start from £269,995.

View more developments currently available from Dandara


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