Wigtown Book Town

Wigtown was officially designated as Scotland’s National Book Town in 1998 and is now home to a wide range of book-related businesses. A book lovers haven – and with over quarter of a million books to choose from, old and new … it is impossible to escape empty-handed.

Wigtown’s Location

Situated in the southwest of Scotland, with the Central Belt & Ayrshire to the north, Cumbria & the Lake District to the south, the Scottish Borders & Northumberland to the east, and Ireland to the west, this kaleidoscope of beautiful pastoral landscape, rugged coastline, woodland and forest, moorland and mountain is a rich cultural melting pot.

Myths, Legends and Folklore of Galloway

Events are free and last one hour unless otherwise stated (donations welcome) FRIDAY 23 NOVEMBER 11.00 am Hugh MacMillan | Beltie Books & Café Hugh MacMillan is a poet whose work often focuses on the culture and history of his home region of Dumfries and Galloway. He...

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Wigtown Book Festival

The annual Wigtown Book Festival offers more than 200 events for adults, children and young people including literature, music, film, theatre, arts and crafts. The festival takes place for 10 days each autumn and has welcomed speakers such as Ian Rankin, Clare Balding, Celia Imrie, John Simpson, Joanna Lumley, Douglas Hurd, Sally Magnusson, Richard Holloway, Mairi Hedderwick, Nick Sharratt and Cathy Cassidy.

For more information please visit the Festival website: www.wigtownbookfestival.com

Shopping can be a relaxing day out

With easy access and easy parking in the town’s wide streets and market square, shopping is a pleasure in Wigtown. It’s an easy stroll round bookshops, gift shops, cafes and inns. New businesses and restored buildings all add to the vibrancy of the literary town. There are special facilities, including toilets, for people with a disability.

Buy a book – it’s a gift chosen with care

Wigtown has some twenty book-related businesses, with new and second-hand books galore. Second-hand books in good condition make very popular gifts, with so much thought going into finding just the right book. Stumped for a present? Everyone has an interest – fishing or philosophy, gardening or history – and they’ll love a book about it! How about a 1950s Dandy Book? You don’t have to be a youngster to enjoy an annual.

Paintings, prints and lots of cards

Books and painting go hand-in-hand, and we have specialist businesses that stock a wide range of paintings, prints and cards. Picture-framing and portrait-painting are on offer, too. A portrait in oils, taken from a photo? It’s possible in Wigtown!

Personal service that comes as standard

Most likely, the people serving you in Wigtown shops will own the businesses, and personal service is something they pride themselves in. They’ll help you find exactly the right book or gift, and they’ll advise on art or upholstery, or track down out-of-print publications.

Good food and refreshments

Enjoy a great day out, with meals and refreshments served in the town’s cafes, inns and hotels. We also have our own distillery in nearby Bladnoch – the region’s only distillery – with visitor centre and gift shop. Regular visitors turn their Wigtown shopping trip into a holiday, choosing from the wide range of local accommodation.

We look forward to meeting you when you visit this idyllic corner of south-west Scotland.

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9 hours ago

Association of Wigtown Booksellers

Many congratulations to Marjorie Lotfi Gill on being elected chair of Wigtown Book Festival Company. We look forward to working with you.It’s all change at the top this month for Wigtown Festival Company. The charity has appointed a new chairperson to lead our board of trustees following this month’s annual general meeting.

Marjorie Lotfi Gill is taking over from Sandra McDowall, who is taking a deserved rest after serving six years in the role (though happily, she has agreed to remain on the board). Finn McCreath, who used to run the book festival, remains vice-chair.

Our new chair will be a familiar face to many in the region having previously been the first writer-in-residence for the arts and crafts open studios event Spring Fling and for Wigtown Book Festival. Marjorie previously fulfilled a similar role at Jupiter Artland. She also published her first volume of poems this year, which she presented at a fantastic Persian dinner during this year’s festival.

A one-time corporate lawyer for Davis Polk in New York and London, with degrees in English literature and creative writing, she is co-founder and director of the charity Open Book, which runs reading groups for community organisations in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Dumfries & Galloway.

She spent her early childhood in Tehran, and fled with her family in 1979 during the Iranian revolution. In 2016 she co-founded The Belonging Project, which visited schools, prisons and community groups around Scotland, setting participants' own stories of everyday journeys and questions of belonging alongside those of refugees.

"I'm honoured and delighted to take on this role at such an exciting time," she said, "and on behalf of all the board and staff I would like to thank Sandra for her exceptional service.

"Wigtown Festival Company has seen an extraordinary period of growth under her assured stewardship, developing an ambitious programme of activities that extends far beyond the festival itself.

"One of my priorities will be to ensure that the organisation has the resources it needs to continue to thrive and grow. We want to maximise the cultural, social and economic benefits that the Festival Company offers the region."

The Festival Company generates more than £3m a year for the regional economy and has a return on public investment of 23:1. As well as the 10-day autumn festival, the charity runs Wigtown's Big Bang science weekend, Dumfries’s children's book festival, Big Dog, and year-round programmes for young people and writers across Dumfries & Galloway.
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1 day ago

Association of Wigtown Booksellers

Lovely new window with work by bookseller Julie Houston. There's more to Wigtown than books you know.Time for a new window! ... See MoreSee Less

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