Wigtown was officially designated as Scotland's National Book Town in 1998 and is now home to over 20 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.
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.
A few great reasons for visiting Wigtown,
Scotland's National Booktown:
Wigtown Book Festival
Now in its 15th year, Wigtown Book Festival offers more than 180 events for adults, children and young people including literature, music, film, theatre, arts and crafts. The festival takes place for 10 days each autumn - 27 September to 6 October 2013 - and has recently welcomed speakers such as Ian Rankin, Celia Imrie, John Simpson, Douglas Hurd, Sally Magnusson, Richard Holloway, Tony De Saulles, Philip Ardagh 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!
All kinds of shops, all with great gift ideas
Books are here – and much more besides. There are many delightful shops where you can browse and purchase. Here you’ll find art and gifts … unusual wall hangings and soft-furnishings … antique furniture and local crafts … a birth date newspaper or video … and much more.
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.
Not Only Bookshops:
Wigtown's other shops and facilities include:
Post Office, Bank of Scotland, Chemist, Co-op supermarket, Hairdressers, Doctors Surgery,
Petrol Station & Garage, Primary School, Church of Scotland, Baptist Church,
Machars Initiative Centre with local information for visitors,
Bowling Green in the town centre, Wigtown & Bladnoch Golf Club welcomes visitors,
Regular Saturday Street Markets from Easter till October / Indoor markets in November & December.
Wigtown County Buildings houses: the Public Library with internet access; the Wigtown Festival Company office; a large Hall for public events; Supper Room with Kitchen; Meeting Rooms; and the Wigtown Bay Ranger's Room with viewing gallery, CCTV video of local ospreys and wildlife.
There is a lift and disabled toilets.
The world's largest private newspaper archive, based in Wigtown.
Local Visitor Attractions:
Relax, unwind and take time to visit some of our other local treasures while you are here – we have some fascinating stories to tell:
• Bladnoch Distillery - Scotland's most southerly whisky distillery.
• Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve, the UKs largest - saltmarsh & mudflats, home to thousands of overwintering geese, with a bird hide at Wigtown Harbour.
• Whithorn, the cradle of Christianity in Scotland, Museum & Interpretation Centre, 12 miles away.
• The 7stanes mountain bike trails at Kirroughtree & Glentrool. Both have visitor centres & cafes.
• Galloway Tanks - offers unique tank driving experiences
• Country Gardens, Castles, Animal World, Museums, all within 20 minutes drive from Wigtown.
• Historic and archaeological sites, throughout the Machars area.
• Many beautiful Local Walks, including those detailed on the WalkHighlands website
• Fishing, golf, birdwatching and field sports in abundance.
More information about Dumfries & Galloway can be found on the VisitScotland website.
We look forward to meeting you when you visit this idyllic corner of southwest Scotland.