Reasons to visit Scotland’s National Book Town

Wigtown Book Festival

Now in its 18th year, 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 during the last weekend in September through till the first weekend in October each year – 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 

Find the Perfect Book in Scotland’s National Book Town

Wigtown has fifteen book-related businesses, with new and second-hand books galore. Please explore all they have to offer at wigtown-booktown.com.

All kinds of shops, all with great gifts

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 and much more. You can find a list of local businesses here.

With easy access and easy parking in the town’s wide streets and market square, shopping is a pleasure in Wigtown. There are facilities including toilets, for people with a disability. Please call the festival company office on 01988 402036 for more details.

Dark Skies and Inspiring Landscapes

Think outside the book and explore the sights and scenery of the Machars that makes Galloway so unforgettable. From pristine beaches to native forests and highlands to rolling farmland, Wigtown has something for everyone.

Day hikes range in difficulty, from leisurely to challenging and stretch along the coast or you can walk the Southern Upland Way. For the adventure lover, one of the 7Stains cycling centres, with world class off-road trails, is right on the doorstep. At night, Dark Skies Park provides the best views of the stars in the UK. For animal lovers, visit Wigtown’s wetlands reserve, which boasts the most diverse African bird species that migrate all the way to our shores and in the forests wildlife such as the red squirrel and stags feature regularly.

For those who want a full day in nature, locations like Cairnsmore and the Mull of Galloway offer breath-taking views while public gardens, such as Glenwhan Gardens and Logan Gardens allow you to explore flora and fauna at its best.

Historical Highlights

During your stay, you will be able to find many historical sights within walking distance. The Martyrs Stake can be found down by the harbour as well as the site of Wigtown Castle. Up the hill, there is a medieval well that still runs to this day, and further the graveyard which became the final resting place for many notable figures from local history. Many of the shops and houses are fine examples of Georgian architecture and right outside of town there is a neolithic circle of standing stones that aligns with the winter solstice.

For a day trip, there are many vibrant towns boasting both natural beauty and historical significance within driving distance. In Whithorn you can explore the site of where St. Ninian brought Christianity to Scotland and see the impressive priory or visit Gatehouse and learn about this lost dark age kingdom and a recent dig which discovered a treasure trove of Pictish art.

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 – Scotland’s southern-most distillery. In addition, there is a newly opened Crafty Gin Distillery with tours and tasting sessions.

Book Your Stay

Scotland’s National Book Town has a wide range of accommodation, from camping to hotels and everything in between. For a list of accommodation click here.