Explore Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town
If you are a bookworm planning your holidays in Southern Scotland, it is definitely worth visiting Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town.
The town 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!
- The Bookshop is Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop and the oldest one, boasting 100,000 books on diverse subjects. Its eerie ambiance will enchant you.
- The Old Bank Book Shop also offers a wide range of subjects. Having a room specially designated for sheet music, it is ideal for bookworms who are also music lovers.
- Byre Books is a second-hand bookshop specialising in mythology and folklore. In spite of its small size, it has a substantial stock of books on theatre, archaeology and poetry.
- Curly Tale Books’ focus is on books for young children. Its colourful environment thrills young visitors, while it also offers a great selection of gifts.
- Beltie Books and Café has a variety of specialised Scottish titles, including books on the Covenanters, who have a special place in local history.
- The Open Book is the world’s only holiday bookshop which allows holidaymakers to stay in an apartment above the shop and have a taste of being bookshop managers for a couple of weeks.
- ReadingLasses Bookshop and Café offers an eclectic stock of women’s books, while it also has titles on social sciences and travel.
So allow yourself to wander freely around Wigtown to explore its several local bookshops. You’ll also be spoilt for choice with the great range of meals and refreshments served in the town’s cafes, inns and hotels. Regular visitors turn their Wigtown shopping trip into a holiday!
After shopping, you can unwind by visiting the harbour and the biggest Local Nature Reserve in Britain at Wigtown Bay. There are plenty of recreational activities to choose from for some relaxing days out. For instance, you can observe the wildlife, go fishing, have a picnic in this idyllic location or visit the local single malt Scotch whisky distillery at Bladnoch.
If you plan to visit Southern Scotland at the end of September, make sure you do not miss the Wigtown Book Festival, which is well-known for its amiability and lack of ceremony. 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. Just remember to book well in advance as the festival is very popular. Hosting over 250 events such as theatre, music, literature, film, arts, and crafts, it is a guarantee of some wonderful days out for bookworms in Scotland.
You’re also more than welcome to explore the properties available to rent in Southern Scotland. Coastal Kippford is a great base for exploring the stunning surroundings of Dumfries and Galloway.