Arts and culture in Dumfries & Galloway

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Open your eyes and soak up the stunning landscapes of Dumfries & Galloway and you’ll see exactly why this region has inspired so many artists, writers and craftspeople.

Discover arts and culture everywhere in Dumfries & Galloway, from its Artists' Town of Kirkcudbright, to the natural sculptures on its hills and the creative events held all year round.

Scotland's National Bard, Robert Burns, was himself inspired by this region during the last eight years of his life. Burns lived in Dumfries for five years, but it was his three years at Ellisland Farm he found most inspiring, affectionately naming the farm 'the poet's choice'.

Explore Scotland's only Artists' Town, Kirkcudbright, which has been home to a thriving artistic community for decades. The town played host to various Glasgow Boys, including E A Hornel, who had his home and studio on the High Street at Broughton House.

Find out more about Kirkcudbright's famous artists and see their works on permanent display at the Tolbooth Arts Centre. The top floor gallery features a changing programme of exhibitions, so there is always something new to discover.

Discover some unusual sights as you take a memorable walk around the hills of Cairnhead. When you reach the top of the hills you'll find a series of stunning red sandstone arches created by local artist Andy Goldsworthy. The combination of the natural beauty of the glen and the man-made splendour of Goldsworthy's sculptures - known as the Striding Arches - is truly striking.

Celebrate the beauty of the written word in Wigtown, Scotland's National Book Town, where at any one time, there are an amazing 250,000 books for sale. Explore over 20 book-related businesses and see what you can find.

Choose from an exciting selection of events with music, art, literature and more on offer. The Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival brings entertainment to the entire region with classical, jazz, folk music, dance and children's events, while the Wickerman Festival is partly themed around the famous cult movie and features a variety of music from current and new talent, on a farm near Kirkcudbright.

The Spring Fling allows you a deep insight into the life and work of the region's artists as around 80 arts and craft studios open their doors to the public with special events, workshops and tours. Or, enjoy over 100 activities to celebrate the written word at the Wigtown Book Festival.

  • The sun shines through one of Andy Goldsworthy's Striding Arches on Bail Hill
    One of Andy Goldsworthy's Striding Arches on Bail Hill
  • A slipware potter shows two people her studio near Castle Douglas, as part of the Spring Fling
    A slipware potter opens her studio near Castle Douglas, as part of the Spring Fling
  • A ceilidh held for Spring Fling in Castle Douglas Town Hall
    A ceilidh held for Spring Fling in Castle Douglas Town Hall
  • People sit at the outdoor tables of the Waterfront Hotel and Bistro, overlooking the harbour at Portpatrick
    Harbour at Portpatrick
  • Hugh MacDiarmid sculpture, near Langholm
    Hugh MacDiarmid sculpture, near Langholm
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Films

Go behind the scenes of some of the most fascinating movies and television series in Dumfries & Galloway.

An artist shows off her arts and crafts at an event at Spring Fling in Dumfries & Galloway

Arts and culture events

Enjoy arts and culture events in Dumfries & Galloway, which has a proud history full of artists and craftspeople.

Inside the Robert Burns Centre

Arts and culture attractions

Indulge your creative instincts and surround yourself with art on a trip to Dumfries & Galloway's art attractions.

Telling the tale of Tam O' Shanter beside the Brig O' Doon at the Burns Storytelling Festival, Alloway

Robert Burns

Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Bard, is revered the world over for the creativity and humanity he poured into his poetry.

Two ladies outside a bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland's Book Town

Arts and craft towns

Delve into the bookshops of Wigtown, the National Book Town, and explore the galleries of Kirkcudbright, the Artists' Town.

Crowd watching a band at Wickerman Festival

Music, dance and theatre events

Take in a music, dance or theatre event in Dumfries & Galloway and enjoy fabulous performances from local and touring groups.

A replica of the writing desk used by Robert Burns

Literature

Visit book shops, authors’ former homes and Scotland’s National Book Town to discover Dumfries & Galloway's fascinating literary connections.

Shopping at the Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop

Arts and craft shops

Browse a number of fascinating arts and craft shops in Dumfries & Galloway to see beautiful works of art, pottery, crafts and more and pick up a present or two.