Arts and craft towns in Dumfries & Galloway

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  • Looking through a book shop window to a woman browsing books in Wigtown, Scotland's Book Town
    A book shop in Wigtown, Scotland's Book Town
  • Looking along a street in Kirkcudbright, the Artists' Town, to McLellan's Castle
    Looking along to McLellan's Castle in Kirkcudbright, the Artists' Town

Delve deep into the bookshops of Wigtown, Scotland's National Book Town, and explore the galleries of Kirkcudbright, recognised as the Artists' Town, due to its long-standing connections to some of the best artists and creators.

Explore the landscape of Dumfries & Galloway and you’ll understand why it continues to influence artists in the same way it inspired poets of days gone by.

Kirkcudbright is known as the Artists’ Town and is full of unique arts and crafts while Wigtown is Scotland’s National Book Town, full of shops with well-preserved old books, and both towns host annual events and festivals to celebrate these facts.

Immerse yourself in a world of creativity in Kirkcudbright, a pretty harbour town and a well-known haven for artists, which has acquired the title of Artists’ Town for its historical artistic connections.

The town was previously home to an artists’ colony which included Edward Hornel, who introduced several of the Glasgow Boys to the town, and to distinguished illustrator Jessie M King and Charles Oppenheimer, an artist who settled in the town and for 52 years painted views of the local landscape.

These days it still boasts a thriving artistic community, with galleries, workshops and studios to visit and special events held throughout the year including the regional event, Spring Fling, held in May.

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.

Take a wander around the new and second-hand bookshops of this delightful town and you’re sure to find something to suit your literary tastes. From crime to real life, love to mystery, there is a world of choice available to readers young and old.

Every month in Wigtown is full of literary surprises, but none more so than in autumn, when the Wigtown Book Festival takes place from September to October.

Find a selection of great arts and crafts events and exhibitions happening right across the region throughout the year.