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    Wigtown: “A Mind Amongst Books, Like Fire In The Heather”

    The Wigtown Ploughman Hotel
    The Wigtown Ploughman Hotel

    On our next Scottish itinerary, we’ll certainly not leave Scotland without spending a day or two in Wigtown. That’s really a nice little town and of course, as we’ve already mentioned it, a fabulous place to buy books, especially the old ones we are looking for desperately and which have been out of print since a long time. I wouldn’t miss that for anything, even if it’s always a “tour de force” to put in the car piles of those ‘damned books’, as I know somebody is calling them secretly, a feeling that I can easily understand since our visit at Wigtown always takes place at the end of our Scottish journey when the car is already crowded with all the things we bring back from Scotland !

    Welcome To Wigtown

    Welcome To Wigtown

    Wigtown is situated in Dumfries & Galloway, south west of Scotland, close to Wigtown Bay, in the peninsula of the Machars. The nearest towns are Newton Stewart, a few miles in the north, and to the west, Stanraer which lies in the Rhinns of Galloway peninsula, on Loch Ryan, opening its door to the route to Ireland.

    Scotland's Book Town Since 1997

    Wigtown is not a big town and it must have been very quiet before it launched itself as Scotland Book Town in 1997. When you walk along the picturesque streets of the town, eyes riveted to the inviting windows of the bookshops you may not realise how close you are from the bay nor that the town contains in itself some very interesting historical curiosities.

    So, if you’re among the unlucky few who suffer from book phobia or if you only begin to feel a little tired of books you can always take an invigorating walk in the neighbourhood. You’ll get, if the weather is fine, superb views of Wigtown Bay and the Galloway Hills.

    You can also visit the ruins of Wigtown’s old church and graveyard, what is left of the old harbour, have a look at the sinister Baldoon Castle and why not, end this periple by enjoying a dram of Bladnoch’s single malt whisky at the nearby distillery.

    Reaoin Glasses-Cafe-Wigtown
    ReadingLasses-Book Shop & Café-Wigtown

    We still didn’t stay long enough in Wigtown to get a deep sense of place outside the bookshops, not enough time either to visit all the bookshops having spent long hours in only two or three of them.

    A Mind Amongst Books Like Fire In The Heather

    There are about 1000 people in Wigtown and about a quarter of a million books, so there’s no hope for us to browse through all of them, even less to climb up ladders up to the highest levels of that reader’s paradise.

    The Book Shop - Wigtown

    The Book Shop - Wigtown

    Byre Books - Wigtown

    Byre Books - Wigtown

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    One of our favourite places is the The Book Shop, reputedly known as Scotland’s largest second hand book store. It is situated on North Main Street, not far from Historic Newspapers who won, in 2002, the UK’s Best Small Business Award.

    You can’t miss The Book Shop with its beautiful façade. Inside you find yourself in a deep labyrinthine cavern of Ali Baba ! Another favorite one is Byre Books, but all bookshops are well worth a visit. There are treasures to be found everywhere and whatever your means are ! We look forward to going back there…

    Here is  a list of Wigtown’s bookshops :

    AA1  Books/Ming Books

    Book Corner

    Byre Books

    GC Books Ltd – Book Warehouse

    M.E. McCarty

    ReadingLasses

    The Bookend Studio

    The Bookshop

    The Box of Frogs

    The Creaking Shelves Bookshop

    The Old Bank Bookshop

    Transformer

    By the way, Janice, did you know it was going to be festival time in Wigtown ? How I’d like to be there then. It will last 10 days, between September 25th and October 4th. That’s a very well-known annual book festival with many authors invited !

    This time, as the book festival does coincide with Scotland’s Homecoming 2009 it should prove to be particularly interesting. I’m going to study the programme. A little bird told me the theme of the 2009 festival would quite appeal to those who happen to like books as well as whisky. But, I’ll tell you more about this festival in my next post…

    A bientôt.

    Wigtown Book Festival

    “A must attend event in Scotland’s cultural calendar”

    The Times Logo

    One of the “best autumn festivals in the world”

    The Telegraph

    “Wigtown doesn’t just punch above its weight when it comes to attracting big-name authors to its annual book festival, it punches above pretty much everybody else’s weight, too”

    The Scotsman

    “It’s refreshingly unstressed, set in stunning landscapes and with an enviably broad and sophisticated programme”

    Scotland On Sunday

    Scotland On Sunday

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