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Visiting Wigtown

We are planning a trip to Wales and Scotland in September and October 2022. We have Wigtown on our wish list for genealogy research; originally we had planned to visit coming from Wales but because of timing, it look as though we'd run into their book festival. So we're reconsidering our itinerary, perhaps heading straight to Glasgow or Edinburgh first, then looping back after the festival. That leads me to asking:

Has anyone visited Wigtown during the book festival? If so, is it jam-packed so much so that we would find it difficult to secure lodging, see folks about past family, etc. The festival sounds appealing but we will have already been to another festival in Wales and we're thinking that this might be overload.

In general, if you've visited Wigtown, are there "can't miss" items we should put on our list? It looks to be a lovely area. I should mention we will be using trains and buses for transportation.

As always, thanks for any advice or comments from this great group!

Posted by
5035 posts

I have been to Wigtown, but not during the book festival. It’s a small place with a limited supply of accommodation, so I would imagine that places will get booked up quickly (pardon the pun)! Sorry, but it’s a bit more functional than pretty compared to some villages around there.

I had a car when I visited and would imagine that public transport will be limited. We visited the Isle of Whithorn and climbed the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse for great views (the most southerly point in Scotland). There are various ruins and ancient standing stones nearby. We walked some of the stunning coastal path.

We fed wild deer at the feeding station in the Galloway Forest Park.

We stayed near Castle Douglas, so also visited Caelaverock Castle, the pretty village of Kippford and surroundings, but these would be too far from Wigtown without a car.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks Jennifer. We are really interested in the dark sky park in Galloway and trying for options to see it without a car. I really appreciate your ideas!

Posted by
662 posts

And do read Confessions of a Booksellet by Shaun Bythell, absolutely brilliant!

Posted by
5035 posts

A car for a few days would significantly enhance your experience.

Posted by
251 posts

Public transport in that region isn't brilliant and is going to really limit what you can do. There is a train service from Glasgow to Stranraer or to Dumfries, but you are then dependent on a bus to get you to Wigtown. From Stranraer there are three buses a day.
https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/media/23305/416-Machars-to-Stranraer-10-August-2020-/pdf/416_Machars_to_Stranraer_10_August_2020.pdf?m=637323172614500000

The bus from Dumfries involves a change at Newton Stewart and then picking up the above bus back to bus to Wigtown.
https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/media/23659/500-Dumfries-to-Stranraer-26-October-2020-/pdf/500_Dumfries_to_Stranraer_26_October_2020.pdf?m=637389622882200000

Whithorn is worth a visit although you may find bus times either don't give you very long OR give you too long there!

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks to everyone, we're taking all of the comments in and our planning will certainly be refined by what you've had to say!