Kirkcudbright – South West Scotland
Kirkcudbright is on the estuary of the River Dee and is known as the Artists` Town. It has wide streets with many family-owned shops. Many of the buildings and houses are painted in pastel colours.
In Dorothy L Sayer`s 1931 book Five Red Herrings, she described Kirkcudbright “Colourful heritage, snug cobbled streets and 18th century boulevards make the Artists`Town on the banks of the River Dee a great weekend visit”
The streets have several art galleries. Kirkcudbright has a busy working harbour with an active fishing industry and a marina. Although there is no bathing beach near the harbour due to its riverside location, Dhoon Beach is nearby where there are parking and picnic facilities.
Art and Artists in Kirkcudbright
Kirkcudbright became known as an artist`s colony as early as 1850. Many famous names lived and worked there such as two of the “Glasgow Boys”, EA Hornell, EA Taylor and also Jessie M King. They were attracted to Kirkcudbright by the quality of light there. Now Kirkcudbright is still known as the Artists` Town and has at least six galleries. Included in the galleries is the Tolbooth Art Centre.
Here the story of Kirkcudbright`s artistic past and present is told. There are 15 or so artists currently living and working in and around Kirkcudbright.
The harbour area of Kirkcudbright is dominated by the spectacular ruins of Maclennan`s Castle which was once home to the Lords of Kirkcudbright. The castle is open to the public for a small admission charge. The castle dates back to the 1500`s
Coastal Scenery and Beaches
Although Kirkcudbright is maybe not technically on the coast being at the mouth of the River Dee, there is stunning coastal scenery nearby in both directions. One of the highlights is the beach at The Dhoon. Here there is ample parking, expanses of sand, a shipwreck and views to the lighthouse on Little Ross Island.
Somewhere to go with childen
Cocoa Bean is a family-run chocolate factory with a cafe, viewing area, sampling opportunities and indoor/outdoor play areas. You can make your own chocolate creations in the interactive workshops.
Somewhere else to go with the Family
Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park is the wild animal conservation centre of Southern Scotland. The park set in 27 acres of woodland has a collection of nearly 150 animals from all over the world – including Meerkats and a Red Panda. The Park is about 1 mile from Kirkcudbright.
Where can I get a coffee?
There are several cafes and tea rooms in the centre of Kirkcudbright so take your choice!
What else is nearby?
Kirkcudbright is only about 8 miles away from Gatehouse of Fleet which is also a very interesting small town and well worth a visit. Cream of Galloway and Laggan Outdoor are both close to hand. Both are award winning visitor attractions!