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Home » Heritage » Literature


Depth and breadth

Dumfries & Galloway has inspired so many writers. Not least, Dorothy L Sayers who set and wrote “Five Red Herring” in Kirkcudbright. For all of us who refuse to grow up, Dumfries should have a special place in our hearts. It was the home of JM Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, Wendy and Captain Hook. The literary procession marches across the region: William Nicholson, from Borgue, creator of the Brownie of Blednoch; Alexander Anderson from Kirkconnel who built railways and wrote the ever-popular “Cuddle Doon”, and in Langholm, home of one of the twentieth century’s literary giants, Hugh MacDiarmid, you can visit Jake Harvey’s memorial on the windy hill outside the town and see a great poet’s mind silhouetted against the sky and land.

A lively literary scene and bright future

The contemporary literary scene is no less inspired. Many of Scotland’s foremost writers inhabit the towns and villages of Dumfries & Galloway, and centres dedicated to the word or theatre abound. The Catstrand in the Glenkens and The Bakehouse in Gatehouse of Fleet hold regular readings to capacity audiences. The Swallow Theatre, near Whithorn, performs everything from Beckett to panto. Why not go along to hear some poetry and song? Of course, there’s the book festival at Wigtown, and if you want a read, try Dumfries & Galloway’s arts magazine with a UK-wide status, Markings which is busy discovering the literary stars of tomorrow. For something more general, the glossy Dumfries & Galloway Life offers topical articles by local writers.

  • Wigtown Festival Company

    County Buildings and marquee during Wigtown Book Festival

    Wigtown Festival Company runs the annual Wigtown Book Festival every autumn in Scotland’s National Book Town. The 10 day festival features author talks, music, visual arts, film, and performances for the whole family. There are over 250 events and activities with dedicated children’s and young people’s programmes.

    As well as the main festival we run other activities across Dumfries & Galloway throughout the year. These include workshops in schools, creative writing weeks, lecture weekends and events run with other organisations e.g Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust, The Stove, D&G Arts Festival and Upland.

    Look out for the 2019 Wigtown Book Festival programme  our web site.

  • Moat Brae, Birthplace of Peter Pan

    Peter Pan stands on a tree stump and looks out across a green enchanted land

    Moat Brae is the Birthplace of Peter Pan.

    New Family Attraction set in the ‘enchanted land’ that inspired the story of Peter Pan.

    Discover a world of children’s stories in the enchanted land that inspired the story of Peter Pan. Author JM Barrie played pirate games as a child in the 1870s. Featuring: Neverland Discovery Garden, Exhibitions, Darling Children’s Nursery, Home Under the Ground, Nana’s Kennel, Pirate Ship, Mermaids Lagoon, Play Features, Centre For Children’s Literature and Storytelling, Restored Georgian House, Heritage Tours, Riverside Views, Events, Activities, Café, Shop.

    Opening to the public June 2019


     when shades of night began to fall, certain young mathematicians shed their triangles, crept up walls and down trees, and became pirates in a sort of Odyssey that was long afterwards to become the play of Peter Pan. For our escapades in a certain Dumfries Garden, which is enchanted land to me, were certainly the genesis of that nefarious work, Peter Pan.”

    JM Barrie – creator of Peter Pan


  • Robert Burns’ Ellisland Museum and Farm

    Welcome to Ellisland Museum and Farm. From 1788-1791, Ellisland Farm was the rural home of National Bard Robert Burns. He built the house for his family. Its fabulous location by the river Nith inspired him to write some of his most famous poems.

    Today visitors can explore Burns’ farmhouse; the kitchen where meals were shared, his spence where genius was ignited. Then discover more about his life, work, and the setting that brought us Tam o’ Shanter, Banks O’ Doon and Auld Lang Syne.


  • Beltie Books and Cafe

    Come and visit


    Browse our selection of Books.

    Then, have a well earned leisurely cup of Coffee, tea or chocolate accompanied by a delicious cake, scone or a bowl of soup or a snack.

    We also have a selection of Art.

     What more could you want?

    In Scotland’s National Book Town – Wigtown

    Location, opening, contact: click here

  • Solway Books

    The Solway Books shop is located in the pretty harbour town of Kirkcudbright in South West Scotland, known as the Artist’s town and home of many talented artists past and present. (more…)

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