the rookery at glenholme kirkcudbright
self-catering cottage

Art and Music

Kirkcudbright has a long artistic heritage and is known as the “Artists’ Town” (Castle Douglas, just up the road, is the “Food Town” and Wigtown, 45 minutes’ drive to the west, is the “Book Town”). Ever since the middle of the 19th century, the quality of the light over the Solway Firth has been attracting artists to Kirkcudbright. The most famous was E.A.Hornel, one of the “Glasgow Boys”, whose house is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. It was this community of artists that featured in Dorothy L.Sayers’ famous detective novel Five Red Herrings which is set in Kirkcudbright.

The local artistic tradition comes to the fore every May with Spring Fling, when artists and craftsmen across Dumfries and Galloway open their studios and workshops to the public – and there is also Kirkcudbright’s own Arts and Crafts Trail at the end of July.

Kirkcudbright’s summers are full of music and spectacle. Amazingly, for such a small town, Kirkcudbright stages its own four-day Jazz festival every June, when visitors come from all over the world. On Thursday evenings during the summer there are pipe bands and traditional Scottish dancing in the town square and at the end of August there is a full scale Scottish Tattoo.

And for those who want something more contemporary, the famous Wickerman Music Festival (the enormous, signature Wickerman figure is woven from willow each year by local craftsman Trevor Leat) is held every July at Dundrennan just 15 minutes’ drive away.