Kirkcudbright – Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

harbour 1

Kirkcudbright was one of the places that I particularly wanted to visit when we were down in the south-west of Scotland recently with Peggy. I had been there once before, years ago when our boys were wee and we stopped off there just to break a journey. McClellan Castle below is a stone’s throw from the harbour.

McClellan Castle 1

a street  Kirkcudbright 2

It’s well worth visiting this wee town but I must admit that I was a wee bit disappointed that it doesn’t have an awful lot in the way of shops or interesting places to visit. I had read somewhere that there were quite a few art galleries around as the town has always been very popular with artists, but we only found two galleries, one that had been taken over by an Edinburgh gallery for some weeks, and one which had artwork by just one artist.

The house below belonged to the artist Jessie M. King. She’s probably best known for her book illustrations. They’re beautifully delicate and ethereal. She lived there with her husband fellow artist E.A. Taylor.

aTaylor and King 2

Taylor and King 1

There’s a mixture of building types in the town, from teeny wee medieval cottages to quite grand Georgian villas, and just a stone’s throw from the main street the streets are amazingly peaceful.

Broughton House

Below is the artist A.E. Hornel‘s house which is open to the public I think.

Hornel 2

And there are closes like the one below leading to much older wee medieval houses.

a close 2

a close

Dorothy L. Sayers was one of the many artistic people who frequented Kirkcudbright and she actually set one of her books there – Five Red Herrings – when it was dramatised for TV they filmed it in and around Kirkcudbright.

It’s a fairly remote part of Scotland, but it’s a pretty wee place and it’s worth a visit if yoy find yourself in that area.

8 thoughts on “Kirkcudbright – Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

  1. Katrina,
    The tourist board of Scotland should be sending you a commission or putting you in charge of showing the rest of the world how beautiful your country is! I can’t wait to come back to visit, but it would take me more time and money than I will ever have to see all that I would love to see. Thanks for the journey:)

    Paula

  2. What a beautiful town! Often your photographs put me in mind of places here, Katrina, and these are no exception – apart from the castle. I would argue that Scotland be beaten or even equalled when it comes to castles, and we are rather short of them in Cornwall. It looks like you had some good weather whilst your friend was visiting.

    • Sandra,
      We were very lucky with the weather but today has been very wet – oh well, the garden needed it. I’ve only spent one week in Cornwall but I felt quite at home as a lot of the buildings were very similar to here, Celtic and grey stone and even the Victorian buildings were more like Scottish architecture than those in the south of England. Of course a lot of the Cornish folks don’t even see themselves as being English!

      • Katrina, yes, those are the similarities I notice too. And I’m learning a lot more about the notion of Cornishness. It can be found on ethnicity forms sometimes and I overheard the funniest discussion in the doctor’s surgery between a formidable elderly lady and the patient receptionist who was helping her to complete a satisfaction questionnaire. The lady did not want to have a box ticked describing her as English; she wanted a box saying Cornish. It’s a tiny surgery; the whole waiting room was laughing – with her, not at her of course. I think she had a separate box drawn onto the form in the end! All the Cornish people I’ve met here have been lovely. Of course there are so many ‘incomers’ like us – also lovely!

        • Sandra,
          Jack and I found that comment hilarious – good for her! I think that in Cornwall they call incomers – inets – or something like that, their word for ants anyway. At least they aren’t like the Welsh used to be, burning folk out of holiday homes!

          • Yes, there is a special word, thank you for reminding me. We incomers are called emmets. I didn’t know it was their word for ants! And yes – there seems to be no such dislike here as there certainly used to be in North Wales. There’s discord though because property prices mean incomers can afford to buy homes that are out of the reach of young local people, plus of course there’s the question of secondhomers – a different group again. On the other hand, tourists and incoming residents like us bring money into what is essentially one of the poorest counties in England so it’s a tricky one. My children – living in the ‘affluent’ county of Sussex are also priced out of the property market because of the proximity to London. Life is complicated!

            I just came across this, which you and Jack may find interesting. There’s a Scottish reference too. http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-emm1.htm

          • Sandra,
            Thanks for the interesting link. The property problem is much the same here, it’s impossible for young people to buy anywhere coastal here. House prices in St Andrews are actually higher than those in the south of England, those rich golfers are crazy, but most of Fife is really quite poverty stricken. We lived in Essex for a few years and had relatives in Sussex (Hailsham and Bexhill) so I know what it’s like to live a short train journey away from London. The commuting involved was horrendous so we came back to Scotland as soon as we could.

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