Emma Murray works at The Book Shop in Wigtown, and on a good day, she knows exactly where each of the 100 000 books are...most of the time.
The largest, smallest second hand bookshop in Scotland...
The second surprise is Wigtown’s emergence as a place for nesting Ospreys. These rare fish eagles” became extinct from the area 150 years ago, thanks to fishermen who thought that the birds were reducing fish stocks. So when they returned of their own accord a few years ago, coming from northern areas of Scotland, everyone celebrated. In fact, whenever something special happens, like a chick is born, or they return from their migration to Africa, the town hall’s bells are rung.
And the rangers, who look after the Wigtownshire Nature Reserve (the largest local reserve in Britain), have installed remote-controlled cameras, to monitor the birds (which are in an unknown location). The live images are screened in the Osprey Room on the top floor of the town hall, and is open to visitors for free.
An image of an Osprey (with fish) from the remote-controlled video camera near Wigtown...
Ospreys are especially important, because they are their own species, separate from all other birds. And they are impressive to observe...when catching fish by swooping low over the water, they sometimes briefly submerge themselves as they grab the fish and then power off again with their wings. Find out more on Wigtown’s Osprey website.
The third surprise, especially if you’re a whisky fan, is the location of the little-known Bladnoch Distillery, just a mile or so from Wigtown. It’s the country’s southernmost distillery, just a few latitudes up from the southernmost point of Scotland at the nearby Mull of Galloway. The 1818 operation is proudly old-fashioned in its use of traditional distilling techniques, and visitors can sign up for Whisky School, a 3-day experience in which you learn how to make ‘the water of life’, or uisge beatha, as the Celts call it.