September will be a busy month across Galloway with the 3rd Stranraer Oyster Festival being held in Stranraer from 13th-15th September and the 21st Wigtown Book Festival, which this year runs from 27th September – 6th October.

Nick Nairn – Headline Chef at Last Year’s Festival

As yet, the line ups for both festivals are still to be announced, however, with each year, both events grow in stature and reputation and so I’m sure we will be in for a treat on both counts.  Last year, Stranraer’s Oyster Festival saw a number of cookery demonstrations by the colourful Scottish chef, Nick Nairn, some more sober than others.  I watched one on Sunday, where he was fuelled by a powerful and delicious looking Bloody Mary that he made.  Unfortunately, I missed seeing him virtually cremate some dishes he was preparing the previous day, but I gather it was highly entertaining.

As well as a number of cookery demonstrations, there was also the finals of the Scottish Shucking Contest and an Oyster eating competition, plus live music and an incredibly tempting food hall, which was packed full of wonderful seafood offerings.  There was also an action packed weekend of activities for children – from bubble football and craft activities to lots of bubble magic laid on by the fabulous children’s entertainer, SamSam Bubbleman.

The Wigtown Festival is a charming 10-day event and always attracts a number of top authors, broadcasters and journalists who return year after year from Claire Balding and Jeremy Bowen to Louis de Bernieres and John Simpson.  At last count, there were 14 bookshops in Wigtown, so it’s well worth a trip over there just for the books alone.  Plus, there’s the Up the Garden Path Pop Up Wine Bar in the garden of bookshop owner and now acclaimed author, Shaun Bythell – always worth popping in to catch up on all the Festival news and gossip over a glass of wine.

I’m so looking forward to finding out the line up for this year’s Wigtown Book Festival.  I gather all will be revealed in early August – so not too long to wait now.

Wigtown Book Festival

Wigtown Book Festival – 27th September – 6 October

We have one holiday cottage still available for the Stranraer Oyster Festival – Cedar Lodge in Portpatrick – with rates from £355 for a 3-night stay at this luxury 4-star lodge.  We have good availability across all of our self catering cottages for the Wigtown Book Festival, with prices from £338 for a 3-night stay at the cosy Stables Cottage, which sleeps 4 and comes complete with a wonderfully toasty log burning stove to £835 for a 7-night stay at High Clachan Farmhouse, which sleeps 8 – do visit our website – for further information.