Nestled along the picturesque coast of the Dee Estuary lies the charming town of Kirkcudbright, known as the “Artists’ Town.” Those seeking to experience the best of Scottish art would do well to add the Kirkcudbright Gallery to their Dumfries and Galloway itinerary. Though small, this municipal gallery packs an impressive artistic punch, showcasing works by the town’s famous artists.
Located in a 19th-century building on St. Mary Street, Kirkcudbright, the gallery was originally known as the historic Kirkcudbright Town Hall. After renovations, it reopened in 2018 and fully transformed into the Kirkcudbright Galleries we know today. Visitors can admire paintings, drawings, textiles and ceramics from acclaimed Kirkcudbright artists such as John Faed, Edward Atkinson Hornel, and Jessie Marion King.
If you’re planning to immerse yourself in the legacy of Kirkcudbright’s artists, read this guide! We’ll cover all the details you need, how to get there, the gallery’s most famous artists, and provide practical information to help you plan your visit to this cultural gem in South West Scotland.
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Important Details to Know
Here are the important details you should keep in mind before visiting Kirkcudbright Galleries:
The Kirkcudbright Gallery has several accessibility options available on-site, including the following:
- Guide dogs and assistance dogs are warmly welcomed at Kirkcudbright Galleries.
- A wheelchair is available on-site, with lift access to all the galleries’ floors.
- The building also has an accessible toilet facility.
- There is a digital guide on the Kirkcudbright Gallery’s website detailing the gallery layout, facilities, and level access.
- The gallery provides information in large print and braille formats.
The Kirkcudbright Art Gallery is open year-round to welcome art enthusiasts from near and far.
During the summer months between April and October, the gallery is open 6 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm. It opens a little later on Sundays, welcoming visitors from 12 noon until 5 pm.
Once the winter months set in, the Kirkcudbright Gallery opening times change. From November to March, the Kirkcudbright Gallery is closed on Mondays, and it’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. On Sundays, it’s open from 11:30 am to 4 pm.
The last entry to the main Kirkcudbright Gallery exhibitions is at 3:45 pm year-round. Also, note that the Mitchell Gallery, located on the third floor, closes 30 minutes earlier than the rest of the building every day.
The Kirkcudbright Gallery offers free general admission. However, there may be a small fee for special temporary exhibitions held in Gallery Two.
How to Get There
Here are the most popular ways to reach the Kirkcudbright Gallery on St. Mary Street, using private and public transportation.
There are multiple buses that offer a convenient way to reach the gallery for those visiting from surrounding towns.
The 501/502 bus travels directly to Kirkcudbright from Dumfries, Dalbeattie, and Castle Douglas. Visitors coming from the west may take the 505 in from Dumfries after stopping in the scenic villages of Dalbeattie and Auchencairn along the route.
If you’re coming from a further area, you may want to take the train to Dumfries Station. From there, the 501/502 bus goes directly to Kirkcudbright Galleries.
For those arriving by car from Dumfries, the full drive takes approximately 45 minutes using major regional highways A780, A75 and A711.
With light traffic, visitors travelling from Dumfries should have a relaxing scenic drive along coastal roads into Kirkcudbright.
Use the Google Maps link on the official Kirkcudbright Galleries website so you can feel confident navigating your way to the venue.
Kirkcudbright Galleries Attractions
Now that you know all the essential details and how to reach the Kirkcudbright Galleries, you can look forward to immersing yourself in the town’s famous resident artists. We’ve outlined the top things to do at Kirkcudbright Galleries while you’re here:
Explore the Kirkcudbright Gallery
The highlight of Kirkcudbright Galleries is undoubtedly the vast collection of artworks representing over a century of the town’s history as an artists’ haven. As mentioned, the gallery houses works spanning from the mid-19th century, when Kirkcudbright first emerged as an artists’ colony up until now.
The Kirkcudbright Artists Collection has one of the most renowned assemblies of Kirkcudbright Artists’ paintings, drawings, ceramics and more in Scotland. Explore Gallery One on the ground floor to admire works by Charles Oppenheimer, Samuel John Peploe, William Stewart MacGeorge and other creative talents who flocked to Kirkcudbright drawn by its picturesque scenery and vibrant arts community.
The expansive first-floor exhibition space in Gallery Two hosts a rotating calendar of acclaimed touring shows. These temporary exhibitions display different facets of Kirkcudbright’s artistic history and spotlight different Scottish art forms, including paintings, book illustrations, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics and silver jewellery design by artists such as John Faed, Edward Atkinson Hornel, Jessie Marion King, and Robert Sivell.
Take a Break at the Mezzanine
There are three galleries in total, as well as the Mezzanine on Floor Two. When it’s not booked for Kirkcudbright Galleries events, visitors are welcome to use this space for a quick rest or quiet contemplation of the Kirkcudbright Artists’ collections.
The glass walls also allow visitors to observe the temporary exhibitions displayed in the first-floor gallery.
Meander Through Mitchell Gallery
On the third floor of Kirkcudbright Galleries lies the Mitchell Gallery, home to intimate temporary exhibitions of fine and applied arts.
Some previous exhibitions held at The Mitchell Gallery include the Kirkcudbright Art Map Exhibition and the latest works of Ewan McClure.
Visit the Gift Shop
After admiring the Kirkcudbright Artists’ work, take a peek at the gallery’s shop on the ground floor. Here, you can find creative souvenirs like art prints, cards, books, and locally crafted items to commemorate your visit.
The shop is open during the normal gallery opening times and accepts card and cash payments.
Grab Some Lunch at the Cafe
The first-floor cafe is the perfect spot to refuel after exploring the galleries. The menu focuses on fresh local ingredients that you can enjoy while taking in views across St Mary Street and out toward the scenic St Cuthbert’s Church.
When planning a lunch visit, keep in mind that the café stops serving 30 minutes before the Kirkcudbright Gallery closes.
More Scottish Galleries to Visit
- Aberdeen Art Gallery
- An Lanntair Arts Centre
- Compass Gallery
- Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries
- Gallery of Modern Art
- Hunterian Art Gallery
- Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
- Jupiter Artland
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
- McManus Art Gallery
- National Galleries Scotland: Modern
- National Galleries Scotland: National
- National Galleries Scotland: Portrait
- Pier Arts Centre
- Royal Scottish Academy
- Stills Gallery
- Talbot Rice Gallery
- The Burrell Collection
- The Fruitmarket Gallery