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Kirkcudbrightshire is uniquely termed a stewartry (and is sometimes known as “the Stewartry”) though if there is a distinction it is to all intents and purposes a shire. Kirkcudbrightshire forms the eastern part of Galloway, which runs along the northern shore of the Solway Firth and Irish Sea. The coast on the Solway Firth is deeply indented as the dales open their rivers into it. Kirkcudbrightshire itself lies between Dumfriesshire and Wigtownshire. The Solway laps its south, while over the hills is Ayrshire. Kirkcudbrightshire is a moderately mountainous county, the main towns and villages lying along the lower-lying coastal district and the dales which run from the north to the Solway, in particular that of the Water of Fleet. The town of Kirkcudbright, on the Dee, is a beautiful old market town.

County facts

County Town: Kircudbright

Main Towns: Castle Douglas, Creetown, Gatehouse of Fleet, Kirkcudbright, New Galloway.

Main Rivers: Dee, Urr.

Highlights: Clatteringshaw Dam wildlife centre; Dundrennan Abbey; Glenkens; McLellan’s Castle.

Highest Point: Merrick Mountain, 2766 feet.

Area: 899 sq miles

County Flower: Bog-rosemary