Kirkcudbrightshire is a maritime county in southwest Scotland, including the lighthouse islands of Hestan and Little Ross. It is bounded on the north by Ayrshire
, east by Dumfriesshire
, south and southwest by the Solway Firth and North Sea
, and west by Wigtownshire
. It covers an area of 989 square miles.
It is sometimes called the Stewartry of Kircudbright and East Galloway due to having once been part of the ancient kingdom of Galloway. Its 50-mile coastline along the Solway Firth is irregular and rocky and contains numerous caves which served in ancient times as the storehouses of smugglers. The rivers of the county are the Dee, Cree, Nith, Fleet, Ken, Doon, and Urr. Lochs Grennoch, Dee, Trool and Urr are the largest lakes.
The county seat and chief port is Kirkcudbright, situated at the head of the Dee estuary. Other towns are New Galloway, Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie, Gatehouse of Fleet, and Creetown.