With a wealth of history and rich traditions, a world-famous post office and knitting patterns, an action-packed programme of events, friendly folk, and an incredible community spirit, the Upper Nithsdale town of Sanquhar is a must-visit destination. You’re guaranteed to find something to fascinate and delight you, entertain and inspire you.

Yvonne Barber, Centre Manager, A’ The Airts

Great British Life: Yvonne with board member Pauline Copeland, cooking for the community on Christmas dayYvonne with board member Pauline Copeland, cooking for the community on Christmas day (Image: Supplied)


Sanquhar has a great community. Everyone speaks and says hello when you walk up the High Street. People are genuinely interested in others and are warm and friendly. There are lots of community groups which are there purely to support the local people and visitors. As an incomer to Sanquhar, I have certainly felt the warmth here.

Each year the Riding of the Marches brings the community together, with a hard-working committee making the day special for those taking part. Last year I was honoured to crown the Sanquhar Queen. It is a day that will stay in my memory forever.

Great British Life: The oldest working post office in the worldThe oldest working post office in the world (Image: Jenny Woolgar)


Sanquhar has so much to offer for visitors, from Sanquhar Castle, which dates to the 13th Century, and The Tolbooth Museum, in an historic building dating back to 1739, to Clark’s Little Ark, a free-entry attraction for people who like to see animals in a lovely setting. There’s Crawick Multiverse on the edge of Sanquhar: a spectacular land art site created by renowned landscape architect and designer Charles Jencks; the oldest working Post Office in the world in the High Street, the beautiful Town Hall dating back to 1882; and of course, A’ the Airts, where you can purchase local arts and crafts and the world famous Sanquhar knitting.


There is so much talent in Sanquhar, from artists and crafters to performers. Every year the local schools, under the tutorship of Mrs Lynn Forsyth, storm the Burns competitions and come home with a plethora of trophies.

Young performers sing, act and dance in various venues. The children have confidence and are encouraged by the community to be creative. For such a small town, there is no end to the talent of the people of all ages

Great British Life: Sanquhar's world famous Knitting Pattern and castle Sanquhar's world famous Knitting Pattern and castle (Image: Lizzie Johnson)


Sanquhar has its own patterns that date back to the 17th Century. Traditionally in black and white with geometric designs, Sanquhar Knitting is still very popular with the community who are proud to make it and wear it. Visitors come from far and wide to learn about, see and buy the pattern, which can be seen in many guises in the town, from traditional hand-knitted gloves, to more modern versions in the designs in local shops such as Carrot Top Designs.

Great British Life: Crawick Multiverse. Crawick Multiverse. (Image: Mike Bolam)


Sanquhar is a beautiful little town surrounded by stunning scenery. There are also beautiful places nearby, such as Kirkconnel, the Mennock Pass, Crawford John and the Dalveen. It is a missed part of Scotland that many people don’t know about. The town is kept looking stunning by a group of volunteers - Brighten Up Sanquhar - who look after the communal gardens and pots around the town. Visitors comment on this whenever they come.

Great British Life: A’ The AirtsA’ The Airts (Image: Jenny Woolgar)

About A’ The Airts

In 2000 a group of Sanquhar residents had the vision of turning a run-down building in the High Street into an arts, crafts and cultural centre to help regenerate the area.

Much of the next decade was spent gathering funding and, in the meantime, a group was set up to organise cultural activities in Upper Nithsdale.

With support from the Big Lottery and the Scottish Government, among others, the centre was completed and opened in November 2010, and has continued to provide a varied programme of events including music, drama and poetry ever since.

A 14-month expansion and renovation project which doubled the size of the centre, was completed last year and A’ The Airts now has a dedicated gallery for local artists to exhibit; a 50-seater theatre/cinema area for performances and films, a state-of-the-art digital media suite, two craft rooms, a new hospitality area; expanded shop and larger café with alfresco dining area and landscaped garden at the back.

A’ the Airts has exciting plans for 2024 with a big focus on a new digital editing suite, working in partnership with The Stove Network.

More Sanquhar Knitting tours, which attract visitors from Canada and America, are planned and a six-week summer school will run throughout the summer holidays with free arts activities for local children, following classes in the Easter holidays.

The centre is also working again with the New Orleans based Kolaj Institute to bring collage artists to Sanquhar on week-long residencies.

There are monthly exhibitions by local artists in the Clayworth Gallery and classes and events, music nights, live performances and regular movie screenings.