Dumfries & Galloway, Wigtown, South Main Street, DG8 9EH

Offers Over £375,000
For Sale
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Property Summary

ReadingLasses is an almost magical Café/Bookshop (with its own Private Flat) …in the sense, that if you scribbled some notes on what your favourite café/bookshop would look & feel like, then as you walk into ReadingLasses you realise this is your favourite …as it just seems to fit around you like a familiar friend, cosy little corners to settle into, staff like Lauren gently appear and ask what you would like from Jacqui’s (The Owner) thoughtfully home-prepared menu …and all the time, those delightful Homemade Cakes beckon you over, sitting under their glass covers which muffle their almost vocal attempts to attract your attention, making them even more irresistible.

Why do I (Graeme Lumsden of BLACK HAY) seem to know ReadingLasses so well?...because I’m lucky enough to have been a regular visitor, living in Galloway over the last 15 years I re-discovered ReadingLasses not long after Jacqui bought it. Gradually over her years of ownership I have watched Jacqui thoughtfully & lovingly develop her business into the successful & indeed multi Award Winning business that it is today. For all its charm and delights this is a successful & profitable business that will appeal to the seasoned business owner or those who may dream of buying/owning a Café/Bookshop. In my view it is a charming business which rewards its owners in many ways (….and of course financially!) however it will also demand the attention & input of its new owner/s, as that has been the key to its success through Jacqui’s period of ownership.

Sometimes referred to as the Pink Bookshop/Café, the building is believed to date circa 1830’s (to be confirmed from Title Deeds), formerly a private home, butchers and a solicitors, it started its new life as “Reading Lasses” in 1998 when Wigtown was awarded Scotland’s National Book Town status, and it gradually established itself as a feminist bookshop with the café being introduced later. The property is set amidst a Traditional Terrace of Stone Built properties, comprising a mix of privately owned homes with some commercial properties, overlooking the picturesque small park with adjacent bowling green. The property is over 2 levels with an extended ground floor to the rear and large attached single storey timber outbuildings, whilst on the upper level a Private Two Bedroom Flat serves as a very stylish & comfortable retreat out of hours.

The Café Bookshop area occupies the entire ground floor, entered via the main door front entrance onto a reception hall with a public wc located off, the main front facing building features a cosy “Snug” with seating whilst adjacent a separate seated lounge area known as the “Woman’s Book Room” (featuring woman author books). Moving through from the front to the charming “Middle Café” which is a popular central area with multiple seating areas overlooked by a kitchen/bar/cake counter which serves as a very popular focal point (with the till area adjacent) – window views from here to the rear garden which features outdoor seating. Moving rearwards from the Middle Café to the bright/contemporary styled Garden Café (GC) which has a large seated area serving visitors with a focal point Dowling multi-fuel Fire for chillier days whilst a cleverly screened kitchen area provides a convenient preparation area for delivering the menu selections for visitors, a 2nd public wc serves the Garden Café. A rear door from GC leads onto the outdoor seating and the pathway which stretches rearwards alongside the substantial newly refurbished outbuildings (noting that there is a right of way for adjacent private homeowners along the rear pathway to the rear lane as their gardens are located on the opposite side of the pathway).

The very presentable & refurbished existing outbuildings are split into 3 main areas, these developed by Jacqui to provide occasional venues however they clearly offer further potential (noting planning permission/use requirements for any changes or change of use). Beyond the outbuildings are private gardens which provide a home grown produce area, private seating for the owner with the rearmost (area next to the stone boundary wall/lane) being lawned with mature trees and breathtaking glimpses of the splendid Solway Coast on the horizon.

An internal private door/staircase just off the Middle Café leads to the Private Flat which occupies the upper level. Tastefully presented apartments are featured, used by the owner, comprising a welcoming reception hall with feature stained/leaded display window, most appealing lounge with overlooking the park/bowling green, charming “master” bedroom (No 2) to the rear with additional bedroom (No 2) to the front (currently a study – could be a separate kitchen, subject to any required planning etc) whilst a very stylish bathroom is situated off the reception hall.

The specification includes central heating (Oil) and double glazing. Mains water, electricity and drainage. ReadingLasses is currently licenced to serve alcohol.

Reading Lasses normally opens year round with the hours/days of opening usually 10am to 4pm 5 Days a week – Closed each Wednesday & Sunday. The majority of the income from the very popular Café whilst a smaller proportion is from book/gift sales. The annual Wigtown Book Festival provides a very healthy uplift in income during the Autumn period whilst the most productive months for turnover will be Spring/Summer. The new owner may consider developing the business further, perhaps extending hours, developing bookshop sales or looking at events, however the existing owner has successfully developed the business with the emphasis on the Café which is undoubtedly the star attraction. Turnover is financially very healthy providing profits/salary for the owner whilst providing for overheads/staff costs. The existing staff have been with the business for some time and are believed to be happy to remain within the business following its sale. The business is only being offered for sale due to the owner retiring to the north east coast of Scotland (there may be an option for an informal short “handover” period to allow the new owners to familiarise themselves with the property).

Summary – Multi Award Winning Café Bookshop with Outbuildings, located in Scotland’s National Book Town, refurbished/developed/enhanced by its current Owner, successfully/profitably trading, 33 indoor covers plus up to 12 covers externally (weather permitting), currently licenced, existing staff happy to consider working with the new owner. Private 2 Bedroom Flat on upper level. A “Turnkey” business, ready to trade from Day 1 of New Owners purchase.

Serious enquiries only please – Contact Graeme Lumsden, Director/Valuer of BLACK HAY ESTATE AGENTS – 01292 283606.



Property Features

10’ 11” x 6’ 2”

9’ 11” x 7’
(sizes to L-shape)

14’ 11” x 10’ 5”

WC (front)
6’ x 7’ 2”

8’ 5” x 8’ 7”

(13’ 3” x 21’ x 1”)
20’ x 21’ 1”
(sizes to T-shape)

15’ 7” x 13’

11’ 3” x 9’ 10”

3’ 7” x 8’ 9”
(approx’ sizes only)

(A)13’ 9” x 8’
(B) 12’ x 11’ 9”
(C) 10’ 2” x 20’ 3”

13’ 3” x 19’ 11”

21’ 7” x 20’ 4”


9’ x 13’ 5”
(sizes incl’ staircase)

14’ 10” x 10’ 8”

9’ 3” x 12’ 2”

13’ 2” x 13’ 5”

5’ 1” x 8’ 9”



  • Availability: For Sale