As Wigtown, it is a lieutenancy area. The county town was historically Wigtown. On the establishment of a county council in 1890, Stranraer, the largest town in the county, became the administrative centre. Wigtown includes the southernmost point in Scotland, the Mull of Galloway, the Machars and the Rhins of Galloway peninsula. Major road links to the area comprise the A77 to the north, and the A75 to the east. It is currently administered by Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Until 1975 it was a county.