Kilmarnock Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    There are many historic sites and buildings in the town, each telling their own bit of history of the region. Dean Castle, in Dean Castle Country Park, dates back to the 14th century and the viaduct at Laigh Milton, Gatehead, near Kilmarnock is the oldest in Scotland and one of the oldest in the world. Famous Scottish characters such as William Wallace and Robert Burns have a...Read morelso played their part in the town’s history. Read less

  • 2. Now

    Kilmarnock, in East Ayrshire, is a popular place to stay for tourists wanting to explore the west coast of Scotland. It has many historic sites to visit as well as modern attractions and facilities. Kilmarnock Football Club plays a big part in the town’s life and identity, and has many loyal fans.

  • 3. Events

    The Imprint Festival is a celebration of books and the written word and lasts for six days in November. Events include workshops and talks by visiting authors. Ruby’s Race is an annual running race that takes place in June and was set up in memory of a local runner who died from cancer. The event raises money for charity and includes a main 5k race and a walk.

  • 4. Attractions

    Dean Castle Country Park is free to visit and includes woodland walks, an adventure playground, pets’ corner, visitor centre, tearoom, farm area and more. Dean Castle, which is situated within the park, is a 14th century castle that houses collections of historic weapons, armour and musical instruments. The Dick Institute is a museum and galleries. The art galleries have a c...Read morehanging programme of exhibitions and the museum section tells the region’s history through a collection of artefacts. Burns House Museum, in nearby Mauchline, is in the streets where Robert Burns lived and worked between 1784 and 1788. It includes a collection of manuscripts and Burns memorabilia. Read less

  • 5. Things To Do

    For those wanting to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, the town has links to the paths and cycle routes of Irvine Valley and a cycle route to Irvine and the Millennium Cycleway. Kay Park, in the heart of the town, has paths and avenues, a duck pond and a children’s play area. The site covers 30 acres. The Newmilns Snow and Sports Complex, on the outskirts of town, offers facilit...Read moreies for skiing, snowboarding, mountain boarding and mountain biking. The Galleon Leisure Centre includes a fitness suite, ice rink, swimming pool and more. Read less

  • 6. Business

    Kilmarnock offers a good mix of high street shops and independent retailers. Many of the independent shops are in the Foregate, Bank Street, John Finnie Street and Titchfield Street area, while the well known brands are around the pedestrianised King Street area. A farmers’ market is held in the town on the third Saturday of every month. A craft market also takes place regul...Read morearly in Burns Mall. Read less

  • 7. Transport

    The M77 is easily accessed from the town and leads to Glasgow and joins with the M74, M8 and M80, giving good access to the rest of Scotland. The nearest airport is Glasgow Prestwick, which is just nine miles away and offers domestic and international flights. Glasgow International Airport is just 17 miles away. The train and bus stations are in the town centre and have good ...Read moreservices to the rest of the region. Read less

  • 8. Entertainment

    The Palace Theatre has seating for 500 and offers a programme of music, comedy, drama, dance and light entertainment as well as educational events and workshops. The Grand Hall has seating for 900 and is a venue often used for big concerts.

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    Laigh Milton Viaduct is just outside Gatehead. It was built to carry steam locomotives between Kilmarnock and Troon and it is thought that this was the first passenger steam railway in the world. Rowallan Castle Golf Course, on the outskirts of town, is home to the remains of a 13th century castle as well as a 16th century ruin. Caprington Castle dates back to the 15th centur...Read morey and is still a private residence for the Cuninghame family. Read less

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    Johnnie Walker whisky was born in the town of Kilmarnock. The young John Walker set up his business in 1820, first selling groceries and wines and then blending and bottling whisky. It is now one of the most famous brands in the world.

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