Kilmarnock is the 2nd largest town in Ayrshire, situated 7 miles inland from the coast. The success of Robert the Bruce and his loyal supporters at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 saw the lands of Kilmarnock awarded to his most faithful clans. From the mid 19th century, Kilmarnock’s traditional industries were based around textiles and heavy engineering, including the manufacture of locomotives by the famous Andrew Barclay and Sons. Kilmarnock had one of the earliest tram railways in the world, running to Troon over the Laigh Milton Viaduct. The Glasgow and South Western Railway also set up their works here, producing nearly 400 locomotives by the time it was absored by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923.
Today, Kilmarnock is a bustling town with a population of 45,000 and is THE place for shopping, eating out, taking in a show or visiting one of the many museums, galleries, parks and sports facilities on offer.
Just 30 minutes from Glasgow by car or train, Kilmarnock is easily accessible and a great place to live, work and discover! Kilmarnock was voted the UK’s friendliest town in 2006 and it is easy to see why!
Cumnock and Mauchline
The small, picturesque towns of Cumnock and Mauchline are separated by 8 miles of spectacular Ayrshire scenery, with many walks and viewpoints to experience along the way.
Although much older in origin, Cumnock has a Victorian air about it and a sense of an industrial past, mainly in coal and ironworks. There are a number of interesting buildings and memorials dotted around the town, including the Mercat Cross which dates back to 1703, Chrichton Church just south of the Square and the Town Hall on Glasnock Street, both of which date back to the late 1800’s. Cumnock is home to the Baird Institute where you can discover a large range of important collections and artefacts relating to the history of Cumnock and the Doon Valley area. Taking pride of place in front of the Town is the bust of James Keir Hardie who worked as a journalist in the town and later founded the Scottish Labour Party. Good quality restaurants and shops coupled with the many points of local and historical interest, puts Cumnock on the map as a great place to visit.
Mauchline is perhaps most famous as the town that Robert Burns spent much of his time during the 1780’s. He moved to a farm in Mossgiel with his family and it is at this time that he also met and married Jean Armour who was born in Mauchline. The town is also famous for its Mauchlineware, created from the 1850’s onwards. Items were mainly useful nick-knacks, decorated and embellished with scenes from in and around the area. Today, Mauchline is a bustling little town with some cosy pubs and restaurants and a number of shops and grocery stores. The Burns House Museum in Church Street is full of interesting artifacts relating to Burns and his life’s work. Just a few miles outside Mauchline on the A76 you will come across Catrine House – a great place to stop and have lunch before joining the River Ayr walk.