Kilmarnock is the largest town
in Ayrshire, situated seven miles
inland from the coast with good
shopping, restaurants, bar diners,
leisure facilities and historic
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.
The Boyd’s built Dean
Castle to the north of Kilmarnock,
Craufurd’s built Craufurdland
Castle to the northeast,
Cunningham’s built castles to
the north at Kilmaurs and south at
Caprington, and the Mure’s
built Rowallan Castle to the north.
Estates formed or expanded at that
time, allowed the town to grow
rapidly, as they employed many
workers to cultivate the land for
growing crops, vegetables, and
Kilmarnock became known for
Scottish bonnet making from 1647,
and later for carpet manufacturing,
some of which were laid in the
finest homes throughout the world.
The town was created a Royal Burgh
by Charles II in 1672.
One of the world's most famous
whiskey producers was born in
Kilmarnock in 1805, named John
shopping area, as seen in this
image, is King Street in the town
centre. This pedestrian only
street leads to Kilmarnock
Click On Map
The town centre quite often has
busker's and market stalls.
Kilmarnock Cross, or Forgate
Square, with a statue of Robert
Burns, is situated at the centre
of Kilmarnock’s shopping
area. The bus station and London
Road are to the right in this
image, and the train station
To the left of the square is
Sandbed Street, with the Laigh
West High Kirk being the most
You can find a life size statue of
Johnnie Walker at this church. Johnnie
Walker built one of the top Scottish
whisky blending warehouses at
Walker Statue Large Image.
There are at least eight churches
around the centre of Kilmarnock, varying
in age and architecture.
The Johnnie Walker Bond
building, in this image, is
situated across the road from the
Laigh West High Kirk, on Strand
This was the old Johnnie Walker whisky
warehouse. The first part of the building
was built in the French Renaissance style
in 1895, with later extensions added in
1898 and 1907.
The building now holds the local
council's Planning, Social Work, and
Roads Departments. The windows have large
images of the warehouse when it was in
production, and information on the
Walker built up an Italian warehouse,
grocery, and wine and spirits shop on the
High Street in Kilmarnock, where he sold
his own brand of whiskey, named Walker's
Kilmarnock Whisky. His son, Alexander
Walker, was credited with blending their
Old Highland Whisky in about 1867, that
was re-named Johnnie Walker Black Label
in 1909, one of the most famous brands of
whisky around the world to this day.
The Johnnie Walker whiskey was made
around Scotland, at various distilleries,
then taken to Kilmarnock to be
The last Johnnie Walker plant in
Kilmarnock closed in 2012. Their whisky
is now blended in Levin, Fife, and
For more information on Johnnie
Walker, and other wealthy Kilmarnock
businessmen, and their grand houses, you
have to visit the Dick Institute
Theatre is situated at the corner
of London Road, and Sturrock
Street, a short distance east of
Kilmarnock Cross. The theatre was
completed in 1862.
Large Image . Website
Theatrical entertainment at the
theatre consists of classics,
children’s shows, and contemporary
and classical music. Tel: 01563 554
Website . Map/Reviews
The Dick Institute, in this
image, is situated on Elmbank
Avenue, just off London Road, a
short walk from the town centre,
a few hundred yards past the
This museum and art gallery, that
opened in April 1901, host’s
collections showing local industrial,
social, and natural history.
Here you can find information on
Johnnie Walker, and other wealthy
businessmen from the area, and their
grand houses. The Institute is open Mon,
Tue, Thur, and Friday 09.00 - 20.00, Wed
and Sat 09.00 - 17.00. Tel: 01563 554
Map/Reviews . Large
Kay Park is situated a short
walk north of the Dick Institute,
up Holehouse Road, past
Kilmarnock College. The park
contains a large pond with swans
and ducks, large outdoor
children's play area, and vast
Website . Map/Reviews
Kay Park also holds the Burns Monument
Centre, with a large monument to the poet
The centre also contains Family
Research facilities, and Archives for
Family and Local History. The centre can
be hired for weddings, and is used for
the registration of births, deaths, and
Robert Burns most famous work (The
Kilmarnock Edition) was published in
Kilmarnock by printer John Wilson in
1786. The Burns Monument Centre houses a
3 dimensional digitised representation of
the Kilmarnock Edition, also with a
selection of poems sung and narrated.
Tel: 01563 576 695.
Image . Large Image across Kay
Dean Castle is situated on the
north side of Kilmarnock off Dean
The earliest parts of Dean
Castle, that can be seen today,
were built in the 1750s for the
Boyd’s (Earls of
Website . Map/Reviews
Howard de Walden, the last owner,
gifted Dean Castle and estate to the
people of Kilmarnock in 1975.
The estate is now run as a Country
Park, free to visit, with a visitor
centre with a cafe, children's play area,
many walk/cycle routes, pony trekking,
tower museum, and free tours of the
castle. Tel: 01563 554 734.
from a woodland walk .
The Garage is situated on
Grange Street, close to the town
centre. The Garage hosts go
carts, ten pin bowling, soft play
area, Wimpy, bar & function
suite, amusements, kids parties
suite, and night club.
The ten-pin bowling is situated
downstairs, just inside the entrance.
The powerful go-karts are situated
upstairs, with a fair sized winding
circuit. For enquires or bookings phone
01563 573 355.
The Galleon Centre is situated
on Titchfield Street, a few
hundred yards south of King
Street (the town centre).
This centre contains a swimming pool,
ice rink, bowling hall, 2 sports halls,
squash courts, sauna/solarium suite,
fitness room, and two bars, one of which
overlooks the ice rink. Tel: 01563 524
Website for the Galleon, giving a full
list of fees for each activity is
The 6,000 yard par 69
Annanhill Golf Club is situated
on the west side of Kilmarnock,
off Irvine Road. This is a fine
looking course with many fairways
being lined with trees. Prices
about £20 per round. Tel:
01563 521 512.
Website . Map . Reviews .
On the south side of Kilmarnock is the
Gaprington Golf Course, another fine
tree-lined course, also inexpensive for
visitors to play. Tel: 01563 521 915.
Website . Map .
On the north side of Kilmarnock is the
opened in 2010, championship standard
Rowallan Castle Golf Club. Prices about
£45 per round. Tel: 01563 530
Website . Map .
All Ayrshire golf
Just north of Kilmarnock is
the Morris Equestrian Centre with
large riding arenas that host
regular show jumping events. The
centre also has a Bar &
Restaurant, Shopping, and a
Games Arcade. Tel: 01560 600
Website. Map/Reviews .
Also at the Morris Equestrian Centre
is the Scottish Paintball Centre with
over 60 acres of playing zones. Tel:
07597 960 245.
Kilmarnock Football Club plays in the
Scottish Premier League. Website
More information on the history of
Kilmarnock visit the website kilmarnock.com