Kilmarnock has been world renowned for many things over the years - many of them lost as industrialisation went into decline. Johnnie Walker whisky in bars across the world; BMK carpets on the floors of world famous hotels; the publishing of Burns' First Edition of poems and more recently the home of the world beating Killie/Kilmarnock Pie and of course Ayrshire's finest Kilmarnock Football Club.
All joking apart though Kilmarnock has had to transition itself from post industrial decline to a reinvented town acting as a conduit to Glasgow to its north but retaining and building on its own identity.
Like many towns, seventies modernisation stripped the centre of some of its old heart but far from all of it and the heritage of shopping streets such as Bank Street is still there to be enjoyed. Staying with retail, there will surely be more changes post COVID but there is a resilience and creativity about the town's businesses and this will see an evolution of space and for sure positive outcomes.
On a leisure side the town is blessed with facilities indoor and out. Dean Castle and its Country Park is possibly the jewel but the Kay Park and other green give multiple options for escape from concrete. The town has two municipal golf courses and all of the leisure facilities you'd expect - restaurants - chain and independent, multi screen cinema, indoor and outdoor sports facilities and a lot more to boot.
The arts are catered for too with the twin stages of the Palace Theatre and the Grand Hall situated in the same building in the heart of the town and the superb "Ayrshire Arts Academy" Centrestage. Between them there is a cracking selection of theatre and panto, touring bands and live music and community musicals to enjoy.
The town is located a half hour drive from the city centre so can benefit from travellers from or travelling to and it is the largest of the county's three towns. The new M77 brings visitors straight to the towns environs and their is a very regular train service to Glasgow and a slightly less regular one to Troon, Ayr and Stranraer beyond for the ferry.
It may have its roots in its industrial heritage - and it will never forget them - but it is a forward thinking space with continuous development and growth and is more than worth a visit for shopping, leisure or just a wee donner roon a park!
Help support local High Streets, independent businesses and perhaps Shop Local a wee bit more?
Explore the diverse range of retailers available in the town and start planning your next visit!
Ayrshire is blessed with the finest local produce which then makes up the menus of cafes, bars and restaurants in every town and village.
Explore the tastes of Ayrshire in a variety of wonderful locations and find the right location for your taste buds whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner - or something in between!
Whether you're looking to be active or more sedentary there is something for everyone in Ayrshire.
Explore what you can see and do around the area from family attractions, to music and sports venues or rediscover the great outdoors. There's something for everyone!
Ayrshire is blessed with accommodation to suit every taste and budget from luxury resort hotels to quirky B&Bs and cottages and everything in between.
Explore where you can stay for your next visit from great coastal locations, island escapes to wonderful rural retreats. Ayrshire accommodation is available and affordable.
Investigate the area using the Google Map with listings of everything you'll need - shop, eat and drink, accommodation and things to see and do all on a single map.
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