Kilmarnock is located in the heart of Ayrshire, the ‘Burns county’. The small town is well-known for its friendly locals and vibrant shopping scene, as there are many independent retailers scattered about here. This guide looks at some of the best things to do in Kilmarnock, including a look at some hotels.
If you are planning your next trip to Kilmarnock, get to know this charming Scottish town with My Voyage Scotland’s ‘Complete Guide to Kilmarnock’.
Things to do in Kilmarnock
Visitors are spoiled for choice when looking for things to do in Kilmarnock. Whether you are looking for a quiet weekend away where you can enjoy stunning Scottish scenery or fancy a wild night out in one of Ayrshire’s best venues – there is something for everyone here,
Taking a wander around the buzzing town centre and getting to know the cobbled streets and niche boutiques is one of the best things to do in Kilmarnock.
Fine Victorian architecture in Scotland isn’t hard to come across in the West of Scotland and John Finnie Street in Kilmarnock is a prime example
The Dick Institute
Looking for more cultured things to do in Kilmarnock? The Dick Institute is the place to be if you are a culture vulture! This building opened in 1901 and to this day attracts over 120,000 visitors each year.
This four-star attraction houses Ayrshire’s largest museum and gallery spaces. The museum has recently been refurbished and visitors can now enjoy refreshments in it’s on-site cafe.
This stunning building hosts a programme of exhibitions and displays collections, including work by contemporary artists and up and coming filmmakers.
Cultural things to do in Kilmarnock are in abundance. Whether you are looking for rock and roll or an evening of drama, you will find it at the Palace Theatre.
This spectacular venue is popular with Ayrshire locals and many people will travel here to see some of the biggest names in the UK’s comedy, theatre and music scene.
In recent years acts like Gerry Cinnamon, Kevin Bridges and Sean Lock have taken to the stage joining the likes of The View, Calvin Harris, Primal Scream, Kasabian, and Scottish legend Billy Connolly.
Dean Castle and Country Park
This family-friendly tourist attraction is an excellent day out for all the family. Dean Castle and Country Park run a programme of events and exhibitions all year round.
Dean Castle is one of the best preserved landmarks in this part of Scotland and it is surrounded by beautiful Scottish wildlife and nature. Many visitors come here to enjoy woodland walks around this 14th-century castle.
The Urban Farm Paddocks on the country park grounds and is home to Hebridean sheep and lambs, Eriskay ponies and Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs.
This East Ayrshire country park which covers over 200 acres is free to enter.
The Burns Monument Centre
Did you know that Kilmarnock is the home of the largest monuments dedicated to Scotland’s National Bard Robert Burns?
The link between Burns and Kilmarnock began when the famous poet decided to print his poems in the town in 1786.
This collection of poems printed here are entitled “Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, by Robert Burns, Kilmarnock” became known as the “Kilmarnock Edition”.
The collection at the time which sold for 15p is still loved by many of his fans and many visit the town to go to the Burns Monument Centre which is close to the scenic setting of Kay Park.
Trace your family tree
If you are interested in genealogy and are visiting Scotland to trace your family’s history, you have come to the right town…
At the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock visitors can gain access to Scottish records that are almost 500 years for a small fee of £15.
The centre uses Scotland’s People software which holds the following information: statutory birth, death and marriage records as well as census records, old Parish Records, wills and testaments and other minor records.