Settled in the heart of Ayrshire, Kilmarnock offers a unique mix of culture, retail and leisure. The cobbled heart of the town centre is well-known for its wide range of independent shops, be it niche or general, there are many places to shop, eat, drink, visit and enjoy.
Food and drink in Kilmarnock
No-one likes to shop on an empty stomach, so here are a few choice places to enjoy a bite to eat and a cuppa while out and about.
Sitting on the outskirts of town is the Ayrshire Food Hub. Though not in the centre, they are worth a visit if venturing to one of the many surrounding destinations - not just for convenience, but for the range of local specialties available from the farm shop and brand new cafe on site. Ayrshire food from Ayrshire folk.
Kilmarnock's Oldest family run restaurant. As the name implies, they specialise in Italian cuisine, and promise both outstanding food and customer service. Great prices, great atmosphere, perfect for both a quick coffee and a full dining experience.
Spicing up the list we have Everything Chilli. Starting out as a passion project, the owners have recently started experimenting with making chilli jams and preserves, trialling and offering a wider range of flavours.
Their goal is to add an extra dimension to the flavours of all their products, making sure the chilli heat never overpowers the flavour. All carefully hand made using traditional artisan open-pan methods with fresh, local produce, and no artificial additives.
Fresh food exquisitely prepared to order. Local food supplied by local people. Breakfast, lunch and lite bites. stunning Lochside location. Take away is also available from breakfast in a box to lite meals, cake & coffee
Old coach house from the 1700s with a modern decor twist, and one of the largest beer gardens in Ayrshire. One of the most exciting food menus in the local area. The King’s Arms is a cosy local gastropub with great food, entertainment and friendly staff.
Discover gifts and homeware products at independent shops in Kilmarnock
Take home a little bit of Ayrshire with some of these lovely handmade gifts and products.
An independent lifestyle store selling all kinds of goods, from homeware, jewellery, beauty, men’s gifts, to bags and accessories. Bright and welcoming, Limetree offers only the most fashionable and contemporary products
Developed as an avenue into employment for those with additional barriers, Little Shop Big Stories sells beautifully hand-made jewellery to baby clothes, candles, carved wooden furniture and custom gifts
Local family business with a huge stock of well known brands and the prettiest gifts for all occasions.
Enjoy a day out with the family
Dean Castle and Country Park
A fantastic free day out for the whole family. Both the castle and the country park, spanning over 200 acres, are nestled in the heart of Kilmarnock and offer something for everyone.The castle itself is currently undergoing an extensive restoration, but there is still plenty to do around the place.For example, you can visit the Rural Life Centre and enjoy beautiful woodland walks, while learning about the history of the estate and hopefully spotting some local wildlife along the way.
Children can run wild in the adventure playground and explore the Urban Farm to meet their farm animals. Meanwhile the adults can put their feet up in the on site cafe and restaurant before popping to the gift shop on the way out.
William Wallace Monument
An imposing sight that can be seen from far away, the monument stands atop a hill and is dedicated to the famous Scottish hero. A steep trek up to the peak of this historic battlefield rewards visitors with unparalleled views of the surrounding countryside, and that is without even climbing the stairs to the top of the structure, which you can do for a small fee that goes towards its upkeep. There are many statues and monuments to William Wallace in Scotland, but this one provides arguably the best view if you can weather the climb.
If you aren’t feeling the hike however, then don’t worry; a minibus service runs visitors to and fro the monument and the gift shop and cafe at the bottom.
Parks and places that are dog-friendly and ideal for the family
The Kay Park
An excellent place for a wander, with a recently refurbished pond and fountain home to many swans and ducks as well as a memorial statue to Rabbie Burns. Ideal location for going out with dogs or children (so long as they don’t chase the birds!)
Indoor Playpark perfect for when the weather is turbulent but the kids are energetic. With ample seating to sit with a cuppa and watch the little ones let off steam. Jungle Madness also does birthday parties to help make their special day even better.
Perfect place for a picnic, be it under the shade of the trees or out in the open. There is also an expansive playground for children to enjoy the outside air in their own fashion - that is to say running around and getting spun in circles on a merry-go-round.