Looking towards the Laigh Kirk and Bank Street in Kilmarnock in 2012
Old High Kirk in Kilmarnock, viewed through a railway arch in 2012
Covenanters' headstone in Kilmarnock's Laigh Kirk churchyard
Kilmarnock
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In Muirhead's Scotland, a delightful little guidebook first published in 1927, Kilmarnock is described as 'a manufacturing town of importance, with factories for carpets, shawls, boots, and engineering works,' and 'few attractions for the tourist beyond its association with Robert Burns.'  Today, much of that industry is gone, and apart from the Burns Monument there remains very little for tourists. But that's okay, because if you consider the other end of the spectrum - Edinburgh, for example - where there are that many tourist attractions that the streets are clogged up with folk and the business of being a visitor becomes at times a fraught and tedious process, then perhaps not having much for tourists is something desirable. There can be no doubt that it is nice to occasionally turn one's back on popular destinations and seek out some place less hectic, some place where the people are real, where the sun does not always shine, and where the citizens walk the byways wearing woollen pancakes on their heads. And that's where Kilmarnock comes in. For the town is so well associated with large floppy hats for men that its name is in the dictionary, and few towns can boast such a thing. So, let's be off to where Robert Burns first appeared in print, to toast yon Johnnie Walker, and see if we can't track down the bard's draught-board.
LAIGH KIRK AND BANK STREET
OLD HIGH KIRK, KILMARNOCK
COVENANTERS' HEADSTONE
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How to
GET THERE


You can get a train to Kilmarnock from Glasgow Central Railway Station.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo