East Ayrshire

The East Ayrshire Unitary Authority was established in 1996 through the amalgamation of the former districts of Cumnock and Doon Valley with Kilmarnock and Loudon. The principal administrative centre is in Kilmarnock.

The varied regions of East Ayrshire have distinct identities which reflect the social and cultural developments over the past two hundred years.

Robert Burns lived and worked in the area during his earlier farming days and James Boswell, Dr. Johnson's biographer, inherited estates at Auchinleck. In the 20th century artists such as Stuart Park, John Taylor and Robert Colquhoun were associated with the district. More recently, composer James Macmillan was resident in the district. Nobel Prize-winner Alexander Fleming was born in Darvel.

In the early 19th century, parts of East Ayrshire were in the forefront of agricultural innovation while Kilmarnock and surrounding areas became important industrial centres. Coal and minerals were exploited throughout the southern areas of the district.

The towns in the Irvine Valley were associated with lace making while Cumnock was a centres for the production of domestic pottery. Mauchline was a centre for souvenir wood ware. Coal production and iron foundries were key industries in the Doon valley area in the Ayr valley between Cumnock and Glenbuck.

Kilmarnock is linked to Glasgow and the Clyde valley by rail and motorway. All parts of the area are accessible by a good road system and public transport reaches most locations. The A76 route provides a link with Dumfries and Cumbria. Many of the outlying areas have museums that reflect aspects of the local culture.

Links to local groups and organisations.


Districts within East Ayrshire

To go to district pages or other local authorities pages, select the area from the menu above. To display a route map in a new browser window, please click on the district map tab in the menu.

Larger versions of the images may be seen by clicking on the magnification icon.

Dean Castle Gateway
Dean Castle Gateway.   Magnify   ©Fraser Sutherland

Woodland Sculpture
Woodland Sculpture, Stewarton.  Magnify   ©Roger Griffith

Main Street, Dunlop. Magnify  ©Chris Court

South facade, Kilmarnock Academy.     ©Mike Bailey

The Dick Institute, Kilmarnock.  Magnify  ©Mike Bailey

East Ayrshire
©Art Advice



Ayrshire ©Howard Cheng

Stair House
Stair House. Magnify  ©Robert Watson

Dragon Stone
Dagon Stone, Darvel.  Magnify  ©Roger Griffith

Old Tearoom
Old Tolbooth by the Jougs, Kilmaurs. Magnify  ©Roger Griffith


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