East Ayrshire is rich in history and heritage and there are many historical sites which are worth a visit.
Laigh Milton Viaduct
Laigh Milton Viaduct lies just outside Gatehead and is the oldest surviving railway viaduct in Scotland and one of the oldest in the world. The railway, believed to be the first ever passenger railway in the world, carried steam locomotives between Kilmarnock and Troon .
This ancient volcanic plug is located just outside Darvel. It was the site of the Battle of Loudoun Hill, fought there in 1307. A stone at the top of the hill commemorates the first major military victory of King Robert I (the Bruce).
The Netflix premiere, in November 2018, of the new Robert the Bruce movie Outlaw King has caused a flurry of interest in Loudoun Hill. Read our press release about Robert the Bruce and the real Loudoun Hill.
VisitScotland has created a map and trail of the Outlaw King filming locations and historical sites.
Lying southwest of Mauchline, Ballochmyle Viaduct is the highest in Britain and is thought to include the world's largest masonry arch. Close to the arch there are a great number of 'cup and ring' markings carved into the sandstone cliff face. These date from the Neolithic and Bronze ages. It is among the ten most important cup and ring sites in Britain.
Catrine Voes are the reservoir of the former cotton mills in Catrine. They are East Ayrshire's first local nature reserve and in 2006 they became a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The voes and weir were recently the subject of a major restoration project which saw the reinstatement of the fish ladder and creation of new fish hatchery facilities. THe site is managed by the Catrine Community Trust
This site is reputed to be where a young William Murdoch 'carried out experiments'. The cave is situated immediately behind Bello Mill, Lugar on the banks of the River Lugar where Murdoch was born in 1754. Murdoch is credited with the invention of using gas for lighting and a plaque exists at Bello Mill farm to commemorate this achievement.
Barony A Frame
Casting a formidable shadow over the countryside near Auchinleck, this vast steel structure, which stood at the shaft of the Barony colliery, is the last of its kind in Britain and marks a tribute to the four miners who died in the 1962 mining disaster at the colliery. The frame has recently been restored by the Barony A Frame Trust and there are gardens with picnic benches and a play park, in addition to information regarding the mine.