// Enjoy East Ayrshire
- Our venues are FREE (excluding the Palace Theatre)
and feature a changing programme of events, exhibitions
- East Ayrshire plays host to five museums, several contemporary art galleries, a theatre, a conference centre, a country park and over 700km of path networks to explore!!
Although many of our buildings themselves are historically important, itís whatís going on inside them thatíll make you want to visit time and time again. We have a changing exhibition, event and performance programme within all our spaces and many year round special events taking place. With the exception of the Palace, most of what we do is free , allowing you and your family to enjoy many trips to our exciting venues
- Opened in 1901, the Dick Institute is one of the most important cultural venues in the south-west of Scotland, featuring the largest museum and galleries in Ayrshire. It is also East Ayrshire's central library. Featuring a programme of nationally important exhibitions, permanent displays of the museum's diverse collections and innovative work by contemporary artists, film makers and young people from the area, the Dick has a growing reputation for the quality and scope of its exhibitions and events. Previous major exhibitions at the Dick have included Miffy, Quentin Blake, Wallace and Gromit, Cutting Edge, Radical Nature and Bill Viola. The South Museum and Loom Room feature stories of the local and social history of the area and the North Museum wing contains objects from our natural history sciences and archaeology collections.
- Dean Castle and Country Park is one of Ayrshireís greatest free attractions. Dean Castle is steeped in history and displays with historic weapons, armour and early musical instruments, Dean Castle was once the home of the powerful Boyd family and when you visit youíll find out about their connections with William Wallace and Robert the Bruce! Explore some of the castle and its grounds at your own pace, or take one of the free guided tours to see the rest of the rooms and displays.
- The Baird Institute lies in the centre of the town of Cumnock and was opened in 1891. Today the Museum holds a collection of Mauchline Ware of world importance complimented by many items of Cumnock pottery, mining equipment as well as photographs and artifacts of local and social history. Works of traditional and contemporary art and crafts are also displayed here.
- When Robert Burns, Scotland's National Bard, lived in Mauchline, it was arguably his most creative and productive period. This was the time that Burns established himself as a poet, leading to the publication of the famous 'Kilmarnock Edition'. Burns and his wife Jean Armour stayed in a room in what is now the Burns House Museum, and during this time Burns became a father. The Museum offers a fresh and exciting insight into Mauchline at this time - Burns' friends and contemporaries (often the subject of his creative work), the places he visited and the life he led. Using original manuscripts, objects and other publications the museum displays also looks at Burns' ongoing influence around the world.
- The Doon Valley Museum is located in a conversion of one of the oldest buildings in Dalmellington (dating from 1744). It was saved from demolition in the 1980s and now serves the community as a museum, art gallery and meeting place. The museum room interprets the rich social and industrial history of the area, in particular the coal mines, the ironworks, and the communities that grew up alongside them. Two other exhibition galleries exhibit a wide range of exhibitions each year by professional and amateur artists.
- The 500 seat Palace Theatre offers a year round programme of music, comedy, drama, dance and light entertainment, offering something for all the family. Many productions are supported by an educational programme of events and workshops.
East Ayrshire....just waiting to be enjoyed