If you've got some free time between concerts, or before or after the festival, there's lots of great things to explore in the local area. Here's a few of our favourites, all within easy reach of Cumnock. To find out more about these venues and much more, including news and what’s on, visit www.eastayrshireleisure.com

Dick Institute 

Elmbank Avenue, Kilmarnock, KA1 3BU

T: Gallery desk: 01563 554343

Opening Times: Museum Tue-Sat 11am-5pm

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 gallery spaces in Ayrshire. It is also East Ayrshire’s central lending 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 Institute has a growing reputation for the quality and scope of its exhibitions and events.

The South Museum and Loom Room feature stories of the local and social history of the area and the recently redisplayed North Museum contains objects from our natural history sciences and archaeology collections, some of which have never been displayed before. Favourites such as Brian the Lion, Samantha the dinosaur and the whale jawbone remain ever popular with the young and old. The Young People’s Gallery is a dedicated space programmed for, and by, young people in East Ayrshire.

Dean Castle & Country Park

Dean Road, Kilmarnock, KA3 1XB

T: 01563 554734

Opening Times: Park and Grounds open all year round. Visitor Centre and Castle open daily from 11am -5pm until 26 Oct. Open Wed – Sun 10am, 4pm during winter hours

Dean Castle & Country Park in Kilmarnock is one of Ayrshire’s most popular and well-loved destinations. Dean Castle is one of Ayrshire’s best preserved castles and free attractions and was the stronghold of the Boyds, Lords of Kilmarnock, for over 400 years. Their connections with Robert the Bruce made them one of the most powerful families in Scotland and the Boyds provide the focus for this year’s major event, Deep Roots, as part of Homecoming 2014.

Steeped in history and housing world class collections, Dean Castle and its estate was gifted to the people of Kilmarnock in the 1970’s by Lord Howard de Walden and has been enjoyed by millions of visitors since. Take a free tour of the castle and find out what it’s like to wear some real armour or have a go at playing some replica musical instruments.

Explore the beautiful country park using scenic paths and trails - each season brings with it ever changing plants and wildlife that you might spy along the way. Explore the History Trail and discover formal gardens, the Pinetum which dates back to 1918, the newly planted arboretum, deer park, Kitchen Garden and Motte and Bailey, thought to be the site of the original Kilmarnock Castle. With over 80 hectares of countryside within a very urban area, the park is also a great place to get away from the stresses of everyday life.

Baird Institute 

The Baird.jpeg

3 Lugar Street, Cumnock, KA18 1AD

T: 01290 427084

Opening Times: Thu-Sat 11am-5pm

Originally opened in1891 housing a billiard room, museum and reading rooms to provide leisure facilities to the people of Cumnock, the Baird Institute is now a 4 star visitor attraction. It lies in the centre of the town of Cumnock and holds collections of Mauchline Ware of world importance complimented by many items of Cumnock Pottery as well as a wide range of resources which relate to the history of the area – museum collections, archives, photographs, audio visual materials, books, maps and newspapers. One room is also dedicated to James Keir Hardie, founder of the Labour Party and contains many of his personal belongings. 

Alongside these permanent displays the Baird Institute has continually changing catalogue of contemporary art exhibitions and hosts a range of events and workshops throughout the year.

Burns House Museum 

Castle Street, Mauchline, KA5 5BZ

T: 01290 550045

Opening Times: Tue-Sat 10am-4pm

Whether you are a first-time visitor to Mauchline or are returning to this historic town, the Burns House Museum is definitely worth a visit. The museum is situated in the cobbled back streets of Mauchline where Robert Burns lived and worked between 1784 and 1788, years widely regarded as being 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 spent some time living in the building that is now the museum and it features a recreation of the room they lodged in. Full of rare collections, original objects and documents relating to Burns’ time, the museum also brings the Burns story up to date.

Mauchline is also famous for the manufacture of curling stones, and for the decorative souvenir boxware known as Mauchline Ware, both of which are featured in displays here.

To find out more about these venues and much more including news and what’s on visit their website - www.eastayrshireleisure.com