So you’re coming to visit the Barony, great! I’m sure you will love the exhibitions, the cafe and the treasure trove gift shop, which is packed full of local lovelies you would be stuck to find anywhere else. But did you know that it’s worth coming through here for the day? Yes, totally worth packing the car up and squashing kids/gran/dog in the back! Here’s my list of the top five things you can add to your day whilst visiting the Barony:

1. The Craft Studios - Our dainty little Main Street is peppered with the studios of West Kilbride’s very own Crafters. It’s where you can meet them, find out about their work, their inspiration and many welcome ideas for your own commissioned piece! Just check the the Craft Town Website for opening hours and hop through!

2. Get your feet on - West Kilbride is full of beautiful walks, we have emerald countryside, glittering coastline and hidden lanes that lead through the delightful layers of the village. There are many walking paths; the kind that crunch satisfyingly under foot! The Kirkton Glen is just off the Main Street, not far from the Barony and provides an exciting woodland walk all the way towards the Coast.

3. Pack a picnic - If you forget pop into our Deli or Bakers on the Main Street! Now let’s go to the beach; there can’t be a rarer treat than flattening out your picnic rug only to turn  and spot the Isle of Arran floating lazily above a navy sea. Eat your sandwiches and watch scribbled seagulls dive amongst lacy waves, climb the rocks, hunt for crabs or sharpen your photography/poetry/painting skills on the cutting landscape of Arran.

4. Culture vulture - West Kilbride is a hub of history and creativity. Our charming little museum in the Public Hall allows you to potter through 400 years of town history. Across the Street sits Hastingwood Basket Works, this is the point at which you uncover a hidden urge to skip towards the local shop, newly purchased basket swinging delightfully in your hand! Anyway, canvas shoppers are so last year! Meander down towards Seamill and the new Sandy Lane Studios provides another opportunity to fill that basket. If you make it right down to the coast then be sure to head in the direction of Portencross Castle. Jutting proudly from the furrowed brow of the coast line, the view from the roof of the Castle is etched with Scottish Islands.

5. Shopping/Browsing - Whatever you like to call it, even if you’re not buying (it is hard to resist) just browsing through the Main Street of West Kilbride is enough to get you all excited about that little craft project you have been thinking of or perhaps you’ll find that perfect gift that has been eluding your thoughts.

Laura Mays and Deidre NelsonI can also confirm by way of my own very inaccurate and uncontrolled survey that the weather is pretty much - nearly always better here on the Coast than it is further in towards the City. I have gathered this information by way of regular telephone chats with family members in Glasgow who are often dashing out to get their washing in whilst we are preparing to paddle on the beach. Yet another perfectly good reason to come watch as the sun beams ribbons of light through the Barony!