Nestling in a hidden valley by the River Garnock in the village of Dalgarven, the restored mill buildings house an important collection.
The Museum of Ayrshire Country Life and Costume is a treasure trove, created in a group of outstanding historical industrial buildings in a gorgeous rural location in Ayrshire, south west Scotland.
Beautifully restored buildings offer the visitor a chance to step into the past. Experience the sight and sound of the water wheel and the machinery of a Victorian Grain Mill. The granaries on three floors have exhibitions which tell the story of the rural community over the last century, their work, pastimes, dress and life.
Nine galleries over three floors of the main building house permanent and temporary exhibitions of rural life, clothing and textiles in common use in the villages and agricultural hinterland of Ayrshire over the last century.
The grain or meal mill was at the heart of this community, and Dalgarven is the sole survivor in lowland Scotland. It's weirs, lades, waterwheel and Victorian machinery have been restored to working order, and offer visitors a unique experience.
The images on the following page give a glimpse of the riches contained within the museum including some of our six hundred local costumes. The visitor experience is not easily explained, being an amalgam of the riverside setting, the enclosure created by the buildings dating back to 1203, the sight and sound of the water wheel, the history of previous owners and customers, and the opportunity to step back to a simpler and more peaceful time.
There is an atmospheric small restaurant serving great soups, freshly made lunches and exceptional home baking, a fine Antiques and furniture conservation business and of course the delightful riverside walk, Longer walks for the more energetic are available using the guides available at the Museum.
Enjoy the tranquility of the riverside walk, have a coffee and home baking or a light lunch in the small atmospheric restaurant, then visit the antique shop in the restored byre, offering a gentle relaxed day out for the whole family.
Longer walks for the more energetic are available using the guides available at the museum.
The museum remains open all year and can offer visitors a memorable experience whatever the season.
Both the Rural Life and Dress and Textile collections were recently appraised as being of "national if not international quality" and should be part of every visitor to Ayrshire's experience.
We remain open all year, and can offer visitors a memorable experience whatever the season.
From Ayr and the south take the A78 to the large roundabout at Steveston, continue on the A78 towards Largs, take the B780 road to Dalry, turn right on the A737, we are two miles down this road.
From Glasgow take junction 28a past the Airport and follow the A737 through Beith and Dalry towards Kilwinning.
From Largs and the coast follow the A78 and then take the B780 to Dalry and then turn right onto the A737, then we will tell you the quick way home!
Getting there by ferry:- From Arran (Ardrossan) Take A78 to Kilwinning. Take A737 to Glasgow