Dean Castle Country Park is a fantastic free day out for the whole family. The country park, covering over 200 acres, is nestled in the heart of Kilmarnock and offers something for everyone to enjoy.
The Country Park boasts beautiful woodland walks, and a fantastic 14th century castle, which is currently undergoing restoration. You can explore the park using the scenic paths and trails - each season brings with it ever changing plants and wildlife to see along the way. Visit the Urban Farm Paddocks and meet our Hebridean sheep and lambs, Eriskay ponies and our new arrivals, Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs. Spot dragonflies in the lagoons and herons on the pond and don’t miss our herd of Fallow deer.
The country park also offers a fun and varied events programme for families, children and groups throughout the year. It has undergone an ambitious multi-million pound redevelopment programme to create an outstanding visitor attraction where visitors can participate in and enjoy our local and natural cultural heritage as well as -
*Please note that the castle is undergoing restoration and is currently closed.
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. Steeped in history, with world class collections and regularly changing exhibitions, 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. 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.
Funding for the castle’s refurbishment has been received from Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and East Ayrshire Council. The funding will allow essential stonework and restoration of the external fabric of the castle building to be carried out, alongside internal modernisation and redisplay of our world class museum collections and exhibition areas. Access to the castle is limited during the restoration which will continue until 2021.
The castle collections are on display at the Dick Institute while works are ongoing at the castle. The park remains open and you can explore the grounds or chat to a member of staff to find out more about the castle's history and the development plans. The Country Park visitor centre and cafe will remain open as normal during the castle restoration works.
Finally, if you're an Outlander fan, then a visit to Dean Castle Country Park is a must as the Castle and surrounding area was used as a filming location for S2 of the hit TV series.
Please visit www.eastayrshireleisure.com for the most up to date information on the project and any restrictions.”