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The local area guide to living in Kilwinning

Kilwinning is just one of the many welcoming towns on the North Ayrshire coast. A 15-minute drive from Irvine and a short train ride from Glasgow, the local hotspots aren’t far away at all. Often referred to as “Kilwinkie”, the town goes all the way back to the eighth century, when St. Winning founded the church here.

It’s only since the 20th century that the population here rapidly grew in size. In the mid 1900s, the town rapidly expanded as a result of the Glasgow Overflow, with new estates cropping up all over the town. Now, the town comprises of a number of estates, many of which have their own amenities. These include Corsehill, Pennyburn, Whitehirst Park, Woodside and The Blacklands.

Information about the local residents

When moving home, it’s always a good idea to make sure the town or city is right for you. Whether you’re looking for somewhere with a young and vibrant community, or a hotspot for top jobs, demographic data helps you better understand a location. At the time of the 2011 census, the population here was a little over 16,500. While there was a mix of old and young, the younger population here was slightly higher than the Scotland average. Saying this, 16.2% of the population were still retirees.

Education and job prospects in Kilwinning are good. In fact, 83.1% of 16 and 17 year olds were still in education at the time of the census, compared to an average of 79.8% recorded in Scotland. 67.8% of the population were also in some form of employment – the types of industries and occupations varying. The largest group of people were in Professional Occupations (12.9%). Other popular occupations included Elementary Occupations (12.0%) and Caring, Leisure and Other Service Occupations (11.9%).

Nearby schools

Whether you’re looking for good primary schools or good secondary schools, you’ll find the perfect educational establishment here in Kilwinning. There are seven primary schools in total, including St Winning's Primary School, Pennyburn Primary School, Whitehirst Park Primary School and St Luke's Primary School. Whitehirst Park Primary was rated “good” in most areas by school assessors Education Scotland. About the school, assessors noted, “The school has maintained very good standards of attainment in reading and mathematics, and good standards of attainment in writing, with continuing improvement in recent years.”

The town’s secondary school, Kilwinning Academy, also has a good reputation – reflected in its latest assessment. About the school, Education Scotland assessors noted, “The quality of the curriculum was good. It provided appropriate breadth, balance and opportunities for progression.” Irvine Royal Academy, a secondary school around half the size of Kilwinning, is another local option for teens.

Getting around

If you’re keen to stay connected with other local towns and cities, Kilwinning’s location and transport infrastructure are ideal. While the town itself is relatively quiet, it’s well connected to other major towns and cities. Kilwinning is bypassed by the A78 dual carriageway, which connected to the M77 for travel into Glasgow.

For those looking for public transport in and around the town, Kilwinning is well served by Stagecoach Western and Shuttle Buses. These offer transportation within the town itself, and to nearby hotspots like Irvine. For travel further afield, the train is another option. The Glasgow Central - Ayr – Stranraer service and Edinburgh Waverley or Glasgow Central – Ayr service, are just two of the services that stop at Kilwinning Train Station. For global travel, the nearest airport in Glasgow International, located 15 minutes away by train and 20 minutes by car.

Local shops

You needn’t travel far to pick up your weekly shop. Morrisons is conveniently located in the town and other options here include Co-operative Food and Premier Stores. Outside of Kilwinning, in Irvine, you’ll also find a range of other supermarkets – including an Asda, which is conveniently sat next to Irvine’s train station.

Elsewhere in the town, you’ll find a Boots Pharmacy and a selection of independent stores that sell everything from shoes to gifts. There are also banks, cafes and restaurants – as you’d expect to find in any major town. When it comes to high street shopping, why not head to Irvine or Glasgow? Irvine is the closest of the two and just 10 minutes by train. It has a popular shopping centre, Rivergate Shopping Centre, home to all the usual brands, as well as the Forum Shopping Centre, a premier indoor market.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.