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Property for sale in West Kilbride, North Ayrshire

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The local area guide to living in West Kilbride

The quirky little town of West Kilbride lies on the south-east coast of Scotland and boasts wonderful views of the Isle of Arran and Goat Fell. As well as being near the beautiful Scottish coastline, it is also very close to Clyde Muirshiel National Park, a conservation and recreation area on the South Clyde estuary. There has been a settlement in the area since the Roman times, when 30,000 soldiers were stationed in the village, though its history may go back even further as the area is thought to be named after a Celtic saint called Brigid of Kildare. Scottish hero William Wallace’s uncle owned an estate in West Kilbride, which is used today as a caravan park for holidaymakers. West Kilbride still retains some of the impressive buildings from its long history, including Portencross Castle and Law Castle.

Thanks to the initiative of a local group of artists and residents, West Kilbride has recently received the title of ‘Craft Town Scotland’. There are a large number of craft shops and artist’s studios in the area, such as the Weft Blown weaving studio. The ‘Craft Town Scotland’ initiative has brought the town some fame, and was recently awarded funding from Creative Scotland.

Information about the local residents

West Kilbride had a population of 4,393 people in 2001. Of these, 10.5% were born in England, 85% were born in Scotland and 2.2% were born outside of Europe. Roughly 77% of residents in the village own their own home, compared to the national average of 62.6%. Of these, 34.3% live in detached houses compared to 20.4% in all of Scotland. West Kilbride is a predominantly white collar area with managers and professionals making up 33.7% of the employed population.

Nearby schools

West Kilbride Primary School is the only primary school in the village, and it also takes pupils from the areas of Portencross and Seamill. The school is on the large side for a primary school with 465 pupils. Of these, 88% are performing well or very well at level P7 in English.

The local secondary school is Auchenarvie Academy, which was praised in a recent HMIE report for the ‘commitment of staff and young people to raising aspirations, supporting and celebrating achievement and working to improve the school’. Other secondary schools in the area are Irvine Royal Academy and Kilwinning Academy.

Getting around

Though it’s a small place, West Kilbride has its own train station, lying on the Ayrshire Coast Line between Largs and Glasgow Central (a 50 minute trip to the west). The village also has a decent bus service, with buses running every 30 minutes to Ayr in the south and Greenock in the north. The A78 passes through West Kilbride, with the closest motorway junction lying at Fenwick where the M77 begins.

Local shops

West Kilbride’s reputation as ‘Craft Town Scotland’ has attracted many creative people and opened the eyes of Scotland and the wider world to what may otherwise have remained just a sleepy little village tucked away in Scotland. The town’s creativity is centred around The Barony Centre, a large exhibition space that is also home to a popular café serving delicious food made using seasonal produce from local suppliers.

There are a few other cafes to choose from, including the Wee Deli, which sells many handmade crafts, and an Italian coffee shop called Giuliani’s, where handmade chocolate can also be purchased. For day-to-day bits and pieces, there is a small Co-op, plus a couple of other local convenience stores. The local pub is called The Kilbride Tavern, which offers a weekly quiz and karaoke.

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.