I walk down through this lovely 30 acre park several times a week, on one side of the pond to get to the library and Dick Institute, or the other side following the river, the Kilmarnock Water, down to the town.
The park was gifted to Kilmarnock by the local insurance broker, Alexander Kay and opened in 1879.
You'll find the striking Reformers' Monument there (see my separate review) and an attractive Victorian fountain which commemorates the 1902 coronation of King Edward and Queen Alexandra.
On the top of the hill there is new Burns Monument Genealogy and Registrar centre, built to replace the former Burns monument which very sadly burnt down in 2004. The beautiful white statue of Burns (sculpted by W. G. Stevenson of Edinburgh) fortunately remained intact and underwent an extensive cleaning programme in 2008. It now stands in the middle of the new Centre.
There's a playground for children on the west side of the pond, with swings and slides. It seems to be well used at all times of year as there are usually lots of children there when I pass by.
Kay Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including squirrels, rabbits, ducks and swans. It's a great place for a walk as there are many paths to follow (some are quite hilly) including some lovely mature tree avenues. You can see many attractive flower beds in season and the daffodils are a sight to behold in spring. There are several benches, especially near the pond, where you can sit and watch or feed the birds.
The main gates to this free park are in Strawberrybank Road although there are other access points around the perimeter. You can walk here from town or catch a bus to the entrance beside the junction of Strawberrybank Road and South Dean Road.
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