My urban environment is a town in North Ayrshire called Kilwinning. It is situated on the River Garnock about 21 miles South of Glasgow in the West of Scotland.
There is a great deal of diversity to be found in the different buildings within my hometown. Some of the buildings include-
- Houses (mainly different estates, some quite old while others are brand new)
- Seven primary schools and Kilwinning Academy
- Shops, pubs and restaurants
- A fire station
- Community Centres
- Care homes
At it’s heart, Kilwinning is a very historic town. There are a lot of old buildings, including the Abbey. Kilwinning Abbey was founded between 1140 and 1191 by the De Morville Family. Beside it is a clock tower. This was restored during the early 90s and it is actually now a heritage centre. It is open to the public and you are able to climb to the top of the tower on certain days.
Kilwinning is also home to the Freemasons Mother lodge number 0. This was built at around the same time as Kilwinning Abbey and is located in the town centre. It is an ancient building with a unique history. Another historic building is Eglinton Castle which was built back in the 18th century by Hugh Montgomery the 12th Earl of Eglinton. The castle is particularly famous for the grand Eglinton tournament back in 1839. Sadly today most of the caste is in ruins. (See more about Eglinton Castle in the below link)
In contrast to these historic buildings the estate where I live is relatively brand new. It mainly consists of red brick, new build houses which are ideal for families. As a result most of my neighbours are families with young children. This creates quite a pleasant, safe environment to live.
There are numerous green spaces throughout Kilwinning-
- Eglinton Country Park
- McGavin Park
- Various small parks and playgrounds
- Kilwinning Sports club
- Football pitches
-Eglinton Country Park
I am also very fortunate that I only live a couple of minutes away from the countryside which is really ideal for walkers, runners, cyclists and dog walkers which there are a lot of in my estate.
Like most other places, there are a lot of cars in Kilwinning. A number of cars travel through Kilwinning commuting to Glasgow. Even though it is a relatively small town the roads can be extremely busy, especially at peak travel times.
Personally, I do not drive and mainly travel by train. Kilwinning is actually very convenient for train travel. There are frequent trains to Glasgow, Ayr and Largs. However, there are a number of issues that can arise. Trains can often be running late especially in bad weather. Last year many trains were cancelled all together and sometimes there was not always a replacement bus service. Also travelling on a Sunday can be difficult as a result of engineering works. Furthermore, travelling at peak times is often quite stressful as the trains are very busy and you often can not get a seat.
-Kilwinning train station
There are also a number of bus services that run from Kilwinning. The number eleven bus between Ardrossan and Kilmarnock leaves every few minutes which is extremely convenient for a lot of people. However, I personally do not enjoy travelling by bus. They are often overcrowded and can be quite rowdy. They are also sometime very slow especially during the school run and frequently late.
Community spaces found in Kilwinning include-
- Primary schools
- Kilwinning Academy
- Several community centres
- Church halls
- Kilwinning Library
Industry and Work
There are quite a lot of job opportunities in retail throughout Kilwinning. There are a number of shops located in the town centre. There are several pubs, restaurants, cafes, and takeaways throughout the town that provide jobs in food and catering business. Kilwinning Medical Practice, the local pharmacy, and several nursing homes mean there are jobs available in the NHS. In Kilwinning there are seven primary schools and one secondary school that provide a lot of teaching jobs.
Whitehirst Park, the estate where I live, is relatively new and constantly expanding. There a number of brand new homes and ones still being built which means there is work available in the construction industry.
-Kilwinning town centre
Unfortunately there are not many recreation spaces in Kilwinning. There are no leisure centres, cinemas, swimming pools, theatres or ice rinks. While attending secondary school I did find growing up here quite dull. It meant I had to spend money travelling in order to reach recreation spaces in other towns.
On the other hand there is Kilwinning sports club which has a gym, playing fields, a golfing range, an astro turf pitch and a playground.
-Kilwinning Sports Club
The population density in North Ayrshire is 155 people per square kilometre. This is very low compared to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, which has a population density of 1,852 people per square kilometre. When compared to the largest city in Scotland the population density appears even lower in my local area. Glasgow has a population density of 3,415 people per square kilometre.
As you can see levels of air pollution in my local urban environment are low. This not only applies to Kilwinning but throughout Ayrshire.