in the heart of Ayrshire
For a few months in the 80s I was a regular visitor here - a romantic entanglement which disentangled itself after a couple of years.
The woman involved was posted to Kilmarnock for work, so I used to pop over for weekends.
More recently, my son plays ice hockey league games there once a year. That's fine, because we're only there a couple of hours.
More seriously, he has played in weekend-long tournaments there - 3 times now. That means a lot of time on my hands - I enjoy watching him play, but can't watch much of the other games and I get claustrophobic if I stay in a cold, dark ice rink all day in May.
"the most recent trip..."
Turned out well.
It was sunny and very warm the whole time. Tough on the players - used to a cold rink and suddenly playing in the warmth on slushy ice, but great for me!
The hotel was fine, and his team mates' parents turned out to be a friendly bunch so we had a very "sociable" Saturday night (or to be more direct, we all got blootered).
The Youth enjoyed himself as his team got through the round robin stage unbeaten (draw with Kilmarnock, wins against Coventry & Blackburn), got to the final and lost narrowly.
He didn't get in any fights, but did provoke one of the opposition into flattening him - kid got kicked out of the tournament for his trouble.
The town centre is grimy and depressing even on a beautiful spring day.
However, you could spend a lot of time exploring the surrounding parts of Ayrshire with lots to see and do.