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Cumnock, or "Cumnag" in Gaelic, is a town in East Ayrshire, Scotland, which sits at the confluence of the Glaisnock Water and the Lugar Water. It has a strong socialist heritage, due to its role as a mining centre, and has served as the market town for the other, smaller towns in the district, such as Ochiltree, Lugar, Auchinleck, Muirkirk and New Cumnock.
James Keir Hardie, the father of the Labour Party, which is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, lived in the town for a large part of his life, a statue that honors him presently being located outside the town hall.
Cumnock is, perhaps, best known for being home to one of Scotland's biggest Junior football teams, Cumnock Juniors, which attract big attendances from the region every time they play. However, despite the fact that they draw a large number of sport enthusiasts in Cumnock, from the town's area, and they spend large sums of money in pursuit of success, they seem to have been overshadowed by the achievements of local rivals Auchinleck Talbot, from the adjacent town.
Cumnock is a wonderful Scottish area to visit. It is a historic market town, its heritage being well preserved through the many historic attractions, spread throughout its area. The Cumnock area is a delightful mix of open countryside and heritage sites. The town grew in the 1800's, with its coal-mining industry and the production of the delicate finely crafted Cumnock snuff-boxes, and beautiful small decorative plane-tree wooden boxes, but its historic allure has not yet vanished. Besides the numerous hotels, B&B's and self-catering cottages that exist today, visitors can also enjoy a scenic farmland and historical features such as the Mercat Cross dating from 1703, the impressive orange/red stone Town Hall built in 1885, the Old Church built in 1867 or Crichton Church, built in 1899.
Other major historical attractions in Cumnock include the ruins of the medieval Auchinleck Castle, which are sitting on the sandstone cliff-top on the banks of the River Lugar and the ruins of the 15th century Terringzean Castle, which stands on a raised bank overlooking the Lugar.
In close-by Kilmarnock, there is also the 14th century Dean Castle, also worth checking out, and Country Park, featuring woodland walks, an adventure playground, a pet-corner, a visitor centre, a tea-room and a gift-shop.
Dumfries House is another "must see" attraction in Cumnock, considered to be one of Britain's most beautiful stately homes and best kept heritage secrets. It is an impressive Palladian mansion, surrounded by 2,000 acres of scenic countryside that offers visitors a unique, unforgetable experience.
Visitors should also see the Baird Institute, where they can see local history displays and exhibitions, the Cumnock Town Hall, the Burns House Museum, in nearby Mauchline, where poet Robert Burns lived after his marriage to Jean Armour, the cairn at the entrance to the working farm where he wrote "To a Mouse", the National Burns Memorial Tower, and, of course, the statue of Burns' wife Jean Armour, in Dumfries, opposite St Michael's Church.