|The A to Z of Scottish Places: Gazetteer K|
The A to Z of Scottish Places: K
K is for...
... Loch Katrine
The Perthshire Loch Katrine is secluded with only a private road around one shore and with surrounding hills, the highest of which is the rocky Ben Venue. The loch forms part of the water supply for the city of Glasgow via a subterranean viaduct. Sir Walter Scott's The Lady of the Lake is associated with its waters. Nearby is the road that leads to Glengyle, the birthplace of Rob Roy.
Called in the past "the industrial heart of Ayrshire", Kilmarnock has a variety of industries including whisky and light engineering. The town has had a long association with the poet Robert Burns and he wrote many poems especially for the town folk such as "The Ordination" and "Tam Samson's Elegy". In Kay Park above the city centre there is a Burns memorial with a huge statue of the poet by sculptor W G Stevenson. Sadly the memorial is closed off from the public at the moment and the building urgently needs work if it is to survive. Other attractions in the area include the 15th century Dean Castle, the Dick Institute with its geological and archaeological exhibits and the Art Gallery. Kilmarnock means "Church of my dear little St Ernan" who, it is said, was the uncle and priest of St Columba.
Kirkcaldy is an industrial city in Fife looking out on a stretch of the Firth of Forth busy with commercial ships and tankers. Nicknamed The Lang Toun because it was once just a long street, the city's fortunes were made in Linoleum, an industry that is all but gone in this modern age. The seafront promenade while elegantly straight lacks a little in character while a host of car-parks screen the main shopping area from the sea. However the city is a busy place and on any Saturday the centre is lively with shoppers. Adam Smith, author of the Wealth of Nations was born here in 1723.
Kirkintilloch means "fort at the head of the hill" and comes from the 2nd century fort which was part of the Antonine Wall and which is now hidden. Industries such as coal and iron foundries built the town but these have been replaced by new businesses. Despite its distance from the sea there was also a boat-building yard specialising in Clyde "puffers". These small steam boats were launched on the Firth and Clyde Canal which cuts through the town and which, after a long period of disuse, is being made navigable again. Kirkintilloch is a lively place and for anyone who enjoys browsing the bric-a-brac in charity shops a visit is exceptionally worthwhile thanks to the volunteers who run a long line of such stores.