West Kilbride is itself a village in the North Ayrshire region, but like many rural towns and those who have crawled through the fields to merge into an indeterminable mass, it has joined with two others as well. Kilbride, Seamill, and Portencross are generally considered to be one single community, even though they all have boundaries of their own. Together, as of 2001, they had a combined total population of around 4,000.
West Kilbride was thought to have been a spot visited by an early Celtic saint, Brigid, to establish the early foundations of her church. The name itself suggests there was a cell or a group of her worshippers in the area at one point. Also in the area, you can find remnants of Old roman influence in the form of a fort that resides where the village of Gateside exists. Several of the old roads still exist and many Roman finds from the area are recovered ansd given to museums across Scotland. William Wallace’s uncle Crauford held a home in the area just the north of the village at one point.
Seamill is often listed merely as part of Kilbride, however it is indeed a village of its own. A big grain watermill, one of the oldest buildings in the area lends its name to the village. Recreation seekers will find the excellent West Kilbride Golf Club here as well as the Seamill Hydro; a hotel with all the amenities one could want.
The old harbour of Portencross is a very small, naturally occurring tidal inlet which is actually part of the Portencross Castle property, for which the area is noted for. Fishing is of course a mainstay in the area, and a North harbour was built some distance away from the castle itself to facilitate access. The Portencross Harbour Trust maintains the harbour and owns the property. The one pier in the area was built in the prime age of steamers and ship travel and trade, but compared to many other lands of the time, it was used far less than normally was done.