Every year thousands undertake the pilgrimage to the birthplace of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns
Burns spent the first seven years of his life at Alloway Cottage, just south of Ayr. The cottage, and subsequent monument to the bard, now come under the umbrella of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. This fascinating treasure trove houses more than 5000 Burns artefacts, including handwritten manuscripts. You can even celebrate his legacy the traditional way, too, by having haggis, neeps and tatties in the museum café!
The displays in the museum and cottage are fascinating, and include plenty interactive exhibits. Every hour one a screen brings to life one of Burns’ best-loved works.
The cottage is worth a visit in its own right, but it can be combined with other local places associated with the Bard. These include Brig o’ Doon, Auld Kirk, Alloway, and the Burns Monument and Memorial Garden.
Alloway Cottage was being used as an alehouse when Burns died in 1796. It still attracted a regular stream of Burns fans, however, eager to see the birthplace of the bard.
Of Monuments And Mausoleums
Sir Alexander Boswell, son of the writer James Boswell, set up a committee in 1814 to discuss the establishment of a monument to Burns in Alloway. At the same time a similar committee was discussing the erection of a mausoleum at Burns’ burial place in Dumfries. Such was the public support that both campaigns succeeded. The Burns Mausoleum was built in 1817, with the Monument following between 1820 and 1823.
In 1881 the trustees of the monument purchased Burns Cottage, and spent the next twenty years restoring it to its original condition.
You can visit the cottage and museum throughout the year – except on Dec 25 & 26 and Jan 1 & 2.
Click here for visiting information.
There are loads more Ayrshire activities in our nine-page guide
– only in The Scots Magazine’s November issue!