The old Brig o' Doon over the River Doon at Alloway
Burns Cottage and Alloway main street in 2011
A rather large metal mouse sculpture lurking in the grounds of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
Alloway
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Initially, when planning what to say about Alloway, I was going to embark on an unusually severe rant about the admittance charge to tourist attractions and how some families probably cannot afford to visit many of Scotland's old buildings.  I suppose if you're a tourist then you've generally got money to spend, but there will also be many parents in Scotland who are unable to show their offspring the inside of the little cottage in which the poet Robert Burns was born. I have since decided that this would be an unfair rant, as it has pretty much always cost money to get into tourist attractions like Burns Cottage. But I do nevertheless wonder what Robert Burns would have thought of it all.
O Life! thou art a galling load, Along a rough, a weary road, To wretches such as I.

In my little Blue Guide to Scotland, dating to the 1920s, almost everything to do with Burns cost money to get in: the Burns Monument (3d), Burns Cottage (6d), Banks o' Doon Tea Garden (2d), and so on. Clearly, from the moment Burns popped his clogs, Alloway became something of a money-sooking machine, almost Disneyesque, where visitors were spat out in a state of some skintness. But, for all my Scottish skittishness, there is lots to see in Alloway that today is free. And I might recommend that you start in the stunningly beautiful gardens by the River Doon and the Burns Monument.
BRIG O' DOON AT ALLOWAY
BURNS COTTAGE AND ALLOWAY
A RATHER LARGE METAL MOUSE
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How to
GET THERE

You can get a train to Ayr from Glasgow Central railway station. Alloway sits 2 miles to the south, a short walk or hop on a bus.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo