Walk 109 – Burns’ Trail, Alloway – 3.8 miles

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Portrait of Robert Burns

Scotland’s national bard, Rabbie Burns, was born in Alloway in 1759. Explore his birthplace on this circular walk which takes you to Burns Cottage, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Auld Alloway Kirk, Burns Monument & Gardens, Brig o Doon and through the beautiful Rozelle Park. Allow extra time if you plan to visit the museum and/or cottage (charges apply unless you are a member of the Scottish National Trust). 

TERRAIN: A mixture of tarmac footpaths and pavements, woodland trails and a few sets of steps.

Print  Dog-friendly walk

  Car park at Burns Cottage, Greenfield Avenue, Alloway (KA7 4NW). Bus stop at Burns Cottage.

route-image  Route: Exit the car park through a metal archway. Cross the B7024 and turn right. Look out for the Poet’s Path on the left and follow it until the second fork where you turn right to cross the footbridge. Cross the road (Murdoch’s Loan) towards the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. Once outside the entrance turn right down Auld Nick’s View. At the end of the street cross the road to visit the Auld Alloway Kirk. Cross back over then turn right to walk past the new Alloway Church. Take the first road on your left. Pass through the gated entrance to the Burns Monument and Gardens and after having a look around (and climbing the monument if you wish!), exit the gardens via some steps at the opposite end from where you entered. Cross the road to walk across the cobbled Brig o’ Doon. Follow the earth track through the trees and onto B7024/High Maybole Road. Turn right then cross the road onto Longhill Avenue on your left. On reaching a bridge there is a set of steps on the right hand side of the road which lead you down onto the tree-lined Burton Cycle Track. Follow this track for 1.2 miles until it ends on A79/Maybole Road where you turn left. Look out for a narrow earth track on your left just a little past Kersepark at a bridge. Follow this track along Slaphouse Burn until you emerge into Rozelle park. Turn left to continue through the trees and at the Pavillion turn right. Take the first left through a gate and continue past Rozelle House. Pass through the gardens of Rozelle House, emerging onto the Bridle Path in front of the duck pond. Turn left then second left (last turn before exiting the park) along a tree-lined footpath which runs adjacent to the busy B7024/Monument Road. The path bends to the left after which you exit the park to the right onto Burness Avenue. Cross over to Wellpark and continue along to a crossroads. Turn right onto Clochranhill Road then left onto B7024. You will arrive at Burns Cottage shortly after. The car park is a little further along on the left.  

Route map - Burns Trail, Alloway

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WALK REVIEW: 22nd January 2017

As a group walk co-ordinator for the #walk1000miles community, I decided it would be a nice idea to do the Burns’ Trail in time for Burns Day, traditionally celebrated on 25th January which was the famous poet’s birthday. Since that day fell midweek we did the walk the weekend prior: 7 adults and 5 dogs.  Not normally a ‘doggy person’, I was a little out of my comfort zone at first but quickly got used to the antics of my new furry friends!  A quick whiff of poo being scooped into a bag was however enough to remind me why we have cats at home ;-) They all seemed to enjoy it, particularly along the cycle track where there was plenty of mud to run around in… and shake off! They did go home “clean” though after a splash around in Slaphouse Burn towards the end.

Enjoy my photo tour…

Close up of Burns Cottage
Burns Cottage, the start and end point of the walk. Inside is set up to look the way it would have in Burns’ day – well worth a visit!
Poet's Path sign
The Poet’s Path: a short footpath between Burns Cottage and the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. References to some of Burns’ most famous poems can be found dotted along the way (shown below)
Stone remains of Alloway's Auld Kirk
The allegedly haunted Auld Kirk and it’s cemetery, where you can find the grave of William Burns, Rabbie’s father. The gravestone is inscribed on the back with words written by Burns himself.
Burns Monument sign
Burns Monument, Alloway
The 70ft tall Burns Monument. Did you know that you can climb up the inside to the base of the pillared section??  The views are well worth it!
Brig o Doon hotel with its landscaped gardens and famous old stone bridge
A short climb up the steps to the top of the Burns Monument is rewarded with a view over the perfectly manicured memorial gardens to Brig o’ Doon and beyond.
Close up of the Brig o Doon
The iconic Brig o’ Doon, which plays an important role in Burns’ poem “Tam o’ Shanter”.  It can be slippery in wet weather due to it’s steep arch and cobbled surface.
Woodland path
Perhaps you are like me and have stood on the Brig o’ Doon many times but have never ventured to the other side to see what is there? I had always wondered! Well, see above photo :-) It is basically a short (and I would think sometimes muddy) passageway leading onto B7024 just along from the Brig o’ Doon House Hotel. So now we both know!
A tunnel on the Burton cycle track, Alloway
The next – and longest – section of the walk is along the disused Ayr-Girvan railway line. It is now known as the Burton Cycle Track, or the Maybole to Doonfoot Cycle Track depending on your reference. Along the way you will pass Mungo’s Well, “Whare Mungo’s mither hang’d hersel”. Unfortunately on our visit the well was filled with leaves which had fallen from the trees overhead so we didn’t see much. Having said that, I did comment on how understated the “attraction” was, with a simple laminated paper sign being the only indication of it’s existence. I am sure the local authorities and Burns enthusiasts can arrange for something better than that to mark the famous spot!
Woodland path next to Slaphouse Burn
This is the tranquil woodland path along Slaphouse Burn; a welcome relief from the busy Maybole Road.

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4 thoughts on “Walk 109 – Burns’ Trail, Alloway – 3.8 miles

  1. We did this walk yesterday on a sunny, but cold, February day with my parents (up from Norfolk) and loved it. What an interesting place Alloway is and thanks for a great walk (mostly away from the roads, which we appreciated) round it.


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