Starting Point for the Walk:
Burns Cottage Car Park, Alloway, Ayrshire – OS Reference NS 333 185.
Getting there: 40 miles / 50 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow onto the M8 (Greenock). Exit onto the M77 (Kilmarnock) and continue south on the M77/A77 until Holmston Roundabout on the outskirts of Ayr. Then follow the signs for Stranraer and Alloway (A77). At the next roundabout (Bankfield) follow the signs for Stranraer (A77). Turn right off the A77 (signed Alloway/Doonfoot/Heads of Ayr). There is also a brown tourist sign for Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. Follow Doonholm Road until a small roundabout and turn right (2nd exit) and follow this to the junction with the B7024. Then turn left and at the mini-roundabout turn right into Greenfield Avenue and then after about 100m turn right into Burns Cottage car park. Closest train station is in Ayr, with local bus services to Burns cottage.
Alloway Loop – 5 miles (8 km) – Flat
From the car park next to Burns Cottage, cross the road and follow the “Poet’s Path” in the direction of Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. The Path has ten weather vanes and sculptures depicting scenes from Robert Burn’s poem Tam O’ Shanter. Cross over the wooden bridge and turn right at the museum heading towards the Auld Kirk. Toilets are available in the museum. The graveyard at the Auld Kirk dates from 1516 and contains the grave of Robert Burn’s father. The graveyard was also the setting for the dancing witches in Tam O’ Shanter.
From the Auld Kirk, cross over the road and turn right along the pavement towards the Burns National Monument and gardens. There is a nice garden to explore and excellent views from the top of the monument. There will be time to listen to Tam O’ Shanter in another outbuilding where the statues of Tam and Souter Johnny are on display.
Crossing over the Brig O’ Doon, take the path which leads towards the main road and then turn right and then left onto Longhill Avenue. Travel along Longhill Avenue and take the steps on the right, down onto the tree-lined cycle path. Turn right and follow the path over the River Doon. Mungo’s Well is on the north bank on the left.
Continue on the cycle path and at Maybole Road turn left. After 150m turn left into Kersepark and then right into Pemberton Valley. Opposite Broadwood Park turn right into a narrow lane that leads into woodland. Joining the woodland path, turn left and follow the path towards Rozelle Park. Cross The Loaning and continue into the park. Take the path to the left leading to Rozelle House and the Maclaurin Gallery. Wander around the park to take in the sculptures, the Story Stroll and the pond before heading back to the car park.