Alloway Walk

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Where: Alloway Village, Ayrshire
When: August 2011
Who: webmaster ayrshirescotland.com
Why: a local walk I like to go on now and again
Weather: Sunny
Distance: 5 - 6 miles

There are a number of car parking places in the village by the church on the main street, by the Robert Burns Birth Place Museum and at the Robert Burns Cottage. Regular buses run from Ayr to Alloway.

It is a 3 mile walk from Ayr centre to Alloway, so this can add a bit of distance to the walk if you want.

The image below shows the starting point at the south entrance to the village at the New Bridge.

Alloway Entrance image

Looking over the New Bridge gives a good view of the famous Auld Brig where Tam O Shanter rode his grey mare Meg over whilst being chased by witches.

The other side of the New Bridge gives a scenic view of the Old Railway Bridge that was built for the rail line to Turnberry Golf Resort early in the 1900s. The Turnberry Station opened 17th May 1906, and closed on 2nd March 1942.

Alloway Big O Doon image

After crossing the bridge you come to the front entrance of the Brig O Doon House Hotel. The hotel has a fine restaurant, bar, beer garden and tea room. This is one of the most popular wedding reception venues in Ayrshire.

You can walk down the side of the hotel to get to the Auld Brig O Doon. Best resist the urge to enter the hotel until the walk is over.

Brig O Doon House Hotel image

Next to the hotel you will find two entrances to the Burns Monument and Memorial Gardens. The gardens have a path all around. Look for statues of Tam O Shanter and Souter Johnnie and the climb to the top of the Monument gives great views of the area.

Burns Monument and Memorial Gardens image

30 yards up the road from the hotel is the Alloway Parish Church. Across the road is Alloway Auld Kirk where Robert Burns Father is Buried. His grave stone is right at the entrance. The supposedly haunted Auld Kirk (Old Church) is where the witches began chasing Tam O Shanter from.

Alloway Parish Church image

Behind the Alloway Parish Church is the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. The museum has a restaurant/tea room, also with outdoor seating and shows films of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns life.

There is a cycle lane on the old Turnberry rail track just across the road from this museum. It runs about two miles north to Maybole Road, and about 1 mile south to Doonfoot. Only cyclists, an odd walker, and an odd pony trekker use the track, so is ideal for families with young children looking for a safe place to cycle.

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum image

Back to the main road and about 1 mile further on, you come to Alloway village centre with the Robert Burns Cottage. The cottage is a good museum showing living conditions in Scotland during the 1700s.

Robert Burns Cottage image

Walk out the north end of Alloway along Monument Road for about one third of a mile until you reach Rozelle Estate entrance on the right hand side. Just inside the entrance you will see the duck ponds. These are only inches deep, so are popular with ice skaters when frozen over in winter.

Rozelle Duck Ponds image

A short walk further into the estate takes you to Rozelle House. The house was owned by the Hamilton's, famous Ayrshire land owners. The Hamilton's of Rozelle gifted the mansion and grounds to the people of Ayr in 1968 to be used for culture and recreation purposes. Rozelle House now holds the art and museum collections of South Ayrshire Council, open most days.

Rozelle House image

The rear of Rozelle House has art sculptures and seating areas, also a cafe. The woodland walks are popular with dog owners and there is a bridal path. I almost got trampled once when crossing the bridal path by a girl on a pony, that was either out of control, or she was trying to get it ready for the Ayr Gold Cup.

Rozelle House Sculptures image

Go back to the entrance of Rozelle Estate and cross the road. 30 yards further on you will see an entrance to Belleisle Estate and Golf Course. The path leading through the golf course to the hotel is loose ground, about one third of a mile long. There is a tea room to the right in the image below, next to the neighbouring Seafield Golf Course 1st tea.

Belleisle House Hotel image

Walk along the front of Belleisle Hotel, past the 1st tee and you will come to Belleisle Gardens.

Belleisle Golf 1st tee image

The glass house is in the first part of the gardens. This is being restored just now and may take some time, just by luck I had the image below in my 2006 photos folder.

The Hamilton's of Pinmore took over this estate in the late 1700s. They acquired more land for the estate and extended the mansion house to its present day form. Ayr Burgh Council purchased the estate in 1926 for £25,000, it has been opened to the public free of charge since. The hotel is leased by the council to hotel chains. It seems to change hands regular. The hotel has a bar on the first floor with views over the golf course.

Belleisle Glass House image

Next to the Glass House is the walled garden. This is scenic now, great for wedding photos. From as far back as the 1300s until the 1900s, walled gardens in estates were full of vegetables and had fruit growing up the walls. The high walls of up to 12 feet, made ideal growing conditions by blocking the wind and keeping in heat.

Belleisle Walled Garden image

There is a scenic fountain in the gardens with a small monument as can be seen in the image below.

Beleisle Gardens image

Exit the far side of the walled garden, turn right, then follow the road round to the left going away from the hotel. You will pass a children's play park and a deer park before coming to the south exit of Belleisle Park. Turn left at the exit and about half of a mile walk up Greenfield Avenue will take you back to Alloway Village. Map.

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