Where: Alloway Village, Ayrshire
When: August 2011
Who: webmaster ayrshirescotland.com
Why: a local walk I like to go on now and
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Walk along the front of Belleisle Hotel,
past the 1st tee and you will come to
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
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.
There is a scenic fountain in the gardens
with a small monument as can be seen in the
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.