Morning Reader! ?
Day 2 – Friday, 20th May
We fully charged the car last night courtesy of Scotland’s State-run charging network, the imaginatively titled: Chargeplace Scotland using the unit in the car-park opposite Reception. Apart from the one-off admin fee of £10, a good 80% of the charging is completely free up here! ?
What you might have missed…
After our excellent first breakfast here, we were ready for the Burn… ?
We’re heading south from Troon to Alloway (pop. c4250) to soak up what the village has to offer about the iconic Scottish poet Robbie Burns. Time then, to blow the dust off the Scottish National Trust cards! ?
On our list: Burns’ Cottage; the Birthplace Museum; the Burns’ Monument and Brig o’Doon. Everything is pretty close together, so we’ll park up and walk to the rest of the attractions.
10.12am: We’re off! It was only a short journey of about 13 miles, but due to another motorist’s ‘close encounter’ with an artic and a Skoda, the resulting congestion meant it took us closer to 45 minutes. Luckily, it didn’t look like anyone was seriously injured, but it put a minor dent in our timings! ?
10.51am: Parking was pretty straightforward and offered some choices. We could either park at the Birthplace Museum or at Burns’ Cottage. We chose the latter simply to avoid walking back on ourselves. Word to the wise though: Even though the Cottage parking area is labelled ‘Birthplace Museum’ – the Museum ISN’T part of the Cottage location! (more about that later). ?
Robert Burns’ Cottage
Born in a cow-shed (his Dad being a farmer) the Cottage had been well restored. There wasn’t that much to see, but what there was, has been presented well and it did underpin Burns’ humble beginnings.
Next stop? The actual Burns’ Birthplace Museum home to a lot of his works.
11.05am: The Volunteer on the ticket desk gave us some precise instructions on how to get to the Museum. It required a short walk along a dedicated route…
…and was named Poet’s Path. It featured a range of characters from Burns’ works (including ‘The Mouse’ below) and it only took us around 10 minutes – it was all very pleasant in the warm sunshine.
11.15am: For us, this was the main event! There was a very wide range of Burns’ work on show here and it was exceptionally well presented. The lack of lighting was deliberate to slow down the detrioration of many of the written pieces.
The photos above are just a small sample of the exhibits on show. It was all very impressive, even if you’re not a fan! ?. It took us around 30 minutes to take it all in, but the incredible amount of detail on show meant that if you want even more, there’s plenty to enjoy.
There’s also quite a large cafe here too, but we resisted the temptation of a mid-morning snack and pushed on! ?
The Burns Monument
11.50am: Now that’s what I call a monument! If you prefer them on the subtle side, this isn’t the one! Designed by Sir Thomas Hamilton Jnr, this 70 foot Grecian-style temple opened in 1823, and its construction was funded by subscription. It’s surrounded by beautiful gardens that are free to wander around.
Currently, the biggest problem for this construction comes from Mother Nature – and moisture ingress. Complex work continues to seal up the holes with grout and monitor the ongoing moisture levels.
It was possible look around inside too – but there isn’t that much to see. However, the short climb up the rather twisty spiral staircase inside IS worth it for the view! ?
12.05pm: Well, what a location to end on!! ? It certainly got our vote for ‘Most Picturesque Location’ (at least, so far this week!) ?. What struck us immediately was how STEEP it was. OK, no problem for your average Range Rover 4×4, but back in the day, you would have needed a pretty strong horse (and/or wife) to get your goods from one side to the other! ?
Probably tthe best photo of the ‘brig’ is one taken from the adjacent bridge a few minutes walk away.
12.15pm: The weather was on the change! There’s rain forecast and those sunny skies that started our day, had started to turn grey! We headed to the Cottage car-park and onwards to Troon ‘Basecamp’.
We had hoped to grab a few shots of the gorgeous beaches in Troon – but the weather was against us!
I think that’s pretty much it for the cultural side of things today – time to catch up with my reading back at the Lodge.
On the list tomorrow WAS to be a day-trip by Ferry to the Isle of Arran. As we double-checked the arrangements we discovered that the Ferry we’d planned to board has been cancelled and Brodick Castle is now closed from lunchtime for a short-notice wedding!
What’s that famous saying by Burns???
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men“
Oh, how we laughed! ????????? (for about three seconds!)
Plan B then! Tomorrow, we’re taking the train to Glasgow! ??
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