A good base is the famous Brig o’ Doon House Hotel with its views of Alloway Auld Kirk, Burns Monument and the Brig o' Doon itself, the setting for the finale of Burns' most famous poem, ‘Tam o' Shanter’.
Start your trip with a full morning at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, which has the most significant Burns collection anywhere in the world. Here you can step into Burns' life to see the cottage where he was born and lived in his early years before experiencing a sense of the grown man, his life and work from the main exhibition. You can spend the entire day at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum but it’s also a good opportunity after lunch to take one of the suggested trips by car.
Afternoon Option A: Dalrymple
Burns Cottage was the family residence until the family moved inland to Mount Oliphant Farm when Robert was 7 years old. The site of Mount Oliphant Farm is just off to the right of Doonholm Road if you head for Dalrymple on the A77 and the journey takes about 15 minutes from the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. Here, Robert and his brother Gilbert went to the little Dalrymple Parish School. Doing the same journey every day, the brothers would walk from Mount Oliphant and at the same time Burns was also a labourer on the farm.
Afternoon Option B: Burns Club, Irvine
In 1781 Burns went to work in the industrious sea town of Irvine, approx 17 miles from Alloway, and it was there that an acquaintance, Captain Richard Brown, encouraged Burns to publish his poetry for the first time. In 1826 Irvine Burns Club was founded and this later became a museum. It presents an audio visual on Burns' period in the town. It’s free to visit but has restricted opening times.
Return to Alloway and spend the remainder of the day experiencing Burns with a walk onto the legendary Brig o’ Doon or visit the Auld Alloway Kirk.