Just because it’s Hallowe’en.
As I said before, by the time we got to Alloway, which is just a short hop from Culzean Castle, Robert Burns’s birthplace was shut. But here is a photo of it anyway, thatched roof and all. Hopefully the next time we’ll get there earlier.
This one is of the main street in Alloway, speed bump and all! You can just see the gable end of Burns’s cottage at the top right hand side.
If you carry on walking past the cottage it isn’t long before you reach the Auld Kirk which was already a ruin by the time Robert Burns was a wee boy (he was born in 1759). It’s this church and graveyard which inspired him to write his poem Tam O’Shanter, which you can read here.
Just along the road again a very short distance and you reach the River Doon. This is the famous Brig o’ Doon which features in the poem, with the witch pulling the horse’s tail as it gallops across the bridge to escape, of course witches can’t cross water!
This is a view from the old bridge to a newer bridge which isn’t all that new really. The pretty area of planting to the right belongs to a local hotel, it looks like a good place to relax and watch the river.
And this is the river from the other direction and yet another bridge.
I must say that Alloway was never a place which featured high on my list of ‘must visit’ places, but I was very agreeably surprised. The River Doon is really beautiful, fast flowing and clear and having been to the Burns house in Dumfries, I think he must have been pining for his beloved Alloway all the time he was there. Maybe that was why he wrote this song.