Alloway is somewhere I avoid as it is usually stuffed full of coaches and their contents on the Burns trail. Today we decided to stop as everything was closed and free of hordes. The new Burns museum apparently cost £21m, and I have to say, that even from the outside it looks like money well spent (unlike some of the more dubious Millennium projects – yes, I’m looking at you The Big Idea).
The museum itself is a very attractive building with a wood and stone façade that looks a dry-stane dyke. There are unusual sculptures in the grounds: we particularly liked the various crows. I’m sure it will make the architect very happy it all met with our approval.
We wandered around the usual Burns sites: the Cottage, Auld Kirk, Burns Monument and Brig O' Doon. All interesting enough in a chocolate-box sort of way. But the thing that really made it for me was Poet's Walk. This path connects the Museum (via a nice new bridge) to Burns Cottage. There are some nice sculptures along the path (including a very non-timorous mouse standing 2m tall), but the best was a series of ten wind-vanes showing scenes from Tam O’ Shanter. They looked wonderful against a threatening winter sky. I don’t know who the artist was but they did a great job.