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Beautiful old cobbled bridge over the Doon, built in the 15th century. It features in the 1791 poem, 'Tam o' Shanter', when Tam gallops across the bridge on his horse, Meg, pursued by witches and warlocks. He escapes - but they grab Meg's tail! Combine with a visit to the Robert Burns' Monument, Museum, Alloway Old Kirk and his birthplace.
The old churchyard surround the ruins of Kirkoswald's old parish church, dedicated to St Oswald, King of Northumbria, who is said to have won a battle on the site in c634AD and built a church in thanks for his victory. Inside the church is the font that is said to have been used for the christening of Robert the Bruce at nearby Crossaguel Abbey in 1274, moved here for safety during the Reformation. It is not possible to enter the church, but the font can be seen through a door. As well as containing several fascinating and astonishingly ornate headstones, the churchyard is the last resting place of many associated with Robert Burns, who went to school in Kirkoswald. Amongst the burials are his maternal grandparents, teacher, Hugh Rodger, John Davidson (Souter Johnnie), Douglas Graham (Tam o' Shanter) and Jean Kennedy (Kirkton Jean).
Celebrating the life and works of Robert Burns (1759-1796), this is a modern, custom-built museum and visitor centre including shops, restaurant and kids' adventure playground. The latter is amazing, incorporating images from the poet's works into the play facilities. The museum tells the story of Burns' relatively short, but prolific, life based on themes, rather than a logical sequence of events. Geared to the already converted rather than creating new fans, the museum is still interesting. Combine with a visit to Robert Burns' Birthplace, Alloway Old Kirk, Burns Monument and Brig o' Doon.
Robert Burns' poem Tam o’ Shanter featured a souter - shoemaker - who was Tam's partner-in-crime. The souter was said to be based on John Davidson, who lived in this thatched cottage with his family in the late 18th century and who is buried at nearby Kirkoswald Church. Souter Johnnie's Cottage is now a showcase for local artists, with a gallery and gift shop; there is not much else to see.
A WW1 airfield was built in 1917 amidst a golf course that was laid out in 1902, with a luxury hotel being built in 1906. The airfield was initially an aerial gunnery school for the Royal Flying Corps, later the Royal Air Force. The RAF left after the war, but RAF Turnberry was reinstated for WW2, this time for coastal command and torpedo training. The hotel was used as a hospital during both wars. The memorial, standing lonely in the golf course, commemorates aircrew from the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. Park by the entrance to Turnberry Lighthouse and walk across the golf course toward the lighthouse - where you will also find the remains of Robert the Bruce's castle and fabulous views across to Ailsa Craig.
A grand Georgian house set in acres of parkland with formal gardens and an interior that includes works by Van Dyck and Gainsborough. George Baillie, an officer in William of Orange's army, commissioned William Adams to build the house in 1725. Only two wings were finished. The work was completed in 1778 by William's son, Robert, who linked the two wings and finished everything off in a sort of castle style. Mellerstain is said to be one of Scotland's finest stately homes.
Tells the story of the greatest munitions factory on earth and the lives of the girls who worked thee. HM Factory Gretna opened in 1916 and manufactured RDB Cordite. Cordite was (or is) a powerful explosive, a mixture of guncotton and nitro-glycerine, which was said to resemble porridge. HM Factory Gretna stretched over 9 miles and at its height employed 30,000 people.
St Ninian, Scotland’s first Christian missionary, landed in 397AD on the Isle of Whithorn, at the south-east corner of the Machars Peninsula. A chapel was established for pilgrims nearby. Its ruined shell is 14th century, though there is evidence of an older building underneath – probably an earlier chapel.