See Scottish literature come to life in this 18th-century thatched cottage in the heart of Kirkoswald, Ayr. The former home of cobbler – or souter – John Davidson, the real-life Souter Johnnie immortalised in the Robert Burns poem Tam o’ Shanter, it features a thatched tavern in the garden, complete with life-sized sandstone statues of the poem’s main characters.
The house also offers a taste of how the Davidson family would have lived and worked – inside the cottage there is a reconstructed shoemaking workshop crammed with Souter Johnnie’s original tools, as well as living quarters with period furniture. There’s also a small collection of Robert Burns memorabilia.
Did you know?
Burns came to Kirkoswald in 1775 to study trigonometry. However, he was so distracted by the charms of the girl who lived next door to the school that he abandoned his studies