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?
Kirkoswald used to be a centre for the smuggling trade – but nowadays you’re more likely to pick up some home-made chocolates or ice cream than any illicit contraband!