Robert Burns Birthplace Museum accessibility guide

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum has been deliberately designed to be easy to get around.

This access statement does not contain personal opinions as to suitability for those with access needs, but aims to accurately describe the facilities and services that we offer all our visitors.


Contact for accessibility enquiries:
01292 443700

We welcome all visitors to Robert Burns Birthplace Museum – this guide lists the range of provisions we have made to ensure that every visitor has the best experience possible when they visit us.

We have a complimentary ticket policy for essential carers.

Our front-of-house team usually wear red shirts or black t-shirts, and sometimes wear navy National Trust for Scotland fleeces or soft-shell jackets over the top. They will be happy to answer any questions you have during your visit.

Our flagship museum encompasses sites across the village of Alloway, including:

  • The museum building which houses the collection, the shop and the café, as well as Scots Wa-Hey – the Burns-themed play area outside
  • The Cottage (where Robert Burns was born) and the smallholding
  • Alloway Auld Kirk (made famous by Burns’s poem Tam o’ Shanter, where Tam saw the witches dancing!)
  • The Brig o’ Doon (also famous from Tam o’ Shanter, where Tam’s horse Meg loses her tail)
  • Burns Monument and the Monument Gardens
  • Poet’s Path – a walkway that connects the museum and Burns Cottage, and includes Burns-related sculptures

You will be given a map when you visit the museum.

Please note that a busy road runs between the sites. You will need to cross the road at both Alloway Auld Kirk and Burns Cottage. There are traffic islands at both sites to assist your crossing.

A very large stone statue of a mouse sitting on its hind legs stands on a patch of grass beside a long, straight path. In the background, a couple walk arm in arm along the path. A large hedge borders the path to the other side.
Poet’s Path and the giant mouse sculpture

At a glance

There is level access from the main entrance of the museum to:

  • The museum exhibition
  • Burns Cottage
  • Poet’s Path
  • Ticket/information desk
  • Accessible toilet
  • Shop
  • Café

The Monument Gardens can be accessed by wheelchair users.

Wheelchairs are available at both Burns Cottage and the museum on request.


Assistance dogs are welcome across the site.


Our museum is extremely popular with visitors from all over the world and we regularly have coach trips and school groups visit us. At these times, the museum and café/shop get busy and will be quite noisy, especially around lunchtime.

The museum itself has interactive screens and games, which produce a noise. If these are played at the same time, they can be heard around the museum. This can mean different sounds can be heard at the same time. A Burns song or poem is played every hour from overhead screens – at this point, the museum lights dim down. Staff at the admissions desk will be able to let you know at what times this will happen.

The museum houses the most significant collection of Burns objects in the world. Many of these are old manuscripts or letters and are extremely sensitive to light. If they are exposed to too much light, they will fade, and visitors will no longer be able to enjoy them. For this reason, the museum lighting needs to be kept low.

Are there quieter times to visit?

  • The museum is usually quieter before 11am and after 4pm. We cannot guarantee that we won’t have a special booking at these times, but you are welcome to call ahead and check on the day of your visit.
  • Burns Cottage opens at 11am and is usually most quiet between then and noon.
  • School visits are most common between January–March; coach trips are most common in the summer and autumn. November and early December may be quieter months to visit the site.

Accessible opening hours

We run accessible opening hours across the site, between 3–5pm on the first Tuesday of every month. Cleaning lights will be turned on and audio-visual elements of the museum switched off. While we cannot guarantee that this will be a quiet time from a visitor point of view, visitors who find the usual lighting and audio levels of the museum challenging may prefer to visit during these hours.

Getting here

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
Murdoch’s Lone


  • There are car parks at both the museum and Burns Cottage, which are free for our visitors to use and have dedicated spaces for Blue Badge holders.
  • We have an electric car charging point in the museum car park, for which donations are gratefully received.
  • We have four bike racks outside the museum.



  • Both the Education Pavilion beside Burns Cottage and the foyer area at the museum have accessible toilets.
  • There are baby changing facilities at the museum.


  • Our café can be found in the main museum building.
  • We offer a wide range of different options including soup, sandwiches, hot meals, a selection of cakes, healthy snacks, salads, and hot and cold drinks.
  • We offer gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.
  • Our café (and indeed our entire site) is breastfeeding- and family-friendly.
  • Our café is often busy during the middle part of the day.
  • We have highchairs available for small children.
  • Please note that it is not possible to consume your own food at the museum.


  • Our large shop can be found in the main museum building.
  • We sell a wide range of products, including items from local suppliers and crafters, Burns-related products, books about Burns’s life and works, and a selection of Scottish-themed goods. We have plenty of children’s items available too.

Visitor experience

Entrance area of the museum

  • The main entrance area has a revolving door, with wheelchair access to the left-hand side.
  • As you go through the door, you will enter the shop.
  • The café is directly in front of you, through the glass doors.
  • Our toilets, including an accessible toilet, are on the left-hand side as you walk towards the café.
  • The Admissions Desk is on the right. Our staff will be on hand to help you with buying your tickets and finding out more information.
  • With your admission ticket, you can come and go as often as you please throughout the day. You are welcome to visit the sites at your own pace.
  • Our staff will be able to tell you about all the different things you can do at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and any special activities happening that day.


  • The exhibition and education areas at the museum are fitted with a hearing loop.
  • The museum is accessed via a door to the right of the admissions desk.
  • The museum comprises the largest collection of Burns objects in the world, including original manuscripts, items which belonged to Burns and his family and friends, and objects associated with the Bard since his death.
  • There are many interactive activities in the museum for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
  • The museum is divided into different themed zones, relating to the life of Robert Burns.
  • We have large print versions of the labels in the museum – please ask at the admissions desk.
  • The museum is all in an open-plan room and so there are no areas that are quieter or noisier than others.
  • There is soft seating around the sides of the museum. Portable folding stools can be borrowed from inside the museum and used to sit on while viewing the exhibits.

Museum gardens and Scots Wa-Hey play area

  • The museum gardens and play area can be found adjacent to the café.
  • The Burns-themed play area, Scots Wa-Hey, is perfect for young visitors and is full of fun features. It includes a mini Burns Cottage, Tam o’ Shanter zip wire, Witches’ Cauldron roundabout (wheelchair accessible), Auld Kirk climbing wall, an accessible raised sand pit and Scots language features throughout.
  • The play area has ample seating.
  • The gardens have a level perimeter path network.


  • Burns Cottage is situated ½ mile from the museum building.
  • Burns Cottage is accessed via a kiosk at the edge of the car park.
  • Tickets can be purchased from the kiosk, and staff will be on hand to give you more information. If you have already purchased a ticket at the museum, please show this to the member of staff in the kiosk.
  • If the weather is fine, you can bring a picnic and make use of our outside benches.
  • Burns Cottage consists of 4 rooms and is all on one level.
  • Due to its historic nature, the cottage has narrow doors, although these are suitable for most wheelchairs.
  • One room has a cobbled floor which makes navigation difficult. You may find it easier to enter through the kitchen door on the right-hand side as you look at the cottage (marked Exit Only) if you think the cobbles might be difficult.


  • This attractive green space has an orchard, vegetable plots (including raised accessible beds), a path network and a wildlife-friendly pond.
  • The main paths are level and wheelchair accessible.
  • The woodland walk is a barked path and can become soft.

Burns Monument and Monument Garden

  • The Monument Garden paths are sloped, and some have gravel surfaces.

Brig o’ Doon

  • The Brig o’ Doon is situated at the bottom of a fairly steep road with narrow pavements.
  • The bridge itself is cobbled and is fairly steep.

Alloway Auld Kirk

  • Alloway Auld Kirk is accessible only by a set of stone steps but it can be viewed from the roadside.


We run lots of unique events and activities throughout the year, so please check our Facebook page for details, as well as the What’s On boards around our site.

All our talks, lectures and events are held on the ground floor and are accessible for wheelchairs and buggies.

Guide last updated: May 2023