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Ayrshire & Arran

Souter Johnnie’s Cottage

Home of the shoemaker immortalised by Robert Burns in Tam o’ Shanter
Garden at Souter Johnnie’s Cottage
  • Step inside the home and workshop of an 18th-century shoemaker.

  • Head out into the garden to see the thatched model tavern.

  • Enjoy the displays of arts and crafts.

  • See fascinating artefacts relating to the life and work of the village souter.


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About this place

‘and at his elbow Souter Johnnie his ancient, trusty, drouthy crony’

Tam o’ Shanter’s partner-in-mischief was said to be based on John Davidson, the souter (shoemaker) who lived in this thatched cottage with his family in the late 18th century.

With changing exhibitions of local arts and crafts, this small gallery and gift shop retains the atmosphere of Davidson’s family home and workshop while providing a showcase for local talent.

A thatched outbuilding in the garden houses life-sized sculptures of Tam, Souter Johnnie and Nance Tunnock, much as Robert Burns visualised them - fast by an ingle, bleezing finely’.

Our accreditations and awards

  • 3 Star Visitor Attraction
  • Green Tourism Bronze