The fully way-marked Blue Bonnet Trails follow the journey taken from Ayr Town Centre to Alloway by Tam o’ Shanter as recounted in one of the most famous poems ever written by Robert Burns. The route described below combines the 2 Blue Bonnet Trails and forms a loop. The walk passes many points of interest along the way including Burns Cottage and Alloway's famous Auld Kirk and it also passes through both Belleisle and Rozelle Parks.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Start outside the Tam o’ Shanter Inn, Ayr High Street. Facing the Inn, turn right (South) to the end of High Street. Here there is a fork. Cross over onto Alloway Street which means taking the right fork (South West).
(1) After 240m you will pass Burns Monument on your left.
Continue South on Beresford Terrace for 240m to a fork. Keep right onto Midton Road, with Ayr Grammar School on your left.
At the next fork keep right to remain on Midton Road. You'll pass St Columba Church on your left.
(2) At the end of the road you will emerge onto Racecourse View. Cross the road to an opening in the wall leading onto Belleisle Park / the Old Racecourse.
Turn left to follow a gravel path East then South West to skirt around the edge of the park. The path turns to grass/earth and after 540m there is a gap in the wall to the left heading into the trees. Go through the gap and turn right, walking along this woodland footpath for 440m (ignore any paths off to the right or left). At the end of the path turn right (West) onto a wider track for a short distance until you reach a small cottage.
(3) Turn left (South) at the cottage to pick up another woodland path which winds its way through the trees parallel to A710 Doonfoot Road.
After 300m at a fork turn right (South West) to reach Slaphouse Burn. Cross the burn via the small footbridge then go up the steps. You will emerge onto a surfaced road. Cross over and pick up the continuation of the path ahead (signposted "Stables, Clubhouse, Belleisle House, Conservatory, Walled Garden & Play Area"). Continue along this wider track for 350m, ignoring several path junctions to your right.
When you reach a crossroads turn right (South West) onto a minor road. After 150m you will emerge onto Greenfield Avenue.
(4) Turn left (South East) and walk along the pavement for 380m until you get to a gravel road next to a cottage on your right. Cross Greenfield Avenue and follow this gravel road into Cambusdoon Estate.
You will reach a fork in the path. Keep left (South East). The path takes you past the remains of Cambusdoon House and emerges onto Shanter Way, a residential street.
(5) At the end of the street turn right (South) onto B7024, passing Alloway Auld Kirk on your right-hand side.
Cross B7024 at a safe place and take the road (South East) just before Brig o' Doon Hotel. Walk down the pavement along a minor road behind the hotel and after 130m turn right (South) to reach the Brig o' Doon.
(6) After admiring the views from the Brig o' Doon, retrace your steps back to the minor road.
(7) Turn left (North West) and then almost immediately right (North East) to go through a gate and up some steps to reach Burns Monument and Gardens.
(8) Explore Burns Monument and Gardens and exit via the north eastern corner (behind Alloway Church Hall).
(9) Turn right and then left to reach Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.
From the museum entrance head North West to reach a pedestrian crossing over Murdoch's Lone. Cross over and continue ahead across a footbridge over a cycle path. Keep left at a fork to reach the start of the Poet's Path.
(10) Turn right onto the mono-blocked Poet's Path and enjoy the Burns sculptures as you go. After 320m you will emerge onto B7024.
(11) Turn right (North East) and walk along the pavement, passing Burns Cottage on your left.
At the end of the row on houses, turn right (South East) onto a lane which leads to Burness Avenue. After only 120m turn left (North East) onto a footpath leading into the trees. You are now entering Rozelle Park. Turn left (North West) and follow the path through the trees, keeping left at any path junctions. After 480m you will arrive at a the main entrance road to the Park.
Turn left (West) and follow the road out of the Park and onto Monument Road/B7024). Turn right (North) and after 70m cross over Monument Road to pick up a gravel path on your left which takes you West across Belleisle Golf Course.
At the end of this path, opposite the remains of the Belleisle Hotel, turn right (North East) to pass the cafe and Clubhouse. Just before you reach the car park turn left (North). Keep right at a fork to continue North across Belleisle Golf Course.
After crossing Slaphouse Burn keep left at two forks, emerging onto Doonfoot Rd / A719 after 320m. Cross the road then turn right (North) and walk along the pavement for 200m, before turning left (West) into Carwinshoch View.
(12) At the end of the street continue across Seafield Drive to reach Ayr Esplanade.
Turn right (North) along the Esplanade for 1.7km and at after passing Ayr Beach Park on Low Greet turn right (East) onto Pavillion Road. Pavillion Road becomes Wellington Square. At the end of the street cross at the traffic lights onto Barns Street, heading towards the Mercure Hotel.
At the mini roundabout in front of the Mercure turn left (North East) and walk along Carrick Street. At the end of the street turn right (South East) onto Ayr High Street. 130m along you will arrive back at the Tam o' Shanter Inn (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 46ft - Tam o’ Shanter Inn, Ayr High Street
1 : mi 0.2 - alt. 49ft - Burns Monument
2 : mi 0.89 - alt. 39ft - Old Racecourse
3 : mi 1.55 - alt. 33ft - Cottage - look out for left turn
4 : mi 2.32 - alt. 62ft - Entrance to Cambusdoon Estate
5 : mi 3.06 - alt. 85ft - Alloway Auld Kirk
6 : mi 3.21 - alt. 66ft - Brig o' Doon
7 : mi 3.3 - alt. 66ft - Burns Monument & Gardens
8 : mi 3.36 - alt. 79ft - Exit of Burns Monument & Gardens
9 : mi 3.46 - alt. 89ft - Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
10 : mi 3.57 - alt. 82ft - Poet's Path
11 : mi 3.9 - alt. 89ft - Burns Cottage
12 : mi 5.58 - alt. 10ft - Ayr Esplanade
D/A : mi 7.21 - alt. 46ft - Tam o’ Shanter Inn, Ayr High Street
There are various ways to shorten this route. For alternative route options and a walk report visit Gillian's Walks
Ayr Through the Ages App
This route is best experienced in conjunction with the Ayr Through the Ages app, created by South Ayrshire Council. This is an interactive map allowing you to click any of the 31 pinned locations to reveal fascinating historical information relevant to that point on the map, as well as hear excerpts from the Tam o’ Shanter poem being recited. Download it here
Belleisle Golf Course
Please take care whilst walking across the golf course and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code
Tam o' Shanter Poem
Don't know it? Read it here
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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