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Burns Country

With a bit of a lull in the various things Fiona and I had arranged we decided to actually head out in the motorhome for a couple of days. Despite having been members of the Camping and Caravanning Club since we first got a motorhome in 2004, we'd never used any of their Certified Sites (CS). These are small sites only available to club members, generally with limited facilities and (normally but not always) restricted to 5 caravans or motorhomes but which tend to be quiet and cheap. Not wanting to go far this time we decided a trip to Burns Country (i.e. Ayrshire) was in order so found a CS just outside Ayr call that had good reviews and looked ideal.

We phoned ahead to check for availability and the friendly lady that runs the site, Iris, did have space for us but only for one night which was fine. It sounds like she has a lot of regulars who use the site, as well as people stopping over on the way to ferries to Arran and Ayr. On arrival she met us and directed us to a nice hardstanding pitch that even had an electric hookup - a bargain at £9 per night! The site also has a toilet (basic but clean) and washing-up facilities but no shower - which is quite normal for these types of site. Indeed many will have a lot less as some are just spaces in a farmers field.

This was also going to be the first test for taking the little motorbike with us in the motorhome, so that was soon extracted from the garage to use on the ride into Ayr. That was straight down the A70 for a few miles (sitting at 50mph 2-up on the little bike was no problem), passing a Dobies garden centre on the way (very useful those as they'll usually have a cafe and a farm-foods area). As the main reason for being in Ayr was to do some Rabbie Burns related stuff we did a little circuit along the sea-front before heading to Alloway, parking at the cottage where Burns was born. As this, and the Burns museum itself, are National Trust for Scotland properties and we're members the entrance was free - which is always nice. The gentleman manning the entrance booth kindly offered to look after our bike helmets while we visited, which was very useful as we've not yet sorted out storage on the bike for those.

The little thatched cottage itself is typical for those times - a room for the animals at one end then an amazingly small living space across a couple of rooms for the parents and 4 kids to share.

It was a short (but wet - we're back to typical Scottish weather!) walk along to the museum itself. That is very well thought out with some great interactive displays for the kids - although not enough for one party of kids who were all sitting along one wall spending quality time on their mobile phones!

Very close to the museum there is also the monument although as it's undergoing some renovation it wasn't accessible this trip. It overlooks the Brig O' Doon (immortalised in the poem Tam o' Shanter) so we took a wander through the gardens of the very lovely Brig O'Doon House Hotel and then onto the bridge itself.

The ride home was pretty wet and gradually overwhelmed the limited waterproofing of the kevlar lined biking jeans I'd bought to be safe on the bike but look reasonably normally off it. It wasn't far back to the site however, and the little bike still handled well in the wet conditions.

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