2014 – Robert Burns Cottage at Alloway, Scotland day 14

Backpacking to Stranraer, Scotland from 21 May to 26 June 2014 (37days)
The beautiful cottage of Jessie and Jimmy next to Alistair's house.
Day 14 (03.06.2014 Tue) – to Robert Burns Cottage at Alloway (78km)

This morning our immediate neighbour Jessie and Jimmy came over and together with Alistair we drove north all the way to Alloway (78km) to visit the birthplace of the famous Robert Burns 1759, before making the return journey home.

Our heartiest congratulations to Jessie and Jimmy for getting a new car a few days ago and a thousand thanks to both of you for driving the ladies on the western scenic coastal road towards Ayr. We had morning tea hosted by Jessie at Maly Café at Givan and later had picnic lunch at Kennedy Park, beside Dunure Castle. Total return road journey travelled was about 185 km.

The wonderful region of Ayrshire & Arran offers an extensive selection of great things to see. We passed through the following coastal towns as follows; Innermessan, Cairnryan, Ballantrae, Lendalfoot, Girvan, Turnberry, Maidens, Dunure and finally Alloway near to Ayr. Along the way we stopped at many interesting places.

Sleeping: Shambley Residence, Millfield Avenue, Stranraer, Scotland.
Temp: min.10 – max.16 °C 

Our heartiest congratulations to Jessie and Jimmy for getting a new car.
The rhododendrons flowers growing wild on the hillside at Glenapp.

We were walking on part of the Ayrshire Coastal Path.

(L-R) Vall Allan, Pauline Toh, Jessie, Catherine, Betty, Lim Kee Moon

Pauline Toh and Catherine
Catherine, Betty and Pauline Toh

The rhododendrons flower.

The Church of Scotland at Glenapp also Known as the Glen Kirk. Simple structure of 1850, enhanced by P MacGregor Chalmers in 1910. Windows by Douglas Strachan and Kelley & Co including a memorial window to Elsie Mackay, 3rd daughter of Earl of Inchcape, killed in 1928 attempting to fly the Atlantic. Modern stained glass window above door, 'The Stilling of the Tempest', in memory of 1st Earl. Graveyard contains tombs of the three Earls of Inchcape.

We passed through Ballantrae Village.

Monument to the cruiser “VARYAG” at Lendalfoot, Ayrshire. The Varyag Memorial was unveiled here at Carleton Bay, Lendalfoot on the 30th of July 2006 and was attended by members of the Russian navy. The Varyag was a Russian cruiser which was involved in a heroic battle in the Russo-Japanese war in 1904.

Varyag was a cruiser built in the United States for the Imperial Russian Navy. She was launched on 31 October 1899 and commissioned on 2 January 1901. In 1904, at the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, Varyag became famous for a heroic action after she and another Russian gunboat were trapped by 15 Japanese warships while she was in the neutral Korean port of Chemulpo. Rather than surrender to the Japanese, the Russian ships sailed out to meet their enemy. They put up a brave fight but, drastically outgunned, they received heavy damage and were forced to return to harbour where the decision was taken to scuttle the vessels. A number of neutral European warships, including the British cruiser Talbot, picked up the surviving crew members who were eventually returned to Russia. They returned to a heroes' welcome.

In 1905 the Japanese raised the vessel and carried out repairs after which it served in their navy as the light cruiser Soya. During the Great War, however, Russia and Japan became allies and Varyag was one of several ships transferred by the Japanese to the Russian Navy. The Russians immediately gave the warship her original name back. In 1916 Varyag was sent to Great Britain for a refit but by the time she was ready to resume active service with the Arctic squadron the Russian Revolution was underway so, to prevent her falling into the wrong hands, she was impounded by the British.

In 1920 Varyag was sold to Germany for scrap but while she was under tow she ran aground on rocks off Lendalfoot. The wreck remained visible until 1925 when the once proud warship finally sank beneath the waves. On Sunday July 30, 2006 (Russian Navy Day), a memorial tablet to the cruiser was unveiled at the site. Various Russian dignitaries and navy personnel attended the ceremony but the Russian people wanted to have a more significant memorial. In response the striking bronze cross featuring the warship was unveiled the following year.

The gigantic anchor of the cruiser Varyag.

Ailsa Craig Island. Ailsa Craig is an island of 219.69 acres in the outer Firth of Clyde, 10 miles from mainland Scotland, upon which blue hone granite was quarried to make curling stones.

Lendalfoot beach is a mile long sandy beach on the Ayrshire coast. There are plenty of lay-by to park the car which allow visitors to explore the beach. Sit on the sand or take a stroll and admire the breathtaking scenery which looks out across the Firth of Clyde towards Ailsa Craig Island. Nestled in the colourful hills behind the village of Lendalfoot is Carleton Castle. It is said to be haunted by the ghostly screams of the seven wives of the baron that once lived there, who murdered all of his wives by pushing them over the cliff.

We had morning tea hosted by Jessie at Maly Café at Givan. Thanks Jessie.

The Trump Turnberry Resort - The distinctive character and grand design of the Trump Turnberry Resort is part of the history of Turnberry, of Ayrshire and of Britain. The legendary Trump Turnberry Resort, set on a stunning 800 acre estate on the west coast of Scotland.

The Trump Turnberry Clubhouse.

The 'Electric Brae', known locally as Croy Brae. This runs the quarter mile. The configuration of the land on either side of the road provides an optical illusion making it look as if the slope is going the other way. Therefore, a stationary car on the road with the brakes off will appear to move slowly uphill.

The Culzean Bay Caravan Park.

A recently granted extension to the park shall allow a further 24 caravans to enjoy the panoramic views of the Firth of Clyde, Isle of Arran and Ailsa Craig. The park also offers a small shop, children's play park, tennis court.

Croy Shore at Culzean Bay is located between Maidens and Dunure in Ayrshire. Found nearby the small town of Maybole, Croy Beach is a mixture of sand and rocky outcrops and is a great area for walking and admiring views of Culzean Castle.

This gem of a beach is popular on sunny days, especially with those looking to pursue surfing and yachting activities.

Facilities at Croy Beach include a car park, toilets and a nearby caravan site.

Culzean Castle is a castle near Maybole, Carrick, on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. It is the former home of the Marquess of Ailsa, the chief of Clan Kennedy, but is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The clifftop castle lies within the Culzean Castle Country Park and is opened to the public. Since 1987, an illustration of the castle has featured on the reverse side of five pound notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Dunure is a small village in the South Ayrshire area of Scotland. Located on the coast of the Firth of Clyde, Dunure is near to Maybole.

The beautiful village of Dunure.

Dunure beach is located in the village of Dunure. Mainly shingle, Dunure beach has a lovely little harbour with Dunure Castle peeking over its shoulder. Dunure beach boasts nearby facilities including picnic areas, toilets and shops.

The site dates from the late 13th century. The castle is the point of origin of the Kennedy's of Carrick, who once ruled over much of south western Scotland and were granted the lands in 1357.

Dunure Castle today stands in ruins on a rocky promontory on the Carrick coast, protecting the small Dunure harbour.

We had picnic lunch at Kennedy Park, beside Dunure Castle.

What better way to take advantage of a sunny day than with a picnic lunch of dress ham and turkey sandwiches with cream cheese spreads.

Noticed how the car doors being opened.

At Alloway

Robert Burns is one of Scotland’s most important literary figures and is best known for his famous, and often humorous, songs and poetry. Burns was an inspiring and passionate pioneer of his generation and is regarded as Scotland’s National Bard.

Burns Cottage is the birthplace of Robert Burns at Alloway. It was built by his father, William Burness in 1757. Burns, Scotland's national poet, was born there on 25 January 1759. It is a simple two-roomed clay and thatch cottage and has been fully restored to become part of Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

The museum comprises the famous Burns Cottage where the poet was born, the historic landmarks where he set his greatest work, the elegant monument and gardens created in his honour and a modern museum housing the world’s most important collection of his life and works.

Robert Burns’ Museum is a world class attraction and boasts a bright contemporary café with a fantastic range of freshly prepared and locally sourced home-cooked meals.

The Bridge at Brig o’ Doon is one of the Scotland’s most famous and romantic tourist attractions and the view from its centre has inspired many artists, writers and performers. Having disturbed the eerie gathering of witches in nearby Alloway Auld Kirk, Tam and his horse Meg flee for their lives to the nearby Brig o’ Doon, reaching the safety of the keystone just in the nick of time. The screaming witches unable to cross running water are left seething with poor Meg’s tail in their gnarled clutches as their consolation prize.

On the return journey we stopped at one of the rest area for a view of the coast line.

Another view of Ailsa Craig Island from this parking area.

The Swan Inn in Stranraer.

Back home Pauline posted for photograph with Jimmy's sport car.

Back home we harvested some potatoes for dinner.

Helping to harvest potatoes for dinner.

Click below to view daily adventures:
Day 01 (21.05.2014 Wed) – MH16 KUL/AMS 2355hr – 0655hr on 22May
Day 02 (22.05.2014 Thr) – Amsterdam City, Holland
Day 03 (23.05.2014 Fri) – Amsterdam Zaanse Schans Village (21km)
Day 04 (24.05.2014 Sat) – KL.1477R AMS/GLA 1535hr - 1605hr Glasgow Airport
Day 05 (25.05.2014 Sun) – Stranraer, Scotland

Day 06 (26.05.2014 Mon) – Fishing station at Lady Bay (15km) Loch Ryan
Day 07 (27.05.2014 Tue) – Portpatrick and Mull of Galloway Lighthouse (58km)
Day 08 (28.05.2014 Wed) – Lide supermarket (2.8km) and Museum
Day 09 (29.05.2014 Thu) – Exploring Galloway Forest Park (56km)
Day 10 (30.05.2014 Fri) – Kirkland Fishery Farm in Leswalt (4.6km)

Day 11 (31.05.2014 Sat) – Exploring Galloway Forest Park (60km)
Day 12 (01.06.2014 Sun) – Trekking 20.8km Loch Ryan Coastal Path
Day 13 (02.06.2014 Mon) – A free and easy rest day
Day 14 (03.06.2014 Tue) – To Robert Burns Cottage at Alloway (78km)
Day 15 (04.06.2014 Wed) – Fishing station at Lady Bay (15km) Loch Ryan

Day 16 (05.06.2014 Thu) – A trip to the Giant Causeway (153km) by coach
Day 17 (06.06.2014 Fri) – Trekking 4km Ardwell Pond, Ardwell Bay (18km)
Day 18 (07.06.2014 Sat) – Our ladies went shopping in Ayr (72km)
Day 19 (08.06.2014 Sun) – Visiting Isabelle/Robert in Newton Steward (50km)
Day 20 (09.06.2014 Mon) – Overnight stay at Fishing Station, Lady Bay Loch Ryan

Day 21 (10.06.2014 Tue) – Visited a farm using automated milking
Day 22 (11.06.2014 Wed) – Day 1 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 23 (12.06.2014 Thu) – Day 2 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 24 (13.06.2014 Fri) – Day 3 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 25 (14.06.2014 Sat) – Day 4 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland

Day 26 (15.06.2014 Sun) – Day 5 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 27 (16.06.2014 Mon) – Allan and Pauline 50th wedding anniversary
Day 28 (17.06.2014 Tue) – Mysterious beach walk at Loch Larbrax, Scotland
Day 29 (18.06.2014 Wed) – Lake Loweswater, Lake District, UK (day1)  

Day 30 (19.06.2014 Thu) – Outward Bound Ullswater, Lake Ullswater (day2)

Day 31 (20.06.2014 Fri) – Return from Lake District (day3)
Day 32 (21.06.2014 Sat) – Our last visit to the bothy at Lady Bay
Day 33 (22.06.2014 Sun) – A farewell dinner hosted by Margaret Modrate
Day 34 (23.06.2014 Mon) – A farewell tea hosted by Vera Little
Day 35 (24.06.2014 Tue) – To Glasgow for a night stay for next day flight

Day 36 (25.6.2014Wed) Glasgow 6am to Amsterdam 8.40//MH17 12noon to KLIA
Day 37 (26.06.2014 Thu) – MH17 touched down at KLIA at 6.20am.



  1. Nice to hear Malaysian English spoken by Mr Ching helping to pick potatoes from Alastair's garden. Bet the Scots would have to get used to 'our' English, ha!ha! Great to hear Hokkien spoken by Pauline.

  2. Ramakrishna Ramachandran02 September, 2014

    Thank you. Great travel. Best regards.

  3. Peace with your god in a country place of churches. Was told London is quite different today with many migrants of different religion, many with intolerant faith originating from Middle East. Political correctness that has come back to bite, that surely must disturb all British, more so to those in Alloway, seem so Christian like.

  4. NB Ching's entourage continued their journey into S.W. Scotland's Stranraer
    that brought them breathtaking scenery and new experience to a far-away land. It was a long back-to-the- nature walk, with water fall, goats , red deer, and cattles grazing on the wild-flower spread meadows. Wow, one will get carried away just imagine witnessing these scenes. Ching tempted you by saying: If you have not been to Scotland......The loch that turned into reservoir, the remnant of an old castle and some churches, and the convoy of British classic cars passing by-remind the tourists that Scotland has so much to offer to visitors. It's all so irresitible. Pines forest showcases a site ideal for shooting movies like Star War and Twilight series, could be eerie yet enchanting when darkness falls. Artic migratory birds fly by the hundreds or even thousand at the shores enticed NB Ching's fast camera skill to capture them not on cellulid but saved in SD memory card-amazing modern photogaphic work. Bak Kut-Teh to share with the Kwailos? No offence intended; you sure the Scottish hosts enjoyed Catherine's culinary offering? It was fun to see the red and white dressed ladies matching with the red flowering plant where they had a picture taken. I realised the Malaysian visitors and their hosts were all senior citizens when group pictures were taken. NB Ching's group has the fortune to be guided and driven through beautiful coastline and country roads, passing through smaller towns and cottages. It's great to have friends and associates when one lands on foreign shores. Regards from Alan Kok.