Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

Top choice in Southern Scotland

This impressive museum has collected a solid range of Burns memorabilia, including manuscripts and possessions of the poet, like the pistols he packed for his work as a taxman. There's good biographical information, and a series of displays that bring to life poems via background snippets, translations and recitations. Appropriately, the museum doesn't take itself too seriously: there's plenty of humour that the poet surely would have approved of, and entertaining audio and visual performances will keep the kids amused.

The admission ticket also covers the atmospheric Burns Birthplace Cottage (open 11am to 5pm), connected via a walkway to the Birthplace Museum. Born in the little box-bed in this cramped thatched dwelling, the poet spent the first seven years of his life here. It's an attractive display that gives you a context for reading plenty of his verse. Much-needed translation of some of the more obscure Scots farming terms he loved to use decorate the walls.

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