Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Wheelchair
As a multi site visitor attraction There are several parts to visit. The Burns cottage is quite a distance from the visitor centre but well worth making the effort. You can also visit the Old Kirk, the Bridge and the Monument. The main visitor centre hosts the shop, cafe, exhibition and playwark.
Transport & Parking
We arrived by car and visited the visitor centre first. Some handy blue badge parking spaces were very close to the main entrance. We discovered that you could drive to the Burns cottage and also park in handy accessible spaces by the entrance.
The visitor centre is a purpose-built modern complex which was easily accessible. It had an automatic door at the main entrance, other automatic doors at key points and was easy to wheel around the bright spacious and light area. We enjoyed visiting the exhibition area which is full of exhibits and curios from burns life. It was a little dark in places but we understand this is to preserve the exhibits. The shop and ticket area were easy to access with plenty of space to move around and easy to see things. The Cafe was busy but again was easily accessible with plenty of staff on hand to lend a hand. Burns cottage being an historical site was a little more challenging for me as a wheelchair user. That said, I was able to get into the cottage and wheel through the rooms, albeit a traditional stone flagged floor in places, and see everything that I wanted to. The adjacent gardens were also fairly accessible. The path from the cottage car park up to the gardens and cottage however was much more challenging with a rough gravel chipping style of surface which wheeling difficult.
I can only give three stars for the accessible toilets. There was an accessible toilet in the main visitor centre but unfortunately this was out of action. I had to go to the Burns cottage and the adjacent education centre to use the other accessible toilet. This did distract somewhat from my enjoyment of the experience of visiting.
The staff that we met throughout the visit were extremely friendly and very positive. They were quick to answer my questions about the accessibility and to tell me about the alternative accessible toilet. They also suggested that it may be better to drive from the visitor centre to the Burns cottage as it was some distance. Generally the staff and their enthusiasm made for an enjoyable visit which did to a certain extent overcome some of the challenges.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Where is my visit was influenced by the lack of accessible toilets, the Burns birthplace museum is somewhere that I would visit again.