First footers for Rabbie!

The local youngsters at Burns Cottage
The local youngsters at Burns Cottage

Burns Cottage welcomed its first first-footers through its front door in over 100 years as 2017 arrived.

Local children Carrie Cook, Sophie Steele, Efe Tural and Matthew McDowall (all aged 9, from Alloway Primary) were the first to enter the cottage through the door in a more than a century.

The National Trust for Scotland, the charity that promotes and conserves Scotland’s heritage, has just re-opened the door as it prepares for its annual programme of events to celebrated Robert Burns’ birthday.

The announcement came on 1 January after people all over the world welcomed in the New Year by singing one of the bard’s most famous works, ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum includes an award-winning museum, the Brig o’Doon, where Tam and Meg escaped the clutches of a witch and the Auld Kirk, as well as the cottage where Burns was born in 1759.

The 2017 celebrations start on Friday 20 January with the Haggis Hooley – an informal and family-friendly take on the Burns supper, complete with ceilidh.

On 25 January, a special Burns Supper is planned – the only one in the world which takes place where the bard was born.

Alloway and its sights will be transformed with Burns Alicht on Saturday 28 January, a beautiful series of illuminations, music and performance which bring the story of Robert Burns and his works to life.

Then on Sunday 29 January, it’s the Big Birthday Bash, with live music, crafts and the now traditional Haggis Hurling World Championships.

For the full programme visit

Robert Burns was born on January 25, 1759 in the “auld cley biggin” that is known as Burns Cottage.

His birthday is celebrated throughout the world as Burns Night, with Burns Suppers, poems, songs and anecdotes.