Landmark for Burns museum as visitors exceed one million

One millionth visitor at Burns Museum The Allan family are greeted as the museum reaches its landmark visitors' figure

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One of Scotland's most popular tourist attractions has welcomed its one millionth visitor.

A family-of-five received a special welcome when they crossed the threshold of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum at Alloway, South Ayrshire.

The Bard himself greeted the Allans from Leeds, Yorkshire.

Husband and wife Ralph and Joanne Allan were accompanied by children Kelsey, 14, Megan, aged five and 11-month-old Jason.

They were presented with champagne and a lifetime membership to the National Trust for Scotland which operates the £21m museum.

Mr Allan said: "We're in the area on holiday and exploring. We love Scotland and Kelsey loves history, so we were decided to pop in."

The role of Burns was played by Project Scotland volunteer Cameron Forbes, 24, from Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, a learning assistant at the museum.

Original manuscripts

The award-winning museum which tells the story of the life, loves and works of Burns in a fresh and irreverent way opened to the public in December 2010.

Since then, more than 300,000 visitors have visited each year.

The museum, which took six years to complete, features more than 5,000 artefacts, including original manuscripts written by the poet and is home to the world's premier Burns collection.

As well as the newly built museum, the site comprises the cottage where Burns was born, Brig o' Doon, the Auld Kirk, the Burns Memorial and other sites around Alloway with links to the poet.

These are all linked by the Poet's Path which is dotted with sculptures by some of Scotland's finest artists.

The project, which took six years to complete, features more than 5,000 artefacts, including original manuscripts written by the poet.

Museum director Nat Edwards, who also welcomed the family, said: "What better testament to the enduring power of Robert Burns to capture our imagination than seeing the one millionth visitor in less than three years since it opened?"

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