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As you may have heard, Burns Cottage is undergoing a transformation on July 11th to become a pub once more. In 1781 the Ayr Incorporation of Shoemakers leased Burns Cottage out as an ale house. For 100 years, people could pay pilgrimage to Burns and toast his name in the very rooms he grew up in. One of Burns’s well-known admirers, John Keats, visited on July 11th 1818 and wrote of the experience that “one of the pleasantest means of annulling self is approaching such a shrine as the cottage of Burns.” He also wrote this poem to commemorate the occasion:

Yet can I stamp my foot upon thy floor,
Yet can I ope thy window-sash to find
The meadow thou hast tramped o’er and o’er,
Yet can I think of thee till thought is blind,
Yet can I gulp a bumper to thy name,
O smile among the shades, for this is fame!

Re-enactors dressed as 19th century pub goers crowd the door of Burns Cottage holding horn cups in the air

It’s got us thinking here at the museum about where else you could find somewhere interesting or unusual to have a pint around Scotland. This is by no means an exhaustive list and no doubt missing off endless favourite haunts, but here are a few places that are something out of the ordinary!

• The Old Forge, Knoydart. This pub is only accessible by an 18 mile hike or 7 mile boat journey and holds the title of the remotest pub on mainland Britain.
• The Arctic Bar, Dundee. Six of the pubs doors apparently have coffin shaped windows!
• Lebowskis, Glasgow. For those that really love The Big Lebowski and White Russian cocktails.
• Halfway House, Edinburgh. The pub under a pub that specialises in cask ales from around Scotland.

Are there other unusual places to have a pint that you’d like to share? Comment below!

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