To mark Burns Night, we’ve put together a selection of trips to Scotland that visit landmarks and heritage centres with links to the ‘Scottish National Bard’.
Burns Night falls on 25th January and celebrates the day Scotland’s famous poet, Robert Burns, was born. It’s traditional for a piper to welcome guests to a Burns Dinner, for guests to wear tartan and enjoy haggis neeps and tatties – but never fear, there are plenty of other ways for groups to mark the occasion, at any time of year.
Why not add some of these heritage centres and visitor attractions to your next Scottish itinerary?
Start by learning about the life of Scotland’s National Bard at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire. You can visit it by walking through the village of Alloway where he was born, passing buildings that would have been familiar to Burns when he was alive.
Pictured: Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway. (Photo credi:t VisitScotland and Jakub Iwanicki).
Step into Burns Cottage where he grew up, before viewing displays in the museum. Groups can enjoy plenty of hands-on and interactive activities and see more than 5,000 Burns artefacts, including his handwritten manuscripts.
Another must-see for fans of Robert Burns is the Bachelors’ Club, also in Ayrshire. This curious red-shuttered, thatched 17th-century house was where Burns co-founded the Tarbolton Bachelors’ Club. It was here that he reportedly learned to dance, became a Freemason and created a men-only debating society.
Today the club has been converted into a museum and provides a rare insight into the secrets of male social life of the age.
Pictured: Bachelors Club. (Photo credit: VisitScotland and Paul Tomkins).
Continue your Burns tour by stopping for a drink where Burns would have taken a tipple in The Globe Inn in Dumfries, said to be one of the poet’s favourite haunts. The inn is reportedly one of Scotland’s oldest hostelries, established in 1610, and was frequented by Burns while he lived in the area.
Groups visiting the Inn, be it for a drink or a Burns-themed meal (available all year), can pre-arrange guided tours of the building to find out more about this period of his life.
And for those groups heading to Edinburgh, be sure to pop in to the Writer’s Museum. It celebrates the lives of three giants of Scottish Literature – Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Those seeking out the history of Burns can see books, manuscripts, portraits and fascinating personal items relating to him. Entry is free – note that groups must organise a visit in advance.
Find more Robert Burns-themed trip inspiration at www.visitscotland.com.
Lead image: Signage for Alloway Village at Alloway, birthplace of Robert Burns. (Photo credit: VisitScotland and Paul Tomkins).