2 nights starting from
Burns Cottage and Birthplace Museum, Ayr
Old Alloway Church ruins
Burns Supper of haggis, neeps and tatties with songs and poems
Burns House and Memorial, Dumfries
Robert Burns, known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, the National Bard, the Bard of Ayrshire, the Ploughman Poet and various other names, is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide, particularly on Burns Night each January 25th, his birthday. Robin Cairns, our entertaining guide and host of our Charles Rennie Mackintosh tour, is a huge fan and is leading this superb new tour to Ayrshire to investigate the life and work of one of Scotland’s greatest national heroes in his homeland. Burns’ works resonate down the centuries and throughout the world – from Auld Lang Syne and Scots Wha Hae – for many years the unofficial national anthem of Scotland to Ae Fond Kiss and A Red, Red Rose amongst many others.
|17 - June - 2022||£ 559.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/ROB/17 June 2022/|
|23 - September - 2022||£ 559.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/ROB/23 September 2022/|
Day 1: Arrive independently at the Fairfield House Hotel from 15.00. This evening there will be a welcome drink, private dinner with wine and a talk by Robin Cairns, welcoming the group into the world of the poet who strode out from the stony fields of Ayrshire to achieve worldwide fame.
Day 2: Auld Alloway Kirk, Burns Birthplace Museum, Burns Cottage, Burns House Mauchline, Bachelors Club, Tarbolton and Burns Supper at the hotel.
Our first visit of a day immersed in the life, times and poetry of Robert Burns starts with Auld Alloway Kirk (Old Alloway Church), the haunted ruin where the hero of Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter” happened upon the devil and his witches engaged in ribald dancing and revelry. Spurred by the strong drink he himself had taken; Tam bellowed out his lusty appreciation – then fled with the full hellish legion in furious pursuit. Then it is on to the place where the story started with a visit to the excellent Burns Birthplace Museum, constructed 10 years ago, which houses exhibits including Burns writing desk and chair, the pistols he carried as an exciseman and the fiddle on which he played and refined the ancient songs which he saved from obscurity. Whilst here, we will also have the chance to see the famed Brig O’Doon that also featured in the poem, “Tam O’Shanter.” A short walk away will take us to his birthplace, Burns Cottage, the house built by Burns’ father in which, on a “snell January nicht” in 1759, the poet was born. After lunch (not included) we head off to the Burns House Museum at Mauchline where he lived and worked from 1784 to 1788 and where he met and married his great love, Jean Armour. Our last visit of the day is to the Bachelors Club at Tarbolton, where Burns and his friends gathered to debate the big issues of the day and the poet may well have learned to dance. This tiny museum also contains the ‘10 Rules of Membership’ written by Burns. Back to our hotel with time to freshen up before a traditional Burns evening complete with haggis neeps and tatties. Robin will give the “Address To The Haggis” before the delicacy is served and savoured and propose a “Toast To The Lassies” to which his wife, Karen will reply with a ”Toast To The Laddies”. After the meal there will be poems and songs – and the opportunity for anyone who wishes to recite a piece by Burns themselves to stand up and do so in front of their fellow guests.
Day 3: The Hermitage, Friars Carse Hotel, Ellisland Farm, the Globe Inn, Burns House Museum, Mausoleum and Memorial, Dumfries.
Another immersive day takes us east to the Dumfries area, first to The Hermitage, at the Friars Carse Hotel, a five-minute walk through the woods to the picturesque folly which Robert Riddell of Friars Carse put at the disposal of Robert Burns as a place of tranquillity for him to compose in. From here we head to Ellisland Farm, where Robert Burns returned to work after years of his glorious success in Edinburgh, the site cradled in a curve of the River Nith where Burns wrote:
“But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, the bloom is shed.
Or like the snow falls on the river
A moment white then melts forever …”
Then it’s off to the Globe Inn, a hostelry frequented by Burns, where we will visit and enjoy a light lunch of soup and sandwiches. Suitably fortified, we visit the Burns House Museum, which details his time in the town and how he mixed his duties as an exciseman (taxman), developing his political sympathies for the French Revolution, as well as looking after the handfuls of children he had fathered with various women and single-handedly collecting the songs of Scotland loved and sung by generations of its people. From here we visit the simple townhouse in which Burns, his ever-tolerant wife and their many “weans” lived for the last years of the poet’s short but spectacular life, before his death in 1796 at the age of just 37. We’ll visit his Mausoleum at St Michael’s Church and pay our final respects at the magnificent memorial erected on the death of a bard not only famed in Scotland but lionised also in Russia, India, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the USA and wherever a voice which rose from unpromising beginnings to roar out a message of love, life and liberty is prized. Return to the hotel at approximately 18.30.
NB: Exact itinerary may vary according to changes in opening times and schedules.
Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 40 passengers.
Fairfield House Hotel
Located in the heart of Ayr town with a beach front location that boasts spectacular views towards the Isle of Arran. Facilities at this newly-refurbished four-star hotel include bar, restaurant and very comfortable bedrooms with all modern amenities.
Complimentary parking is available at the hotel
Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.
You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day.
For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation.
The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.
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