South West Scotland and Burns Tour

Our half-day and full-day Burns' themed South West of Scotland tours from Glasgow and Edinburgh don't just follow in the great man's footsteps, they give you a complete insight into his whole life as well as offering you the chance for sightseeing along the quiet back road, green landscape and rolling hills of this beautiful corner of Scottish countryside. Let us to transport you back to late eighteenth century Scotland, through the counties of Ayrshire, Galloway and Dumfrieshire to explore the area that inspired Burns to write world renowned prose such as; Auld Lang Syne, Scots Wha' Hae and A Man's A Man.

The itinerary for the Robert Burns half-day tour will take you to the Ayrshire village of Tarbolton where the young Robert, along with his brother, started a debating club which became known as the Bachelor Club owing to its rules of membership. The building which housed the bachelor club is open to the public under the auspices of the National Trust for Scotland.

Next stop is Souter Johnnie's Cottage, the immaculately preserved home of friend and drinking partner of Burns, John Davidson. The thatched cottage incorporates an old shoe making workshop (souter being the Scots word for shoemaker) and the family's living quarters. Here you can also see life sized sculptures of the characters from the famous poem Tam O' Shanter. Just along the road is Souter Johnnie's Inn situated on the site of the old school where the young Robert was educated.

Leaving Kirkoswald we head up the coast, past Culzean Castle, where the Kennedy family moved to from their original home of, the now ruined, Dunure Castle to the quaint village of Alloway where Burns was born and raised. Here you can visit his family cottage, the Tam O' Shanter visitor Centre and the Burns Monument. You can also walk around Alloway Kirk and over the Brig O'Doon - settings for the poem Tam O'Shanter.

Our tours of Scotland's south west will take you to all of the above places after which we will recommend somewhere for you to have a bar lunch, perhaps the Murray Arms in Gatehouse of fleet where the Bard penned the stirring poem Scots Wha' Hae. Or maybe the Selkirk Arms in the picturesque fishing town of Kirkudbright, best known for his recital 

there of the Selkirk Grace. Whether or not you chose to dine there, Kirkudbright is a town well worth exploring on foot, known as Scotland's Artists Town, it boasts a ruined castle in its centre, some fantastic architecture and an incredible number of art galleries for her size.

The next destination is Dumfries, where you may visit the Burns House (free admission) and view original manuscripts of his work in the home where he spent the last years of his life. Or drop in to the Globe Inn and enjoy a pint of ale in the same seat the great man himself would have over 200 years before you.

Just to the North of Dumfries is Ellisland Farm where Robert and his family spent three years from 1788. It is now a museum and offers a rare glimpse into how tough life was, even for a highly acclaimed and published poet! There is also a lovely riverside walk here if you want to stretch your legs.

As we arrive back in Ayrshire we come to the town of Mauchline where Burns lived and married Jean Armour (whose father ripped up the marriage certificate). You can visit the house they shared as well as the pub, Poosie Nansies, in which he enjoyed many a late night. Before you detect a theme developing here, it is time to head for home!

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