Celebrate Burns Night in South Scotland

by Scotland Starts Here, 21st December 2022
The Globe Inn | Dumfries
Celebrate Burns Night in South Scotland

Don your finest tartan, Burns Night is just around the corner! Celebrations in the South of Scotland and around the world are getting ready to commence.

Celebrating Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Poet, on the 25th of January every year is a tradition that is inextricably linked to the South. After all, the ploughman poet spent much of his life in and around Dumfries. First staying at Ellisland Farm and later in the town centre in what is now known as Robert Burns House. The bard even etched some verses into a window of his local watering hole, the Globe Inn.

So, as Scots and Scotland-lovers alike gather to celebrate his life and work, we have rounded up some of the events held in his honour. Whether you plan to host your own Burns Night at home or are going out to celebrate, read on. 

Celebrate at his Home

Two events are planned in celebration not just of Robert Burns, but also of his wife, Jean Armour who played a vital supporting role in his life. To celebrate the Bard with the whole family head over to Ellisland Farm and Museum for a daytime lunch with music and poetry on Sunday 22 January. Armour celebrated her birthday exactly a month after her famous husband and this year guests can have a romantic supper in her honour. Music from award winning singer Robyn Stapleton, who has played Jean at the Edinburgh Fringe, will accompany food inspired by a cookbook from Jean’s collection and Jane Brown, former President of the Robert Burns World Federation will deliver a tribute dedicated to Jean.

Robert Burns' Study at Ellisland Farm, Robert Burns Ellisland Trust
Ellisland Farm & Museum will host two events honouring Robert Burns and his wife Jean Armour.

Burns Night In

If you’re planning to host your own Burns Supper, add locally prepared treats to your spread. Head to one of the local butchers in the South of Scotland for freshly prepared haggis or pick up cheese from one of our many farm shops. Perhaps the end of the evening can be celebrated with whisky, honey and oatmeal ice cream from Cream o’ Galloway. And to elevate your Address to the Haggis, make sure to serve one of the whiskies from these parts, too – Annandale, Bladnoch and the Borders Distillery all offer excellent choices for the evening. 

For a twist on a traditional Burns Night at home, pick up a bottle of Haggis Gin by Scottish Borders based DeliQuescent in specialist local shops or order online.

celebrate Burns night with haggis, neeps and tatties
Haggis, neaps & tatties are traditional Burns’ Supper fayre. Credit: VS/Luigi Di pasquale

Burns Night Out

Dress to impress at this celebration of Burns and the best of South West Scotland’s culture and tradition. Expect a mixture of Scottish heritage, local produce, poetry, wit, live music and outstanding food and drink as we celebrate the memory of Robert Burns.

Celebrate Burns night in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway with a spectacular four course menu, combining traditional and local produce from South West Scotland. The traditional Burns Supper will have Bagpipes, a Master of Ceremonies and live music from local duo Smith & McClennan. There are bed & breakfast packages available in case there is one too many dram!

Enjoy your traditional Burns supper banquet style with Bagpipes, poetry and local music at the The Buccleuch & Queensberry Arms Hotel.

To really channel your inner Burns, look no further than the Selkirk Arms, home of the Selkirk Grace, which Burns wrote in 1784. They are offering a three-course set Burns menu from 17-28 January. Booking essential.

Burns room, selkirarms
Raise a glass and toast the Bard at the Selkirk Arms with the Selkirk Grace, penned in Kirkcudbright.

Head to Knockinaam Lodge in Portpatrick and you can look forward to being piped in to dinner and to a rousing rendition of Tam O Shanter before you sit down to enjoy a meal with a Scottish theme. Celebrate in style on 28th January – booking essential for this Michelin recommended restaurant and hotel.

Knockinaam House from the Air!, Knockinaam House
Knockinaam Lodge promises a piper and a truly Scottish rendition of Tam o Shanter.

This year the Cairndale Hotel is offering a Traditional Burns Supper with music, poetry and whisky as they offer you the chance to celebrate the National Poet’s Birthday in style. This year they are welcoming Annandale Distillery, who will present the distillery and of course their very special and fitting Man O’Words Whisky. Enjoy a four course meal, traditional Scottish music, poetry and a local dram from Annandale! And there is the option of one or two night’s stay should you wish to soak up a bit more of Burns in Dumfries.

Hotel Exterior, None
There will be haggis and Scottish entertainment on offer at the Cairnsdale Hotel & Leisure Club for the Bard’s Birthday.

Where better to head than the Bard’s favourite Howff? Book now and enjoy an evening of great music, great food, and great entertainment. The evening begins with guests greeted by a piper on arrival, moves to the bar with a complimentary rascally cocktail and then experience gastronomical delights with the 5-course tasting menu. Between courses enjoy performances of Burns songs, stories and much more.

The Globe was recently voted South of Scotland’s Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year and got a mention in the Michelin Guide this year. And if you miss out for the big night, don’t worry as you can celebrate through out the year. How about a tour to find out why The Globe was voted Scotland’s most historic pub? Or book private dining in the very room Burns’ himself once ate?

Globe Inn Entrance, Annandale Distillery Co LTD
Celebrate in true Burns style at Burns’ favourite Howff, The Globe, Dumfries.

Why not take a classic distillery tour to celebrate Burns’ on his birthday! The one-hour tour will include five tastings and you can finish in the Cafe for lunch, where something appropriately Burns is sure to be on the menu.

Finish off your Annandale Distillery tour in January with a delicious lunch at the Café.

This year the Big Burns Supper, a modern cabaret and Scotland’s largest contemporary Burns celebration, is back for its first in-person event since 2020. Six events will take place at Loreburn Hall with one headline act for each event. “At every event the audience comes in for seven hours and it is going to be more theatrical than ever with all the favourite elements,” according to executive producer Graham Main.

The four one-off Le Haggis events on 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st January will be headlined by Craig Charles, Skerryvore, Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 and The Bootleg Beatles. In addition there will be FamiLe Haggis on the 15th and 22nd January.