Towns & Villages
The tidal River Dee at Kirkcudbright provides one of the best natural harbours on the Galloway coast. In Burns time the Earls of Selkirk were a major influence in Kirkcudbright’s affairs.

About Kirkcudbright

Burns’s travelling companion Syme described him as being in 'a most epigrammatic mood' on the journey to St Mary's Isle where they were to be the guests of the Earl of Selkirk. Syme's exact word was 'accable' to describe the combination of headache and stomachache that made the poet 'without boots…fume and rage' against the Earl of Galloway, the local High Tory, whose house they passed as they rode along.

When the noble lord heard of Burns's disparaging remarks, he said he 'could not feel hurt by the attacks of a licentious, rhyming ploughman’. Alas this remark is all that the Earl of Galloway is remembered for today – another 15 minutes of fame gained from Burns’s shining light.

Burns's mood wasn't much better when they eventually reached Selkirk's seat that night. However when Burns was called upon to say words prior to the meal he said:
"Some hae meat and canna eat
And some wad eat that want it
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thankit."

Now termed the Selkirk Grace neither Syme nor Burns mention it and it is likely Burns delivered a grace extempore on that occasion as it was his custom to do so when a guest.

And he might also have done so next evening at the Old Heid Inn, now called the Selkirk Arms, where a plaque on the wall boasts the fact that he did. Burns was definitely a lodger at the inn so it is quite possible it was delivered here at some point.

Kirkcudbright walking, cycling and driving routes

Towns and villages near Kirkcudbright