National Trust for Scotland - New 7-day Burns Trail

Humanitarian, national hero, poet and musician, lover and international icon, Robert Burns is Scotland’s most remarkable and best-loved son. His legendary artistic legacy contains more than 600 poems and songs gathered over a short lifetime. His song Auld Lang Syne is sung by people around the world, and he has been translated into almost every written language. His most popular works include the comic ghost story Tam o’ Shanter and the romantic Ye Banks and Braes o’ Bonnie Doon.

You can celebrate the life and legacy of this world-famous figure and discover the best of Scotland by following the new 7-day Burns Trail, taking you from the dramatic cliffs of south-west Ayrshire to the spectacular Highlands in the north.

• Discover the intimate Bachelors’ Club where Burns first tested his debating skills
• Stop off at Souter Johnnie’s Cottage, the home of a character immortalized in Burns’ famous poem Tam o’ Shanter
• Visit the newly refurbished thatched cottage, where Burns was born over
250 years ago, at Burns National Heritage Park
• Follow in the footsteps of Burns at Bannockburn and Brodie Castle
• Discover the Old & New Towns of Edinburgh at Gladstone’s Land and The
Georgian House
• Walk the battlefield at Culloden as Burns did over 200 years ago

Day One: Glasgow – Ayrshire
Only a 45-minute drive from Glasgow takes you to the heart of the famous Burns Country in Ayrshire. Your tour starts with a special private introduction to Burns as a young man at the Bachelors’ Club (3 Star Visitor Attraction), the perfect visit for Burns aficionados. It was in this 17th-century thatched house that Burns formed a debating club, was initiated as a Freemason and attended dancing lessons – much to the chagrin of his father!
Next on your tour is a visit to Culzean Castle & Country Park (5 Star Visitor Attraction) near Maybole where Burns’ mother, Agnes, grew up. With acres of colorful gardens, woodland walks and a ‘fairytale’ castle perched high on top of the Ayrshire cliffs, it’s not difficult to see why Culzean is one of the Trust’s most visited properties. Enjoy a tasty lunch or snack in the spacious 100-cover Home Farm Restaurant.
Don’t forget to visit nearby Souter Johnnie’s Cottage (3 Star Historic House), where a visit has been described as ‘… like stepping into one of Burns’ poems.’ This was the home of souter (shoemaker) John Davidson and his family – Souter Johnnie was immortalized as Tam’s drinking friend in Burns’ epic poem Tam o’ Shanter. The traditional thatched cottage contains Burns memorabilia and the tools of a village souter, with a restored ale-house in the cottage garden.

Day Two: Glasgow – Ayrshire
Your day starts with a visit to the early 18th-century Weaver’s Cottage (3 Star Visitor Attraction) on the outskirts of Glasgow. See how the specially designed Burns family tartan bedspread, created to celebrate Burns’ 250th birthday, was made on a working traditional 200-year-old loom, the last of 800 handlooms once used in the village. The bedspread is now on display at Burns Cottage in Burns National Heritage Park (3 Star Visitor Attraction) in Alloway, the next stop on your tour. This iconic site was acquired by the Trust for the Year of Homecoming 2009.
Work is now underway to create the brand new, world-class, eco-friendly Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, due to open late summer 2010. Until then you can:
• Visit the newly interpreted thatched cottage where Burns was born over 250 years ago;
• Stroll across the Brig o’ Doon and explore Auld Kirk, Alloway, both immortalized in the famous poem Tam o’ Shanter ;
• Climb to the top of the historic Burns Monument and explore the
surrounding commemorative gardens;
• Try a traditional haggis lunch (on the menu daily!) in our 80-cover
restaurant and visit our Burns-themed gift shop.
Thanks to our partnership with nearby Dumfries House, we are also delighted to offer guided tours of this most beautiful stately home at a special introductory price. Burns’s father-in-law, James Armour, worked as a stonemason on the construction of this magnificent house, and its stunning interiors are home to a world-class collection of furniture by both Thomas Chippendale and many 18thcentury Scottish cabinet makers.

Day Three: Glasgow – Edinburgh
The first stop today is Bannockburn Heritage Centre (3 Star Visitor Attraction), near Stirling. One of Scotland’s most iconic historical sites, Burns visited Bannockburn in 1787 as part of his tour of Stirlingshire and the Highlands. He wrote to a friend,‘… two hours ago, I said a fervent prayer for old Caledonia over the hole in a blue whin-stone where Robert de Bruce fixed his royal standard on the banks of Bannockburn.’ Today, you can re-live the battle experience with a guided battlefield tour, an interactive weapons display and a gripping, new short film depicting the dramatic events of June 1314.  Next on your tour is Alloa Tower (3 Star Historic House), home of the 7th Earl of Mar, who came to Burns’ rescue in 1793. When Burns was threatened with losing his position in the Excise due to his radical views, the Earl offered to head a petition on Burns’ behalf. Alloa Tower is one of the oldest and tallest tower houses in Scotland, and you can marvel at the magnificent oak beams, medieval dungeon and rare vaulted ceiling. Many famous monarchs visited the tower over the centuries, including Mary, Queen of Scots.

Day Four: Edinburgh – Scottish Borders
In celebration of the written word, your day starts with a private tour of Robert
Smail’s Printing Works (4 Star Visitor Attraction) in Innerleithen. This fully operational printing works was established over a hundred years ago and you can still see it working today. Our printer will demonstrate the original water-powered letterpress and you can even try your hand at typesetting! Look out for the plaque nearby, commemorating Burns’ visit to the village in May 1787. Burns noted the nearby health-giving spa which was frequented by another great writer, Sir Walter Scott.

Enjoy more of the picturesque Scottish Borders with visits to Harmony and Priorwood Gardens (3 Star Gardens) in nearby Melrose. Situated close to the impressive Melrose Abbey, Harmony is a haven of tranquility while Priorwood is a specialist centre for drying flowers that are grown in the garden.

Day Five: Edinburgh

Burns made several visits to Edinburgh, to oversee publication of his work and as a guest of the city’s brilliant men of letters. Today you can capture the essence of the city’s Old and New Towns with visits to the 17th-century Gladstone’s Land (3 Star Visitor Attraction) on the Royal Mile and the late 18th-century Georgian House (4 Star Visitor Attraction) in Charlotte Square. Both properties now form part of Edinburgh’s famous World Heritage Site.  Described by Burns as ‘the heavenly Hanoverianism’ of Edinburgh’s New Town, Charlotte Square is an integral feature of Robert Adam’s masterpiece of urban
design. In the Old Town you can visit the modern Scottish Parliament, formally inaugurated with a memorable rendition of one of Burns’s most famous songs, A Man’s A Man For A’ That.

Day Six: Edinburgh – Inverness
The first stop on your journey to the Highlands is Kellie Castle & Garden (4 Star Historic House) in Fife. Steeped in history, Kellie’s oldest tower dates from 1360 and is said to be haunted. The 5th Earl of Kellie hid in the garden for an entire summer in 1746 (after the battle of Culloden). His youngest son, a much valued friend of Burns, tragically drowned himself in the Forth in 1793. Beautifully restored by the Lorimer family in the 1800s, the castle boasts magnificent plaster ceilings and paneling, colorful gardens and wonderful sea views.

Day Seven: Inverness
Burns visited Drummossie Moor, the site of the battle of Culloden, on 6 September 1787. Today, you can walk the battlefield using groundbreaking multilingual GPS enabled battlefield guides, just one exciting feature of this multi-award winning 5- Star Visitor Attraction. Listen to first-hand accounts describing the lead-up to 16 April 1746 when the course of British, European and world history changed forever; re-live the battle through a sensory, 360-degree total immersion theatre; view breathtaking displays of artifacts and weaponry; relax in our 120-cover restaurant; and visit the shop for unique Culloden-branded gifts. The next stop is nearby Brodie Castle (4 Star Castle), where Burns stayed the night during his Highland tour. He wrote to his brother Gilbert on 17 September 1787, ‘I slept at the famous Brodie of Brodie’s one night …’ Feast your eyes on exquisite French furniture, oriental porcelain, a major collection of paintings and the magnificent library. Enjoy refreshments and traditional home baking before taking a stroll in the peaceful grounds, famous for its unique spring daffodil collection. Take a tour of one of the many distilleries in the area and sample a ‘taste of Scotland’ before heading home – the perfect end to your Burns Trail.

Scots-American Travel Advisors is delighted to offer car rental, accommodation and Discover Tickets for the National Trust for Scotland Burns Trail as follows:

• 3-day tickets valid for any 3 days out of 7 consecutive days
• 7-day tickets valid for any 7 days out of 14 consecutive days
• 14-day tickets valid for any 14 days out of 30 consecutive days


 

 

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