Discover what to see and do in Edinburgh on our Experience Edinburgh tour. Given a full day, our guides will have you fall in love with our enchanting city. Book now!
The Essential Burns Tour
- Private Tour (up to 5 people)
Discover the Essential Burns Tour
To a Scot, it’s hard to overstate exactly how much the poet Robert Burns defines the nation: our aspirations and our fears, our spirit and our heart. Today’s tour is all about discovering the land that shaped the man that shaped a nation.
- Tarbolont Bachelors Club
- Robert Burns birthplace
- Lunch at the Brig O’ Doon
- Souter Johnnie’s
- Wonderful coastlines
- Dumfries and Ellisland
What is included:
- Eight-hour tour (start at 9 h)
- Pick-up (Edinburgh/Glasgow Airport)
- Drop-off (Edinburgh/Glasgow Airport)
- Comfortable car
- Private guide
This tour is perfect for a flight into Prestwick but can begin and end in either Edinburgh or Glasgow as you desire and presents a great way to experience the essential Scotland whilst transferring between our two major cities.
For tours ending after 18 h, we add a one-off evening supplement of £50.
Mauchline is where Burns really found his stride as a writer and as a wit. We visit the Kirk (the church) presided over by Daddy Auld, hear all about the irascible Holy Willie Fisher, the unfortunate prostitute Racer Jess and the howff wherein the Jolly Beggars came to the conclusion that “Courts for cowards were erected, Churches built to please the Priest”.
As an adolescent, Tarbolton (pronounced Tar-bow-ton by locals) and in particular the debating society he set up there, The Bachelor’s Club, shaped his intellect and formed his mind. Enjoy a private tour of this special place. The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is a fabulous centre both for ongoing study and for pilgrimage.
The cottage itself is classic chocolate box; the low, whitewash walls and thatched roof present a real flavour of the immediacy of life in the late agricultural period just at the dawn of industry. Part of what makes Burns so perennially of interest was his straddling of ages as a proto-Romantic living in the late Enlightenment. Few scenes present such perfectly balanced ideals as that of the Brig o’ Doon, where we dine on good Scottish fare. Perhaps you’ll be bold enough to try our Haggis…
As we round the beautiful Kyle coast with views of the Ailsa Craig and stunning Culzean Castle, we bear down on Kirkoswald, the home of Tam o’ Shanter’s drinking cronie, Souter Johnnie. Tales of piracy and smuggling abound, and we can keep the conversation going on our way South to Dumfries, where Burns’ life came to an abrupt end at the age of 37 due to pulmonary endocarditis in 1796, as his greatness was yet aspiring.
Viewing the last home he lived in, we can see how progress from the son of a gardener to global phenomenon brought him modest improvements. At Ellisland, as we walk along the banks of the Nith, you finally hear Burns’s masterpiece right where it was written in a way you could never have imagined – “Tam o’ Shanter”.