About Us

18 January 2016

Castles set to celebrate life and works of Burns

A re-enactor dressed as poet Robert Burns in the great hall at Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh and Stirling Castles are set to celebrate all things Robert Burns with special weekend-long events as part of the annual celebrations for one of Scotland’s most famous poets and exports.

Taking place over the course of a weekend, on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th January, visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the famous bard’s life, his works and his lasting literary legacy, which still continues today, 220 years later.

This year will see the return of the popular Burns for Beginners event to Edinburgh Castle’s Great Hall – the perfect introduction to the man himself and the meaning behind some of his best-known works. A Burns costumed performer will be on hand to discuss a number of the Ayrshire wordsmith’s poems with visitors, including Tam O’Shanter and A Man’s a Man for A’ That; visitors will also be encouraged to think about what Burns might have meant when he penned them over two centuries ago.

Edinburgh Castle’s Executive Manager, Nick Finnigan, said: “The castle’s Great Hall will once again welcome back this popular event as part of the annual celebrations for Scotland’s favourite son. Burns for Beginners is a great introduction to the bard and some his most iconic written works, which still captivate people across the world more than 200 years on.”

Meanwhile Stirling Castle’s A Celebration of Burns event will see a series of specially created tours take place. Visitors will be able to follow in the footsteps of Burns as they explore his connections with the castle and discover what he might have seen when he visited in 1787 and how this inspired his writing.

The Burns for Bairns tours, which are back at the castle for a third year running, are designed to introduce younger visitors to the poet. A costumed performer in the role of a castle watchman will guide them through the landmark, as they discover more about a number of the bard’s works. Visitors will also have the chance to pen some of their very own Stirling Castle inspired poems with the Poet’s Corner activities, in the Great Hall.

Stirling Castle’s Commercial Business Manager, Liz Grant, said: “Our weekend-long Burns themed tours and activities will offer visitors a chance to learn more about the life and works of one of Scotland’s most celebrated poets. During the Celebration of Burns weekend, visitors will also be able to explore the bard’s connections with the castle through a series of special tours, hear some of his best-known works and try their own hand at penning some poetry.”

Burns for Beginners at Edinburgh Castle takes place on both Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th January at 11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm and 3pm. This event is included in the cost of admission to the castle.

Stirling Castle’s A Celebration of Burns takes place across the weekend. The special Burns themed tours take place at 12noon and 2pm, with Poet’s Corner activities taking place from 12noon onwards and Burns for Bairns tours taking place at 2.15pm. These timings apply for both Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th January. These events and activities are included in the cost of admission to the castle.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • As of the 1st October 2015, Historic Scotland and RCAHMS came together to form a new lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. The new body Historic Environment Scotland (HES) will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland is a sub brand of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering for media release email alerts. If you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us.

Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

2016 is the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design (IAD). Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland's position as an "innovation nation", its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and supported by a variety of partners.

Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

Follow Historic Environment Scotland

Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory 

Facebook: @HistoricEnvScotland @VisitHistoricScotland


For further information

Ali George 
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8714
Mobile: 07853 018 790