From its own Gaelic language to its distinctive English dialects and traditions, Scotland is one of the richest and most culturally interesting countries to visit. Covering many different areas, Scotland is home to some of the most famous heroes in history, including war heroes and classical and literary heroes.
One such literary hero was Robert Burns who was born in Alloway, Ayrshire on January 25th, 1759. He was the oldest of his six siblings and son to William Burnes—note the slight difference in spelling. Robert Burns changed the spelling of his surname later in life as he preferred the Ayrshire spelling.
His Poetry and Works
William Burnes was self-educated, and he imparted his knowledge—albeit in limited—to Robert, who grew into a curious and interested young fellow. After some minor periods of work and skilled learning, Burns met Captain Richard Brown, who saw something poetic in him and encouraged him to write poetry. Burns took up the suggestion, and whilst his father entered a legal battle with the landlord, Burns began his ‘commonplace book’.
Burns was only thirty-seven when he passed away, and there are many theories as to this possible passing, but no actual medical reason has ever been disclosed. Perhaps this mystery is what has added to Burns’ reputation over the years as a philanderer and drunkard, but nonetheless adding to his charm and retrospective charisma. His poetry has left its mark on the world, especially ‘Auld Lang Syne’, sung every New Year around the world. Also, his ‘Address to a haggis’ has become synonymous with the Burns’ Night celebrations, held on his birthday each year, and the poem read out during the festivities.
The Kingsmills Hotel—where Burns stayed on occasion—hosts a wonderful Burns’ Night celebration each year, and it is well worth a trip to spend the night there. You’ll enjoy a great stay in a wonderfully Scottish surrounding and return home full of the passion of Scottish poetry.