Burns Night 2017: What’s on around Scotland

Burns night is a celebration of Scots poet Robert Burns
Burns night is a celebration of Scots poet Robert Burns
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No matter where you are in Scotland on 25 January, there’s sure to be a Burns Night going on nearby.

From the Highlands to the Lowlands, people all across the country enjoy a whole range of events in honour of our national poet.

Here is our ultimate guide to Scotland’s Burns Night celebrations, so you can find the perfect Burns birthday festivities near you.


Robert Burns was born in Alloway on 25 January 1759, so this Ayrshire town takes Burns Night very seriously.

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum has a number of exciting events, taking place on and around the big day, which cater to all tastes.

The Burns Big Birthday Bash on Sunday 29 January will see the Burns Cottage open to the public for the first time in over a century. As part of the Bash, the Burns for Bairns event will entertain the younger members of the family, while traditional craft demonstrations and live folk music are a perfect pastime for people of all ages.

If you want a more exclusive occasion, the Friends of Robert Burns Birthplace Museum will host a Burns Supper on 25 January, following all the great traditions.

As the tickets for this occasion are £250.00, you may want a more affordable, child-friendly supper experience.

The Haggis Hoolie on 20 January provides just that, featuring the Borland Ceilidh band and a variety of local musicians.


Burns made a lasting impression when he stayed in Edinburgh in 1787. He remains as popular in the capital as ever, making it an ideal place to celebrate his birthday.

Whiski Bar have invited Muckle Flugga, the traditional Scottish fiddle band, to play at their Burns Night, and are providing special a three-course meal, plus “a wee nip”.

On 20 and 21 January, Lauriston Hall will play host to The Flaming Heather ceilidh band, as well as a few folk dancers and a piper.

The following weekend, George Street restaurant Contini are cooking up a fabulous evening at the National Gallery, complete with music, dancing and three-course meal.

If dancing isn’t really your thing, why not go to the Scottish Storytelling Centre on 24 January for a relaxed free event full of songs and stories. You can just turn up to listen or you can have your own turn in the spotlight with a poem or a tune.

For more of an insight into Burns himself, you can go to see ‘Rabbie: A Burns Night Spectacular’ at the Festival Theatre on 24 and 25 January. Featuring acting, dancing, singing and the Scottish supergroup Treacherous Orchestra, this show will showcase Burns’s best-known works, and tell the story of his life.


In this lively, culture-rich city, there are a great selection of Burns Nights events to choose from.

A restaurant which has become a Glaswegian institution, Ubiquitous Chip, is putting on a theatrical Burns Evening on the day itself called ‘Beyond Burns’. The four course supper will by punctuated by a variety of performances, and will end with a classic ceilidh.

Hillhead restaurant The Bothy has a truly special evening planned for 25 January, with the festivities hosted by Jonny Gauld, also known as The Caledonian Cowboy. The meal, of course, includes a wee dram.

The Wellpark Brewery is offering a Burns Night tour on 24 and 25 January, giving you a taste of Tennents’ history, as well as a taste of the traditional haggis, neeps and tatties. At the end of the tour, a pint of Tennents and some tasters will we waiting for you.

If a brewery doesn’t sound like your scene, perhaps you’d prefer an evening of top-notch comedy at The Stand comedy club, with host Susie McCabe. There is a reprise on 29 January with John Gillick, Jim Smith, Jamie MacDonald and others, if you can’t make the night itself.

Fife, Perthshire and Dumfries

If you are in the beautiful coastal village of Crail on the night after Rabbie’s birthday, you can join in the Crail Folk Club’s annual celebration of the poet’s works. You can even have a go at performing, or you can just soak up the atmosphere.

For a more whiskey-centric night of celebrations, Dewar’s distillery in Aberfeldy is planning a dinner to remember, including a whiskey cocktail on arrival.

On 28 January, one of the country’s leading Burns Nights will take place at the Salutation Hotel in Perth. The Perth Burns Club will be your hosts, presiding over the traditional Toast to the Lasses and the Reply. If you have a kilt in the back of your wardrobe, dust it off and put it on, because Highland dress is encouraged at this event.

For a bigger, more rowdy affair, head to Dumfries for the landmark Big Burns Supper Festival, which takes place in over 20 different venues across the town. You’ll encounter comedy, cabaret, music and all sorts of entertainments. Lulu will be making an appearance, as will the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Aberdeen and the Highlands

Up in Aberdeen, the ever popular Burns Night ceilidh will be bringing the Beach Ballroom to life with dancing and music. As well as the usual main course, guests will be treated to raspberry cranachan and coffee at elegant circular tables, before they hit the dance-floor.

In Strathpeffer, a more mysterious event will be taking place on 25 January – namely, A Burn’s Night Murder. Featuring the Walking Theatre Company’s own special type of ‘Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre’, guests will be treated to an interactive play about the marriage of Burns’ eldest daughter.