Welcome to In the Footsteps of Burns, a project showcasing Robert Burns’ life in and around Dumfries and at Ellisland Farm, just a few miles north. See where Scotland’s bard lived and wrote some of his most famous works by following in his footsteps across Dumfries, from the house and farm that he built for his family and the river banks that inspired his poetry, to his favourite “howff” and the home where he spent his final days.

Robert Burns arrived at Ellisland in 1788 where he built his first family home for him, his wife Jean and two of their children (two more were born during their time at the farm). Connect with the Bard and his life at Ellisland farm through the extensive collection of artefacts, memorabilia and manuscripts housed at the home he built, lived and worked in.

You can set off on your own journey to see how Burns and his family were celebrated locally, from the statue that immortalises his wife, Jean Armour, to their final resting place in Burns mausoleum.


Where to start

Whether you’re new to the world of Robert Burns, or you’re a seasoned expert, Dumfries and Galloway is a fantastic spot to explore the life and history of Scotland’s most celebrated poet. See the sites that inspired some of his most famous work or visit the house where he spent his final days.


Getting around

It’s just a 15 minute bus ride (plus a 9 minute walk) from Dumfries to Ellisland and the Hermitage at Friars Carse, with buses every 40 minutes from the Whitesands in the town centre. There’s plenty of parking if you come by car.

Dumfries is a small town and is easy to navigate on foot. To explore the attractions in the town centre, we recommend parking in Brooms Road car park and following the ‘In the Footsteps of Burns’ town centre trail on foot.

In the Footsteps of Burns is sponsored by the spot-lit project and supported by the Wigtown Festival Company.

Spot-lit aims to grow the literary tourism sector in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region by supporting the organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow collaborate and better engage audiences together. Running from October 2018 to September 2021, the project addresses the need for shared development and marketing of existing assets and the development of new ones, which respond to emerging literary and cultural consumer needs.

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