Town Centre Trail
Created by Dumfries and Galloway Council, the ‘In the Footsteps of Burns’ town centre trail is a fantastic way to get an idea of Burns’ life in the town centre, taking in a number of the partners featured in this project.
With a moderately brisk walk round the route and minimum time spent at any location, the trail could be covered in a little over an hour. However, a more leisurely stroll is recommended, with sufficient time to go into Robert Burns House and the Robert Burns Centre when they are open. If time is limited or these locations are closed, it is highly recommended that you try to return to them.
Sites of interest
1. Visitor Information – the Whitesands
Start the trail at the Visit Scotland iCentre along the Whitesands in Dumfries.
2. Burns Statue
The dominant position of this fine statue demonstrated the honour in which the poet is held in Dumfries, though the unnamed craftsmen who reproduced “Luath” had obviously never seen a Scots collie dog!
3. The Hole in the wa’
Walk along the pedestrianised High Street, its alignment virtually unchanged since mediaeval days. About fifty metres on your left is the Hole in the Wa’ close, with the inn at the end.
4. Duke of Queensberry monument
In the square, carters of yesteryear congregated before setting out for nearby parishes and beyond. Here Burns would have paraded with the Dumfries Volunteers.
5. 1707 Midsteeple
Here in July 1796 Burns’ body lay in state before the highly impressive funeral procession to St. Michael’s kirkyard on July 25th.
This is a place of real pilgrimage. Writing to his friend George Thomson he stated that the Globe “for these many years has been my HOWFF”.
7. Georgian townhouse
Built for a Town Clerk around 1760.
Two hundred metres ahead is the famous Theatre Royal (1792) which was regularly patronised by Burns and is now lovingly cared for by the Guild of Players.
Here the poet and his family lived from May 1793. It is here the Bard died on July 21st, 1796. Go in, there is a great deal to see!
A great medley of impressive monumental sculptures commemorating ministers of religion, former provosts, writers (lawyers), smiths, landed proprietors and merchant princes. Even a “perfumer” lies here.
11. 1 Kenmure Terrace
1 Kenmure Terrace was once the home of star of stage and screen John Laurie. Like so many other folks, John had an abiding interest in Burns and is best known for his part in Dad’s Army.
This is more than worthy of a visit with its fine display of Burns items upstairs.
Where Burns first lived when he came into town in November 1791, having given up the farm of Ellisland a few miles north of the burgh.
14. Old Bridge House Museum
Appropriately this was the chief entrance into the “Brig End o’ Dumfries” in the days before this part of Galloway had become the sophisticated burgh of Maxwelltown (1810) and then part of Dumfries.
15. Devorgilla Bridge
Built in 1431 to replace at least one wooden structure.