Falling at the end of an expensive month, and not long after the excesses of Christmas and New Year, it can be tempting to just give Burns Night a miss. But if you do decide to celebrate our national bard -and you are sure enjoy it if you do- there is no shortage of events happening up and down the country. From ceilidhs, to art exhibitions, to formal Burns Suppers, here’s some suggestions of how you can celebrate Rabbie in style.

1. Have brunch at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Murdoch's Lone, Alloway, Ayr

On tomorrow, 11am and 1pm

Adult, £9.95, child (aged 8+), £5.95, under 8s eat free

01292 443700

Where better to celebrate Rabbie Burns than in the house he was born in? This modest Ayrshire cottage is where Burns lived until the age of seven- showing visitors how even the most famous figures can start from humble beginnings. This year, the cottage and its attached museum will host a special Sunday brunch featuring square sausage, tattie scones and (unsurprisingly) haggis. Live Burns-inspired performances will take place throughout the meal, with traditional ceilidh music providing an atmospheric soundtrack.


2. Visit the Tae a Bard exhibition, Dunfermline

Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries, 1-7 Abbot Street, Dunfermline, Fife

Open every day until April, 10am-5pm (until 7pm on Thursdays and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday)


01383 602365

Dundonian engineer Alexander Gibb was a bit of a Burns superfan. As well as being the president of the Dunfermline Burns Club and amassing many of Burns’ works, at the end of the 19th century he acquired a mammoth collection of memorabilia curated by Burns enthusiast John Murison. That collection -which includes pottery, paintings, books and sculptures- was then gifted by Gibb to the town of Dunfermline, and is now on display in the Carnegie Library. The full Murison Collection is rarely exhibited in this way, so don’t miss out on your chance to see it.

3. Dance at the Ceilidh in the Courtyard, Glasgow

Princes Square, 48 Buchanan Street, Glasgow

On today, 1pm-4pm


0141 221 0324

Let’s be honest: most of us are pretty tight for cash by the time it gets to the end of January. Good news then, for anyone attending this ceilidh in Princes Square, which costs its participants absolutely nothing. Entertainment will be led by the Reelie Jiggered Ceilidh Band, who will explain each dance in advance for those who can’t quite distinguish their Gay Gordon from their Dashing White Sergeant. If you don’t fancy joining in, then you can always watch from one of the surrounding bars and restaurants. But with a few drinks in you, and no booking required for the dancing, you might soon find yourself tempted to give it a whirl…

4. Listen to Burns for Beginners at Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh

On until January 31 at 11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm and 3pm

Included in normal admission to the castle (£17.50 for adults, £14.00 for concessions and £10.50 for children)


During the height of his popularity, Burns spent a lot of time in Edinburgh as he tried to get his poems published. He met influential figures like James Johnson and Walter Scott, but was never quite welcomed into the upper echelons of the city’s social circles. How fitting, then, that he is now being celebrated in the most iconic of Edinburgh locations- its grand castle. Here, visitors who are less familiar with Burns’ back catalogue will receive a light-hearted introduction to some of his most popular works. Crowd participation is encouraged.


5. Toast Burns at Raasay Distillery’s Supper

Raasay Distillery Borodale House, Isle of Raasay, Kyle

On tomorrow at 7pm

Tickets are £25 per person

01478 470178

The small island of Raasay, tucked into the eastern coast of Skye, receives mercifully few of the tourists that its larger neighbour does. It is most famous for being the birthplace of Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean, but this weekend, the Isle of Raasay Distillery will pay homage to another of Scotland’s best writers. Its Burns Supper, which will be served in the distillery’s Gathering Room, offers a three-course meal that commences with a dram or a glass of fizz. Guests will then be treated to haggis neeps and tatties with a ‘Raasay While We Wait’ whisky sauce, a rhubarb and ‘Raasay While We Wait’ cranachan and -if that wasn’t enough- a dram of Raasay While We Wait to finish off.


6. Experience the Big Burns Supper, Dumfries

Various venues in Dumfries

On until February 2

Prices vary

01387 271 820

Don’t be deceived by the name- this is much more than a Burns Supper. 11 days of music, theatre, comedy, dance, magic and cabaret will celebrate Robert Burns’ connection with Dumfries and the thriving culture of south-west Scotland. Highlights for 2020 include performances by Hue and Cry as well as a Burns Night extravaganza (on tonight until 2am) that sees a mixture of folk, heavy metal, afro and acoustic music.


7. Try Haggis ice cream at Jannettas Gelateria in St Andrews

Jannettas Gelateria, 31 South Street, St Andrews, Fife

Available today, open Monday-Saturday, 9am- 10pm and Sunday, 10am- 10pm

Cones start at £2, or add a flake for £2.60

01334 473285

Ice cream isn’t exactly the most obvious snack for January. But the team at Jannettas Gelateria -led by master ice cream maker Owen Hazel- have invented the perfect no-frills way to pay homage to Burns. Their haggis-spiced ice cream, made with cracked black pepper and thyme, has an oaty, fragrant flavour that’s reminiscent of the spices found in haggis. Vegetarians can join in too, with the ice cream being (mercifully) meat-free.


8. Experience a Burns Supper with a difference at Wedgwood the Restaurant, Edinburgh

Wedgwood the Restaurant, 267 Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

On tonight and tomorrow night, from 6.30pm

£59 per person

0131 558 8737

Growing weary of Burns Suppers that follow the same format? Then this is the event for you. It starts reasonably traditionally, with a three-course meal with haggis at its centre and a recital of Burns poetry. But then guests will be escorted into the labyrinth of Mary King’s Close, an eerie series of alleyways hidden beneath the Royal Mile, to experience a Burns-inspired tour of the historic streets. If that all proves a bit scary then don’t worry- the event finishes with a dram of whisky in the Burgh Courtroom.


9. Share some laughs at the Burns Night Special at the Stand, Glasgow

The Stand Comedy Club, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow

On tomorrow, doors from 7.30pm

Tickets start at £5

0141 212 3389

If you are looking for a light-hearted way to celebrate Burns, this should surely do the trick. The Stand Comedy Club in Glasgow’s west end is hosting Raymond Mearns, Gareth Waugh, Cubby, Susan Riddell and Joe Heenan for an evening of Burns-inspired laughs. Doors open at 7.30pm, and the event doesn’t start until 8.30pm, but those in the know will arrive early to secure a table far away from the stage. If you don’t, and you find yourself sat down the front, then there’s a very good chance you will become the butt of the jokes.


10. Try an ‘Alternative Burns Supper’ in Glamis

The Bothy Experience, Gin Bothy, Kirk Wynd, Glamis, Forfar, Angus

On tonight, 7.15pm until 10pm

£25 per person, over 18s only

01307 840979

Burns Night might be associated with whisky, but this event is all about gin. The Gin Bothy, which has been producing craft gin since 2014, has now built up quite a reputation among enthusiasts of the drink. You can try it for yourself at their ‘Alternative Burns Supper’- where two gins will be offered alongside Scottish canapes as part of a mini tasting session. Guests will also be treated to poetry and song from Dundee poet Mark Thomson and musicians Neil Patterson and Jonathan Mitchell.