Robert Burns

Where We Are >> Galloway Tour >> Robert Burns (last page of tour)

True Burns country

Busy Solway shipping traffic, not to mention smuggling on a staggering scale, meant plenty of work for Excisemen, whose ranks Rabbie B joined in Dumfries (incredible, but he only did it for the money). This is the background to his famous song "The De'il's awa' wi' the Exciseman" (for text see below) - a rousing chorus proclaiming that the Devil's made off with the Exciseman, so we can all drink to our heart's content.

And you can do exactly that at the Globe Inn, the favourite tavern or "howff" [haunt] frequented by the bard in Dumfries. Founded in 1610, it still flourishes today: the landlady Maureen McKerrow is a truly feisty character (in the tavern's traditions!), and it's a great pub serving some interesting ales. Rabbie's favourite seat still survives, and some of his poetry may still be seen inscribed by his hand with a diamond ring on his bedroom windows. Every corner is packed with fascinating memorabilia.

Gelston is perfectly located for the Burns trail: Dumfries, its starting point, is just 30 minutes east; Auchencairn (the Revenue Cutter operated from Balcary) is 10 minutes southwest; and just an hour northwest are the places in Ayrshire where he was born and grew up.

Sample Burns texts

  1. Burns Texts

Complete texts of:

> The De'il's awa' wi' the Exciseman;

> Bruce's Address at Bannockburn (commonly dubbed "Scots Wha Hae ..."), written at the Murray Arms in Gatehouse of Fleet (20 mins west of Gelston);

> Auld Lang Syne (do you know ALL the verses?).

Local Burns websites

See External Links (menu above) under Culture & the Arts; includes the excellent Globe Inn site. Also the Auchencairn community website (Hugh Paton's History) under History etc., for the background on smuggling around Balcary Bay and Burns' connections there.

End of Galloway Tour - where next?

There's more to see in the section Where We Are (click to go back there).
Or go straight to the section's next page: The Slow Road

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01556 502211
From abroad:
+44 1556 502211

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