Robert Burns (25th January 1759 – 21st July 1796) was a poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and Lowland Scots dialect.
Burns was born in Alloway, the eldest of the seven children of tenant farmer William Burness and Agnes Broun. He is a monumental figure in East Ayrshire’s heritage, and continues to inspire the area’s artistic and literary vibrancy.
Mauchline was the home of Robert Burns during the most creative period of his life. Here he met many of the characters who inspired his poetry. The Burns House Museum is an essential destination for visitors.
At The Cross in Kilmarnock town centre stands a statue of Burns and the printer, John Wilson, commemorating the publication of the famous ‘Kilmarnock Edition’ of Burns' poems close to that site in 1786. The town also commemorated the poet with the Burns Monument in the Kay Park in 1877, which now forms part of the Burns Monument Centre.
Lovers of Robert Burns' poems will also wish to visit beautiful Afton Glen near New Cumnock, ("flow gently sweet Afton"). Part of the way along the Glen a memorial has been created by local Burns enthusiasts.