‘Edina! Scotia’s darling seat!’ A Burns tour through Edinburgh

Robert Burns (1759 to 1796) is usually associated with the west of Scotland, however, the national poet also left his mark in the capital. 



The Principle Hotel


The Principle Hotel on George Street was originally several large townhouses, owned by some of Edinburgh’s richest families such as the Ferriers. Wealthy lawyer James Ferrier liked to be entertained by the literary talents of Scotland, so he invited Burns to stay. Soon Burns took a liking to James’ eldest daughter. She was already married, however, this did not phase Burns, who expressed his feelings in ‘To Miss Ferrier’.


The Burns Monument – Regent Road


The Burns Monument is can be found on Regent Road, at the southern foot of Calton Hill, overlooking Arthur’s seat in Holyrood Park. The circular temple is typical of the Georgian era in Edinburgh, bringing you right back to 1831, the year it was built. Originally it was the home of a white marble statue of Burns – which can now be found in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.


A statue of Robert Burns – Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Credits Lauren Walker EN4 News

St Giles’ Cathedral, on the Royal Mile, has a beautiful stained glass window to honour Burns. The window is split into three segments, each dedicated to an aspect of Burns’ life.

The first represents his agricultural background, the second his intellectual abilities, the third his contribution to Scottish culture.


Plaque on Lady Stair’s Close


Further up the Royal Mile you can find Lady Stair’s Close. Above the entrance, a plaque marks Burns’s first stay in Edinburgh in 1786, when it was still Baxter’s Place.

His landlady Mrs Carfrae is said to have been unamused by Burns’ debauchery.

Burns House

Lady Stair’s Close


For those interested in the three most prominent historical writers of Scotland — Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson — walk further down the Lady Stair’s Close to The Writers’ Museum.


Photos by Iona Young for EN4 News



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