12 incredible things to see and do in Edinburgh this Burns Night

12 incredible things to see and do in Edinburgh this Burns Night

It’s the biggest Scottish celebration of the year, so what does Scotland’s capital have to offer this Burns Night?

After the excitement of Christmas and New Year celebrations, January can’t help but feel a bit lacklustre. The weather’s cold, the nights are dark and there seems to be nothing to look forward to for months.

That is, unless you live in Scotland.

January 25th marks an important night in the Scottish calendar. Burns Night, or Burns Supper, is a well-known and widely celebrated Scottish event, as it happens to be the birthday of one of Scotland’s most famous names: it’s national bard Robert Burns.

Burns Night is the celebration of the life and poetry of Robert Burns — the man behind Scotland’s most famous verses. The first Burns Night was held in memoriam by Burns’ friends at Burns Cottage on 21st July 1801: the fifth anniversary of Burns’ death. Ever since, it has been a regular occurrence across Scotland, though it is now celebrated on the anniversary of Burns’ birth rather than his passing.

Burns Suppers can be as formal or as informal as the occasion calls for. Typically, the meal includes haggis, Scotch whiskey and a reciting of Burns’ most beloved works. However, nowadays Burns Night is celebrated in many different ways and in a host of different venues, but one thing is certain: there is nowhere better to celebrate than Edinburgh.

So to make sure you don’t miss out on all the fantastic events taking place this Burns Night in the Scottish capital, we’ve put together this essential guide to help liven up your January and make you fall in love with Edinburgh all over again.

Here are 12 of the most exciting Burns Night celebrations taking place in the capital:

Robert Burns Night

When? 19th – 28th January

Where? Ghillie Dhu

How much? £44.95 

What can you expect?

Ghillie Dhu is a stunning Scottish establishment known for its combination of drams, Scottish fayres, jigs and reels. This January, however, they are offering a Rabbie Burns experience. This will include a dram on entry, traditional haggis and, of course, readings of Burns’ works, polished off with a highland fling featuring live folk music.

Burns Night Celebration

When? Wednesday 24th January

Where? The Pleasance

How much? £40

What can you expect?

If you’re looking for a fun, unique and informal way to enjoy Burns Night, look no further than The Pleasance. The venue is famous for its incredible indie performances and this one is no different, promising a folky celebration of the national bard’s birthday, featuring live music from Kevin McLeod among others.

Supper with Burns

When? Wednesday 24th – Thursday 25th January

Where? Scottish Storytelling Centre

How much? £25

What can you expect?

Supreme storytellers David Campbell and Ruth Kirkpatrick lead this traditional Burns Supper with two nights of swapping stories and enjoying good food at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. There will also be clarsach playing from Katie Harrigan, and Daniel Allison’s rendition of Tam O’Shanter.

Burns for Beginners

When? Wednesday 24th – Sunday 28th January

Where? Edinburgh Castle

How much? Included in Admission Price

What can you expect?

Who can resist celebrating Burns night within the grounds of Scotland’s most iconic building? From Wednesday to Sunday on Burns Night week, you can enjoy a light-hearted introduction to Burns and his work. Crowd participation is also encouraged.

Burns Night Dinner

When? Thursday 25th January

Where? Prestonfield House Hotel

How much? £50

What can you expect?

For a traditional yet truly luxurious Burns Night experience, Prestonfield House is arguably the place to be. From 7pm on the night itself, you can enjoy a welcome drinks reception, a three-course dinner with coffee and a wee dram to finish things off for £50 per guest. Parties of 10 or more are advised to ring ahead.

Odyssey. 013 Burns Night Special with George Fitzgerald

When? Thursday 25th January 2018

Where? Cabaret Voltaire

How much? Tickets from £10 - £15

What can you expect?

If you’re a party animal looking for a wilder way to celebrate the bard, then Cabaret Voltaire is hosting a dance-tastic club night, complete with celebrated artist and DJ George Fitzgerald. Make sure you’re prepared for a late one though, as doors open at 11pm and don’t close until 5am.

Red, Red Rose Street

When? Thursday 25th – Saturday 27th January

Where? Rose Street

How much? It varies depending on the events you take part in

What can you expect?

It’s impossible to describe everything that’s happening on Rose Street this Burns Night — you simply have to see it for yourself! Rose Street, located just behind Princes Street, is one of Edinburgh’s hidden gems, and this year they’re playing host to their very own Burns festival. It features Burns readings, classes and workshops, comedy shows, ceilidhs, theatre plays, a Burns Supper and even activities for the little ones too. Definitely not to be missed!

Burns Unbroke

When? 25th January – 10th March

Where? Summerhall

How much? Free

What can you expect?

This exhibition features the work of over 30 visual artists across 11 galleries, making it the perfect choice for any art lovers. Even if you are not, you can enjoy flyting competitions (a traditional exchange of insults akin to the modern battle rap), whiskey masterclasses and children’s workshops too.

Burns at the Close

When? Friday 26th January

Where? The Real St Mary’s Close

How much? £55

What can you expect?

The Real St Mary’s Close is one of Edinburgh’s spookiest and most fascinating sites – perfect for Burns Night. Enjoy a special night of celebrating Burns with a three-course meal, Burns recital and a tour of the Close itself.

Burns Night Supper and Ceilidh

When? Friday 26th – Saturday 27th January

Where? The Scottish Café and Restaurant

How much? £40

What can you expect?

For a truly traditional experience, head over to the Scottish Café and Restaurant, where you can enjoy a true Burns Supper menu. The haggis is piped in and addressed, then taken with a wee dram. After supper, there’s even a ceilidh to get you in the party spirit.

Burns Night Ceilidh

When? Friday 26th – Saturday 27th January

Where? Lauriston Hall

How much? £8

What can you expect?

If you want to do Burns Night on a budget, Lauriston Hall is offering one of the cheapest and yet one of the most fun options for celebrating the bard’s birthday. The Flaming Heather ceilidh band and caller Ken Gourley set off the night right with folk dancers and pipers in tow. All for less than £10!

Burns Supper

When? Friday 26th January – Saturday 27th January

Where? Royal Yacht Britannia

How much? £185

What can you expect?

On the other side of the spectrum, you have the most luxurious Burns Night experience Edinburgh has to offer. It may not come cheap, but if you’re looking for a really special way to celebrate than there’s no better place to look than the Royal Yacht Britannia. The four-course dinner will be served in the State Dining Room — by butlers of course — and you can enjoy a red carpet welcome, drinks and a canapé reception.

If you are thinking of making a new home for yourself in the Scottish capital in 2018, all of this could be on your doorstep when you make the move to Quartermile. Call us today on 0845 000 25 25 or click here to arrange a property viewing. 

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