Dumfries campaigners bid for town to be recognised as Robert Burns' 'true home'

Campaigners in Dumfries want the town to be considered Robert Burns' true home. Credit: South of Scotland Destination Alliance Duncan Ireland

A South of Scotland campaign group has been launched to celebrate Robert Burns' links to the region.

The poet was born in Alloway, Ayrshire but spent much of his life in Dumfriesshire, building Ellisland Farm in 1788 and writing Auld Lang Syne in the region later that year.

The Burns Tourism Action Group now hopes that Dumfries can be recognised as the bard's true home.

The group has the support of Dumfries and Galloway Council and the South of Scotland Destination Alliance and aims to increase the number of Burns-related visitors by highlighting where the poet lived, composed and performed alongside local partners.

The group's plan includes devising a new Burns audio walking tour, a guides portal and new signage at all major Burns heritage sites. QR codes across the town will link to a website where visitor information, Burns insights and walking routes will be available.

A Burns Quarter in the centre of Dumfries is also part of the plans, incorporating The Globe Inn, Old Bakery and a new visitor centre, museum, exhibition and conference centre.

Robert Burns spent much of his life in Dumfriesshire. Credit: South of Scotland Destination Alliance Duncan Ireland

David Hope-Jones, chief executive of the South of Scotland Destination Alliance, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this collaborative effort to highlight Dumfries’ irrefutable claim to be the true ‘Bard’s Town’.

“This incredible part of Scotland has such a special connection with Robert Burns: it is the place where he chose to build a life for himself and his family and where he composed some of his most celebrated works.

"There is a palpable sense of pride in the Burns heritage in Dumfriesshire, and you can really see that through the commitment to honouring his legacy through the myriad Burns attractions in the area."

David Thomson, custodian of The Globe Inn and initiator of the Burns Quarter, added: “The Burns Quarter in Dumfries isn’t solely about keeping the memory of Robert Burns alive.

"It’s also about bringing Burns’ words to life, to influence the way we think about ourselves today and the kind of world we want to live in.

"There’s so much that we can still learn from Burns. Bringing Burns to life in the centre of Dumfries is what our Burns Quarter is all about.”

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