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Castles set to celebrate life and works of Burns

As part of the annual celebrations for one of Scotland’s most famous poets and exports, Edinburgh and Stirling Castles are set to celebrate all things Robert Burns with special weekend-long events.

Taking place over the course of the weekend, on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24thJanuary, visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the famous bard’s life, his works and his lasting literary legacy, which still continues today, 220 years later.

This year will see the return of the popular Burns for Beginners event to Edinburgh Castle’s Great Hall – the perfect introduction to the man himself and the meaning behind some of his best-known works. A Burns costumed performer will be on hand to discuss a number of the Ayrshire wordsmith’s poems with visitors, including Tam O’Shanter and A Man’s a Man for A’ That;visitors will also be encouraged to think about what Burns might have meant when he penned them over two centuries ago.

Nick Finnigan, Executive Manager of Edinburgh Castle, said: “The castle’s Great Hall will once again welcome back this popular event as part of the annual celebrations for Scotland’s favourite son. Burns for Beginners is a great introduction to the bard and some his most iconic written works, which still captivate people across the world more than 200 years on.”

Meanwhile Stirling Castle’s A Celebration of Burns event will see a series of specially created tours take place. Visitors will be able to follow in the footsteps of Burns as they explore his connections with the castle and discover what he might have seen when he visited in 1787 and how this inspired his writing.

The Burns for Bairns tours, which are back at the castle for a third year running, are designed to introduce younger visitors to the poet. A costumed performer in the role of a castle watchman will guide them through the landmark, as they discover more about a number of the bard’s works. Visitors will also have the chance to pen some of their very own Stirling Castle inspired poems with the Poet’s Corner activities, in the Great Hall.

Liz Grant, Commercial Business Manager of Stirling Castle, said: “Our weekend-long Burns themed tours and activities will offer visitors a chance to learn more about the life and works of one of Scotland’s most celebrated poets. During theCelebration of Burns weekend, visitors will also be able to explore the bard’s connections with the castle through a series of special tours, hear some of his best-known works and try their own hand at penning some poetry.”

Burns for Beginners at Edinburgh Castle takes place on both Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th January at 11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm and 3pm. This event is included in the cost of admission to the castle.

Stirling Castle’s A Celebration of Burns takes place across the weekend. The special Burns themed tours take place at 12noon and 2pm, with Poet’s Corner activities taking place from 12noon onwards and Burns for Bairns tours taking place at 2.15pm. These timings apply for both Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24thJanuary. These events and activities are included in the cost of admission to the castle.

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