If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll have seen me announce that my next trip – and first one of 2015 – is to Dumfries, Scotland.

On Friday I’ll be heading to the region with Visit Scotland in order to celebrate Burns Night and also to sample some of the region’s tasty food and drink.

next stop

Where is Dumfries?

If you’re not familiar with the area of Dumfries, then don’t worry – neither was I! Although I’ve visited both Glasgow and Edinburgh before, Dumfries is a completely new area to me, so I’ve had to do a lot of research on the region.

Dumfries is in the South West of Scotland, situated just over the England-Scotland border. From London, you can take a train from Euston and be in Dumfries within 4 hours 20 minutes (including a change at Carlisle.) Or, you can fly into Glasgow and catch a train to Dumfries – expect the train to take just under 2 hours.

dumfries mapWhat is Burn’s Night?

Burn’s Night is held every year on January 25th to celebrate Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns. Celebrations are held across Scotland, but there are also several dinners and parties springing up around the UK and Ireland.

Burn’s Night consists of a Burn’s Supper, which traditionally includes the national dish of haggis (i.e. sheep’s stomach with lamb and vegetables), accompanied by Scotch whisky and the recitation of Burn’s poetry. Put simply, it sounds like a right Scottish knees up.

From what I’ve read, the Burn’s Supper is supposed to be quite theatrical. Before guests even tuck into anything, the host is supposed to recite an ‘Address To a Haggis’, an eight-stanza poem, culminating in its cutting. This is then followed by a Scotch whisky toast (to the haggis, of course).

Despite living in England all my life, I’ve never once participated in a Burn’s Supper, so I’m stupidly excited.

What Else I’ll Be Getting Up To…

What won’t I be getting up to?!

The four days is looking to be a fantastic whirlwind of everything Dumfries has to offer. Along with a couple of other bloggers (Laura from laretour.co.uk and Hazel from The Grumbling Tummy), I’ll be taking in sights including Loch Arthur Camphill Community, Ellisland Farm – the former home of Robert Burns – and Annandale Distillerywhere Scotch whisky is made.

On the Saturday night I’ll be at Le Haggis: The Second Coming, billed as ‘Scotland’s Sexiest Cabaret Show’. I’m not entirely sure what to expect, but I’m fairly sure it’ll be a night to remember based on this photo alone!

Le Haggis: The Second Coming

Le Haggis: The Second Coming

Make sure you keep an eye on my Twitter for plenty of pictures and tips on what to see in the area. I’ll be using hashtags including #TasteScotland #Tasteourbest #BurnsNight and #BigBurnsSupper

I’m also (finally) going to be trying my hand at doing some vlogging while I’m out there. Wish me luck…

Have you been to Dumfries before? Is there anywhere in particular you would recommend?