Scotland has produced some of the world’s most revered poets, and the works of Robert Burns celebrated each year on 25 January for Burns Night, Premier Inn takes a look at the majestic locations that inspired some of Scotland’s most famous poets.
Robert Louis Stevenson: Edinburgh
Born in Edinburgh in 1850, Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a novelist, poet and travel writer. Most famous for creating Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Stevenson now ranks as the 26th most translated author in the entire world.
Between 1880 and 1887 he spent his summers at multiple places in Scotland and continually visited Edinburgh, and it was during this time that he produced some of his best and most well-known pieces. When visiting Edinburgh, be sure to take a trip to the Writer’s Museum where you can see a collection of Stevenson’s personal items, manuscripts and poems, and an extensive archive of photographs.
Robert Burns: Brig o’Doon in Alloway
Celebrated worldwide, Robert Burns was born in 1759 in Alloway, Ayrshire. Sadly he died just 37 years later, but his romantic songs and thought-provoking poems have been celebrated for centuries, and he has been chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public.
In Alloway, you can visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum where you can actually step inside Burns’ cottage; where he was born and lived until he was a young boy. Other must-see places for Burns fans include the Poet’s path, the Alloway Auld Kirk where you can see the graves of Burns’ father and sister, and the Brig o’Doon – the cobblestone bridge which provided the setting for the final verse of one of Burn’s most famous works, Tam o' Shanter.
Edwin Morgan: Glasgow
Edwin George Morgan was born in Glasgow in 1920. He is widely recognised as one of the foremost Scottish poets of the 20th century. He was the first Glasgow Poet Laureate and was named the first Scottish national poet: The Scots Makar.
As a child, despite being labelled a ‘swot’ at school and having no literary acquaintances, he persuaded his parents to finance his membership of several book clubs in Glasgow. In 1937 he went to the University Of Glasgow to study French and Russian and graduated in 1947, later becoming a lecturer where he worked until his retirement in 1980. You can visit the Hunterian Museum in the university’s campus to this day.
Sir Walter Scott: the Scottish Borders
Sir Walter Scott was a novelist, playwright and poet whose works include Lady of the Lake, Waverly, The Bride of Lammermoor and Ivanhoe. Born in Edinburgh in 1771, Scott suffered a childhood bout of polio which made walking painful for the rest of his life. This is said to have had a significant effect on his life and writing, also because in 1773 he was sent to live on his grandparent’s farm in the rural Scottish borders adjacent to the ruin of Smailholm Tower. The tower, which is located around 5 miles west of Kelso in the Scottish Borders, was built in the 15th century and has commanding views over the incredible landscape.
Liz Lochhead: Lanarkshire
Born in 1947, Lochhead is a Scottish poet, playwright, translator and broadcaster who has been the Poet Laureate for Glasgow and the National Poet of Scotland. Born in a little ex-mining village just outside Motherwell in Lanarkshire, she wrote poetry as a child before winning a poetry competition that launched her career. She attended the Glasgow School of Art, famous for being designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.