Burns Night is celebrated annually in Scotland on or around the 25th of January. It is held to commemorate the life of the famed poet Robert Burns, who was born on this date in 1759. He is most renowned for the song Auld Lang Syne, although the day also rejoices Burns’ contribution to Scottish culture.
The best places to celebrate Burns Night in the UK in 2020
Burns celebrations take place all over the country and feature an assortment of traditional food and music; a nod to the life of one of the country’s greatest poets. There’s a number of traditional Burns night suppers and events to choose from, with eateries hosting special one-off dinners with menus of traditional Scottish dishes and beverages, including haggis, whiskey and everything in between.
We’ve narrowed down some of the best places to celebrate Burns Night in 2020:
The Whisky and Live Blues Burns Night Party, Open Scottish Whisky Bar – The Rhythm and Booze project, The Harrison
Rejoicing dear Rabbie in exactly the way he would have wanted, the Rhythm and Booze project is taking over The Harrison in London for an evening of live music and laughter that promises an open whiskey bar boasting an enormous array of drams.
Big Burns Supper, various venues, Dumfries
The world’s biggest Burns Night event began in 2012 and is set to return this year with a bang on the 24th – 26th January! Expect a three-day program of live music, theatre, dance, cabaret, and comedy. Acts include Mull Historical Society, Big Country, and Fred MacAulay.
The Neu! Reekie! Alternative Burns Bash, Pilrig St Paul’s Church, Edinburgh
This January 25th at 7.30pm in Edinburgh is the monthly avant-garde mixed arts night with a twist in the shape of a Burns theme with the film, spoken word, animation, a multimedia interpretation of Burns’ famous poem ‘Tam o’ Shanter’ and music from Belle & Sebastian guitarist Stevie Jackson and Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines. Haggis, neeps, tatties, and whiskey are included with the tickets.
Celtic Connections International Burns Concert, The Hydro, Glasgow
Glasgow winter music festival the Celtic Connections is hosting a night of epic music featuring artists from around the globe on 25th January. You can expect acts from India, South Africa, and Australia, as well as music from an abundance of local artists.
Keep the Fire Burning: An Alternative Burns Night, SWG3, Glasgow
This is another Burns Night with a twist. Expect to enjoy an assortment of alternative music and poetry as well as a Jamaican-style re-imagining of the Burns supper. The evening will take place on 25th January and the ticket includes a three-course meal and a dram.
Anybody but Burns Wikipedia edit-a-thon, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
This event rejoices the many talented Scottish poets who live in Burns’ shadow. Guests are asked to recreate or edit a Wikipedia page about any famous poet except The Bard. This lunchtime affair will take place on 25th January from 12pm – 5pm.
Glasgow International Comedy Festival Burns Night Gala, Leicester Square Theatre, London
This showcase event, which takes place on 24th January at 9.30pm, gives London the chance to see snippets from some of the leading acts featuring at this year’s Glasgow International Comedy Festival, which takes place in March and April.
Vinopolis Burns Night Supper, Vinopolis, 1 Bank End, London
If you’re a fan of whiskey, then this is the event for you. This whiskey cocktail reception complete with bagpipes, followed by a whiskey-tasting session with an expert is guaranteed fun for all. Don’t worry about getting peckish, there is also a three-course traditional supper including the Address to the Haggis to look forward to.
Burns Night at Mr Fogg’s, Mr Fogg’s, 15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, London
The eccentric Mayfair venue Mr Fogg’s – modelled on the home of Jules Verne’s fictional adventurer Phileas Fogg – will this year be hosting a Burns Night celebration featuring poetry recitals, bagpipes and a champagne toast to the Haggis. Staff will be donning traditional kilts and guests are encouraged to do likewise for a party that will extend into the small hours.
Burns Nights Supper at Fortnum & Mason, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London
The famous Fortnum & Mason will host their yearly Burns Night supper, featuring live music, a piper, guest speakers, and a sumptuous five-course meal. A range of wines and whiskeys are also available, making this one of London’s unmissable parties!
Burns Night Hootenanny, Netil House, 1 Westgate St, Hackney, London
Featuring music from one of Scotland ’s leading rock ceilidh bands, you can dance the night away in a massive Hackney warehouse on the 25th of January. You’ll also find a range of Scottish street food as well as a mobile cocktail bar, Highland games, and dance classes, as the celebrations take in all that Scotland’s culture has to offer.