"Guid Nychburris" Dumfries by WhispersWest
Dumfries Travel Guide: 74 reviews and 52 photos
Some were amazed when I chose such an "out-of-the-way" spot for my first few days in Scotland. I wanted to walk the streets that my Gran's ancestors had walked. Perhaps, I was hoping to see her in a stranger that passed by and in doing so reconnect with her once again. I never saw that glimpse but what I found was the most warm and wonderful of places.
Dumfries (pronounced dum-freece, not dum-fries) (Dùn Phris in Scottish Gaelic) is a former royal burgh and town with a population of around 31,146 (37,846 including the Locharbriggs and Cargenbridge areas). It sits close to the Solway Firth near the mouth of the River Nith in the south west of Scotland, and was the county town of the former county of Dumfriesshire.
A number of well-known people were educated at Dumfries Academy, among them James Matthew Barrie, author of Peter Pan, John Laurie, actor (Private Frazer in Dad's Army), and Jane Haining, missionary. Dumfries is also the hometown of former F1 racer Allan McNish. Dumfries was the "hometown" of Burns while he lived there, but Burns was born in Ayrshire and spent many years there before moving to Dumfriesshire. Also Ray Wilson, lead singer of Stiltskin and later Genesis was born in Dumfries.
My boys & I had the good fortune to arrive on the weekend of Guid Nychburris, the main festival of the year, a ceremony which is largely based on the theme of a positive community spirit. Each summer the Royal Burghs of the region come alive to the sound of hundreds of horsemen, checking the boundaries of their town in the annual Riding of the Marches. This ancient tradition goes back centuries and forms the focal point for week long celebrations in many of the towns in Dumfries & Galloway, such as Langholm, Annan, Dumfries and Sanquhar. You can enjoy a parade by the horsemen followed by pipe and brass bands, marching through the main streets, followed, of course, by lively celebrations in the towns' public houses!
On Saturday morning, the "Cornet" and the "Cornet's Lass" lead a party that rides around the town boundaries on horseback. They passed in front of the B&B in which we were staying, standing long enough for me to snap the only picture I was able to take before my camera battery gave out! They lay a wreath at the base of a memorial honoring their war dead. It was one of our most favorite moments. We were even able to walk to the town centre and enjoy watching the dancing and singing that was going on throughout the square.
Sometimes, "off the beaten track" is the best place to be!
Dumfries was the hometown of Robert Burns from 1759 until his death in 1796. The poet is now buried in St. Michael’s Churchyard in the Burns Mausoleum.
It's easy to see why Robert Burns was such a passionate man. Inspired by the land he loved and the women he wooed, Burns wrote some of his most memorable work in Dumfries & Galloway.
Scotland's National Bard spent much of his adult life in and around Dumfries, dying here aged just 37, and was active and outspoken in the local community. He was a man of deep thought and strong opinions, whose political views were considered revolutionary for the time. While his most famous works such as Auld Lang Syne and Ae Fond Kiss were written with a romantic and timeless grace in Dumfries & Galloway, he also wrote some of his most politically scathing work here, frustrated by his work as an exciseman and critical of the establishment of the day.
Robert Burns is remembered fondly throughout Dumfries & Galloway and there are many places to visit today which celebrate their historical connections with him. Travel the long coastline where he sought out smugglers in hidden coves. Visit his home, his farm or his favourite inn. Or simply look upon his likeness, a centrepiece in the town proud to remember him as its adopted son.
I was thrilled, as possibly only a writer could be, to stand in the bedroom of Robbie Burns at The Globe Inn and run my fingers over the words he had etched into the glass he happened to be in reach of when the Muse struck,
"O lovely Polly Stewart
O charming Polly Stewart
There's not a flower that blooms in May
That's half so fair as thou art".
A word of warning, don't sit in Robert's cahir unless you know his verse well enough to recite! You will end up buying the house a round shoudl you fail.
- Pros:Excellent area for walkers, anglers, lovers of history
- Cons:traffic can get congested
- In a nutshell:Where old & new intertwine to fascinate!
WhispersWest's Related Pages
Dumfries Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Poet's corner"
- "Well, we all have to come from somewhere!"
- "More than Meets the Eye"
- "a weekend on carruchan farm"
- "Dumfries - Gateway to Galloway"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Dumfries
- Hotels in Dumfries
- Transportation in Dumfries
- Nightlife in Dumfries
- Restaurants in Dumfries
- Warnings and Dangers in Dumfries
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Dumfries
- 1 Reviews
- 4 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 0 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (11)
Have you been to Dumfries?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Dumfries
Photos in DumfriesSee All Photos (4)
Top 10 Pages
- Roscommon Intro, 7 reviews, 12 photos
- Doolin Intro, 5 reviews, 10 photos
- Cork Intro, 10 reviews, 3 photos
- Clonakilty Intro, 5 reviews, 6 photos
- Skibbereen Intro, 5 reviews, 5 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Ennis Intro, 2 reviews, 6 photos
- Galway Intro, 5 reviews, 2 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Derry/Londonderry Intro, 2 reviews, 4 photos
- Bantry Intro, 2 reviews, 4 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Youghal Intro, 2 reviews, 4 photos
FriendsSee All Friends (12)
Latest Dumfries hotel reviews
- Travelodge Dumfries
- 39 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 5, 2013
- Hetland Hall Hotel
- 185 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 27, 2013
- Premier Inn Dumfries
- 206 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 30, 2013
- Trigony House Hotel
- 325 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 9, 2013
- Comlongon Castle
- 269 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 15, 2013
- Cairndale Hotel And Leisure Club
- 306 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 1, 2013
- Manor Country House Hotel
- 47 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 24, 2013