Robert Burns would have loved a stay at Knockinaam Lodge
Robert Burns often wrote about a sense of place, taking inspiration and reflective thought from his surroundings and the characters he met on his journey through life. His perceptive look on life and our connection with nature and one another made his poetry and songs famous the world over.
Born in Alloway on 25th January 1759, Robert Burns showed writing talents from the age of 15. He was a perceptive lad, taking in his surroundings and writing about what he saw and what he thought of the world around him. He died on 21st July 1796 in Dumfries, just over 60 miles from his birthplace, At only 37 it would seem he had not travelled far but his journey and the legacy left behind through his literary ponderings has reached across the whole of the world influencing millions of people over more than two and a half centuries since his birth.
He was a lover of life but a complex man, he saw the beauty and the failings in people but understood their fragility too. He had a deep sense of the balance of nature and that affinity with the environment drew him to work the land and learn from it. Many of his poems conjure up images of the delicacies of life and the uncertainty of the future. To a Mouse and To a Mountain Daisy are two most famous. These poems reflect Burns’ own concerns with the future and his own struggles, with uncertainty never far away.
Taking inspiration from the natural environment, the setting for Knockinaam Lodge would have given Burns much peace through the solitude of the secluded cove where the hotel is protectively nestled surrounded by cliffs while looking out to the crashing of waves from the Irish sea. The contrast would have surely enlivened Burns to write a line or two about this stunningly breathtaking location.
We also think he would have appreciated our approach to being in-tune with nature, using only seasonal produce to create our dishes. Enjoying visits to Edinburgh, we know Burns enjoyed the highlife and appreciated the finer things in life, so we are sure he would have enjoyed the culinary delights at Knockinaam Lodge.
As a small intimate hotel, with only 10 bedrooms we also think he would have enjoyed the company of our guests, getting to know people of different backgrounds sharing in the pleasures of a break away from the hustle and bustle.
Robert Burns loved to write about local places, so who knows, if he had visited, he may have taken pen (or quill) to paper, in the same way John Buchan did over 100 years later when writing The Thirty-Nine Steps. He describes the hero, Hannay fleeing to a grey stone Victorian hunting lodge, known to be inspired by Knockinaam Lodge. Burns was inspired to write about a sense of place in The Twa Brigs of Ayr and arguably the most famous of his poems, Tam O’Shanter.
Today, the life and works of Roberts Burns is celebrated all over the world, in January, when Scots and those with an affiliation to Scotland remember his legacy and the character of a great man, one of Scotland’s most well know and influential characters. Knockinaam Lodge sits perfectly located between two of the most famous homes Burns lived in: his birth place in Alloway, Ayrshire now the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and Ellisland Farm.
Ellisland Farm was built by Burns as his family’s first true home, where he worked the farmland and lived in this enchanting location with his wife, Jean Armour. The farm is now a museum, presenting the rural life of Robert Burns from 1788 to 1791. It is here that Burns was inspired by the tranquil setting to write many of his poems about nature and mans’ influence upon it. He could even be described as one of the first environmentalists, recognising the connection and the impact humans have upon the natural environment.
At the Robert Burns Birthplace there is now a new state of the art museum presenting his life, created by the National Trust for Scotland. The NTS hold events there too and one is to celebrate the anniversary of Robert Burns’ life. On Saturday 25th January 2020, there is a Burns Gala Day from 10am to 4pm, which will include food tastings, live performers and stalls.
This event perfectly coincides with a stay at Knockinaam Lodge. To commemorate this special date in the Scottish calendar we have create a special break, with a suggested 2-day itinerary to take in the important monuments and places of interest on a Burns Trail, these include his birthplace, his home at Ellisland and famous landmarks in the town of Dumfries, where Robert Burns also lived and enjoyed the nightlife of this bustling town, frequenting the Glob Inn, recently sympathetically renovated to bring back a sense of this historic meeting place. Dumfries is also where Burns was laid to rest and now, thanks to the likes of William Wordsworth and his wife, Dorothy a mausoleum stands, signifying Roberts Burns final resting place.