MS: The Highland Journal, August - September, 1787

Date:
1787 
Creator:
Robert Burns, Author 
Object Number:
3.6148

Summary

Robert Burns took several tours throughout Scotland in 1787. He travelled south to Berwick-upon-Tweed and Carlisle, west to Argyll and Loch Lomond, and north to Inverness and Aberdeen.

During his tour of the highlands, Robert kept this journal detailing the places and people he encountered along the way.

Robert left Edinburgh with his friend William Nicol on 25 August 1787. They first visited Linlithgow and Stirling, taking in the sites once associated with Scottish Royalty. They then travelled onward through Perthshire, where they met the great fiddle player Neil Gow. Burns later wrote several songs to the melodies provided by Gow during this visit.

Travelling north, Robert and William stayed with various supporters and hosts, eventually reaching Inverness and Loch Ness. From here they went east to Aberdeen, then south to Robert’s ancestral homelands near Stonehaven and Montrose where Robert met with his father’s family.

The trip lasted for over three weeks as Burns and Nicol returned to Edinburgh via Dundee and Perth on 16 September. For Robert, the trip was creatively beneficial, as the ‘journey through the Highlands was perfectly inspiring; and I hope I have laid in a good stock of new poetical ideas.’ He had also collected traditional songs during the sojourn, many of which were later submitted to The Scots Musical Museum.

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