As you would imagine, Burns Night is a bit of a big deal for us here at Scots in London! Across our organisations we are jam-packed with ways for you to celebrate the life and work of Scotland’s Bard, Rabbie Burns.
From black-tie dinners to music, dance and a formal wreath-laying by the Burns Society of London whatever style of event you are looking for we have you covered.
Why Burns Night?
Burns is celebrated as the national poet of Scotland. He wrote over 550 songs and poems, and arguably his most famous work is ‘Auld Lang Syne’ which is sung to mark the ending of an event such as New Year’s Eve. Burns was born in Ayr, Scotland on 25 January 1759. The first Burns Night was held in 1801 by some of Burn’s friends to mark his birthday 5 years after Burns had passed away. It is said that this event involved a supper of haggis, renditions of Burn’s work and speeches. Today traditional Burns Suppers follow pretty much the same format, finishing of course with the singing of Auld Lang Syne!
Pre Burns Night Events – Weekend of 20 January 2024
If you are in London before 25 January there are a range of options for you.
If you would like to attend a formal evening Burns Night dinner – evening wear or highland dress preferred - then we have two options for you. The Burns Club of London are holding their Birthday Festival Dinner on 20 January at The Caledonian Club (SW1X 7DR), 6 for 6:30pm. Tickets are £98 and include a 3 course meal and a wee dram (other drinks are extra). Notable speakers
include Alan Beck, the Immediate Past President of the Robert Burns World Federation, the actor, writer and piper David Colvin, and Dorothy Walker, Lady Lauriston. To book your tickets please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would prefer to celebrate Scotland’s poet by dancing the night away then why not head over to the Ceilidh Club Burns Night. They are running two events on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 January at St Mary’s Marylebone. With 3 hours of dancing the evenings still include the traditional piping in of the Haggis, address to the Haggis, and will finish with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne so you get the best of both worlds! Doors open 6pm and dancing is from 7-10pm. Tickets are £45-£55 and include a buffet. For more information and to book head over to www.ceilidhclub.com
The Day Iteslf - Burns Night 25 January 2024
Commomerating the Bard
Every year the Burns Club of London lay a wreath at the Burns statue inside Vicotria Embankment Gardens. Please feel free to turn up and watch. Starting at 12.30pm the cerermony will include bagpipe music and recitations of Burns poetry.
Music and Mixed Events
There are two great evening events to choose from. Scotland House are hosting 'Deconstruced bard', a free event running from 6-9pm. Join them for a unique take on the traditional Burns Night celebrations, with a lively night of poetry, music and the very best of Scottish food and drink to celebrate the life and works of Scotland’s Bard, Rabbie Burns. Please note that spaces for this event are limited, visit tinyurl.com/2s3ffwxx to secure your spot.
Alternatively, over at Cecil Sharp House the Ceilidh Club are running 'Burns Night Songs with Ainsley Hamill', 7:15pm - 8:15pm. This Burns Night is like no other. For the first time, we invite you to a sit-down concert where you can enjoy an hour of enchanting Burns songs by the award-winning singer, Ainsley Hamill. Tickets are £21, to book visit London Ceilidh Club | Burns Night | Things to do in London
The Weekend after - 26-27 January 2024
If you would like to attend a Burns Night supper at a more pocket-friendly ticket price then why not check out the St Columba's Burns Supper. Taking place at the church in Knightsbridge, tickets are £20. The event is being held on Saturday 27 January, starting 7pm. Guest speakers include Revd Angus MacLeod and Revd Fiona Mathieson giving the Toast to the Lassies and the Reply. They also have Revd Scott Rennie from Crown Court Church giving the Immortal Memory. To book tickets please contact the church office by emailing email@example.com.
Repeating their Burns Night format of the previous weekend, if you missed the first round of Ceilidh dances (or enjoyed it so much you would like to do it again!) you can head over to St Mary’s Marylebone to join the Ceilidh Club for two more nights of dancing. Running on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 January tickets are £45-£55 and include a buffet. For more information and to book head over to www.ceilidhclub.com