A lovely way to spend a morning in Dumfries is at Gracefield Arts Centre which boasts a collection of around 600 paintings and drawings by Scottish artists, most with links to Dumfries & Galloway. In addition to the permanent collection there a good programme of temporary exhibits, craft shows, Café Gallery exhibitions and workshops.
Make an afternoon pilgrimage to Robert Burns House, the very home where Burns lived with his family for the last few years of his life. This simple building retains its 18th century character and the small but very important museum presents original manuscripts and gives an insight into how the poet lived.
From Robert Burns House, it’s a short walk to St Michael’s Churchyard and the Burns Mausoleum. If you only have time for one activity this afternoon, choose this visit: it’s a fascinating place. Within the churchyard, look out for the large plan which shows the location of graves of literally dozens of friends and peers of Robert Burns and also shows the position of his original grave before the mausoleum was built. A Blue Plaque system helps to pinpoint special graves.
The gleaming white mausoleum is an ideal spot for quiet contemplation. At the gates to the Kirk stands the contemporary sandstone sculpture, ‘Robert Burns Rock’ and just across the road is a statue celebrating Burns’ wife, Jean Armour.