No holidays abroad again this year? No bother! Scotland has plenty to offer for tourists and locals alike. And for gin-lovers, there are loads of distilleries the length and breadth of the country that have re-opened their doors and are ready to welcome visitors. Many of these wonderful distilleries have had a tough year and would really appreciate your support. They’ve all worked hard to ensure the safety of their visitors, so while the tours might be a little different than usual, you can visit with peace of mind.
So if you’re planning a holiday in Scotland, we urge you to find out if there is a gin distillery nearby and check if they’re open for tours. You’ll find it a really rewarding day out (and you’ll get to sample some gin as well!).
While we can’t list them all here, we’ve featured a selection of great Scottish Gin distilleries that would love to welcome you for a visit. Enjoy your Scottish (gin) staycation!
Starting in the capital city, you’re spoilt for choice! You could book a gin tour at the award-winning Holyrood Distillery or have a ‘gin jolly’ the wonderfully quirky Summerhall Distillery, home of Pickering’s Gin. Or venture a little out of the city and visit the beautiful Secret Garden Distillery at The Secret Herb Garden, the stunning surroundings and warm welcome will make it worth the journey.
Heading west, you can visit the iconic Barras in Glasgow to the Crossbill Distillery and you can even take in a gin school, where you’ll have the chance to create, distil and bottle your very own gin. Or you can just take a tour of the distillery and sample a few Crossbills in the bar.
A trip to the Scottish islands makes memories that last a lifetime, and if you’re visiting any this year, drop by one of the many island-based Scottish Gin distilleries. If you’re on Jura and fall in love with the beauty of the island, make sure you visit the Lussa distillery, where the spirit of the island is distilled with passion. And do not visit the Isle of Skye without stopping at the Isle of Skye Distillery for one of their gin schools, where you’ll learn how to make your own gin from the very best.
A trip to the Outer Hebrides should definitely include a trip to Isle of Harris Distillery, for a tour, the great shop or a bite of something delicious in the cafe. And we will be utterly jealous if you’re on Orkney this summer and stop by the Orkney Distillery visitor centre in Kirkwall. We haven’t been yet but it is top of our list of places to visit – don’t miss it!
Finally, though not technically on an island (but close enough), you can actually visit the surreal Fairytale Distillery in Ardelve and have your camera at the ready because it is something else!
On the Coast
Scotland’s famous coastlines are fantastic for a road trip and luckily, there are several coastal gin distilleries too, so you’ll have a reason to stop and try the gin (as long as you’re not the driver!) For a touch of pure luxury, try the Ginspiration tour at NB Distillery in North Berwick. Or a little farther up the coast at Kingsbarns, Darnley’s Distillery welcomes you to their gin cottage for a tour and guided tasting.
Way up north you will find a hidden gem, the award-winning Dunnet Bay Distillery, home of Rock Rose Gin, where they have installed individual ‘boat sheds’ for the tasting experience nad you’ll never experience wnything quite like this, it’s another must-visit. And then heading way down in Torrisdale Castle Estate, on the coast near Campbelltown, you will find Beinn an Tuirc Distillery where you can take in the Kintyre Gin experience, tours and gin school.
If you are lucky enough to be in the scenic grounds of the Loch Leven Hotel in North Ballachulish in the Scottish Highlands, you’ll find the lovely Pixel Spirits Craft Distillery and the team there would be happy to weclome you on one of their tours, tastings or gin-making experiences.
And in between the highlands and lowlands, the McQueen Gin Distillery is situated in Callendar, and visitors are able to visit the McQueen team and get a real understanding of the passion, honesty and integrity which is distilled into every one of their gins as well as sampling some of their exciting range and buying some to take home.
We hope this article has given you some inspiration to visit some of Scotland’s gin distilleries. There will be others that aren’t mentioned here (get in touch if you want us to add any on!), so make sure you check wherever you are travelling to in Scotland and support out Scottish Gin distilleries this summer!