Whisky is one of Scotland’s most iconic products and is enjoyed by aficionados throughout the World. This carefully crafted tour will let you discover the mysteries of whisky-making using time-honored traditions and just three simple ingredients.
Get behind-the-scenes insight on visits to five of Scotland’s most famous distilleries as well as getting an introduction to the fascinating history of Uisge Beatha as whisky is known in Gaelic at the award-winning Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. Slàinte!
Welcome to Edinburgh. After checking into your hotel, it’s time to explore Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile. For centuries this famous thoroughfare was the hub of life in Edinburgh.
A gentle stroll along any part of this historic street will take you in the footsteps of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and a host of colorful Scottish characters.
The walk will lead you to Edinburgh Castle, which sits on a crag and provides a striking backdrop to Edinburgh’s skyline. There is time to visit this mighty fortress, so why not join a guided tour led by one of the castle’s warders to hear dramatic tales of siege, warfare, dark deeds and intrigue!
On tour, you’ll see the Scottish Crown Jewels, Mons Meg (a giant cannon) and St Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh.
There are also spectacular views of Edinburgh to enjoy from the battlements.
A short stroll from the castle is the popular Scotch Whisky Experience, the primary visit for today. During the visit, you’ll take a spectacular journey through a replica distillery before your expert guide imparts the secrets of the Whisky regions.
Finally, you’ll choose your perfect ‘dram’ and taste it in The World’s Largest Whisky Collection.
The Royal Mile is home to some of the finest whisky bars Scotland’s Capital City has to offer. Your tour documentation will contain some suggestions of noteworthy hostelries that you might want to visit.
Overnight: Holiday Inn, Edinburgh or similar
Not far from Edinburgh, where the Lammermuir Hills begin to roll down towards the banks of the Firth of Forth, lies the farming county of East Lothian. Known as the “Garden of Scotland”, the gently rolling countryside has fields fed by water softy rolling down from the hills.
Glenkinchie Distillery is one of only two working Lowland malt whisky distilleries. It produces the Edinburgh Malt that is enjoyed worldwide on its own and as a vital component of Johnnie Walker whiskies.
Discover the secrets behind this famous whisky with a unique behind-the-scenes all-senses tour. Enjoy a tutored tasting of 3 different drams and a wee cocktail before visiting an exhibition of malt whisky in the museum. There’s an extensive shop full of souvenirs for the whisky enthusiast too.
On return to Edinburgh, board the Inter7City Express for the Victorian resort of Pitlochry in the heart of Highland Perthshire.
After checking into your stately hotel, set in its extensive grounds, head to Blair Athol Distillery for a visit to learn how the pure water of the Allt Dour burn is turned into a superb 12-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky.
Overnight: Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry or similar
After a leisurely breakfast, head to Pitlochry’s picturesque station to catch the train for a journey along the scenic Highland mainline. After departing from Pitlochry, pass through the Pass of Killiecrankie, then see white-washed Blair Castle, the home of the Duke of Atholl.
Our train starts the climb through the Grampian Mountains to reach the Druimuachdar Pass, the highest summit in the British rail network.
We break our journey at Dalwhinnie, whose distillery is home to a famous Highland Single Malt Whisky. The site of the distillery was chosen for its access to clear spring water and abundant peat from the surrounding bogs.
Set in splendid mountain scenery at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, Dalwhinnie is the highest distillery in Scotland at 1164 feet above sea level.
After a distillery tour and tutored tasting, continue northwards by train to the Highland Capital of Inverness. Tonight, why not enjoy some traditional folk music played with gusto at Hootenany’s Pub.
Overnight: Redcliffe Hotel, Inverness or similar
A different mode of travel today as we head to Inverness Bus Station to join the coach for a scenic journey through the Great Glen to Fort William.
From the center of Inverness, we travel southwards through the Great Glen and along the banks of the lochs that form part of the Caledonian Canal, ingeniously designed by Thomas Telford.
First is Loch Ness, which is, of course, famous for its elusive resident, Nessie. As we journey along the banks of this mysterious lake, why not take the chance for some monster-spotting? Look out for the ruins of Urquhart Castle, once a mighty fortress that boasts over 1,000 years of history.
As we travel through the bustling village of Fort Augustus, look out for the impressive flight of five locks carrying the boats towards Loch Ness.
Alight from the coach on the outskirts of Fort William to visit Ben Nevis Distillery, one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. It was established in 1825 and sits below Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
Visit the Legend of the Dew exhibition in an old distillery warehouse. In a specially commissioned audiovisual presentation, meet Hector McDram, a mythical giant who will reveal the secret Legend of the Dew of Ben Nevis. Following this, enjoy a conducted tour of the production areas by a trained guide and a complimentary tasting.
After free time in Fort Wiliam, continue the journey by coach to the Victorian seaside town of Oban.
Overnight: Royal Hotel, Oban or similar
Enjoy a relaxing breakfast before enjoying the last distillery visit of the tour. Oban Distillery takes its name from the town where the Highlands meet the Islands and nestles below Oban’s steep cliff.
On our visit to Oban Distillery, learn about the ancient art of distilling at one of Scotland’s smallest and oldest distilleries. It has just two pot stills and was originally established in 1794 by brothers John and Hugh Stevenson. It underwent a refurbishment in the 1890s, and there has been little change to the present buildings since then.
The distillery tour offers the chance to witness the traditional craftsmanship of whisky production first-hand before enjoying complimentary drams of the Oban 14-year-old West Highland Malt.
Oban is known as the Seafood Capital of Scotland, so why not take the opportunity to enjoy a recently landed seafood treat alfresco on the pier before heading to the station.
The train to Glasgow follows the West Highland Line, considered one of Scotland’s most scenic. The journey starts by following the banks of Loch Etive, then through the Pass of Brander to reach Loch Awe beyond. Look out for the ruins of Kilchurn Castle, an ancient stronghold of the Clan Campbell.
From Dalmally, travel through picturesque Glen Lochy to reach Tyndrum and Crianlarich. The last part of the journey offers beautiful views of Loch Lomond then slender Loch Long. The banks of the Clyde Estuary lead us to trips end in Glasgow.
Visits, Admissions and Experiences