One day tours
Relaxed and fun days out from Edinburgh, Glasgow or anywhere else in central Scotland!

Fife and St Andrews –  a Lowland Whisky Trail.

The earliest records of whisky distilling in Scotland are from Fife but it is also home to several of the newest distilleries in the country. This tour takes you through the beautiful fertile farming countryside of the ancient Kingdom of Fife to the historic home of distilling at Lindores Abbey and its brand new distillery. Built in a converted steading building on the family farm the owners plan to create a “single estate” whisky with all the raw materials sourced locally. After lunch in the ancient university town of St Andrews you will follow the coastal route to Kingsbarns Distillery –built by the Weymss family who have almost 200 year old connection to the whisky industry. The return journey can take in the ancient Royal Burgh of Falkland, the pretty little fishing villages on the coast or perhaps a stop off at one of the best independent whisky shops in the country.

The Whiskies of Highland Perthshire

Only an hour and a half north of Glasgow and Edinburgh, Highland Perthshire is a beautiful part of Scotland – with long narrow lochs in deep valleys between forested mountain sides. Nestled in these Highland glens are a small selection of unique single malt whisky distilleries. On our small personalised tours we normally visit Edradour Distillery, typical of the small local distillery found throughout the Highlands. After a tour and tasting here you will know more about the process involved in making Scotch Whisky as well as understanding its importance to the local community. After lunch in a local inn producing its own craft beers the tour continues deeper into the mountains to the town of Aberfeldy. The distillery here has a long history and an important role in the global expansion of Scotch Whisky and in particular the Dewar’s brand – but we’ll let them tell you that story themselves…! Here you get to experience a more in-depth tasting and even have the chance to draw your own samples straight from the cask. If you feel the need for a little bit of exercise there are beautiful short walks nearby to give you a real feel for the peace and tranquillity of this part of the world.

The Southern Highland Whisky Trail

Two contrasting distilleries with fascinating histories, a choice of historic castles to visit or photograph and some beautiful scenery make this a classic one day tour. And its less than an hour’s drive north of Glasgow – our largest city. Easily accessible from Edinburgh too, the route follows the southern edge of the Highlands with wonderful views to the mountains further north. The first distillery of the day is Glengoyne, beautifully tucked into a narrow valley with the hills above. The guides here do a great job in explaining the whisky making process while the distillery workers carry on making whisky around you. A variety of tasting upgrades are possible if you want to treat yourself. From here the tour takes you towards Stirling, an ancient capital of Scotland with a fine castle. Nearby is one of the most environmentally friendly distilleries – Deanston, a converted textile mill with a hydro-electric power plant producing all its own energy. You can have lunch in the lovely little café before visiting the distillery itself. The tour here is small and personal and most aspects of the process are still manually controlled which makes it a fascinating visit. After the tasting there may be time to visit nearby Doune Castle – a historic ruin which is a must visit site for fans of Outlander or Monty Python!

Multi-day tours
Take your time and explore further to the more remote distilleries of the Highlands and Islands

The two most popular areas to visit on longer tours are the Island of Islay on the West Coast and Speyside, in the North of Scotland close to Inverness. There are many other distilleries scattered across the country (and tours can be arranged to most of them as well) but Islay and Speyside hold the greatest numbers of distilleries within a small area and are perfect for tours of 3-5 days.

Speyside is home to many of the most famous names in Scotch Whisky – Macallan, Glenlivet, Glenfarclas and Glenfiddich are all here and there are many, many more.  There are also some great whisky shops and bars as well attractions such as the Speyside Cooperage where whisky casks are repaired, which all add to the experience. The small towns of Aberlour, Rothes, Dufftown and Grantown on Spey are well set up for visitors with small comfortable hotels and good places to eat and drink. The city of Inverness and its airport are less than an hour away but the region is only a 4 hour drive from Edinburgh or Glasgow  - and there are plenty of distilleries you can visit on route! Tours are possible all year round  - winter is colder and darker but that just makes the cosy bar with its blazing log fire and extensive selection of single malts an even more attractive option…

Islay, being an island, is a bit more difficult to visit. It’s a 4-5 hour drive from Edinburgh/Glasgow to get to the ferry port then a 2 hour boat journey to the island. You need to allow a day each way for travel which is why most visitors choose to make this a 4 or 5 day trip. Islay is currently home to 8 distilleries with more planned to open in the next few years. It's famous for its strong flavoured single malts – some of the smokiest and peaty whiskies of all. But there are other styles of whisky produced on Islay and any tour here will give you the opportunity to explore this variety. It is possible to visit all 8 distilleries on a 4 day tour but you might want to take it a bit slower than that. Like any island the pace of life here is more laid back than on the mainland and you will soon find yourself relaxing into the local ways. Islay is a beautiful island with plenty other fascinating sites to visit beyond the distilleries and we recommend taking a bit of time to explore as part of your tour. While it is possible to visit Islay all year round, ferry disruptions due to bad weather are more common in winter.

Customised Whisky Tours
Can't find what you are looking for? Why not let us help design your own tour.

With so much variety in flavour and style among the single malts of Scotland everyone is likely to have has their own personal favourites. And with so many different distilleries to visit the options for touring are almost infinite. 

Maybe it will be a trip to the home of the whisky you love the most, or perhaps a voyage of discovery to the highest, most remote or smallest distilleries. Or maybe it will just be the chance to see where some of the legendary names in Scotch whisky were first created.

Alternatively it might be one of the many whisky festivals and events that draws you to visit Scotland, although if it is remember to book well in advance as tickets and accommodation are often in short supply!

Whatever your motivation, why not let us help you plan your own personal trip of a lifetime. Our local knowledge will help you choose the best routes, accommodations and eating places. With our contacts we will help arrange your visits and tastings as well as advising on other things to see and do during your trip.

All this is part of the Stills and Hills service - please just get in touch and we can get started.