This post takes a deep dive into the very best Scottish Highland Distilleries.
There is a reason that Scotland is known around the world as a maker of incredible spirits. With such a diverse array of tastes and styles – and a yet more diverse legacy of old tales, royal customers and craftsmanship – it is no surprise that the region has only flourished with time.
Some of Scotland’s oldest and most beloved distilleries make their home in the highlands. Stretching between the south, where the Isle of Arran lies, to Orkney in the north; the highlands whisky region is Scotland’s largest.
As you search for whisky perfection in the wild, ever-changing Scottish highlands, you may just find it in a name you have not heard before.
In This Post
How many Highland distilleries are there?
There are lots of great highland distilleries – 47 altogether!
That is no small number to get through, so to make things a little easier we’ve narrowed our list down to the ones that offer a tour. All whisky lovers adore a good distillery tour!
Each highland distillery has their own way of doing things. To discover more about the histories, methods, tastes and passions to be found in this particularly beautiful part of Scotland, keep on reading!
Pulteney distillery sits nestled on the rugged northern coastline and has a long, grand history of crafting truly exceptional whisky. They take immense pride in the traditional craftsmanship which began in 1826 and continues today, nearly two centuries later.
Every drop of Pulteney whisky captures the wild heart and fresh flavour of the wind and sea. From critically acclaimed limited editions to award winning single malts, this stunning coastal distillery offers truly impressive quality.
Discover more about the story of this seafaring highland distillery on one of their wonderful tours! But make sure to book ahead – the spots fill up quick!
The Scottish Highlands are known worldwide as a place of wild beauty. But there is a softer side to the highlands which Tomatin distillery embodies wholeheartedly.
Tomatin have been contributing top notch highland whisky since 1897, these days enjoyed by people far and wide. The idyllic location and mellow, fruity flavours of their signature spirit really lend themselves to the softened, lighthearted ambience of this excellent highlands whisky distillery.
Today you can discover their fascinating history, try nosing and tasting, and even learn about the importance of cask selection in a tour of the distillery. There are three tours offering a slightly different experience and price range, so there’s something for everyone!
Among the most northernly of the highland Scottish whiskey distilleries is the beloved Wolfburn distillery.
At Wolfburn the craft is everything. Masters of whisky making work their magic here, using the finest ingredients and doing it all by hand. The distillery was founded in 1821 and quickly grew into a recognised producer of malt whisky, winning several coveted awards.
Wolfburn welcomes you to view the inner workings of the distillery on one of their tours. Learn more about how they like to do things and finish off by sampling various malts.
Glenmorangie distillery sits near abundant golden barley fields. It benefits from a tranquil ambience born of its idyllic location along the shore of Dornoch Firth. Here they pride themselves on an unhurried and uncompromising method of whisky making.
Working tirelessly, the master craftsmen have ensured that the vast and distinguished history of the distillery remains, alongside their reputation for excellence.
Their expert guides are on hand to walk you through the intricacies of whisky making. On either of their two tours you can learn new things and taste a wonderful dram – a winning combination!
Just outside of the Speyside region, in picturesque Northeast Scotland, sits the Glenglassaugh distillery.
Glenglassaugh is located on the east end of the enchanting Sandend Bay. Here they have been brewing quality whisky and prospering since the distilleries beginnings in 1875, with plenty of ups and downs along the way. A small, highly skilled team works tirelessly, using traditional distilling methods to create whisky of the highest quality.
Discover more on the tour about how the unique location influences the whisky, the history of the distillery and more!
Blair Athol Distillery
Whisky history stands in the form of Blair Athol distillery. This impressive establishment stands upon one of Scotland’s oldest legal whisky sites.
If you are fond of a smooth finish, vivid fruity flavour and an aroma both deep-toned and marvellously mellow, you will adore Blair Athol whisky.
They offer a range of excellent tours at different prices. With tutored tastings and public or private tours available – there is no better way to spend an afternoon.
Said to be the smallest traditional whisky distillery in Scotland, Edradour dates right back to 1825. You can find it in the charming little village of Edradour, surrounded by picturesque scenery and steeped in history.
It remains one of a dwindling number of Scottish highland distilleries who hand make their single malt scotch whisky. The distillery is truly a gem and offers a wonderful experience to all who visit.
Looking for a guided tour? Whisky tasting experience? Or perhaps planning a corporate event? Search not more – at Edradour they’ve got it covered.
Glen Garioch Distillery
Glen Garioch is one of the oldest operating whisky distilleries in Scotland. Nestled in the heart of Oldmeldrum, a quaint market town near Aberdeen, this old gem produces its mighty malts with pride.
Since 1797 they have been perfecting the art of whisky, producing small precious batches in their secluded highland oasis. Glen Garioch boasts a unique mix of flavours, combining wholesome maltiness with a sweet, honeyed taste.
They offer a wonderful tasting and touring experience. One which brings casual whisky lovers and connoisseurs alike back, again and again. But be sure to book ahead as the spots fill up fast!
Just a stone’s throw from the sea, huddled under steep cliffs overlooking the town of Oban, lies Oban distillery.
One of the more adored highland scotch distilleries, Oban distillery – first built in 1794 – is ideal for tourists. Many visitors have raved about the amazing tours available here.
They offer three different tours ranging from a very reasonable £12 to a lavish (but well worth it) £200 tour. Novices, whisky connoisseurs and distillery enthusiasts welcome!
Royal Brackla Distillery
In 1812 The Brackla distillery was built on the sprawling estate of Cawdor Castle. Their whisky was enjoyed so thoroughly by King William IV it was selected to be his whisky at the Royal Court. This led to The Brackla distillery becoming one of just three to be awarded the royal warrant.
It is not hard to see why the king was so fond of the fresh, fruity flavours and clean acidity of this excellent whisky. They pull out all the stops to ensure the quality of the whisky remains legendary.
Visit the distillery to find out more about what makes the liquid sunshine brewed here fit for a king!
Glen Ord Distillery
Glen Ord distillery is a favourite for visitors to the highlands looking to experience a highland whisky distillery tour. Whisky lovers from all around come to enjoy one of their fantastic tours or sample a dram of their exceptional whisky.
Blending water from the White Burn with barley from the Black Isle, Glen Ord brings us rich flavours, an intoxicating aroma and a beautiful vibrant colour.
They offer an impressive range of tours to fit any price range. Beginning at £3 for a simple expedition ending with a taster, to £100 for a more extravagant experience.
Just a stone’s throw from the site of the King of Scotland’s coronation lies Strathearn Distillery.
This relative newcomer of the Scottish highlands distilleries was founded in 2013. They are modern and innovative, keeping flexibility at their core as they branch out into producing gin and rum, as well as whisky.
Scotland’s newest micro distillery has plenty to offer that visitors will adore. Whether you’re looking for a simple tour, to try your hand at distilling or to become a club member, you will find what you’re after!
A love of nature and the spirit of Scotland are at the heart of how they do things at Nc’nean distillery.
Their approach to whisky making is unique and conscientious, steeped in a true adoration of the natural world. At Nc’nean they use only organic barley, and power their distillery and everything inside through renewable energy.
There is more to Nc’nean than meets the eye. Not only can you explore the distillery and discover more about their unique way of doing things, there is also an opportunity to enjoy the surrounding land.
The distillery is located in a truly beautiful area. With long stretches of glistening coast, lush nature walks and opportunities to spot the vibrant local wildlife.
Located on the fringes of the highlands – in the far south-east of the famous Speyside region – there is Ardmore distillery. It was built in 1894 and has since flourished.
Ardmore has remained a celebrated maker of Scottish highland whisky, embracing a love of the great outdoors in every drop. They have a range of flavours to suit any palate and have never wavered in the impressive quality of the liquid sunshine they produce.
A highland whisky tour at Ardmore should be booked in advance, so make sure to secure your spot as soon as possible – they fill up quickly!
Creative, quirky and experimental by nature, Arbikie distillery is a family owned producer of high quality spirits. The distillery became fully operational in 2014 and quickly branched into vodka and gin alongside their production of classic single malt whiskies.
The distillery is small in size but has already made a considerable splash, drawing plenty of interest. Arbikie produce their spirits in the traditional highland style but with an added – and very welcome – twist of a coastal flair.
It won’t be long before you can plan your trip to tour the distillery. Here you can discover more about the ingredients, craft and people who make it all happen. With passionate, knowledgeable guides just waiting to bring you along on a truly authentic experience.
Ben Nevis Distillery
Located just beneath the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis, lies the appropriately named Ben Nevis distillery.
It is one of the oldest licenced distilleries in Scotland, founded in 1825. They offer a truly impressive range of flavours to choose from, each one as rich, beautifully scented and high quality as the last.
Their tours are reasonably priced and very informative. Even your taster at the end comes with a lesson of the best way to sample the whisky!
Fettercairn is a part of the tapestry of the history of highland whisky distilleries.
In 1824, the founder Sir Alexander Ramsay was among the first to apply for a Scotch Whisky distillation licence. He was also part of the campaign by Scottish landowners to introduce whisky distillation licenses in the first place.
With their unique copper cooling ring distillation process and use of crystal clear mountain water, it is evident that they strive for excellence at Fettercairn.
The tours are tailored to you. Under 18s can join the tour for free, over 18s pay and receive a delicious dram of whisky at the end. For drivers, your taster can be taken to go so you can enjoy it at home.
BrewDog have hit the spirits scene with their new venture, Lone Wolf distillery – founded in 2007. Straight out of the gate this newcomer is primed to stretch the boundaries of what a distillery is and can be.
A natural progression for this beer Goliath, Lone Wolf marks the dive into the spirits industry. Beginning with their own all-grain distilled vodka, all the way to bespoke whiskies, gins and more.
Take a tour through the Lone Wolf distillery and see all of the inspiring innovation for yourself!
Balblair distillery embodies the spirit of the highlands at its core. The whisky they make reflects the passion and pride that generations of skilled craftsmen have contributed.
Nestled beneath the long shadow cast by Struie Hill, near the bonnie banks of Dornoch Firth. Balblair benefits from some of the most enchanting, unspoiled scenic surroundings of any highland distillery, making it a beautiful place to visit.
They run tours most of the year, drawing whisky lovers from far and wide. Make sure you book ahead so you don’t miss out!
At Glengoyne they take pride in using the finest casks and the slowest stills in Scotland. Here they produce whisky with bold flavours and stunning complexity.
The Glengoyne way involves a strong commitment to the environment and a true passion for the craft.
To learn more about all the work and passion that goes into making such fabulous spirits, try embarking on a tour of their distillery out of the impressive range they offer. From a 45 minute standard tour at £12.50, all the way up to a 5 hour masterclass at £160. There’s something to suit any whisky lover.
Deanston distillery sits near the entrance to the lovely Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
The distillery was transformed from a cotton mill to a distillery in the 1960’s. Since then, they have stuck to traditional distilling methods to produce excellent whisky. They take great pride in their fruity, softly sweetened, slightly spiced, distinctly malty honeyed flavours.
The distillery is home to a charming little cafe offering delicious lunch favourites, as well as cakes and hot drinks. They run tours every hour on the hours so if you miss one, just relax with a coffee till the next tour rolls around!
The founding of Dornoch’s very first whisky distillery came from the combined effort of whisky lovers worldwide. An initial successful crowdfunding endeavour in 2016 saw 250 of them come together, money in hand, to secure the much anticipated Dornoch distillery spirits.
Nowadays this organic highlands distillery excels in the making of sumptuous single malt and splendid gin.
Take a tour of both the old and new Dornoch distillery sites. Learn more about the Thompson Bros’ and their process, finishing off with a tasting.
GlenWyvis was established in 2015 and sits nestled just below the looming form of Ben Wyvis mountain. The town of Dingwall, where the distillery resides, has a long and proud history of distilling. This tradition saw its revival – after a 90 year absence – in GlenWyvis.
As well as their old school roots, GlenWyvis also have a decidedly modern ethos for sustainability. They employ wind, solar, hydro and biomass energy to keep their operation powered.
Due to their location, physical tours of the distillery have been a difficult endeavour to make happen. While they continue to work on this problem, however, GlenWyvis have created an incredible virtual tour!
This old gem was established in 1775, one of the first single malt distilleries drawn to be built near Turret Burn for its clear, soft, pure waters.
In its time, Glenturret has made it through rough periods, US prohibition and the Great Depression among them. Their genuinely handmade whisky has stood the test of time for its exceptional quality and taste.
A tour of the distillery will cost you only £10 for an hour of fun, and can be booked online. Their distillery experience takes you along to learn all about the traditional art of whisky making, hosted by knowledgeable and passionate guides. Ending with a tasting of two whiskies from Glenturret’s excellent range.
In a rural corner of the Highlands stands Clynelish whisky distillery, built in 1967. Although we tend to look to regions like Speyside and Islay when considering the homes of great whisky, Scotland’s far north-east – where Clynelish whisky comes from – is not to be counted out.
Connoisseurs know what they like and it is true that many of them champion Clynelish single malt even above more famous names. Clynelish whisky has a splash of coastal flair, only a very mild hint of Islay style smokiness, and is crisp, clean, and medium-bodied.
You can take a guided tour of the distillery, alone or with a group. The tour ends with a dram of 14 year old, finest Clynelish single malt which you can savour as you take in the breathtaking views of the North Sea.
You can find Tullibardine distillery in the charming village of Blackford, often referred to as the gateway to the Highlands. Here they have been producing some of the finest handcrafted highland single malt whisky for decades.
The distillery is family owned and independent. Tullibardine takes particular interest in the future, taking pride in crafting ‘pure highland gold’ to be enjoyed in years to come.
For an insight into the passion of Tullibardine and the art of their distillation process, come along for a tour! They have a selection of tours and tastings to suit everyone, from the novice whisky lovers to the seasoned experts.
Just along from the Moray Firth on the River Deveron’s banks sits the seaside distillery of Macduff. Named for the fishing port it resides in, Macduff has a sleek, classic, functional and distinctly Delme-Evans style design.
Macduff was founded in 1958, making it one of the newer distilleries in Speyside. They were poised to capitalise in the whisky boom which soared post-war, where exportation of the spirit increased threefold.
Today they offer a truly impressive range of spectacular whiskies. People all around the world adore the whisky they produce for its high quality and excellent flavours and aromas.
Twin River Distillery
Image Credit: © eastlinalba 2016Twin River distillery was launched in 2017 to capitalise on the craft spirits ‘boom’ of interest. This spike in interest was for gin and whisky in particular.
Twin River is a part of the Deeside Brewery, and they make their spirits exclusively in-house. Due to the extensive knowledge of the expert craftsmen and the on site equipment they have, the distillery has flourished. They are considered to be one of only a few authentic Scottish gin producers.
If you fancy dropping in to visit this charming micro distillery, make sure to plan ahead so you don’t miss out if it’s busy!
Royal Lochnagar Distillery
Located on the edge of the regal and very beautiful Balmoral estate, Royal Lochnager distillery produces fabulous whisky. Their productions may be on a rather small scale, but their product packs an undeniable punch.
The fresh clear waters of the Scarnock springs are harnessed by this impressive little distillery. It was founded way back in 1845, and today sits pride of place at the foot of the towering Cairngorm mountains.
They offer three great tours to suit everyone, each one ending with you enjoying a fine dram.
Here at Ardnamurchan distillery they take great pride in the two styles of spirit they have perfected, one of which is peated and the other unpeated. Their malt is wonderfully full flavoured and follows a rigorous process.
While taking tradition to heart in their flavours and methods, Ardnamurchan are distinctly modern in the eco-conscious way they operate. Unusually for the whisky industry, they use renewable power to run the distillery.
They offer four different tours, from a standard tour at only £8 to a managers tour and tasting at £40 per person. You can easily find one to suit you and your party perfectly.
Glencadam distillery is one of Scotland’s oldest, so they’ve had plenty of time to perfect the craft. Established in 1825, it is the only remaining distillery in Angus, which is a county in the Highlands region.
Glencadam is a multi-award winning whisky distillery. Despite a nearly 200 run in the industry, this undiscovered gem has only fairly recently been recognised as a key player in the making of magnificent Scottish single malt.
To experience the distillery in all its glory and learn more about the extensive range of whisky come along for the tour. Appointments only!
Dalmore distillery has a long heritage full of prestige, with roots as far back as 1263 and the rule of King Alexander III. Dalmore have always held exceptionally high standards when it comes to whisky craftsmanship.
The expert whisky distillers of Dalmore are at the core of the distilleries incredible reputation for brilliance, influence and quality. No doubt each one is inspired by the long unbroken history and the gorgeous stretch of Scottish coastline they call home.
If you know your whisky and have a passion for the industry, you will love the intimate tours offered by Dalmore. Come and learn more about their exceptional single malt and all that goes into making it.
Teaninich distillery is an ancient yet little known distillery in the Highlands. For a good while it was even the only whisky distillery in the area of north Inverness to have telephones and electricity.
Their flavors are fresh, leafy and have a distinct earthiness that whisky lovers from all around adore. Teaninich whisky is warming and holds within each and every drop a comforting homeliness.
Teaninich is not always open to the public and they do not run regular tours. However, they have been known to open their doors on special occasions. So make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the next opportunity!
Loch Lomond Distillery
Located near the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond and entwined in the histories of 6 Celtic clans, Loch Lomond distillery is a true gem.
Above all, the distillery embodies the rich spirit of both Scotland and the age-old art of whisky-making.
Set in an area well endowed with natural beauty, Loch Lomond distillery has produced various brands and bottling’s in their time. Every single one of them with their own special charm and distinct character.
Just on the outskirts of the charming village of Aberfeldy and along from the River Tay lies Aberfeldy distillery. The clear waters from The Pitilie Burn flow into the river and are still used today to make their whisky.
Due to the extra long fermentation process and the proximity of beautiful rolling Perthshire hills, Aberfeldy whisky is renowned. Their distinct honeyed richness makes for a very popular single malt.
They offer a great range of tours to suit every experience level and price range. From a single guided tour and tasting all the way up to a luxurious, once a month exclusive whisky experience.
GlenDronach distillery, founded in 1826, sits in the valley of Forgue. It prides itself on being one of the very first licenced distilleries and has since its beginnings produced top notch highland whiskey.
GlenDronach crafts a heavy, rich and robust spirit in true highland style. Unsurprisingly – due to the complex, elegant character and marvellous depth of flavour – GlenDronach’s range is award-winning.
They run guided tours regularly through the day at GlenDronach. There are a few different tours to choose from and, if you find yourself between slots, an excellent gift shop!
More Scottish Distilleries
- Speyside Distilleries
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Whisky distilleries in scotland.
There are nearly 150 active whisky distilleries spread across Scotland, which are split into five whisky-producing regions: Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Speyside. Where a whisky is made can have a huge bearing on its flavour, everything from the source of the water to the presence of peat in the local area. Browse the listings in our Scotland's Whisky Distillery Map below to learn more or find a behind-the-scenes whisky tour near you.
Whisky samples at the Clydeside Distillery.
© Digital Tourism Scotland / Matt Davis
Map of Whisky Distilleries in Scotland
Whisky Distillery Regions in Scotland
Scotland is home to many whisky distilleries and experiences, as well as dedicated whisky regions; the Highlands, the Lowlands, Isle of Islay, Campbeltown, and Speyside. Each boast their own unique flavours in their whiskies, all of which reflect the landscapes and surroundings in that region. Have a dram of them all to see which is your favourite!
Lagavulin Distillery, Islay
Regarded by many as 'whisky island', Islay lies in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. It might be just 25 miles long and 15 miles wide, but Islay punches well above its weight for producing single malt Scotch whisky. There are nine whisky distilleries on the island, including the most recently opened Ardnahoe Distillery .
Most of Islay's original distilleries - some long since lost to history - started as farm distilleries and retreated to secluded glens and caves during the 17th century when the excise man came calling. You'll find distillery staff much more welcoming these days and it's well worth taking a tour around all of Islay's whisky distilleries.
Number of distilleries: 9 Oldest distillery: Bowmore (1779) Most popular distillery: Ardbeg Flavour profile: powerful, peaty, smoky, sweet, salty
Whisky barrels at the Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown
Although Campbeltown is Scotland's smallest whisky-producing region, consisting of just three distilleries (in its heyday there were more than 30), its single malts boast unique characteristics that are considered by serious malt lovers to represent a distinct region in its own right. The distilleries that survive today produce some of the finest malts you're likely to find.
Springbank malts are robust and smoky with hints of their maritime roots. Glen Scotia malts are lighter with grassy notes. Glengyle's Kilkerran malts are lighter and sweeter, but with the distinctive oily and salty notes you'd expect from a Campbeltown whisky.
Number of distilleries: 3 Oldest distillery: Springbank (1828) Most popular distillery: Springbank Flavour profile: fruity, peaty, sweet, smoky
Speyside is whisky heaven! This breathtaking area sits in a fertile valley of rivers and secluded glens and accounts for half of Scotland's whisky production.
Speyside is arguably the driest and warmest part of Scotland and the fertile farmlands in and around the region are ideal for growing barley, which when combined with soft local water tumbling down off the mountains, produces some of Scotland's best-loved malt whiskies.
Sample the remarkable flavours of Speyside's fine malts as you explore the region, and follow the world-famous Malt Whisky Trail™ - the world's ultimate Scotch whisky experience - comprising of nine 'must-visit' sites including seven working distilleries, Dallas Dhu historic distillery and the Speyside Cooperage - the only working cooperage in the UK.
Number of distilleries: 52 Oldest distillery: Strathisla (1786) Most popular distillery: Glenfiddich Flavour profile: fruity, sweet, spicy, vanilla
Glenkinchie Distillery & Visitor Experience
The distilleries of the Lowland region can be found picturesquely set amongst the lush, rolling countryside of southern Scotland. Reflecting the gentle, rolling hillscapes and fertile farmlands, Lowland Scotch whiskies offer the perfect introduction to single malts if you have never tried this tipple before, due to their lighter, sweet and floral tones. As a result, malts from this region have earned themselves the collective nickname of the 'Lowland Ladies'.
The area has long, historic associations with whisky, with Friar John Cor producing whisky here in 1494 for King James IV. Although you'll find fewer distilleries here than regions further north, this is an area growing in whisky production. For example, whisky production returned to Glasgow in 2017 with the opening of the Clydeside Distillery and Glasgow Distillery Company .
Number of distilleries: 22 (+6 grain distilleries) Oldest distillery: Bladnoch (1817) Most popular distillery: Glenkinchie Flavour profile: light, unpeated, floral, citrusy, sweet
Isle of Raasay Distillery
The largest of Scotland’s whisky regions, the Highlands do not disappoint. With a vast range of changing landscapes, the whiskies you can find in this area of Scotland feature many aromas, both strong and gentles, fragrant notes, and tantalising tones.
There are many ways to experience the unique elements of the Highlands, from age old distilleries, educational tours, tastings and more, you’ve got plenty to get stuck into.
Explore the Highland whisky region
Scottish Whisky Distillery Tours
The Strathisla Distillery
© VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins
Find a tour
There are many fantastic Scottish whisky tours to enjoy. Discover the art of constructing the barrel and find out how the master distillers craft the flavour to absolute perfection. Of course, you will get the chance to sample a dram or two! Each whisky is unique, so why not visit a few Scottish distilleries and see if you can find your favourite?
What's new in the world of whisky?
For a traditional Scottish drink going back centuries, there's always something new to discover.
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Stirling Distillery have filled their first whisky cask - the first time whisky has been made in the city for 171 years!
Sample the long-awaited release of single malt whisky from the Isle of Harris Distillery
Other things you might like
Scottish Food & Drink
Speyside's Malt Whisky Trail
About whisky and the history of Scotch malt whisky
Scottish Gin Distilleries, Tours and Tastings
Scottish Beer & Breweries In Scotland
Castles to Visit in Scotland
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Highland Whisky Tour
The ultimate tour for whisky fans.
There’s no need to organize transport, as transfers between distilleries are included. Save time—visit three whisky distilleries in a day.
Enjoy the perk of having at least two whiskies at each distillery included. Travel with ease between sites—hotel pick-up and transfers are included. A great way to expand your knowledge of Highland whisky
The tour includes three distillery tours and tastings.
Depending on availability, we will visit three Highland distilleries from the following: Deanston, Aberfeldy, Glenturret, Tullibardine, Glengoyne, Edradour and Blair Athol.
EXAMPLE FULL DAY ITINERARY
This is an example itinerary that we use as a guide, but there may be slight adjustments due to availability.
Hotel/B&B pickup – 9:00am
Arrive at Glengoyne for 10:00am-11:45am – Fantastic Distillery and tasting – Glengoyne Distillery is a whisky distillery continuously in operation since its founding in 1833 at Dumgoyne, north of Glasgow, Scotland.
Glengoyne is unique in producing Highland single malt whisky matured in the Lowlands.
There are some fantastic examples of ex sherry cask whisky at Glengoyne, however most of their core range is a marriage of ex bourbon and sherry casks.
Not far from Glasgow or Edinburgh, Glengoyne is a lovely place to stop on a Lowlands or Highland whisky tour.
Lunch – 12:00pm – 1:00pm
We usually stop at well-reviewed restaurants and cafes such as the Beech tree Inn and the Clachan Inn.
Tullibardine – 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Tullibardine tour and tasting or tasting only option. 3-5 whiskies per person. Full of information and detail, the distillery tour is a great way to learn about whisky and specifically, Tullibardine’s excellent spirit.
Tullibardine whisky distillery was founded in 1947 on the site of an old brewery, one which was said to have brewed ale for King James IV’s coronation back in 1488! The brewery itself dated back to the 12th century. It’s fair to say that the site has had an incredibly long brewing and distilling history.
Deanston – 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Fantastic distillery tour and tasting. Deanston distillery is a Single Malt Scotch whisky distillery located on the banks of the River Teith, eight miles from the historic town of Stirling, at the gateway to the dramatic Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. It is the largest distillery owned by Scotch whisky producer Distell Group Limited, who also own Bunnahabhain Distillery on the Isle of Islay and Tobermory distillery on the Isle of Mull. Deanston’s whisky is sweet, fruity with a malty honeyed spiciness on the palate.
Return to your accommodation in Edinburgh around 6:00pm
Full Day Pricing
Our Highland whisky tour is available for individuals or groups of up to 16 people.
Hotel pick-up & drop off
Comfortable vehicle with driver
Whisky tasting & guide
At least 3 whiskies per stop
Bottled water on the tour bus
Choose your tour date:
Fully booked on the day you’re visiting? Or have a larger group? Give us a call or email and we’ll see what we can do! 07588139918 or [email protected]
Frequently Asked Questions
What is your covid-19 policy.
- Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff.
- Social distancing enforced throughout experience.
- Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas.
- Gear/equipment sanitized between use.
- Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized.
- Guides required to regularly wash hands.
- Regular temperature checks for staff.
When does the whisky tour run?
The tours run 7 days per week, you’ll see a calendar with date options to choose from. If you’re trying to book a tour within 24 hours of the start date, please call or email to check short notice availability.
Do you offer collection/drop-off at hotels?
The cost of the full day Highland Whisky Tour includes collection and drop off at your accommodation (within 10 miles of Edinburgh).
If you are further away from Edinburgh, please email us your accommodation address and we can send a personalised quote from there – [email protected]
What's included in the full day tour cost?
Free pickup and drop off from your accommodation or from a location in Edinburgh (within 10 miles). Three stops for whisky distillery tours and tastings – at least 3 whiskies provided per stop. Driver Guide. Bottled water provided in the tour vehicle. Itinerary booked and planned and communicated by text or email. Lunch table booked.
Excluded: Food, extra whisky
What group size is the whisky tour?
This tour is tailored to your unique circumstances. It’s available as a private 1-2-1 your or any group size up to 16 people.
I have another question
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- Distillery visit
Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Whisky Distillery Day Tour Verified
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- Explore Loch Ness and Fort Augustus and take an optional boat cruise on the lake
- Follow in the footsteps of James Bond and Harry Potter at Rannoch Moor and Glencoe
- See the highest mountain in the British Isles as you travel through Fort William
- Visit a working Scotch whisky distillery and take an optional whisky tasting tour
- Hear stories of Scottish heroes such as Rob Roy MacGregor and William Wallace
Experience the natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands on a full-day mini coach tour to Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Trossachs National Park. Go to a working whisky distillery for an optional tasting. Stop for lunch in Fort Augustus and more. Choose from 1 of the 5 different departure points in Edinburgh, and hop on an air-conditioned luxury minibus for the start of your tour.
- Fully guided tour by air-conditioned mini coach
- Choose from 4 departure points in Edinburgh city centre
What’s not included
- Optional Scotch whisky distillery tour (£8 per adult, £5 under 18s) Book & pay in cash on the day of your chosen tour/trip
- Optional boat cruise on Loch Ness (£13 per adult, £9 under 16s) Book & pay in cash on the day of your chosen tour/trip
- Price $59.33
- Listing categories Full day tour
- Location / Region Highlands
5 reviews on “loch ness, glencoe, highlands & whisky distillery day tour”, manuel – united kingdom.
Very informative, interesting and beautiful. Including a great Guide.! The entire trip was very interesting and very beautiful.The only slight draw back was that we were unable to stop for lunch, otherwise a great day out.
PINELOPI – Greece
We had a great time and visited some amazing places! Driver Marc was very helpful and provided us with a lot of useful information about the places we visited and the history of Scotland.
Denneil – United Kingdom
Excellent! I would book again! The tour was excellent Michael our tour guide was brilliant so friendly and informative. I loved the tour and would certainly book again and would not hesitate to recommend this tour.
natalie – United Kingdom
One of the best days ever! This tour exceeded my expectations. Brilliant informative and funny from start to finish.
Francisco – Portugal
Excellent! Loved the visit. The guide, Michael, excelent knowledge in history and appropriate comments on the bus about the locals visited during the trip and the whisky destillery before Loch Ness. Many stops on very beautiful places. Absolut recommed. BUT… unfortunattly the monster disn’t appear.
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Highlands & Islands Malt Whisky Trail
- Fully customisable itinerary
- Prices from: £1035 per person
- Best time to go: April - October
- Transport: Rental car included (optional)
Sample a dram in one of Edinburgh’s traditional whisky pubs, explore the Royal Mile and enjoy a tour and tasting session at the Scotch Whisky Experience.
Malt Whisky Trail
Speyside is home to the world famous 70 mile Malt Whisky Trail. This area is the heart of the whisky industry, and concentrated within a few miles are more distilleries than any other area in Scotland.
Ballindalloch Castle is one of the most romantic castles in Scotland. Known as the ‘Pearl of the North,’ the impressive castle was built in the distinctive Scottish baronial style.
Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is popular for its stunning and dramatic volcanic scenery, including the Cuillin mountain range, the iconic Storr and spectacular Quiraing. Its famous Talisker Distillery produces wonderfully robust and award-winning malt whisky.
Glencoe is Scotland’s most famous and mystical glen. Enjoy the great outdoors and spectacular views of the mountains of Glencoe from the Ben Nevis Distillery, at the foot of the UK’s highest mountain.
Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
Experience stunning lochside scenery in the picturesque Scottish Lakeland, one of Scotland’s most idyllic and unspoilt areas, with the largest expanse of freshwater in Britain and the backdrop of the mountains looming beyond.
A Heavenly Self-Drive Distillery Tour
Experience a wonderful self-drive whisky tour through Speyside and the magnificent Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Visit dozens of distilleries dotted across stunning Scottish landscapes, each with its own history and character. A wealth of whisky discovery awaits you!
Beginning in Edinburgh with a tour at the Scotch Whisky Experience, your holiday will get off to a flying start. Traditional pubs are hidden around every corner of Scotland’s bustling capital city, and they pride themselves on their jaw-dropping ranges of whisky.
Continue north for a taste of Speyside, the home of Scotland’s malt whisky industry. In this scenic corner of north-east Scotland you will find a higher concentration of whisky distilleries than anywhere else.
Travelling on to the magical Isle of Skye, you will visit legendary island whisky distilleries and have the chance to explore some of the country’s finest mountain and loch-side scenery, including some of Scotland’s most famous and historic castles.
The final destination on your whisky adventure is the spectacular Scottish Lakeland, where there is no end to the delightful lochside villages, waiting to welcome you with friendly hospitality. By the time you return to Edinburgh, you won’t want to leave!
The holiday ideas on our website are just examples of the amazing trips we offer. Think of this itinerary as a starting point which can be tailored into something completely unique to you by our award-winning specialists.
We love the opportunity to use our first-hand knowledge and experience to design and deliver the perfect, bespoke holiday experience for you.
Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh
Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland’s majestic capital city. Visit historic Edinburgh Castle, and enjoy a tour and tasting session at the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile where you will learn the origins of malt whisky distilling and enjoy the first “wee dram” of many! Overnight – Edinburgh
Day 2: Edinburgh to Speyside
Travel north to Speyside into the heart of malt whisky country. A wonderfully scenic journey takes you into the Scottish Highlands, and past Dewars World of Whisky and picturesque Edradour – Scotland’s smallest distillery. Further north, pass Dalwhinnie Distillery, the highest distillery in Scotland. Overnight – Speyside
Day 3: Speyside and The Malt Whisky Trail
There are numerous distilleries to visit as you wind your way through the charming towns and villages of Speyside. We’d recommend the Glenfiddich Connoisseurs Tour at Dufftown and the wonderful Visitors Centre at Glenlivet. The Speyside Cooperage at Craigellachie is a vital part of whisky production and the village is home to the Macallan Distillery. Overnight – Speyside
Day 4: Speyside Sightseeing
After sampling the ‘water of life’ in the area, visit Ballindalloch Castle in the magnificent Spey Valley. The River Spey forms a focus for the area and is famous for its fishing and the pretty riverside villages of Aberlour and Carron. There are numerous activities in the area with many mountains to climb, forests to explore, and sparkling lochs to kayak and canoe on. Overnight – Speyside
Day 5: Speyside to the Isle of Skye
Travel on to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, where you will follow the shores of mysterious Loch Ness before passing the most photographed of Scotland’s castles – Eilean Donan. From here it is a short journey to your destination on the magical Isle of Skye. Overnight – Isle of Skye
Day 6: Isle of Skye Sightseeing
A full day on Skye to visit Talisker Distillery on the shores of Loch Harport, producing a wonderfully robust and award-winning island malt whisky. Visit romantic Dunvegan Castle, explore the alien-like landscape of the Quiraing, or climb aboard a fabulous boat cruise into the heart of the magnificent Cuillin mountains. Overnight – Isle of Skye
Day 7: Isle of Skye to The Trossachs
Depart Skye by ferry and travel on the wonderful Road to the Isles to Fort William, where the Ben Nevis Distillery lies at the foot of the UK’s highest mountain. Your journey takes you through spectacular Glencoe and across wild Rannoch Moor before arriving at your final destination in the picturesque Scottish Lakeland. Overnight – The Trossachs
Day 8: Depart Edinburgh
After breakfast, it’s less than a two hour drive back to Edinburgh, where your unforgettable Highlands & Islands Malt Whisky Trail will come to an end.
Your holiday includes:
- Carefully selected en-suite accommodation for 7 nights including traditional Scottish breakfast
- Comprehensive information pack
- Personalised itinerary with our recommendations for the best places to eat and drink and sightseeing suggestions
- Map of Scotland with our recommended driving route
- 7 days rental of an Economy car (other vehicle categories available) including comprehensive insurance
- Tickets for the Edinburgh City Sightseeing Tour
- A tour and tasting at The Scotch Whisky Experience
- All ferry crossings (as per your itinerary)
- 24-hour emergency contact number
- Full financial protection
Your holiday doesn't include:
- Travel insurance
- Lunches and evening meals
Accommodation & Prices
We know that after a busy day of sightseeing an exceptional place to stay makes all the difference. That’s why all of the accommodation we select is hand-picked using our first-hand knowledge of the best places to stay.
Our discerning team has a wealth of experience, and we extensively research and regularly review all of the accommodation we select for our clients.
Please choose from one of our accommodation categories below. If you wish to combine these categories or perhaps upgrade for a special occasion let us know in your enquiry.
A collection of quality 4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels often located in beautiful locations which provide an excellent standard of accommodation.
Tastefully decorated and furnished, these properties are generally owned and operated by locals who have a genuine passion for their region which they are keen to share with you. Their warm hospitality is sure to be a highlight of your Scottish experience.
It also comprises larger 4* Hotels selected for their high standard of accommodation, exceptional service, and great location. These range from traditional luxury to contemporary Hotels.
From award-winning luxury Hotels to unique country retreats, all of which offer exceptional accommodation with superb facilities and outstanding service.
These are truly magical places and amongst the best Scotland has to offer. The perfect choice when you would like somewhere really special which can be a treat for the night or for your entire holiday.
Our packages include car rental and comprehensive insurance for the duration of your holiday. Absolute Escapes has an excellent relationship with a number of car hire operators and we are able to offer quality vehicles and great value for money.
If you plan to bring your own vehicle, we are also able to offer this itinerary without a rental car.
All our packages include:
- Collision Damage Waiver
- Super Damage Excess Waiver
- Third Party Insurance
- Theft Waiver
- Good for 2 people
- Maximum of 4 passengers
- 2 large suitcases
- Manual or automatic transmission
- Good for 2 – 4 people
- Maximum of 5 passengers
- Good for up to 4 people
- 3 large suitcases
- Good for 5 people
- Maximum of 7 passengers
- 3 – 4 large suitcases
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A taste of speyside on the malt whisky trail.
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- Harry Potter
- Walking Tours Harry Potter Walking Tours Pub Crawls (Nav)
Explore the stunning Scottish Highlands on a full-day excursion that includes Glencoe and Loch Ness. Set own from Edinburgh aboard a comfortable coach bus to experience some of the area's top sights and attractions. See Mary Queen of Scots' birthplace, tour Deanston Distillery and sample its whisky, learn the fascinating history of Glencoe—a village made modernly famous as a setting for James Bond and Harry Potter films—and take a boat cruise upon iconic Loch Ness, keeping an eye out for the famous 'Nessie' as you go.
Departure & Return
- Deacon's House Cafe, 304 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PS, UK
- Returns to original departure point
What to Expect
Pass By : Stirling Castle
As you pass the fortress that is Stirling Castle, your guide will have you on the edge of your seat, regaling you with tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and the bloody battles fought out on these lands.
Stop At : Deanston Distillery & Visitor Centre
Our first stop of the tour will be Deanston Whisky Distillery. Set within an 18th century Cotton Mill on the banks of the River Teith you will learn how traditional Scotch whisky is made. Whilst at Deanston, you have the opportunity to take an optional whisky tour including the taste of a ‘wee dram’ as you anticipate the day ahead. If whisky is not your thing, you can skip the tour and enjoy breakfast or a coffee at ‘The Coffee Bothy’, the distillery cafe.
Pass By: Loch Lomond
As we enter The ‘Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park’ our bus weaves through hills, mountains and Glens. These remote places were once inhabited by Highland Clans, not to mention Scotland’s most famous outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor, whom some consider The Scottish Robin Hood. Look out across the landscape and picture what it was like as you hear the remarkable bloodthirsty stories of betrayal and revenge as told by your guide. If we happen to spot some of our famous ‘Hairy Highland Coos’, we might stop for a selfie.
Stop At: Glencoe Lochan
Glencoe was also the scene of one of Scotland’s most shocking massacres. As you gaze at the haunting hills, you notice the Glen is eerily silent. In the 17th century one of the worst acts of betrayal occurred here. Your guide will recount the details of this betrayal for you. You can almost feel the sorrow in the mountains of the ‘weeping valley’. Above all though, Glencoe is one of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes. A highlight of any tour to the Scottish Highlands!
Pass By: Ben nevis
The tour then takes you through Fort William and past the spectacular Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the British Isles. The Nevis Range towers over the winding road as you continue your journey to Loch Ness.
Stop At: Fort Augustus Abbey
Desperate for a glimpse of ‘Nessie’? St Columba, an Irish monk, was one of the first people to record a sighting of the Loch’s infamous monster back in the 6th century. If you can’t trust a saint, who can you trust?! 1500 years worth of recorded sightings of “The Water Horse” have made Loch Ness the most famous body of freshwater in the world. Why not see if you can spot ‘Nessie’ up close by taking the optional boat cruise from Fort Augustus? The sonar system on-board scans all 755-feet of the murky-depths, constantly searching for her presence, so you can relax and enjoy the views. Alternatively, you can enjoy a spot of lunch in one of the many cafes, pubs and restaurants in Fort Augustus. Take in the views of Loch Ness with a leisurely stroll along the gorgeous Caledonian Canal which dates back to 1803. You have around 2 hours to enjoy the boat cruise and the enchanting village before heading to the Cairngorm National Park.
Stop At: Commando Monument
Along the route, we’ll stop at the Commando Memorial. In 1942, this setting became the training ground for Britain’s Special Forces. Harsh, unforgiving, and breathtakingly beautiful. A statue of our heroes overlooks the Nevis range. Bring a camera – this is undoubtedly one of our favourite photo-stops in all of Scotland.
Pass By: Cairngorms National Park
Heading south we travel through the Cairngorm National Park where Red squirrels, roe deer, red deer, soaring buzzards, pine martens, golden eagles and osprey can be found. Our final stop of the day is Pitlochry.
Stop At: Atholl Rd
Pitlochry is situated in the heart of the stunning scenery of Highland Perthshire. The town sits below Beinn Bhracaigh (Ben Vrackie), the speckled mountain and beside the River Tummel, in some of the most magnificent scenery in Scotland. With a backdrop of surrounding hills and beautiful woodlands, it is wonderful walking country.
Pass By: Forth Bridge
As we re-enter Edinburgh from the North, you will be met with views of Scotland’s greatest piece of engineering, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Forth Bridge. This 19th century engineering marvel was at one point the World’s longest cantilever bridge. Today it neighbours the 20th century Forth Road Bridge and the 21st century Queensferry Crossing which opened in 2017. Three spectacular bridges, from three different centuries, span the Firth of Forth connecting our Capital city and the Kingdom of Fife.
- Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Minimum age to travel is 7 years old (Under NO circumstances will children under 7 years old be permitted to travel on our tours/vehicles)
- There are opportunities to take short nature walks, it is recommended to bring suitable clothing and footwear
- This tour in an air-conditioned mini-coach, hosted by a local Scottish guide, rated 5-stars by the official Scottish Tourist Board
- Children must be accompanied by an adult
- Service animals allowed
- Near public transportation
- If a service animal to required please contact us to discuss options for how we can best accommodate your needs
- Most travelers can participate
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 33 travelers
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Marble Arch London W1H 7EJ United Kingdom
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Highland Discovery Tours
A Highland Ready To Explore
THE HIGHLANDS FAMOUS 3 DISTILLERY TOUR FROM INVERNESS
Explore Scotland's famous whisky distilleries and taste their finest malts with Highland Discovery. Our Highland Whisky Tour will take you to some of Scotland's most iconic distilleries, where you can learn about the history and production process of Scotland's national drink. Enjoy tastings of award-winning whiskies, and take home a bottle of your favorite malt as a souvenir.
The Highlands Offer a World Class Single Malt Whisky
Highland Discovery Tours offers a full range of tours catering to the needs of whisky enthusiasts. Our tours are designed to deepen your understanding and appreciation of Highland whisky. We depart from Inverness and take you on a journey of discovery throughout the region. Our whisky experts will guide you through the intricate processes that go into making this famous drink, and will ensure that you leave with a newfound appreciation for the craft. Your Visit will include Tomatin Distillery, Singleton Distillery, and Glenmorangie Distillery.
Time pending we can offer Balblair Distillery as a 4th visit or a alternate to Glenmorangie Distillery
Book your tour today and discover why Highland Discovery Tours is the perfect choice for whisky enthusiasts.
This Tour Is available from Inverness and Invergordon the collection times will differ so please confirm with us which area you are been collected from
Highland Whisky Tour
This Tour Includes a Guided Tour Of Tomatin Distillery
This Tour Collects from Inverness or Invergordon Port
This Tour is Priced Per Vehicle
2 Passengers only £550
up to 4 Passengers £650
up to 6 Passengers £750
A Non Refundable deposit will be taken of £100 at the time of booking
please contact us to book
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The Highland Whisky Experience Tour 6 Nights
STAY: Ness Walk Hotel, Inverness (4 Nights) Links House Hotel, Dornoch (2 nights)
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All of our whisky tours are fully customisable to suit your tastes and requirements.
The Highland Whisky Experience Tour
Arrival & Departure Location: Inverness Airport
Scotland is without doubt the whisky capital of the world. With the first official record of production in Scotland dating all the way back to 1494, we have a rich and proud history of making whisky.
With an incredible 148 operational distilleries, Scotland distributes a mind-boggling 1.6 billion bottles worldwide each year.
Just like wine, the region where whisky is produced has a big impact on how it looks, smells, and, crucially, tastes. There are 6 distinct whisky regions in Scotland, each with their own qualities.
On this tour, you will delve deep into the heart of the Highlands, exploring both the Highland and Speyside Whisky regions which stretches far and wide across the north of the country. You will learn how whisky is produced, tour world-renowned distilleries, and savour the finest drams the Highlands has to offer.
Additionally, your experience will be enhanced with captivating excursions that unveil the rich history and culture of Scotland.
Points of Interest
– Tour of Glenfiddich Distillery, ‘Classic’ tour at Benromach Distillery, Clava Cairns
– ‘Flavour Journey’ tour at Cardhu Distillery, ‘Toasting’ tour at Speyside Cooperage, The Maltroom
– ‘Classic’ tour at Glenfarclas Distillery, tour of Balvenie Distillery
– ‘The Singleton’ tour at Glen Ord Distillery, ‘Classic’ tour at Glenmorangie Distillery, Dornoch
– Dunrobin Castle and Gardens, Clynelish Distillery, Brora Beach
– Ness Walk Hotel , Inverness (4 nights)
– Links House , Dornoch (2 nights)
– Accommodation – Breakfast – Bespoke itinerary – Premium vehicle & Private chauffeur – Admission to all activities – Local guides where appropriate – Personal travel co-ordinator
Welcome to The Highlands
Transport: Executive Vehicle & Private Driver Accommodation: Ness Walk Hotel, Inverness (4 Nights) Dinner: The Torrish at Ness Walk Hotel
As you land at Inverness Airport , your personal chauffeur will be ready and waiting to help you with your bags into your luxury vehicle before making the drive into Inverness and your accommodation for the next four nights: Ness Walk Hotel .
At Ness Walk Hotel, you will experience refined luxury and an oasis of tranquillity in the middle of a bustling city. Situated along the picturesque River Ness, the hotel seamlessly blends Georgian architecture with contemporary style and provides captivating views of the river or pristine gardens from each lavishly decorated room.
This evening, you will dine at The Torrish Restaurant within Ness Walk Hotel, where soft lighting and lush furnishing create a sophisticated yet relaxed ambiance. The restaurant is proud to celebrate Scottish ingredients, offering enticing options such as loch Eriboll shellfish consommé to start and black isle rolled three bird roast for main. A full vegan menu is also available with delights such as 8hr cooked truffle-studded white cabbage with potato croquettes.
After dinner, we recommend getting a good sleep before setting off on your first full day of touring in the morning.
Tour of Glenfiddich Distillery, ‘Classic’ tour at Benromach Distillery, Clava Cairns
Dinner: Urquhart’s in Inverness
After a hearty Scottish breakfast, your highlands whisky tour kicks off with a trip to Glenfiddich Distillery . This is the ideal place to start your tour as this distillery was founded in 1886, so they know a thing or two about making whisky at Glenfiddich.
William Grant of Dufftown founded the distillery and to this day it remains one of only a handful of distilleries to remain fully family owned.
On this guided tour you will be given an in-depth lesson on the process of making whisky, featuring an informative animated visualisation, providing the perfect foundation for your highland whisky tour. You will also be given a guided tour of the distillery, before enjoying a tasting of four whiskies which showcase the finest from the Glenfiddich range.
Your chauffeur will then drive you north-west to Benromach Distillery where you will experience their Classic tour.
With Scotch whisky enjoying such huge demand from a global market, many distilleries have supersized and automated their whisky making processes. However, this is not so at Benromach where they have stayed true to their whisky making roots. The emphasis here is on making whisky by hand using traditional methods. From controlling the flow of water and grist into the mash tun by hand, to measuring the amount of yeast by sight, the distillers at Benromach use their vast experience and skill to craft whisky of supreme quality. It truly is a delight to witness the distillers at work here, where whisky-making is an art form.
Wrapping up today’s tour, you will visit the Clava Cairns . With origins tracing back to the Bronze Age, this ancient cemetery showcases incredibly well-preserved standing stones and burial cairns, as well as a medieval chapel.
This evening you will head into Inverness for dinner at Urquhart’s where they place great emphasis on cooking using traditional, home-made recipes. For a true taste of Scotland, look no further than the chicken on a bed of haggis smothered in whisky cream sauce.
‘Flavour Journey’ tour at Cardhu Distillery, ‘Toasting’ tour at Speyside Cooperage, Visit The Maltroom
Transport: Executive Vehicle & Private Driver Dinner: The Castle Tavern in Inverness
First up today is a visit to Cardhu Distillery near Archiestown in Moray. This Speyside specialist was founded in 1824 by husband and wife duo John and Helen Cumming. The distillery here had a humble beginning as a seasonal, farm-based operation, with Helen selling whisky to travellers out of the farmhouse window.
Cardhu also shares an interesting link with yesterday’s Glenfiddich Distillery. When the original Cardhu Distillery was moved to a new site in 1885, the family sold the stills from the old distillery to William Grant, who used them to start his Glenfiddich enterprise. Today, as well as producing its own range of splendid single malts, Cardhu serves a key role as part of Johnnie Walker’s blended whisky.
On the Flavour Journey tour of Cardhu, you will get to learn all about the fascinating history of the distillery, as well as sample three delicious drams and a signature cocktail.
Up next is a trip to Speyside Cooperage where you will enjoy the Toasting Tour. The whisky maturation process within oak cask barrels is absolutely critical in imparting colour and flavour to the spirit. At Speyside Cooperage, this ancient craft has been practiced since 1947 and this tour is the perfect way to learn how these vital barrels are made.
The tour begins in a mini cinema room with a video to set the scene. Your guide will then take you to a viewing platform where you can witness the coopers hard at work, before being given a detailed explanation of the various tools the coopers are using. Finally, you will get to enjoy a dram of 10 year old Speyside Malt Whisky in the Toasting Room.
Tonight, indulge in a delightful dining experience at The Castle Tavern in Inverness, a bubbling cauldron of atmosphere which attracts a diverse crowd of both locals and tourists. The menu features locally sourced ingredients and presents classic Scottish dishes with inventive twists, including the haggis pakora. The Castle Tavern is rooted in authenticity and quality, and the historic setting and vibrant atmosphere combine to create an unforgettable night in Inverness.
You will round the night off in The Malt Room , the first whisky bar in Inverness. Delicate lighting and plush furnishings provide the perfect backdrop to enjoy a nightcap, or two…
‘Classic’ tour at Glenfarclas Distillery, Tour of Balvenie Distillery
Transport: Executive Vehicle & Private Driver Dinner: The Mustard Seed in Inverness
Day four begins with a trip to Glenfarclas Distillery where you will be treated to the Classic tour of this world-renowned whisky maker. Glenfarclas was a trailblazer in terms of whisky tours, opening a visitor centre back in 1973, so they know how to put on a good tour.
Glenfarclas has a proud history dating back to 1865 and since then five generations of the Grant family have owned and managed the distillery. On the Classic tour you will not only hear about the unique way in which they make whisky here, but also learn more about the history of this family run distillery. To round the tour off, you will head to the Ship’s Room for a few drams. If you have any whisky loving friends or family back home, make sure to pop into the beautiful gift shop.
From there you will head to The Balvenie Distillery , producers of some of the most exquisite whisky in all of Scotland. On this tour you will of course hear about Balvenie’s unique approach to making whisky, explore the distillery and famous warehouse 24, and sample some delicious drams; however, you will also get a rare opportunity to meet with the whisky makers themselves, to hear first-hand what is involved in getting everything just right in order to make such esteemed whisky.
Tonight, you’ll be heading to The Mustard Seed in Inverness for dinner—a well-loved establishment known for its exceptional cuisine in a laid-back setting. Situated in a converted church, the restaurant boasts unique features like a double-height ceiling and a spacious open fire, contributing to the overall charm that makes The Mustard Seed truly distinctive. The menu offers a delightful selection, including venison salami carpaccio with pears and a gorgonzola mousse, creamy saffron, broccoli and garden pea risotto, and breast of chicken stuffed with Stornoway black pudding wrapped in prosciutto ham.
‘The Singleton’ tour at Glen Ord Distillery, ‘Classic’ tour at Glenmorangie Distillery, Dornoch
Transport: Executive Vehicle & Private Driver Accommodation: Links House Hotel, Dornoch (2 Nights) Dinner: MARA at Links House Hotel
Day five begins with a trip to Glen Ord Distillery which sits on The Black Isle peninsula and boasts one of the most scenic locations of any distillery. The Singleton Tour at Glen Ord Distillery invites you on an immersive exploration of Scotch whisky craftsmanship amid the stunning Scottish Highlands. Delve into the rich history and meticulous artistry shaping Glen Ord’s renowned Single Malt Scotch whiskies. From the welcoming aroma of malted barley upon arrival to the informative introduction, the tour reveals the distillery’s commitment to its “slow craft” process of making whisky.
Led by expert guides, the journey traces whisky production stages, from barley malting to fermentation and distillation, emphasising the significance of each step in creating Glen Ord’s exceptional flavour profiles. The tour culminates with tastings of select Glen Ord expressions, guided by knowledgeable staff, providing a nuanced appreciation for the artistry within each bottle. You will also be treated to delicious macarons which complement the flavour of the whisky.
Your whisky tasting adventure does not stop there as up next is a visit to Glenmorangie Distillery where you will enjoy the Classic tour. Glenmorangie has consistently been one of the top selling single malts in Scotland, and on this exciting tour you will find out why.
The site at Glenmorangie was originally a farm with a small brewery. However, in 1843 William Matheson bought the farm and converted the brewery into a distillery. Over the years, many additions have been made, slowly but surely increasing the production output such that today there are over 10 million bottles of golden Glenmorangie produced every year.
The Classic tour will tell you so much more about this esteemed distillery’s colourful history and allow you to see, and taste, for yourself why this single malt is adored the world over.
From there you will head to your accommodation for the next two evenings, Links House Hotel in Dornoch , where historic architecture and refined interiors define this boutique gem. Uniquely designed rooms offer a relaxing and stylish place to unwind after a busy day. Ideally situated near the Royal Dornoch Golf Club and picturesque Dornoch Beach, the hotel seamlessly blends sophistication and tranquillity for a truly luxurious experience.
Tonight’s dinner will be served at MARA , the hotel’s suave restaurant named after the Scottish Gaelic for ‘the sea.’ Here, ethical, local ingredients take centre stage, courtesy of Head Chef Kevin Barber. The menu, which changes with the seasons, promises a thoroughly satisfying evening.
Dunrobin Castle and Gardens, Clynelish Distillery, Brora Beach
Transport: Executive Vehicle & Private Driver Dinner: The Anteroom at Links House Hotel
This morning, prepare to step into the splendour of Scottish history and architecture as you embark on a journey to Dunrobin Castle . Nestled along the breathtaking coastline of the Northern Highlands, this castle, reminiscent of a fairytale, traces its roots back to the 13th century. Embodying the design of a French château, it graces the landscape with turrets, towers, and enchanting gardens.
You will get a tantalising taste of aristocratic life as you wander through magnificent rooms adorned with period furniture, art, and intriguing artifacts. The meticulously maintained gardens, drawing inspiration from the Palace of Versailles, provide a tranquil retreat adorned with fountains, sculptures, and captivating sea views. Elevating the experience, falconry displays within the castle’s grounds add an exhilarating touch, culminating in a visit that seamlessly weaves together folklore, beauty, and a dash of magic.
You will then head back to the whisky trail for one last tour, this time at Clynelish Distillery near Brora. As one of the “Four Corner” distilleries of Johnnie Walker, Clynelish produces its own highly sought after single malts and is a key component of globally popular Johnnie Walker blended whiskies.
They love a good story at Clynelish, and this whisky tour expertly merges the traditional whisky tour with classic Scottish storytelling to produce a riveting experience that will give you a deep appreciation for the methods of making whisky at Clynelish. At the end of the tour, you will not only get to savour a couple of drams, but also be treated to a highball whisky drink and a sweet surprise, all while enjoying glorious views of the dramatic Sutherland coastline.
After an exciting week of touring, your final stop today provides a chance for peaceful reflection upon the many magical memories you have made in Scotland. Your chauffeur will drive you to Brora Beach , a serene coastal haven on Scotland’s northeast coast.
The sandy shores stretch along the North Sea, inviting leisurely strolls against a backdrop of rolling dunes and crisp sea breezes. Here, nature dances in harmony, with seabirds swirling through the air and the soothing rhythm of waves providing an enchanting soundscape. Majestic views of the Scottish Highlands frame the horizon, offering a taste of true tranquillity.
Dinner this evening will be served in The Anteroom at Links House Hotel. Here, highly experienced chefs delight in preparing locally sourced, premium Scottish produce for you to enjoy. The Anteroom itself provides a divinely luxurious, intimate space to enjoy dinner, rounding off your tour in style.
After a terrific tour of Scotland’s highland whisky distilleries, it’s finally time to say goodbye to this beautiful land.
Your chauffeur will assist you with your bags in the morning before making the one hour drive to Inverness Airport where they will bid you farewell.
The Best of Scotland Tour
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Four-Day Islay Whisky Tour
This tour takes you to a Scottish island paradise. Islay is home to stunning scenery, ancient history, traditional culture and nine of Scotland’s finest whisky distilleries.
Five-Day Ultimate Islay Whisky Tour
The ultimate Islay tour is for those who want to experience as much of Islay as possible. We visit every distillery on the island, taste a range of drams and explore its secret spots.
Islay & Campbeltown Tour
The Islay & Campbeltown Whisky Tour is for those who want to experience 2 incredible whisky regions in Scotland. We visit many distilleries on Islay, at least 2 distilleries in Campbeltown and have an overnight stay in a castle!
Explore and taste whiskey in Scotland with Scottish Routes! Discover the isle of Islay, the Scottish Highlands and the heart of Malt Whisky Country, Speyside, on our whisky tours of Scotland. Book your tour today!
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Welcome, 'Traitors' and Faithfuls alike: Here's the best way to see the Scottish Highlands
With the tallest mountains in the United Kingdom and home to the legendary Loch Ness, the Scottish Highlands have good reason to make someone’s travel bucket list.
The hit reality television show “The Traitors” has made the stunning area even more popular among travelers. Since the show’s premiere in 2022, train bookings to Inverness – the largest city and cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands – went up 25% between Jan. 2022 to 2023, according to rail and coach travel platform Trainline .
The best way to see the Scottish Highlands is by train, where you can take in the rolling hills and mystical lochs from the comfort of your seat, no GPS required. “It's one of the most picturesque rail lines in the UK and travelling by train means you can concentrate on the views not the road,” Trainline’s CEO Jody Ford said in a statement to USA TODAY. Travelers don’t need to worry about parking, traffic, or unfamiliar roads, and arrive right in the city center.
It’s no wonder the train from London to Edinburgh is one of Trainline’s top three bestselling routes for American travelers.
Travelers who go by train can also feel better about their choice because trains emit up to 75% fewer carbon emissions than airplanes.
Learn more: Best travel insurance
Here are the most popular routes to exploring the Scottish Highlands by train, all starting in Edinburgh:
Forget the plane: 10 train routes in Europe that are faster than flying
Loch Ness: 3 hours, 18 minutes by train
For those seeking out the fabled Loch Ness monster, Inverness is the closest train station to the famous loch. From the station, travelers can take a bus or taxi to Fort Augustus and board a boat tour or fishing charter to try to spot the creature. Even if she isn’t found, Loch Ness is still a sight for the eyes, with a historic pier and trails through the forests and past waterfalls. As Scotland’s second-largest loch and holding more water than any other lake in the U.K., Loch Ness is a great place to fish or kayak.
Fort William and Mallaig: over 5 hours by train
Although a long train ride, the trip from Edinburgh to Mallaig , a charming fishing village, is worth it. This route offers some of the best scenery in the world – in fact, riders might recognize the train and its route, which goes over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, as Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express. Travelers can board the 19th-century-inspired Jacobite Steam Train and wind past enchanting villages, the Morar River and beaches. If it’s a clear day, the “Small Isles,” an archipelago of islands off the west coast of Scotland, are visible in the distance. (Travelers can board a ferry service to visit these isles too.)
Ben Nevis: over 5 hours by train
At an altitude of over 4,412 feet, Ben Nevis is an ancient volcano that exploded and collapsed on itself to become the tallest mountain in the British Isles. Travelers can take the train to Fort William , a town offering castles, distilleries, rugged coastlines along the West Highlands Peninsula and dramatic mountains at the Glencoe National Nature Reserve. The town is also dubbed as the “Outdoor Capital” of Scotland, so thrillseekers can go skiing and hiking to their heart’s desire. If hiking Ben Nevis doesn’t sound appealing, there’s also a gondola that provides stunning views without the exercise.
Oban by train: 4 hours, 8 minutes by train
With colorful row houses and medieval castles, the coastal town of Oban has the history and charm many travelers seek. It’s often regarded as a gateway to the Highlands and Scottish isles – and Scotland’s seafood capital. The thing to do here is definitely island hopping, where travelers can hop on a ferry to Kerrera, Lismore, Mull, or the other pristine isles to bike, dive, hike, or kayak. During the summer, travelers may spot passing whales on whale-watching tours.
Cairngorms National Park : 2 hours, 54 minutes by train
The town of Aviemore is where travelers should take the train if they want to visit Cairngorms National Park , the U.K.’s largest national park and an ideal place to stargaze or catch the Northern Lights. During the summer, watersports reign, but snowsports take over once it’s the winter. The park is also home to the world’s only sled dog center. For adrenaline junkies, the U.K.’s first permanent bridge-based bungee jump is located here, where the brave can jump 132 feet down. There are also gentler trails and historic castles for the less adventurous.
Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at [email protected] .