If your UK travels are taking you north of England, you’re in for a gintastic treat: here’s our round up of the wild and wonderful places to enjoy a craft gin!
The islands off Scotland are home to wild weather and a diverse range of flora and fauna - it’s no wonder that so many amazing gins have cropped on them!
Start your tour at the most northerly inhabited tip of the UK at our fabulous November Gin of the Month, Shetland Reel! Once a former RAF base, the tiny island of Unst has both a gin distillery and a whiskey distillery, so you can get your spirit fix whilst discovering the beauty the Shetlands have to offer! Guided tastings and distillery tours available to book.
Beginning your run south, you’ll first hit the Orkney Islands which houses two magnificent gin distilleries to try. Head to Deerness Distillery to sample their evocatively named Sea Glass gin and Into the Wild vodka, and enjoy a tasting and a tour whilst you’re there! It’s run by a small husband and wife team, and their entire process is done small batch and by hand.
On the east of the Orkeney archipelago you can visit the Orkney Distillery where they make their Kirkjuvagr -or “Church Bay” - gin. If you seek the true essence of Orkney, enter the new distillery to toast the gods and learn the secrets behind their legendary Orkney Gin.
The first distillery on the Isle of Harris is known as the “social distillery” due to the warm welcome you’ll receive when you trek through the volatile island weather to arrive here. Although very much a working distillery, they open their doors six days a week to connect with all those who want to learn more about their story and share their spirit. A peat fire burns at the heart of the building symbolising the warmth of an Outer Hebridean welcome and the life they are bringing to the wider community.
Head to the isle of Skye and visit their Gin School! This stunning island rivals Iceland in awe inspiring scenery, and is just a short train or ferry ride away from the mainland. Under expertly guided tuition you can spend the afternoon picking botanicals, running your own mini copper still, to bottling and labelling your gin - with a 50cl bottle to take and enjoy at home! This is an experience not to be missed!
On the Hebridean Isle of Colonsay you’ll find the Wild Thyme Dsitillery, where a small team are busy creating the award winning Colonsay gin. For the ultimate ginny weekend you can book onto their gin lovers retreat - unwind on the beautiful island with beach picnics and carefully crafted meals whilst enjoying their 200+ selection of gins!
The wild island of Islay is the Hebridean home to the Bruichladdach Distillery, which “clings to the edge of the ocean in the teeth of Atlantic weather systems.” It’s here that you’ll find them mixing up the world famous Botanist gin, and they make a mean whiskey and port too if that’s your thing! Whilst you’re there you can take part in a wild tour around the village, before mixing up gin cocktails with foraged ingredients - think honey flower martinis, fresh sorrel and barberry syrup. A truly unique experience!
With Scotland producing 70% of the UKs gin, where else would you want to go to enjoy some seriously good tipples?
Hopping onto the mainland, at the very tip is where Dunnet Bay stands as Scotland’s most northerly gin distillery! Meet Elizabeth and Margeret, the two stills hard at work creating Rock Rose Gin, then warm up by the fire with a tasty g&t before heading to a guided tasting. There’s even a shop filled with wonderful locally made products - all gin themed of course!
Glasgows first dedicated gin bar and home to over 70 gins, each perfectly paired with tasting notes. Gin tastings and gin inspired dining are all on the menu, but the stand out has to be the gin spa! Indulge yourself in some botanical bliss at this all natural spa, where the treatments are all created from a range of botanicals. Once you’ve relaxed, you can head to Gin 71 for some more gin-dulgence on their gin tastings, or try out their miniature tea pot cocktails!
The Jolly Botanist
The Jolly Botanist has 72 different gins for you to choose from, and an old Victorian style interior that will make you feel like you’re immersed in the rich history of gin. “Scouring the globe for rare botanicals and extraordinary liqours … The Jolly Botanist has returned to offer rare and experimental delights for the demanding paletes of his many patrons.” With a highly knowledgeable staff and a killer menu, this is one stop you need on your Edinburgh tour!
Over 70 gins and a mouth watering brunch and dinner menu make Rye and Soda a must visit in Aberdeen. Their tasting academy evening are the place to go, where you can sample 6 different gins and learn about the different botanicals and distillation methods - or head next door to their sister bar the Tippling House for a serious impressive line up of whiskies and cocktails.
Head and Tales is a hidden gem in Edinburgh, and within the bar you’ll find the working stills of Edinburgh gin itself! Their menu boasts a whole 9 pages of perfectly paired gins, and they’re a dab hand at mixing up a delicious cocktail too. Gin Masterclasses are available to book.