Scottish Whisky Tour

This Scottish Whisky Tour Itinerary is not about visiting every distillery. It represents  a brief whistle stop route around Scotland on one web page and is designed to help you with orientation, highlight a few key tourist attractions and help you shortlist whisky distilleries to visit on your route.

This route also highlights regional whisky distillery itineraries we have on the site for more detailed travel planning. For example Speyside, Edinburgh or Islay.

A summary of this whisky themed Scottish route would be starting in Edinburgh, heading north through Perth and Pitlochry and then Inverness. Speyside and Aberdeenshire lie to the east of Inverness. North of Inverness is a Highland route to John o’ Groats and Orkney. West of Inverness is the Isle of Skye and then drop down to find Fort William, Oban then Glasgow. To the south west is Islay and Campbeltown. Across the bottom is the area around the Scottish/English border.

Table of Contents

Whisky Distilleries near Edinburgh

Edinburgh is often the starting point tourists embarking on tours of Scotland. Major tourist sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum and the Scott Monument. The only  active distillery with a visitor centre in Edinburgh is Holyrood Distillery. Other whisky themed attractions include the Scotch Whisky Experience and the new Johnnie Walker experience on Princes Street. About 16 miles to the south is Glenkinchie Distillery.

The Edinburgh Whisky Tour Itinerary gives a more detailed overview of Edinburgh so you can shortlist the best distillery and whisky experiences for you to visit.

Heading north over the Firth of Forth, past North Queensferry and its stunning views of three magnificent bridges –  Forth Road Bridge, Queensferry Crossing and Forth Road Bridge.

Whisky Distilleries near Perth & St Andrews

Travelling on to Perth (44 miles from Edinburgh). To the east is the region of Fife. You’ll find Lindores Abbey and then the beautiful university town of St Andrews. Widely acknowledged as the home of golf, it’s a great place to spend some time. Explore St Andrews Cathedral and take a walk along the long sandy beach. Kingsbarns is the closest whisky distillery to St Andrews (7 miles).

To the west of Perth is Glenturret Distillery and just to the south west is Deanston Distillery and Tullibardine Distillery.

Whisky Distilleries near Pitlochry

Travelling north along the A9 you arrive at the popular tourist town of Pitlochry (72 miles from Edinburgh).  Blair Athol Distillery is on the edge of town and Edradour less than 3 miles away. The lovely town of Aberfeldy (15 miles) sits on the River Tay and is home to Aberfeldy Distillery.

Continuing north towards Inverness you pass Dalwhinnie Distillery. It’s situated in a remote location near the A9. Just after Newtonmore you’ll find Speyside Distillery.

Whisky Distilleries near Inverness

Inverness has Tomatin Distillery to the south in an exposed remote location. Inverness is 156 miles from Edinburgh. To the north you will find Glen Ord Distillery  on the outskirts of Muir of Ord. It’s then north to Dalmore in Alness, near Invergordon. Invergordon is where cruise liner passengers disembark, often to visit Inverness.

Glenmorangie is on the coast just outside Tain. Balblair is about 5 miles from Tain. Not far from there is the Cathedral town of Dornoch, where Madonna’s son was christened.

Onwards to Clynelish Distillery. Then arrive in the old port of Wick and home to Pulteney Distillery.

Keep heading up this road and you come to John o’ Groats where you can catch a ferry to Orkney, home of Highland Park and Scapa distilleries. Or head west towards Thurso and you’ll find the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland, Wolfburn.

This route from Inverness is part of the North Coast 500, Scotland’s version of Route 66.

The Inverness and Highland Whisky Tour Itinerary gives a detailed overview of Inverness and Highland area distilleries so you can plan and  itinerary best fitting your tastes.

For the purposes of this familiarisation route, return south to Inverness.

Distilleries in Speyside

From Inverness travelling east close to Culloden Moor, Clava Cairns and Cawdor Castle lies Speyside. Benromach in Forres, Dallas Dhu (distillery museum just outside Forres). Glen Moray in Elgin and Strathisla in Keith mark the route across Speyside. From Elgin the road to look for is the A941 going south, pass BenRiach, through Rothes with Glen Grant Distillery. A road to the right (B9102) finds The Macallan and then Cardhu. Back on the main route and then east towards Dufftown to find the Speyside Cooperage, Balvenie and Glenfiddich.

On the main route again and it’s Aberlour Distillery, closely followed in more isolated positions are Glenfarclas and then GlenAllachie distilleries. Past Ballindalloch Castle there’s a detour left to The Glenlivet Distillery and then Tomintoul Distillery. Without the detour pass Ballindalloch Distillery and then Cragganmore Distillery. This road leads out to the Aviemore area.

The Speyside Whisky Tour Itinerary goes through this region in more detail so you can put together the best distilleries to visit for your requirements.

Distilleries in Aberdeenshire

To the east of Speyside lies even more distilleries, often missed. These sit in Aberdeenshire which also has a proud and long whisky making history. Aberdeenshire is castle county and a popular destination is Balmoral Castle which is close to Royal Lochnagar Distillery. The closest distillery to Aberdeen is Glen Garioch in the village of Old Meldrum. South of Aberdeen is Fettercairn. Further west, near Huntly (and Speyside) lie two distilleries, GlenDronach and Knockdhu. On the coast is the charming village of Portsoy. Glenglassaugh is on the western edge of the town. These latter three distilleries are very close to the Speyside region.

The Aberdeenshire Whisky Tour Itinerary gives ideas on distillery visit planning.

For the purposes of this familiarisation route, return west to Inverness

Distilleries near Oban & Skye

From Inverness the A82 passes Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. Divert west to Skye for a well travelled route that takes in the stunning Eilean Donan Castle before going over the bridge to Skye. Skye is renowned for its wonderful mountainous landscape and natural sights including Kilt Rock and the Fairy Pools. Skye has two whisky distilleries, Talisker and the more recently established Torabhaig. A short ferry trip away lies the Isle of Raasay Distillery.

Back on the mainland in Fort William lies Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. This busy, coastal town attracts hillwalkers from far afield. Ben Nevis Distillery is just on the town perimeter. The Glenfinnan Viaduct of Harry Potter fame is closeby. Glencoe can be taken in enroute to Oban which lies further south. To the south west of Fort William is a lengthy but scenic journey to Ardnamurchan Distillery.

Oban has a picturesque bay and Oban Distillery. This is a busy ferry port with regular sealife trips and excursions to Iona and Mull. Tobermory Distillery is situated in Mull and there’s a foot ferry from Mull across to Nc’nean Distillery.

Oban and Skye Whisky Tour Itinerary

The Oban and Skye Whisky Tour Itinerary is designed to help with your whisky distillery tour planning.

Distilleries in Cambeltown & Arran

From Oban it’s straight down towards Campbeltown, once home to more than 25 whisky distilleries there are now just three, Glen Scotia, Mitchell’s Glengyle and Springbank.

The Campbeltown Whisky Tour Itinerary gives ideas on distillery visit planning.

To the east of Campbeltown is the Isle of Arran. A ferry from Claonaig to Lochanzra, takes you close to Arran Distillery. At the southern end of the island is Lagg Distillery.

Distilleries on Islay

Back up the road to the coastal port of Kennacraig where there are ferries to the fabled whisky Isle of Islay. One ferry docks in Port Ellen in the south of the island, fairly close to Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. Further north you’ll find Bowmore, Bruichladdich and Kilchoman distilleries. On the eastern side is Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain Distillery. Across the water is the Isle of Jura and Jura Distillery.

The Islay Whisky Tour Itinerary sets out the distilleries you can tour in more detail.

Distilleries in the Glasgow area

Back on the mainland and it’s homeward bound towards Glasgow via a loop through Loch Lomond National Park. Glengoyne and Auchentoshan are close to Glasgow and Clydeside Distillery is the most central.

Distilleries in the  Scottish Borders

There are three Scotch Whisky distilleries near the foot of Scotland with vistor centres. The Borders Distillery in Hawick and Annandale Distillery near Gretna Green are both close to the border between Englandf and Scotland. Further west lies Bladnoch Distillery, near Wigtown which is known as Scotland’s booktown.

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