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Distillery day trips are back on the go!

By Chrissie Fairclough

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Fairytale Distillery in Wester Ross.
Fairytale Distillery in Wester Ross.

Now restrictions are easing, day trips are back on the agenda! Wherever you live in Scotland, you’re likely to be within driving distance of one of these craft distilleries.

Fairytale Distillery, Ardelve, Kyle, Highland, IV40 8DY

Straight out of a storybook, the Fairytale Distillery – with its brightly coloured chimneys and squint slated roof – sits on a small island in a landscaped lochan, looking out across Loch Ailsh to Eilean Donan Castle.

The family of hand-crafted gins has been created by experienced botanists using a specially commissioned Austrian still named Tinkerbelle.

Book in advance for gin tastings and gin school.

Stirling Gin Distillery, The Old Smiddy, Lower Castlehill, Stirling, FK8 1EN

Located in the shadow of Stirling Castle, Stirling Distillery has made its home in the locally nicknamed Old Smiddy – a former church temperance hall.

The team restored the Victorian façade and installed a modern visitors' centre in 2019, and there are plans to renovate the garden with wildflowers to support local birds, bees and insects and provide nectar to use in recipes.

Sign up for a tour, masterclass or gin school, do some gin shopping or just take a peek and enjoy the building.

1881 Distillery, Peebles Hydro, Innerleithen Road, Peebles, Borders, EH45 8LX

Named after the year Peebles Hydro was built, the 1881 Distillery and Gin School opened in 2019 as a result of growing demand for local produce.

The hotel now boasts its own resident distiller, range of gins and perfect serve tonics. Built around a private spring on the hotel’s estate, the mineral-rich water was said to be legendary for its therapeutic properties and is used in the both the gins and mixers today.

Visitor experiences include tours, masterclasses and a gin school.

Persie Distillery, Glenshee Road, Bridge of Cally, Perthshire, PH10 7LQ

A small, family-owned stables-turned-distillery at the foot of Glenshee, Persie Distillery sits on the highest public road in the UK and the start of the Snow Roads adventure through the Cairngorms National Park.

The distillery is dog friendly, with a range of ‘charity dog gins’ dedicated to raising money for dog rescue charities.

The first dedicated gin distillery to be awarded brown sign status by Visit Scotland, it is open daily to the public for drop-ins, sample sessions, liquid tours and masterclasses.

  • Chrissie Fairclough is tastings director for Gin Club Scotland, which runs touring and distillery-based tastings, as well as offering tasting kits for people to run their own events. www.ginclubscotland.com

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