24 Sep 5 Of The Best Distillery Tours Near Glasgow
If you’re a whisky lover and travelling to Glasgow, then it’s in your interest to know the best distillery tours near Glasgow! We’ve done the research, and have come up with the optimum strategy, whether you’re bus-bound (there are five public transport options) or car enabled. There are even a few suggestions if you only want to join a tour group. For the best distillery tours near Glasgow, read on!
- Book in advance to avoid disappointment or long wait times! The booking links for each distillery are included below as is the phone number of the distillery.
- While you can sometimes just drop by, distilleries are becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination, some have tours hourly (Deanston, Glengoyne, Glenturret) but others have them only at set times per day (Auchentoshan). Some distilleries are by appointment only (Strathearn, Daftmill). Either way, it pays to book ahead.
- Always check the distillery’s website for opening hours and tour times as they change throughout the year. The times listed below were accurate at the time of writing.
- No dogs in production areas (guide and special assistance okay of course) so don’t plan to bring your dog on a distillery tour.
Kids and Accessibility
- Children are welcome at all distilleries listed here, but one adult must accompany each child.
- Most distillery tours are not wheel-chair accessible/suitable for those mobility impaired, as they tend to be in old buildings with narrow walkways and usually there are stairs. Contact the distillery directly if you have any questions. Glengoyne stills and the mash tun are at ground level with wide ramp access. Glenturret has wheelchair accessible bathrooms and level access around the property but not in the production areas. Auchentoshan is wheelchair accessible for part of the tour but not all of it.
- Map pins shown in black are distilleries not open to the public. They’re on the map as you might want to take a photo if you’re going past. Keep in mind though that some are simply massive industrial ‘whisky factories’ and might not be worth the trip. A quick google image search should give you a good indication of what to expect.
- Visits to distilleries with map pins shown in orange are by appointment only.
- Distilleries with green pins are open to the public, and you can visit without an appointment. However, I suggest you book anyway.
But I Don’t Want to (or can’t) Drive!
The following distilleries are within roughly 90 minutes of Glasgow on public transport. Some light walking may be required. Click on the link for each distillery to open in google maps – from google maps you can utilise the public transport directions feature from your exact location.
- Auchentoshan Distillery (bus)
- The Clydeside Distillery (walk, bus, train)
- Glengoyne Distillery (bus)
- Deanston Distillery (bus, or train and bus)
- Edinburgh Gin Distillery (bus or train)
There are other distilleries accessible by public transport (Glenkinchie and Eden Mill for instance) but the time to reach them by public transport is over 2 hours each way.
If it all seems too hard, Rabbie’s Tours offer a Half-Day Trip from Glasgow to Glengoyne Distillery and Loch Lomond National Park (one of my favourite parts of Scotland) from 19 GBP per person. Click here to see prices and book.
Rabbie’s also has a full (1) day tour that includes Stirling Castle in addition to Glengoyne Distillery and Loch Lomond from 33 GBP per person. Click here to see prices and book.
To view all their whisky tours, including multiple day trips, click here.
We’re Driving – Road Trip!
Oh, the freedom of the open road! You have your pick of distillery tours near Glasgow and quite a few options for how to get there. These maps are designed to be interactive – click on the square frame icon top right of the map to open it in a new browser (‘view larger map’). Modifying the routes is easiest on your computer, not your mobile phone, however, if you’ve only got a mobile device, you can import the destination pins into Google Maps and use the directions features to get the best routes. For more information on how to use the maps on this page click here.
I’ve chosen the following route from Glasgow as all of the distilleries are open seven days with regular tours. I highly recommend you pre-book your visit times at least a day or two in advance. Tours often book out, especially on weekends and during peak holiday times, and you don’t want to drive all that way and miss out. Most distilleries have online booking options.
There are only so many distillery tours you can do in a day. I recommend you pick your favourite TWO.
By all means, drop by other distilleries, have a look, do a tasting or grab yourself a bottle to take home, but if you’re trying to do more than two distillery tours, you’re going to be pushing for time. The routes below are 3 hours and 4 hours of driving excluding all other activities. If you allow two tours, you’re already at 5-6 hours for today minimum. Most distilleries run tours between 10 am and 4 pm (last tour at 4 pm), but this varies depending on the time of year (most close earlier Nov – Mar). Remember to consider this when you’re picking your destinations, and prepare for a long day.
If you like long lunches, you’ll probably need to skip a tour. You don’t need to do a tour to visit the distilleries and do a tasting though.
If you want to see where the magic happens, however, (stills, mash tuns, warehouses), then a tour will be required.
Hot Tip For the Designated Driver: most distilleries will permit you to ‘take away’ your tasting dram.
Many distilleries provide glass bottle miniatures for this purpose (Clydeside, Glenturret, Edinburgh Gin) and some will provide little plastic containers. Always ask and see if you can do ‘take away’ or ‘take home’ samples. In case they don’t have any suitable ‘take away’ vessels, stop by a pharmacy/chemist shop and see if you can buy a ‘sample’ container. Yes, it’s a urine/specimen sample container! Don’t worry as they’ll be sterile and the screw top lids are perfect for keeping whisky safe because they don’t leak.
Another option is to buy some glass screw top containers before you go - the glass wont react with the alcohol, although, being glass, it is more susceptible to being broken if dropped or knocked.
Glasgow Distillery Tour map
Not A Distillery
There are also a couple of ‘not a distillery’ points of interest on the maps. These are by no means exhaustive, just some key attractions you may wish to visit while on your spirited adventures. If you are looking to visit a few abbeys and castles, you might be interested in the Visit Scotland Explorer Pass, as one ticket will get you entry into over 70 Historic Scotland venues.
I’ve also noted the distilleries that have on-site cafes. These are useful for a coffee break, a light lunch, and if you’ve got fellow travellers who aren’t so keen on doing yet another distillery tour.
- Glengoyne Distillery was established in 1883 and has been operating ever since (uncommon for a distillery in Scotland as most have closed at least once since they opened).
- The distillery is in the Highlands while its warehouses, directly across the road, are in the Lowlands.
- Why is it one of the best distillery tours near Glasgow? Glengoyne is at the foot of Dumgoyne Hill – they’re a lovely distillery in a stunning location and only a half hour drive from Glasgow.
- They have three stills (one wash and two spirit stills, which is relatively unusual, as most distilleries have a ‘pair’ of wash and spirit stills – Springbank and Talisker also have uneven numbers though).
- Glengoyne whisky is always unpeated, though they have at times experimented with maturation in casks that previously contained peated spirit.
- The distillery is open for tours seven days a week. Tours run hourly.
- March – November: first tour 10 am – last tour 5 pm. Shop: 10 am – 6 pm.
- December to February: first tour 10 am – last tour 4 pm. Shop 10 am – 5 pm.
- Group discounts are available. For groups of 10 or more bookings are essential.
- Bookings are highly recommended for all visits as Glengoyne receives over 50,000 visitors a year.
- Book online or call +44 (0)1360 550 254. Senior citizen discounts are available.
- £11.50 per person and lasts 45 minutes
- includes a guided tour of Glengoyne Distillery and a welcome dram of Glengoyne 12yo
- Book your Glengoyne Tour online
Whisky and Chocolate Tour
- £30 per person and lasts 90 minutes
- includes a tasting of Glengoyne 18 Year Old and Glengoyne 21 Year Old matched with hand-made chocolates
- Book your Glengoyne Whisky and Chocolate Tour online
Whisky and Chocolate Tour
- £30 per person and lasts 90 minutes
- includes a welcome dram of Glengoyne 12yo, a guided tour of Glengoyne Distillery and a tasting of Glengoyne 18 Year Old and Glengoyne 21 Year Old matched with hand-made chocolates
- Book your Glengoyne Whisky and Chocolate Tour online
Additional Glengoyne Distillery tour and tasting options are available, including the No. 1 Warehouse Tour where you can sample two different drams straight from the cask and take home 200ml of your favourite.
- Presently the only distillery in Scotland to triple-distil everything
- Auchentoshan was set up to serve the Irish immigrants living in Glasgow in 1823, which is why it is more of an Irish style whisky than a Scottish one.(5)
- In 1941 a warehouse was hit by a bomb during the Clyde Blitz, which sent a stream of flaming whisky into the Clyde river. The distillery pond is made from one of the bomb craters.(4)
- Open seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm but closed 25th and 26th Dec and 1st and 2nd Jan. Auchentoshan's Silent Season (when the distillery is not working and undergoing maintenance) will take place from 15th July – 19th August 2019
- Booking and enquires online via https://www.auchentoshan.com/where-we-make-it or phone +44 (0) 1389 878 561
Distilled Different Tour
- £10 per person, duration 60 minutes
- Includes a dram of Auchentoshan whisky and a serve of Auchentoshan ale (pre-cursor to whisky).
- 10am, 12 noon, 1pm and 3pm 7 days a week.
- Recently opened in Glasgow on the River Clyde. As production only commenced in 2018, Clydeside whisky will not be available until at least 2021.
- On-site cafe open daily 10.00 am to 17.00 pm
- Clydeside Distillery Tours can be booked online, or by emailing the distillery email@example.com or by calling 0141 212 1401
- £15 per person and lasts 60 minutes.
- This 3-part tour includes a "Discover the Dockside Story" self guided educational experience, a professionally guided distillery tour and three tastings at the end of the distillery tour including Clydeside's own new-make spirit.
- Maximum 20 people per tour.
- Tour runs hourly from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
- Designated drivers will be provided with Drivers Drams to take away and enjoy at home
- £28 per person and lasts 90 minutes.
- This tour includes the self guided "Discover the Dockside Story", a professionally guided tour of the distillery, and five 10ml drams of Single Malt Whisky each carefully paired with Sugar Wings of Glasgow chocolate.
- Maximum 6 people per tour.
- Tours run daily at 15:30 and 16:30. Bookings essential, subject to availability
- Deanston Distillery started its life as a cotton mill in 1785.
- In 1974 the mill was converted into a distillery after the value of the UK cotton industry declined
- There is a cafe on site – The Coffee Bothy
- They’re open seven days all year, from 10.00am to 5.00pm.
- Tours are on the hour every hour 10.00am – 4.00pm.
- Why is it one of the best distillery tours near Glasgow? They have an open-topped mash tun!!
- £9 per person, duration 50 minutes
- includes a tasting of Deanston 12yo
- For £12 you can do the tour above with an additional tasting of Deanston Virgin Oak
- Children: 0 – 11 years no charge. Children: 12 – 17 years £4.00 per child.
- Children under 11yrs must be accompanied by one adult per child
Additional tours and tasting packages are available, including chocolate and whisky pairings
- On-site restaurant/cafe, the Wilde thyme at Glenturret is open daily from 10 am – 6 pm
- Glenturret is open seven days. Tours run hourly and start at 10.30 am. The last tour is at 4:30 pm April – October, and at 3:30 pm November – March.
- Tours are limited to 25 persons per tour group.
- Tours can be booked online up to 48 hours in advance.
- It pays to book, as Glenturret receive around 100,000 visitors a year.(3)
- Why is it one of the best distillery tours near Glasgow? You will get to see one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland (with some rebranding), and they have Tullibardine’s old open-topped HAND STIRRED mash tun. I’d stop by just to see that, but then, I do love my open-topped mash tuns.
- Tours and tastings are in English. However, translation sheets are available if requested.
- For online bookings click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0) 1764 65 65 65
Distillery Tour and Tasting Experience
- £10.00 per person, duration 60 minutes
- Includes two tastings and take home bottles are available for drivers
- £9.00 concession (seniors/students/under 18s)
- Non-alcoholic beverages are available for non-drinkers
- Book your Distillery Tour and Tasting Experience Online
- £50.00 per person, duration 90 minutes, 10:00 am and 2:00 pm daily
- Includes a tasting of four premium Glenturret whiskies in the warehouse
- Persons over 18 years old only.
- Book your Warehouse Experience online
- The Tullibardine site has been a brewery since the 1400s and acquired a Royal Charter in 1503 to provision King James IV with beer (the same chap who was getting Lindores Abbey to distil Aqua Vitae).
- The distillery was established much more recently, in 1949 by famous distillery designer William Delme-Evans. It was the first distillery built in Scotland since 1900.
- Tullibardine underwent a refit in the late 1950s, and Glenturret purchased their original 1949 mash tun and washbacks. (1)
- Tullibardine is a modern distillery in a convenient location for tourist groups, and as such, they often book out, so make sure you book your tour well in advance.
- Open seven days from 10 am to 5 pm.
- Book your tour at least two days in advance by emailing email@example.com or phone +44 (0) 1764 661 809
- £9 per person and lasts 45 minutes.
- The price includes two tastings of Tullibardine at the end of the distillery tour.
- The cost is only £7 per person with a group of 10 or more