A Whisky Lover's 12 Days in Scotland
Food & Wine
Scotland's gorgeous, vast landscapes and charming people are the most brilliant accompaniment to a dram of legendary Scotch Whisky. Considered as one of the most unique and beautiful expressions of whisky, it would be amiss not to complement it with the unique and beautiful Scottish vistas and people. I’ve here compiled my recommended route to see a few of the over 130 active Scottish distilleries over two weeks to see and drink Scotland! Sláinte!
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Where to stay
Boath House Restaurant & Rooms
Located on Scotland’s northern coast, this artist's residence features a rustic, minimalist style and a cafe, store and studio with a cabin and sauna hidden on the extensive grounds.
Inverlochy Castle Hotel
19th Century Scottish castle with palatial interiors with sporting, golfing, hunting and yacht experiences.
A luxury picnic with a half bottle of wine / a full afternoon tea with glass of champagne.
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Luxurious resort on Loch Lomond with 400 acres of countryside, a lavish spa and beautifully restored suites for a charming weekend in the Scottish wilderness.
Complimentary cruise on Loch Lomond on Celtic Warrior.
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Day 1: Arriving in Edinburgh
Land at Edinburgh, collect your car and head north to Aberfeldy, the home of Dewars. After a tour and tasting, head East to drive thorough Speyside where you can stop at any number of wonderful distilleries. I suggest Glenlivet, Aberlour, Glenfiddich and Balvenie. Head to Boath House for the night for a most wonderful stay.
Day 2: Inverness
Wake up and head to the famed Royal Brackla distillery on the way to Inverness. Inverness is quote close to Boath House, so your morning can be quite leisurely. Arrive in peaceful Inverness and spend the afternoon exploring the city and getting a little extra rest.
Day 3: Heading out to the Highlands
Fuel-up your vehicle, charge your phones and get ready for a drive in to the gorgeous Highlands! Make some stops before you find yourself in Gill’s Bay for the ferry to St. Margaret’s Hope for your short drive to Kirkwall for your stay at The Ayre Hotel.
Day 4: Isle of Skye
In the morning, pack up and head to the famed Highland Park Distillery and the wonderful Scapa Distillery before heading back to the mainland. You’ll spend the afternoon driving through some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland, so feel free to take your time taking plenty of photographs! You’ll end up at your home for the next two nights at Kinloch Lodge. Have a nice meal and head to bed for a day of adventure and whiskey!
Day 5: Whisky on Skye
Get ready for a hike this morning! Drive up the coast of Skye to The Old Man of Storr for one of the best views in Skye, along with one of the cooler geological features. If this hike sounds too arduous, check out the famed Fairy Pools for a bit of an easier trek. After a nice morning hike, head to Talisker Distillery for a tasting and tour. Grab some lunch along the way. After your time at Talisker, head down to Torabhaig Distillery for a tour and tasting before retiring to your hotel for the evening. Spend the evening enjoying the fine restaurant at the hotel and maybe even taking a walk through the grounds.
Day 6: Mallaig
Today you will bid farewell to your time on Skye and head to Inverlochy Castle where you’ll be spending a night in the foothills of Ben Nevis. Drop off your bags and drive in to Fort William to catch the Jacobite Steam Train. You may better know this train as The Hogwarts Express! Take the 1/2-day trip through the beautiful Scottish countryside to Mallaig, a coastal fishing village where you’ll stop for dinner before heading back to Fort William. After your train voyage head back to the Castle for the night.
Day 7: Oban
After a leisurely morning and a nice brunch, hop in the car and head to Oban, yes that Oban. Oban is a beautiful, easily-walkable seaside town with one of the biggest names in Scotch Whisky: the Oban Distillery. When you arrive in Oban, check-in to the Perle Oban Hotel. The hotel is a short walk to the distillery where you can have a tour and tasting. After which you can walk back down the coastal walk for some fish and chips and to meander the city. Trek on up to McCaig’s tower for some stunning views, it’s really worth it.
Day 8: Loch Lomond
Though one could likely spend days in Oban just relaxing and enjoying the coastal life, today you’ll bid the town farewell. Drive on down to Cameron House on Loch Lomond, stopping only to drop off your bags before visiting Loch Lomond Distillery. After a tour and tasting, head back to your hotel to get in a round of golf, hike the hotel grounds or just to sit and relax while enjoying the Scottish lakeside life. Cameron House is a truly beautiful place, so take your time to take it all in!
Day 9: Lowlands
Leave Cameron House for Glengoyne Distillery and then Auchentoshan Distillery to get in some Lowland flavors. After your Lowland experience, head to gorgeous Crossbasket Castle is Glasgow to drop off your stuff before heading in to Glasgow to walk the Necropolis before getting a nice dinner in the city. I suggest Cail Bruich for a nicer meal or Ox and Finch for a little more casual meal. Both are excellent, so you can’t go wrong. After dinner head back to the castle for the night.
Day 10: Falkirk Wheel
After a relaxing night, drive back to Edinburgh for the last leg of your trip. On the way, stop to see the marvelous Falkirk Wheel, a really unique engineering marvel. The Falkirk Distillery is also a good stop nearby. When you get to Edinburgh, check into The Balmoral, Edinburgh’s finest hotel. Take in the beautiful city and grab some dinner before your whiskey day tomorrow.
Day 11: Johnnie Walker Experience
After breakfast, head to a morning tour and tasting at Johnnie Walker Princes Street, one of the most awe-inspiring whiskey experiences in Scotland and top 5 in the world. After your tour, grab some lunch on-site before your pre-booked cellar tour, the penultimate Johnnie Walker experience. After this experience, head outside for a bit and walk down The Royal Mile. Check out Edinburgh Castle, and the Palace at Holyrood (Holyrood Distillery is right there, too). For dinner, get a later booking at The Broughton for a contemporary pub experience. It’s a ten-minute walk back to your hotel, for you to relax at ease before your trip home.
Day 12: Take Some Scotch Home
Pack up and say goodbye to gorgeous Scotland. Catch your flight home with the legally-allowed volume of Scotch to take home (please check your customs regulations) and a lifetime of memories.
Need to Know
Looking for more adventure travel inspiration? Check out my Things to Do in the Circle City, Indianapolis, An Extravagant Weekend in London, England, First-Timer’s Guide to Paris, France, A Relaxing & Active Jaunt through Scotland and more!
For whisky lovers, check out my 4-Day Itinerary for the Ultimate Louisville Bachelor Party.
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