Celebrate world whisky day with a walk or cycle
Scotland is the ideal place to celebrate World Whisky Day on May 18. Instead of simply raising a dram, why not enjoy a walk or cycle with a whisky theme? You can always enjoy a dram afterwards!
Did you know that Scotland’s national drink and biggest export is whisky? Using the fresh water from Scotland’s crystal-clear springs and streams, it’s not surprising that whisky will play a starring role alongside the country’s fresh seafood, stunning islands and rugged coastline in Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.
Today, there 148 distilleries across Scotland, each producing wonderfully distinct whisky, dependent on everything from the source of the water to the wood of the cask. Paying a visit to a distillery enables visitors to discover more about the environment and the people who shape the taste of it.
Canoe to a distillery
Speyside is home to more than half of Scotland’s distilleries, all located amid beautiful countryside and coastline. In fact, there is a Speyside Malt Whisky Trail.
The likes of Benromach, Glenfiddich and Glenlivet all reside within Speyside, making it a world leading whisky region.
Visitors can also see the award-winning Speyside Cooperage in Craigellachie, which provides the opportunity to view highly-skilled coopers practising their ancient craft.
How about visiting one of the distilleries during a canoe on the River Spey? Spirit of Spey offers a Classic Spey Descent by Canadian canoe and they often squeeze in a distillery visit.
Run the Speyside Way
Every autumn, the Dramathon offers a marathon, half marathon and 10k running race along he beautiful Speyside Way. It visits many famous distilleries – and offers a goody bag of whisky miniatures at the end.
There is nothing to sop you running – or walking – the Speyside Way at any time of the year. May is often a month of great weather, so it could be a good way to celebrate World Whisky Day.
Cycle to an island distillery
A new Hebridean Whisky Trail in the island chain of the Outer Hebrides offers the chance for a bike ride with the focus of reaching a distilery or two. There is also the Hebridean Way cycle route.
Or head to the famous Scottish whisky islands of Islay or Jura with your bike and tick off a few distilleries on two wheels.
Walk a whisky hill
Walk the iconic hill of Dumgyone, north of Glasgow, and then visit the Glengoyne Distillery at the base.
See 10 of my favourite walks close to Glasgow for details of a walk to the summit of Dumgoyne.
Glengoyne Distillery, close to Loch Lomond, is open for tours year-round. The Sample Room allows visitors to take their whisky knowledge to new levels.
After the fascinating tour you can create your own, personalised bottle of malt whisky. Fill your own bottle from one of the casks and cork it yourself, completing the unique souvenir with a label that features your signature and the bottle number.
City walk and tour
You could also plan to visit the Clydeside Distillery or the new Clutha Distillery in Glasgow when it open in the autumn as part of a walk along the Clyde Walkway or during a run or stroll on the city centre murals walk.
The Clutha is a new £10.7 million urban whisky distillery and bottling complex that is being built on the banks of the River Clyde in the heart of Glasgow.
The ambitious and innovative project is being masterminded by one of the country’s fastest growing Scotch Whisky firms, Douglas Laing & Co.
“Clutha”, meaning Clyde in Gaelic, reflects both the company’s heritage and the location of the new distillery which will sit on the banks of the River Clyde in the heart of the city.
Situated next to Holyrood Park, the new city centre distillery will be located right in the heart of Edinburgh’s distilling history on St. Leonard’s Lane. A 180-year-old Engine Shed building is being thoughtfully renovated to suit the distilling needs, while making room for the visitors.
Round Arran hike
Walk a section of the Arran Coastal Way, or the full long-distance loop over a number of days around the Scottish island. En route you can visit the Isle of Arran Whisky Distillery at Lochranza and the new Lagg Distillery at the south of the island.
Lagg Distillery will produce Single Malt with a heavily-peated in a style reminiscent of the original Arran whiskies, but none will be sold for the first 10 years of production. The distillery will open in summer 2019 along with a new visitor centre.
Mountain bike whisky trails
Glenlivet Estate is home to a distillery and some lovely mountain biking trails. There are blue and red trails to suit different abilities. The estate has plenty of walking options, too.
For more on whisky regions in Scotland, please go to:www.visitscotland.com/whisky