West Coast and Highland Distillery Tour from Inverness – Itinerary
The West Coast and Highland Distillery Tour begins with time for a brief photo by Loch Ness. Our next stop for a photo will be at the Commando Memorial partly because of the view (on a clear day) of Ben Nevis – highest mountain in the UK. Ben Nevis Distillery by Fort William is our first visit. Following lunch we will enjoy Dalwhinnie Distillery and Tomatin Distillery. Depending on tour times one of these is likely to be a tasting and the other a tour. There will be time for a photo at Ruthven Barracks between these distilleries.
Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle make a great stop because you can capture two icons in one photo. One of the great castles of Scotland, Urquhart was first held by Pictish tribal chiefs, later becoming a mighty royal castle, and finally a Clan Grant stronghold. It saw 1,000 years of continuous occupation before its fall, in 1692. It overlooks the dark waters of Loch Ness – the largest lake in the country. This is more than enough water to hide its most famous inhabitant – Nessie!
Commando Memorial stands on a hilltop with stunning 360 degree views. The magnificent bronze monument commemorates the commandos that used the harsh ground of these mountains and moors as their training area from 1942 to 1945. With good weather there are also great views of Ben Nevis.
Ben Nevis, highest mountain in the UK, rises above 4,400 feet, and the savage north face is often clearly visible from our route. A descent of Tower Ridge in 1892 is the earliest documented climbing expedition on the mountain. Its name may mean venomous or malicious mountain, or it could mean mountain with its head in the heavens.
The Ben Nevis Distillery
The Ben Nevis Distillery (near Fort William) stands below the UK’s tallest Mountain; Ben Nevis. They call their whisky the dew of Ben Nevis because the water is from the mountain. John MacDonald began this West Coast distillery in 1825. He gave his name to the well-known blended scotch “Long John” because he stood 6 foot 4 inches tall.
Dalwhinnie Distillery (a Highland malt) is the highest distillery with a visitor centre in Scotland. The village grew in 1700’s around a cattle-drovers’ inn, and the distillery followed in 1898 due to the coming of the railway. The distillery has introduced the genius approach of whisky tastings paired with different chocolates!
Ruthven Barracks were built by the government in 1718 to control the Highlands during Jacobite unrest. They were captured and destroyed by the Jacobites in 1746, and the ruins make for a very evocative photostop.
Tomatin Distillery (a Highland Distillery dating from 1897) was the site of much earlier illicit stills. The name means “the hill of the Juniper bushes”. Moonshiners like using Juniper when they are making illicit spirit because the bushes give off no smoke when burned.
West Coast and Highland Distillery Tour – Price
£450 plus distillery entry fees.
West Coast and Highland Distillery Tour – Departure
The tour can depart from your Inverness accommodation, or from any transport hub you prefer, such as bus station, train station or airport. You tell us, and we’ll be there.