Features

The best UK gin distilleries for tours and tastings

Whether you want to attend 'gin school' or just sample the good stuff, explore these great tours and tastings at top gin distilleries all across the UK

Words by Laura Richards and Louella Berryman

bone idyll gin tour
At Bone Idyll's brand-new London distillery, 'gin school' lets fans get to grips with the ginmaking process

Just ten years back, gin distillery tours in the UK were a growing phenomenon – with a handful of pioneering makers opening up their stillhouses for an introduction to the history of gin and a snifter of their London Dry. Nowadays, thanks to the modern gin revival and a continued interest from the public in the versatile spirit, it’s quite rare for a gin distillery not to host some form of tasting, tour or masterclass – and many are even offering the opportunity for you to make a variation of their hero product at their very own on-site ‘gin school’.

Given that there are now over 800 UK gin distilleries, chances are there’s a decent maker getting to grips with the spirit near you. But if you’re seeking out the best tours and tastings based on new gin discoveries or reigning-champion bottlings, we’ve pulled together a comprehensive guide to gin distillery tours and tastings in the UK based on medal-winning ginmakers from the IWSC 2022. Each of the distilleries listed below either won a Gold or Silver medal in this year’s competition for one of their expressions, so the spirit you’ll be sampling up-close-and-personal has been tasted and rated by the experts.

In the below list, you’ll find a mixture of historic and heritage ginmakers – from Plymouth Gin to Beefeater Gin – and brand-new craft distilleries forging ahead with a fresh take on the tour and tasting format. Many are offering a straightforward, affordable and informative way to taste through their creative range; others are putting together three-hour courses where you can grapple with a miniature pot still while guided by a master distiller; and one brand is even conducting a gin tasting on a vintage steam train. So-called ‘ginnovation’ is still thriving in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, so expect some of these tours to get geeky out on the production floor. But if you’re more interested in getting down to the good stuff, a number of these UK distilleries are once again opening the doors of their on-site gin bars, welcoming back the public with a G&T or cocktail as close to the source as it comes.

Gin distillery tours in England

copper pot stills at abingdon gin distillery

Abingdon Distillery

Oxfordshire, England

Hong Kong might seem like an unlikely place for a gin made in Oxfordshire to have its beginnings, but a global mindset is important to distillers at Abingdon. Dreamt up while founder Jordan Morris was travelling, Abingdon Distillery embraces the town’s market trader traditions, and uses ingredients from all over the world to create its ‘truly sippable gin’. Tastings and tours of the production area are available, and their pop-up Thames-side bar is open for warmer weather, where you’ll find the team slinging Cherry Negronis. LB
Coxeter House, 21-27 Ock St, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 5AJ
Tasting and tour, £22
abingdondistillery.com

bottles and pot stills at barbican botanics distillery

Barbican Botanics

Plymouth, England

An Elizabethan-era terraced street isn’t the first place you’d expect to find a distillery. The ‘Gin Room’ of Barbican Botanics has been a merchant’s house, a tenement flat, and even a 1950s tearoom. Now, its cosy, low-ceilinged living room provides the perfect location for sipping a Devonian gin heavy on the earthy notes of milk thistle. If inspired, visitors can rouse themselves from the armchairs to blend their own gin in a masterclass – experimenting with a selection of 30 botanicals – or they can enjoy sipping the brand’s Tropical Old Tom gin in the distillery’s bijou walled garden. LB
38 New St, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 2NA
Tasting, £22; classes from £60
barbicanbotanics.com

beefeater distillery

Beefeater

London, England

It’s a classic for a reason. Beefeater has been going strong since 1862 – but its London Dry gin still wins as many awards (including a Silver medal at the IWSC 2022) as the best of the craft upstarts. If you’re going to get an education on the trajectory of ‘mother’s ruin’, where better than at its historic Kennington headquarters – where a visitor centre launched in 2014. Self-guided, interactive tours last for 1.5 hours and include a tasting of four spirits from the range, plus a G&T at the bar at the end. An extended tour sees a guided visit to the still house – home to the brand’s original Victorian pot stills – and even more of the juniper elixir mixed into cocktails. LR
20 Montford Place, London SE11 5DE
Tour and tasting, from £25
beefeatergin.com

bond street distillery building

Bond Street Distillery

Leicestershire, England

A visit to Bond Street Distillery, launched in 2019 in the market town of Hinckley by gin lover and entrepreneur Sally Faulkner, is a truly social affair. There are two bars to choose from – the lively, balloon-glass-filled Bond Street Social, and intimate, upstairs venue The Crow’s Nest, which gets lively with gig nights on Thursdays. The Victorian building has been lovingly refurbished from its original function as part of the Brocklehurst Hoisery Company. A comprehensive Gin School offers ample opportunities for learning about, and of course drinking, the distillery’s key gins. LB
127 Upper Bond St, Hinckley, Leicestershire LE10 1RT
Tour, tasting, and gin making class, from £95
thebondstreetdistillery.co.uk

class at bone idyll gin school and distillery

Bone Idyll

London, England

In June 2022, Bone Idyll opened its new premises – an idea formed during lockdown and funded by the local community in Kingston-upon-Thames. The distillery bar and gin school boasts a bold and energetic design to match the branding of its range of small-batch gins and bottled cocktails. You can drop in for drinks overlooking its stills or book in for a 2.5-hour session at Gin School, where you’ll craft your own blend on one of ten miniature copper pot stills to then bottle and take home. Enjoy tasters from the range, plus cocktails and bar snacks along the way. LR
Water Lane, Kingston, London KT1 1AE
Gin school, £125
boneidyll.co.uk

bottle labelling at brighton gin distillery tour

Brighton Gin

Brighton, England

Its citrusy Seaside Strength Gin received a whopping 98/100 at the IWSC 2022. While the ginmaker recently moved to a new home in Portslade, just outside Brighton city centre, it’s still continuing with its insightful tours and it’s still close enough to the beach to feel its inspiration in the liquid. 90-minute sessions incorporate the production process and a history of the craft spirit – and include a G&T within the price. And it also features the option of designing a label to apply to your own 50ml bottle to take home, truly channelling a bit of Brighton’s creative energy into the experience. LR
35a Vale Road, Brighton BN41 1GD
Tour, £35
brightongin.com

the courtyard at brindle distillery bar

Brindle Distillery

Lancashire, England

Rural Lancashire makes a great setting for Brindle Distillery, where natural resources from Holme’s Farm go into the production of Cuckoo Gin – but it’s also a rather charming location for the Cuckoo’s Nest, the gin brand’s rustic warehouse bar and event space. Check the website to see when it’s open and which local street food peddlers are pulling up, too. If your interest is in something more in-depth, a 2.5-hour talk and tour encompasses the agricultural history of the site, explores Brindle’s farm-to-bottle ethos and includes a very generous total of five G&Ts, each one starring a different distillate from a varied and expressive Cuckoo range. LR
Sandy Lane, Holmes Farm, Brindle, Lancashire PR6 8LZ
Tasting, tour and talk, £30; Check website for bar opening hours
brindledistillery.co.uk

bottling line at burleighs gin distillery tour

Burleighs Gin

Loughborough, England

If sipping gin surrounded by ancient forestland and taking in deep breaths of the English country air sounds like a dream to you, Burleighs Gin is a place worth visiting. The distillery is nestled in among the rolling hills of Charnwood Forest, just outside Leicester, in a stylishly converted cattle barn, where it produces seven different kinds of gin with bottles inspired by botanicals from the local woodland. At its Gin Academy, you can tailor these notes to your own taste and operate your own mini still. If you fancy some old-school glamour, you can even taste the distillery’s gin range on a Great Burleigh Express heritage train journey, departing from Loughborough Great Central Railway. All aboard. LB
Bawdon Lodge Farm, Charley Road, Nanpantan, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 9YE
Tasting, £10; tours, from £25
burleighsgin.com

gin and tonic and griffiths distillery

Griffiths Brothers Distillery

Buckinghamshire, England

What started as a challenge between brothers has become an award-winning venture for Andrew and Alex, the distillery’s founders. The pair run Griffiths HQ, located in the picturesque Chiltern Hills, out of a 1930s aircraft factory (which inspired their Mosquito Gin, named after the Mosquito Bomber of World War II). Buckinghamshire’s first micro-distillery offers tastings from a range of seven gins, including its IWSC Silver Medal award-winning Original Gin, as well as tours that go in-depth on their chosen method of cold distillation on rotovaps they’ve sweetly named ‘Roberta’ and ‘Aretha’. LB
Penn Street Works Unit 8, Amersham, Buckinghamshire HP7 0FA
Tasting and tour, £20
griffithsbrothers.com

hayman's gin distillery garden with drinkers

Hayman’s Gin

London, England

Hayman’s impressive south-west London premises opened in 2018 when the family business returned to its London roots. The traditional brand has over 150 years’ worth of heritage and is an operation that remains within the Hayman family – and yet some of its latest innovations include its pioneering Small Gin, a low-alcohol alternative that received a Gold Outstanding award at this year’s IWSC. The two-day gin-making process is condensed into an informative 75-minute distillery tour (complete with welcome G&T and guided tasting) – or book in at the bar for the likes of Wednesday Gin Club and Saturday Spritzes. LR 
8A Weir Rd, Balham, London SW12 0GT
Tour and tasting, £25
haymansgin.com

Heart of Suffolk Distillery

Suffolk, England

Tastings at Heart of Suffolk Distillery are a family affair, with husband-and-wife team Karen and Martyn Luke the brains behind the operation, and with their son Ryan helping lead the way. The distillery’s signature London Dry gin is even named after Karen’s mother, Betty, who was apparently a ‘proper Suffolk girl’, famed for her love of a good gin. The tastings and talks take place in Finbow’s Yard, an area dedicated to independent businesses, and include a G&T-making masterclass – and if you think you’ll get peckish after all that gin, a light buffet can be provided upon request. LB
Finbows Yard Unit 4, Station Rd, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 4NH
Tasting and talk, £20
heartofsuffolkdistillery.co.uk

mermaid gin bar with view onto isle of wight distillery

Isle of Wight Distillery

Isle of Wight, England

Get a taste of island life with a trip to the Isle of Wight Distillery, the island’s first and only. Founders Xavier Baker and Conrad Gauntlett have fully embraced the spoils of the Isle of Wight, with hand-foraged rock samphire, Boadicea hops, elderflower and wild strawberries making appearances in their gin range. The tiny distillery is too small for a full tour, but you can admire the stills from the Mermaid Bar, while enjoying a spirit taster board containing their four gins, plus a vodka and a rum. Don’t miss their Gold-medal-winning Pink Gin, a bright and zesty number fit for seaside drinking. LB
Pondwell Hill, Ryde PO33 1PX
Tasting, £7.50
isleofwightdistillery.com

gin shop and bar at masons of yorkshire

Masons of Yorkshire

Yorkshire, England

Karl and Cathy Mason started with a Facebook page called ‘G&T Friday’, where they tried and tested their way through gins. They soon decided they could do better, and established their own label in 2013 – but just six years into production, disaster struck for ‘Yorkshire’s first gin’ when a fire broke out at the distillery. Thankfully, the recovery was swift, with a new warehouse opening just outside Bedale later that year. A tour of the new Masons facility – which is still welcoming its first visitors, thanks to the pandemic – takes in a trip to the laboratory, where the ginmaker is riffing on its core range to create new flavoured expressions, from English lavender to that very Yorkshire thing: tea. The experience ends with a G&T of your choice, which seems rather fitting, actually. LR
Trinity Place, Conygarth Way, Leeming Bar, Yorkshire DL7 9EE
Tour and tasting, £25
masonsofyorkshire.com

plymouth gin distillery exterior

Plymouth Gin

Devon, England

This one’s for the history buffs. Plymouth Gin happens to be home to the oldest working distillery in England, with the main stillhouse dating back to 1400. After the comprehensive gin tasting and tour, where guests get the chance to meet the master distiller and taste the Plymouth Original Gin and its IWSC Silver-medal-winning Sloe Gin, visitors can take a pew in the medieval hall housing the Refectory Bar and Cocktail Lounge for both traditional and creative gin cocktail serves. LB
60 Southside St, Plymouth PL1 2LQ
Tasting and tour, from £15
plymouthdistillery.com

juniper in the distillery at tarquin's cornish gin

Tarquin’s Gin Distillery

Cornwall, England

Founder Tarquin Leadbetter’s life philosophy is distill by morning, surf by afternoon – a distinctly Cornish way of life. Visitors will quite literally get a breath of fresh air at the hilltop distillery, overlooking the windswept North Cornwall coast, where they’ve been crafting a range of gins inspired by the sea-surrounded county since 2012. Tours include a ‘botanical masterclass’ where visitors will discover the flavour building blocks in Tarquin’s Gin – including the secrets behind its Gold medal Cornish Dry gin, which IWSC judges described as ‘bold and textured’ – and a meet and greet with the four copper pot stills: Tamara, Senara, Tressa, and Ferarra. LB
11, Higher Trevibban Farm, St Ervan, Wadebridge PL27 7SH
Tasting and tour, £18
tarquinsgin.com

tiny tower gin distillery masterclass, with botanicals, gin and notes

Tiny Tower Liquor

London, England

Back in 2016, Martello Hall bar and micro-distillery opened in Hackney and gave London’s second gin craze some serious edge. Since then, the bar has spawned siblings all over town – and scaled up its production with the recent launch of Tiny Tower Liquor, a label under which to sell gin from across its sites and from its new urban distillery, Teatro Hall in Ealing. Tiny Tower’s new HQ is home to a much larger copper still – sitting pretty at 150 litres – and here, you can taste your way through a flight from the range, take yourself on a two-hour blending bender or, in true London fashion, attend a cocktail masterclass with gin at its core. LR
61 New Broadway, London W5 5AH
Tasting, £25; classes from £50
teatrohall.com/distillery

Gin distillery tours in Northern Ireland

the exterior view at boatyard distillery

Boatyard Distillery

County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

The best way to explore Fermanagh’s waterways is by boat, which luckily is also one of the best ways to visit the Boatyard Distillery. Set on Lough Erne near the county town of Enniskillen (which, according to local legend, once had its own gin palace), it’s the first legal distillery in Fermanagh since 1890. The distillery is family-run – with the sweet gale botanical used in its gin grown on the family farm – and a small affair, but with a generous tour offering that includes a tasting and two gin cocktails. LB
Tullybay Marina, 346 Lough Shore Rd, Drumcrow East, Enniskillen BT93 7DX
Tasting, talk and tour, £45
boatyarddistillery.com

hinch distillery

Hinch Distillery

County Down, Northern Ireland

While Hinch Distillery might be better known for its Irish single malt, and County Down for its long whiskey-making history, the area produces some brilliant award-winning gins. Set in the well-to-do Killaney country estate, Hinch Distillery’s tour is for those looking for a little luxe. With its rolling green hills, an on-site brasserie, and its signature aromatic Ninth Wave gin – inspired by the ocean that separates earth from Irish mythology’s ‘Otherworld’ – it’s a great place to immerse yourself in the best of Irish produce and pleasurable pursuits. LB
19 Carryduff Rd, Ballynahinch, County Down BT27 6TZ
Tasting, tour and gin school, £50
hinchdistillery.com

Rademon Estate Distillery

County Down, Northern Ireland

Set in 500 acres of land with an estate house dating back to 1667, Rademon Estate Distillery is steeped in history. The goal of husband-and-wife team Fiona and David Boyd-Armstrong was to rekindle distilling tradition in the area, as well as redefine Irish gin with their award-winning Shortcross bottlings. The tour and tasting takes visitors through the gin-making process (a mix of heritage and modern techniques), from the foraged wild clover, estate-grown apples and other botanicals used to infuse the gin to the hand-waxing of the bottles – plus the obligatory gin and tonic. LB
65 Church Rd, Crossgar, Downpatrick BT30 9HR
Tasting and tour, £25.50; classes from £49.95
rademonestatedistillery.com

Gin distillery tours in Scotland

gin tour at beinn an tuirc gin distillery

Beinn an Tuirc Distillers

Kintyre, Scotland

The owners of Torrisdale Castle on the Kintyre peninsula also operate a distillery immersed in the nature of the grounds, drawing from a local spring and powered by hydroelectricity from the estate. Stop by the café for afternoon tea (paired with G&Ts, of course), or join the Kintyre Gin experience, an opportunity to meet copper pot still ‘Big Don’ and to taste through the distillery’s range (for just £12.50). Alternatively, you can enrol at gin school, a three-hour course that sees you leave with two 20cl bottles of your own spirit. While there, be sure to keep an eye out for ‘CEO’ and distillery dog Crumble. LR
Lephincorrach Farm, Torrisdale, Carradale, Campbeltown, Argyll, PA28 6QT
Tour, £12.50; gin school, £85
kintyregin.com/tours

the house of botanicals gin tasting room

The House of Botanicals

Aberdeen, Scotland

Under the railway arches in Aberdeen city centre, The House of Botanicals is innovating across a range of liqueurs, cocktail bitters and, of course, gin. Two-hour experiences take place on Saturdays and take in a tour of the production floor – home to a host of processes that will delight true gin nerds, from vacuum distillation to cold compounding. That’s followed with a tasting of a range that includes two Gold medal-winning expressions at the IWSC 2022: ABZ Dry Gin and Classic Old Tom Gin. Best of all, you’ll leave with a 70cl bottle to enjoy at home. LR
Arch 4, Palmerston Road, Aberdeen AB11 5RE
Tour and tasting, £60
thehouseofbotanicals.co.uk

gin tasting at isle of cumbrae distillery

Isle of Cumbrae Distillers

Cumbrae, Scotland

A taste of gin with a feminist slant: Isle of Cumbrae is one of the few all-female distilling teams in Scotland, and their talks and tastings help highlight the role of women in ginmaking throughout history. Another focus for the brand is the story of its hometown, Millport – and a limited-edition gin release to mark the town hall’s restoration won Silver at the IWSC 2022. Learn how these five entrepreneurs began their journey in the middle of the pandemic and taste their triumphs in an intimate and interesting one-hour session – then take home a tasting glass as your own Cumbrae souvenir. LR
11 Guildford Street, Millport, North Ayrshire KA28 0AE
Talk and tasting, £17
isleofcumbrae-distillers.com

isle of skye misty isle gin bottles

Isle of Skye Distillers

Skye, Scotland

The Wilson brothers of Portree both quit their jobs in 2017 to build the island’s first gin distillery, using nearby Storr Lochs as the water source for Misty Isle Gin. While the working distillery isn’t open to tourists, they’ve created a bottle shop – stocked with their own supply as well as spirits from across Scotland – and gin school in the same town. As part of the classroom experience, you’ll taste the range before you make your own Misty Isle expression under Alistair Wilson’s watchful eye and using a miniature copper pot still – before bottling and labelling to take home and enjoy. LR
Rathad na Slignich, Portree, Scotland, IV51 9EJ
Gin school, £85
isleofskyedistillers.com

kinrara gin distillery

Kinrara Distillery

Cairngorms, Scotland

A former milking shed at the foot of the Monadhliath Mountains has been home to Kinrara Distillery – which takes its name from the surrounding and breath-taking Cairngorms estate – since 2017. An hour-long morning or afternoon tasting and talk covers the history of the local area (the estate was founded by socialite Lady Jane Gordon) and how it has influenced the liquid, with botanicals like rosehip and rowan berries sourced from the scene. It takes place in a tasting room decorated with framed illustrations by local artists that feature on its limited-edition bottles. As a family-run operation, the distillery welcomes children and pets along for its experiences, and for drop-ins, there’s also a dedicated bar from which to sample the stuff. LR
Lynwilg Farm Steading, Lynwilg, Aviemore, PH22 1PZ
Tasting, £10
kinraradistillery.com

the team at north point distillery

North Point Distillery

Highlands, Scotland

If you’d prefer to learn about gin within the wider context of craft spirits, North Point Distillery is a great place to go. The origins of the Highlands distillery might be in rum production – its flagship North Point Pilot Rum first released in 2020 – but that doesn’t make its gin any less of a star (Crosskirk Bay London Dry received a score of 98/100 at the IWSC 2022, no less). The 1.5-hour gin tour covers more than just mother’s ruin, and sets out North Point’s key sustainability ethos – from the renewable energy used to power its stills to its recycled glass bottles. Beyond geeking out, the views of the Caithness coastline from this former US Navy base are pretty spectacular, too. LR
Murkle House, Forss Business and Energy Park. Nr Thurso, Caithness KW14 7UZ
Tour and tasting, £15
northpointdistillery.com

tobermory gin at the distillery

Tobermory

Isle of Mull, Scotland

Visiting the rugged Isle of Mull is a magical experience, Tobermory’s colourful row of seafront houses the place to aim for once you’ve stepped foot off the ferry. What makes it even more of a worthy destination is its Tobermory distillery, which admittedly has its history in Scotch production (first established in 1798) – but is making just as much of a name for itself in the 21st century gin world. A 45-minute tasting session allows you to explore the range of three gins – each of which make good use of unique coastal and Hebridean botanicals, from samphire to wild heather. LR
Ledaig, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, PA75 6NR
Tasting, £18
tobermorydistillery.com

Gin distillery tours in Wales

gower gin bottle and welsh coast

The Gower Gin Company

West Glamorgan, Wales

You’ll know why The Gower Gin company are trying to capture the aromas of the Welsh coastline in their gin when you visit the converted bike shed distillery. It’s pretty fresh out West, and the gin garden offers a charmingly blustery gin tasting experience, as well as some classic Welsh hospitality. Sian and Andrew Brooks, the husband-and-wife team behind the distillery, run tastings for groups of eight every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for free, and all their gins are available to buy at the on-site shop. LB
Highfield, Port Eynon, Swansea SA3 1NL
Tour and tasting, free
thegowergincompany.wales

in the welsh wind distillery stills

In the Welsh Wind Distillery

Ceredigion, Wales

When visiting the In the Welsh Wind distillery, it’s easy to see why the gin is inspired by the ‘wild’ West Wales coastline. The distillery is housed in a former pub that’s been trendily refurbished and is surrounded by rugged farmland leading out to the sea. A tasting will give you a rundown of the distillery’s ‘maverick’ approach and a taste of three gins, and with a class you’ll get to experience every part of the gin-making process, from distillation to bottling. LB
Gogerddan Arms, Tan-y-groes, Cardigan, Ceredigion SA43 2HP
Tasting, £25; classes, £145
inthewelshwind.co.uk