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, William Morris and Louella Berryman

Distilleries like Maidstone give gin lovers a glimpse behind the scenes

Just 10 years ago, 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, it’s quite rare for a gin distillery not to host some form of tasting, tour or masterclass. Many are even offering the opportunity for you to make a unique edition of their product at their very own on-site ‘gin schools’.

Given that there are now over 800 UK gin distilleries, chances are there’s someone making this spirit near you. But if you’re seeking out the best tours and tastings for gin discoveries and 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 2023. 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 – 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 three-hour courses where you can grapple with a miniature pot still under the direction of a master distiller. 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 run on-site gin bars, serving visitors a G&T or cocktail as close to the source as it comes.

Gin distillery tours in England



New Forest botanicals – including hibiscus and liquorice – are at the core of the gin being produced by 820 Spirits, all sourced from a local nursery on the outskirts of Lymington. It’s also where you’ll find the brand’s newly launched distillery bar, home to a ‘Spirits School’ where you can craft your own expression based on the local forest flora. You’ll be able to take home your personalised gin at the end of each session – or stick around for another at the horseshoe-shaped bar. An exit via the plant shop should be all the more memorable after a few G&Ts. LR
Shallowmead Nurseries, Lymington, SO41 8PA
From £100

beefeater distillery


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. Hosted, interactive tours last for 1.5 hours and include a tasting of three spirits from the range, plus a G&T at the bar at the end. A ‘VIP’ tour  at £45 adds a welcome cocktail and a visit to the still house: home to the brand’s original Victorian pot stills. LR
20 Montford Place, London SE11 5DE
From £25

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 Hosiery 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
£120 for one, £175 for two

Cambridge Distillery

Cambridge, England

The aim at Cambridge’s innovative distillery is to capture the flavour of its meadow botanicals when they happen to be at their most fresh. This too sees master distiller William Lowe (who is also a Master of Wine) experimenting with vintage releases of the juniper spirit. Expect a trip to the countryside distillery to be an eye-opener, then. Visitors to Cambridge city centre can also get hands on with the brand at its Green Street ‘Gin Laboratory’, selecting to make your own, taste through the range or even take part in a masterclass in molecular mixology. LR
Distillery: 20-22 High St, Grantchester, Cambridge CB3 9NF; Laboratory: 10 Green St, Cambridge CB2 3JU
From £35

Copper in the Clouds

Ware, England

Out on a farm in the Hertfordshire countryside, monthly micro-distillery tours take place introducing visitors to the playful, illustrated bottles of Copper in the Clouds. The brand’s fruity gin expressions include an IWSC Silver-winning lychee and raspberry gin. The small scale of the distillery, founded in 2018, gives enthusiasts a chance to get up-close and personal on a 90-minute tour with the makers, learning how they craft their spirits and enjoying an energetically flavoured gin and tonic in their company. LR
Dowsetts Farm, Collier’s End, Ware SG11 1EF
From £30

Gyre & Gimble

Norwich, England

With its own gin academy and a bar up above serving zero waste cocktails, Gyre & Gimble has firmly established itself on the Norwich scene – and that’s despite launching in the midst of a pandemic. Its Alice in Wonderland-referencing spirits include an IWSC Gold-award-winning gin featuring discarded Pinot Noir pomace collected from a nearby vineyard. At the academy, you can select from a range of 30 botanicals to craft your own gin, with four G&Ts provided for liquid inspiration throughout the course. Finish up with a flight of Negronis at the bar, with twists on the drink showcasing Gyre & Gimble’s Nohow London Dry. LR
14 Charing Cross, Norwich NR2 4AL
From £75

The Henley Distillery

Henley, England

Meet Tony and Mac, the pair of alembic stills producing Henley’s small-batch creations and named after Master Distiller Jacob Wilson’s two gin-loving grandfathers. They take pride of place inside a repurposed threshing barn in Henley-on-Thames. Here, visitors can partake in a brief tour and tasting. Or they can opt for an in-depth introduction to the spirit by operating their own mini pot still in a masterclass that takes place in a barn festooned with fairy lights and fitted with a horsehoe-shaped bar – ideal for that all-important gin-fuelled post-lesson debrief. LR
Hampstead Farm, Binfield Heath, Henley-on-Thames RG9 4LG
From £15

The Maidstone Distillery

Maidstone, Kent

History indicates that gin has been made in Maidstone for more than 200 years and it continues today at The Maidstone Distillery, based in some of the old market buildings in the town centre. There’s nothing old-fashioned about the distillery itself or the bar where the tours take place; the design is geared towards impressing and entertaining visitors, rather than simply allowing them a look at a utilitarian production facility. Tours take 90 minutes and begin with a double G&T at the bar, followed by insights into how the distillery creates its spirits in the ‘experience room’, the tour itself and finally a return to the bar for a guided tasting. Cocktail masterclasses and gin-making courses are also available separately. WM
5 Market Buildings, Maidstone, ME14 1HP

Mousehall Estate

Tidebrook, East Sussex

Another distillery situated in a beautiful place in the UK, Mousehall Estate sits in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in East Sussex. Wine lovers may be intrigued to see that the owners of Mousehall are Gary and Kathy Jordan of South Africa’s Jordan Wine Estate – its Kathy herself who is the guide for the distillery tour. In addition to learning about how Mousehall’s gin is made, the tour includes a five-part tasting of the gin and a sample of the brand’s vodka, followed by a complimentary Gin & Tonic. The wine connection means that Mousehall also has its own winery, with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vineyards on the land. WM
Mousehall, Tidebrook, Wadhurst TN5 6PG

gin shop and bar at masons of yorkshire



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

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, guests get the chance to meet the master distiller and taste the Plymouth Original Gin and its IWSC Silver-medal-winning Sloe Gin, then take a pew in the medieval hall that houses the Refectory Bar and Cocktail Lounge for both traditional and creative gin cocktail serves. LB
60 Southside St, Plymouth PL1 2LQ

From £15

Pocketful of Stones

Penzance, Cornwall

A brand created by four men with plenty of drinks experience gained from various hospitality roles in London, Pocketful of Stones is located in the centre of Penzance, just a short walk from the railway station, in Cornwall. The brand’s portfolio of spirits is not limited to gins, so there’s a brandy, whisky, liqueurs and even an absinthe to try if you visit the distillery, which also incorporates an enticing bar that opens Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. As well as learning about how the spirits are made and sampling the range, you’ll also hear more about the rather unusual backstory to Pocketful of Stones and how it made the transition from a pub basement in London’s Fitzrovia to a dedicated building on the Cornish coast. WM
13 Causewayhead, Penzance TR18 2SN

Sky Wave Gin

Bicester, Oxfordshire

The only gin distillery based on a World War II RAF base, Sky Wave offers visitors a 75-minute experience that includes a distillery tour, a tutored tasting plus a generous four complimentary Gin & Tonics. At the time of writing, the gin range consists of six varieties, including two flavoured with raspberry and rhubarb and orange and vanilla. Sky Wave’s Old Tom Gin scored an impressive 92 points at the IWSC 2023, so is one to look out for. If you’re travelling with people who don’t appreciate gin, Bicester Heritage and Bicester Village are nearby, so there are at least two attractions locally that you can use as bargaining chips if necessary. The distillery also hosts cocktail masterclasses and live distilling events. WM
Bicester Heritage, OX27 8AL

juniper in the distillery at tarquin's cornish gin


Padstow, Cornwall

Around 15 minutes’ drive south of Padstow in Cornwall, where the brand has one of its own shops, Tarquin’s distillery sits on a windswept hill above the coast. The 90-minute tour consists of a Gin & Tonic on arrival, followed by an outline of the brand’s history, a masterclass on the botanicals used in production, a walking tour of the distillery and a tutored tasting of Tarquin’s four core gins. A nice extra touch is the option to wax your own bottle of the flagship dry gin, giving visitors a personalised keepsake from the visit as well as an excellent gin to drink once back home. There’s some great eating and drinking to be done in and around Padstow, and for those who enjoy their wine too, Camel Valley is only half an hour away by car. WM
Higher Trevibban Farm, St. Ervan, PL27 7SH

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 finesse five recipes at a cocktail masterclass. LR
61 New Broadway, London W5 5AH
Tasting, £25; classes from £60

Wyrd Gin (New Forest Spirits)

Hangersley, Hampshire

Wyrd Gin is produced in the New Forest in Hampshire, so the distillery is perfectly placed to combine with a day out exploring the national park. Head distiller Mark is the guide for the distillery tours and is a trained chemist, so has all the know-how you could wish for if you’re after the fine details of crafting a quality spirit. The tour includes a range of samples to try, as well as a complimentary Gin & Tonic on arrival, and lasts 90 minutes. If you’re looking for lunch or dinner in the area, it’s good to know that the distillery is only half an hour’s drive from Angela Hartnett’s restaurant at Limewood Hotel and The Pig at Brockenhurst. Wyrd also offers ‘Distil Your Own Gin’ experiences if the tour whets your appetite for spirit production. WM
Forest Corner Farm, Hangersley, Ringwood BH24 3JW

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, £50

The Copeland Distillery

Donaghadee, Northern Ireland

Just off the harbour of Donaghadee in County Down, Copeland’s coastal spirits – named after the offshore islands once used as a base for smugglers bringing booze into Ireland – include rum and blended whisky, but its Classic Irish and Navy Strength gins were where the story began. It’s an impressive site, an old bottling company and historic picturehouse redeveloped in 2019 to encompass the company’s three pot stills. Learn more about the building’s heritage, take a view across the production floor and sample from the distillery’s citrussy range on a 90-minute yarn-filled tour. LR
Manor St, Donaghadee BT21 0HF
Tour £22.50

Gin distillery tours in Scotland

Edinburgh Gin distillery

Edinburgh Gin

Edinburgh, Scotland

While the subterranean bar and visitor centre might now have competition across the road from the more overt Johnnie Walker Experience, Edinburgh Gin is still a top attraction for spirit lovers in the Scottish capital. In a cave-like space you can learn to craft your own blend on a mini pot still or taste through the popular range of London Dry and flavoured numbers (Edinburgh Gin’s Rhubarb and Ginger expression has been a crowd pleaser for years and just scooped Silver with the IWSC). Other tour and gin tasting options include an evening themed around Scottish ‘tipples, tales and traditions’ or an indulgent evening of gin and chocolate pairing. LR
1A, Rutland Place, Edinburgh EH1 2AD
From £12

Holyrood Distillery

Edinburgh, Scotland

Another essential Edinburgh stop-off, Holyrood is based at the foot of Arthur’s Seat. While whisky is at the core of the operation (this is Scotland, after all), the distillery has been branching out into experimental rum production as well as a range of classy, textured gins tipped for mixing in a Martini. Its Height of Arrows gin label offers a pure expression of juniper and also sees the team experiment in cask-aged offerings. At the distillery, see for yourself inside the on-site ‘spirits lab’ where the team take you through a tasting before unleashing you on your own craft cocktails to take with you back to the bar at the end of each session. LR
19 St Leonard’s Ln, Edinburgh EH8 9SH
From £16

Isle of Harris

Hebrides, Scotland

There can’t be many gin distilleries in the world with surroundings as dramatic as this one. Based in Tarbert on the Hebridean island of Harris, the Isle of Harris distillery sits a few metres from the shore and offers lovers of its seaweed-infused gin the chance to sample the product while hosts share the story of its creation a stone’s throw from where the signature ingredient is sourced. The distillery also makes its own whisky, which you can try on the tour along with the gin, and the local sandy beaches are as good as the drinks. It may be a little out of the way but a visit to this particular distillery is virtually guaranteed to be special. WM
Tarbert, Isle of Harris HS3 3DJ

Praban na Linne

Isle of Sky, Scotland

The Isle of Skye conjures images of whisky but it’s on the south-eastern coast of the island at Eilean Iarmain where you’ll find the Gaelic Gin still house, the home of Uisge Lusach gin. It’s tucked in amongst some historic buildings on the water’s edge overlooking the stone pier. The distillery’s shepherd’s hut is where tastings take place, giving visitors spectacular views across Loch Hourn to enjoy while sampling the gins (and the brand’s whiskies too, if you wish). The brand won medals for each of the three whiskies and two gins it entered in this year’s IWSC, so you’re likely to be as impressed by the spirits as you are by Skye’s stunning scenery. WM
Eilean Iarmain, Sleat, Isle of Skye IV43 8QR

tobermory gin at the distillery


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