Speyside Whisky Trail
3 day tour

  • Speyside Whisky Tours of Scotland
  • Speyside Cooperage
  • Elgin Cathedral
  • Dunkeld and the Hermitage
  • Speyside Whisky tours from Edinburgh
  • Dalwhinnie Distillery

Relax with a dram in Speyside’s finest malt whisky distilleries on this tour from Edinburgh.

Tour map

Tour Highlights

Distilleries
National Parks
Mountains
Lochs
Forests

Lindores Abbey Distillery - The oldest written reference to whisky mentions this location. Sample a dram at the modern distillery and drink in the history.

Dalwhinnie Distillery - Try not to get too light-headed as you sample whisky at Scotland’s highest distillery.

Cairngorms National Park - Gaze in awe at Scotland’s most beautifully rounded peaks.

Speyside Cooperage* - Learn about the lifecycle of a whisky cask.

Cardhu Distillery* - The first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming

The River Spey - One of Scotland’s most important rivers for salmon farming and whisky distilling.

Elgin - Visit this spirited town and explore the best little whisky shop in the world.

Royal Deeside - Throughout history, the Royal Family have loved exploring this gorgeous region of Scotland.

 

Your journey

 

Join this whisky tour and wake up in a whisky lover’s paradise. This tour takes you to Speyside, home of over half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries. You get the chance to explore four distilleries, learn how whisky is intertwined with Scottish culture, and venture through the beautiful Cairngorms National Park.

 

Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08:30 (tour departs at 08:45) - Edinburgh Bus Station Pick Up, Gate J and Gate K, inside Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Finishes (approx.)
18:30 - Edinburgh Bus Station Drop Off, Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Luggage
You're restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.
Discounts

Students, and seniors over 60

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • Unfortunately, we don't carry anyone under 18 years old on this tour
  • Access to distillery production areas may not be possible
  • Some distilleries offer tutored tastings instead of tours
  • Distilleries may be substituted
  • Some attraction tickets can be purchased in advance when you book your tour. You’ll have the option to add at check-out. Other attractions will not be available to book beforehand, instead you can purchase those while on tour.
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Tour accommodation
  • Attraction entry tickets

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Travel through the inspirational landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park
  • Sample your first delicious whisky of the tour

You head north through the Kingdom of Fife, stopping for refreshments along the way before heading to Glenshee viewpoint for a view out over the kingdom. You then enter the UK's largest National Park, Cairngorms National Park. This will be a stunning drive, so keep your cameras ready. 

You stop in Braemar and have some time for lunch and a little explore. A bite to eat is a good idea though because your next stop is Royal Lochnagar Distillery*. The outstanding flavour of its whisky was appreciated by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on one of many visits to their summer residence, Balmoral Castle.

Once you’ve warmed with this dram of “the gentle spirit”, you continue through the Cairngorms National Park before reaching Grantown-on-Spey, your base for two nights. If the group is feeling up to it, you can stop in at The Whisky Castle shop for another cheeky tasting along the way.

 

​​​​*If your tour departs after 1st April 2024, on this day you'll visit Lindores Abbey Distillery and visit The Whisky Castle instead of Royal Lochnagar Distillery.

Day 2

  • Understand the craftsmanship of the whisky cask at the Speyside Cooperage
  • Discover a distillery pioneered by a woman

Time for some fun. Today you spend the whole day exploring Scotland’s most famous whisky region. Your first stop is Cardhu Distillery*, which is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming. Today, Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label.

After lunch in nearby Aberlour, you travel along the Spey River to Craigellachie for a visit to the Speyside Cooperage**, where you see another aspect of the whisky making process.

After a scenic drive towards the coast, you head to Glen Moray, where you can try whisky matured in a wide selection of casks.

Time permitting, your driver-guide might stop in at Sueno's Stone for a quick photo, where you can admire this incredible Pictish standing stone. From here you travel back to Grantown-on-Spey.

*Please note that Cardhu is observing their silent season from 28/09/2023 to 20/10/2023. Tours visiting Cardhu during this time will have a tasting and a talk about the production process at Cardhu. Unfortunately, access to the production facilities will not be available during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience.

**Speyside Cooperage is visited on Monday and Wednesday departures.

Day 3

  • Visit Dalwhinnie, Scotland's highest distillery
  • Venture through the dense woodland of the Hermitage

In the morning you visit Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, set in splendid mountain scenery at the heart of the Cairngorm National Park. 

You then leave the Highlands and journey south to Perthshire. Lying in the heart of Scotland, Pitlochry is a beautiful little town with plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes. The time is yours to explore and have some lunch.

From here the route south takes you to the stunning wee village of Dunkeld, where you've got some time to explore before heading to your final whisky experience of the tour. 

Lindores Abbey Distillery is a modern Scottish distillery built on the site of the first ever recorded distiller in the country. The beautiful flavours of their whisky have been enjoyed since 1494, owing its origins to the Tironensian monks that lived at Lindores Abbey, or the ‘Church by the Water’, over half a millennium ago.

You then over the Firth of Forth, take in the magnificent South Queensferry bridges, and head back into Edinburgh.

**Itinerary and distillery visits are subject to change.

*​​​​*If your tour departs after 1st April 2024, on this day you'll only visit one distillery - Dalwhinnie Distillery 

Attractions

Tour Attractions

You are able to pre-purchase entrance tickets to the following attractions at the time of booking:

  • Dalwhinnie Distillery
  • Lindores Abbey Distillery
  • Royal Lochnagar Distillery* (until 31st March 2024)
  • Glen Moray Distillery
  • Speyside Cooperage (Strathisla Distillery will be visited during April-May instead)
  • Cardhu Distillery

Other attractions may be booked and paid locally during the tour.

 

Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in Grantown-on-Spey in the Cairngorms National Park.

How can I book accommodation?

Accommodation is not included in the price of your tour. To book accommodation, there are two options: either Rabbie’s Tours can book it for you, or you can book your own. For information on how to do this, please see the ‘Accommodation’ tab on FAQ page HERE.

Alternatively, please email us your questions at tours@rabbies.com or call us on +44(0)131 226 3133.

Information you can find on the FAQ page, under the ‘Accommodation’ tab: types of accommodation, room types, the booking process, getting to and from your accommodation, and cancellation terms.

How much will the accommodation cost?

We book accommodation with third-party providers on your behalf and each property sets their own rates. Rates vary considerably depending on the accommodation standard, facilities, location, and local demand. We therefore can’t tell you exactly how much your accommodation will cost until your request has been allocated to a specific property.

As a guide, you can expect to pay the following prices, per person per night:

 

Approximate prices, per person per night

Overnight Location

 

Sole Occupancy

Multiple Occupancy

 

(1 person per room)

(2+ people per room)

B&B Standard

£80 - £120

£60 - £80

UK & Northern Ireland

€80 - €120

€60 - €80

Ireland

B&B En-suite

£100 - £145

£55 - £95

UK & Northern Ireland

€100 - €145

€55 - €100

Ireland

Hotel

£110 - £190

£75 - £145

UK & Northern Ireland

€130 - €235

€75 - €150

Ireland

NOTE: Prices quoted are for guidance only and may be higher on some occasions, especially for last-minute bookings and when demand is high (E.g. peak season, weekends, holidays, special events etc)

Breakfast will be included unless otherwise noted. The type of breakfast provided will vary from place to place so you may receive either a full cooked breakfast, a continental style breakfast (E.g., toast, fruit, cereal), or a packed breakfast bag or tray (E.g., porridge pot, fruit, granola bar).

FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies. 100% charges are applicable, and you will not be entitled to a refund or alternative.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of 48 hours for our one day tours, 15 days for two to nine day tours, and 21 days for 10+ day tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.

Can Itineraries change?

Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. Your driver-guide will keep you up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com , or check out our full FAQs .


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