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Glenkinchie Distillery

A wonderful whisky distillery offering tours for a unique taste of Scotland's 'water of life.'

TravelCurious Tip

They also operate a shuttle bus to and from Edinburgh, so you can try all their whiskies without having to worry about the drive back!

Ask people to free associate words with Scotland and you will probably hear tartan, haggis, bagpipes, Braveheart — and whisky. It is Scotland’s national drink, and has been produced here for centuries: the first records of production date back to 1494 when Friar John Cor was granted the king’s commission to make ‘acqua vitae’ — the water of life (read: eye-watering grog).

The Glenkinchie Distillery is one of Scotland’s most famous. Found roughly 15 miles from Edinburgh, it lies just south of the picturesque village of Pencaitland and draws its water from the Lammermuir Hills. Founded by John and George Rate in around 1825, it’s renowned for its single malt whiskey, known as ‘the Edinburgh malt’.

A history of whisky

In 1969 the Glenkinchie distillery stopped malting its own grain and the malting floors were converted into a museum of malt whisky. Here you can find an example of an illicit still, a large scale model of a distillery, and a variety of displays that introduce you to the principles of malt production.

Browse the wares

After the education, you’ll want to sample a few drams. The standard 12-year-old Glenkinchie is described as fresh and light in character, with notes of lemon and cut grass and a hint of peat. It was crowned the Best Lowland Single Malt at the 2013 World Whiskies Awards. The 14-year-old Distiller’s Edition is double matured in Amontillado sherry casks, which add an extra something special.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Edinburgh
Museum of Edinburgh
Edinburgh's treasure box - a maze of historic rooms full of objects from the capital’s past.
Holyrood Palace
Holyrood Palace is the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland.
Scottish Parliament Building
The first in almost 300 years of history, the home of the Scottish Parliament is the most controversial building in Scotland.
Rosslyn Chapel
Scotland's medieval masterpiece is among its most beautiful heritage attractions.
Roslin Castle
A grand semi-ruined castle overlooking the River Esk.
Nicolson's Cafe / Spoon
Claimed to be the birthplace of Harry Potter, Nicolson's Cafe has now been replaced by Spoons.

Related Tours

Day Trip from Edinburgh to Rosslyn Chapel, Melrose & the Borders
Scotland is a nation renowned for its natural beauty. On this full-day excursion to the Scottish Borders, discover the stunning architecture of Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin Castle, and Melrose Abbey.

  • Enjoy a scenic drive to Roslin
  • Hear about the bloody battles and interesting discoveries at the village of Rosslyn 
  • Explore the mysterious interiors of Rosslyn Chapel and Roslin Castle
  • Head into the heart of the Scottish Borders, towards the natural beauty of Melrose
  • Discover the beautiful architecture of Melrose Abbey 
  • Stop for a traditional Scottish lunch at Melrose (not included in price) 
  • Visit spectacular Scott's View 
  • Pay your respects at Sir William Wallace's memorial 
  • Round your day off at Glenkinchie Distillery, learning and sampling some of Glenkinchie's finest malts (samples not included in price) 
  • Enjoy a drive back to Edinburgh 
Mysterious Roslin

You will begin your tour with a short scenic drive to Roslin, a small village just 7 miles from Edinburgh. The tiny village of Roslin, is home to an amazing legacy of Templar knights, medieval conspiracies, and bloody battles.

Heralded as the eventual reliquary of the Holy Grail, the mysterious Rosslyn Chapel is full of exquisite medieval carvings depicting intriguing biblical, masonic, pagan and Templar themes, not found anywhere in the world. You will also have a chance to visit Roslin Castle, which remains an imposing shadow of its former glory.

The Scottish Borders and Beyond

You will then head into the heart of the Scottish Borders, to the town of Melrose, an area rich in hills, valleys and rivers - and birthplace of the game of Rugby Sevens. Home to the lavish Melrose Abbey, founded in 660, you will explore the beautiful architecture and the fascinating lives of the medieval monks who lived and died here. In Melrose, your guide will recommend a spot for enjoying some traditional Scottish fare before you continue your tour. 

After lunch, you will head to Scott’s View, one of the most spectacular vistas of Scotland. You will also have the opportunity to pay your respects to the huge monument of Scotland’s greatest warrior hero- Sir William Wallace. Intriguingly this massive monument was lost for eighty years, with no-one apparently remembering where it was. Rounding the day to warm your insides, visit to the charming Glenkinchie Distillery, one of few Lowland distilleries left in Scotland. Here you will learn about, and sample some of Glenkinchie's finest malts.

 Enjoy Scotland's treasured lowlands and enjoy the beauty of Scotland's natural landscapes, while marvelling at several of its most world-renown sites. 


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