We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Open today: 09:00 - 17:00
Save
Book In Advance
Tours from Scottish Routes tend to sell out - travellers recommend booking in advance!
  
Ways to Experience Scottish Routes
from US$852.98
More Info
from US$108.92
More Info
from US$852.98
More Info
Reviews (46)
Filter reviews
35 results
Traveller rating
34
1
0
0
0
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
34
1
0
0
0
Show reviews that mention
All reviews bowmore house islay distilleries distillery tour andrew and alison perfect trip malt whisky highly recommend this tour day tour private tour trip to scotland fantastic tour his knowledge scottish history lagavulin ferry oban adnams
Filter
Updating list...
1 - 6 of 35 reviews
Reviewed 29 November 2018 via mobile

Recently did the malt whisky, craft gin and beer tour with my girlfriend. It was a fantastic day from start to finish; from a very slick checking in experience - through the engaging and very informative tales of Brian on whisky manufacture - to the distilleries themselves. Brian demonstrated a very palpable passion and pride for Scotland's place in the whisky story; our stops were clearly structured and the planning and execution of the day was spot on. A great tour

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Mikey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExperienceTeam, Guest Relations Manager at Scottish Routes, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2018

Hello Mikey,

Thanks for joining us on our 1-day Malt Whisky, Craft Gin and Beer tour. Glad to hear you and your girlfriend had a great day out with us. Hopefully, we'll see you on another tour soon!

Kind Regards,
Clare

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2018

During our private 9-day tour around Scotland, organised by Scottish Routes our group of 10 were looked after two drivers: Andrew Jones and then Brandon Davann. Both proved to be not only skilful drivers, but also very competent guides. They shared with us a wealth of information on Scottish history, places of interest and local culture and traditions, including Scottish music, which we could appreciate on the bus. In addition, they offered us good advice on local restaurants and helped us make our bookings. They were very flexible as to the choice and order of sights and the time spent at various locations, stressing each time their readiness to accommodate our preferences. They also helped us with our luggage carrying it to and from our hotels. Finally, they were both very nice, caring and sensitive people, with a great sense of humour. We believe that their personalities and their excellent service played an important part in our highly positive and memorable experience of Scotland.
A group of friends from Warsaw, Poland

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Agnieszka L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExperienceTeam, Guest Relations Manager at Scottish Routes, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2018

Dear Agnieszka L,

Thank you for choosing to plan your private tour of Scotland with us. I'm very happy to read your wonderful feedback about both Andrew and Brendan. It sounds like you had a fantastic time!

Kind Regards,
Clare

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2018

We just recently returned from an epic adventure, beautifully choreographed by Scottish Routes Sarah and Clare, and flawlessly directed by Marti. We decided on two days on our own in Glasgow, followed by an 11-day guided tour, and finally wrapped it all up with two days in Edinburgh. While much of my focus was on whisky, especially from Islay, we had a small group with two couples, and we wanted a mix of history, architecture, sightseeing, and hiking.

Marti certainly did not disappoint, starting off on several different story lines and multiple historical eras as soon as we got in the van. He expertly started and paused each story line waiting for us to reach future destinations that would make the story unfold further at the location of the actual events.

Our tour took us from Glasgow via ferry to Brodick on the Isle of Arran for two days, to Campbeltown, then to Islay for three days, before heading up the west coast via Oban, Ft. William, Inverness, Grantown-on-Spey for two days, and finally down to Edinburgh. During this time, our story lines included ancient history of the mysterious Picts with their standing stones and cairns, Norse influences, and the landing and influence of St. Columba. Another era was that of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce of the late 1300’s. We spent a lot of time on the Jacobite rebellions of the late 1600’s and mid-1700’s including visiting the site of the infamous Glen Coe Massacre, and ultimately the ill-fated Battle of Culloden, where they have a fabulous museum. We also rode the Jacobite Steam Train, now famous from the Harry Potter movies. The Jacobite story was followed through the Highland Clearances, and merged into the illicit whisky trade, with the influence of the excise men to legalize and tax whisky.

As to whisky, there was an enormous amount to see and sample. On Arran, this included a distillery tour and tasting of The Arran Malt, which was quite enlightening as to why distillation of whisky so well aligns with Scottish sensibilities where nothing is wasted in the process. On Campbeltown was a stop at Glen Scotia for a wee dram, followed by a tour and tasting at J&A Mitchell, producers of Springbank/Longrow/Hazelburn, and their smaller sister Glengyle making Kilkerran. On Islay, we visited all eight active distilleries and passed by Ardnahoe, the newest one coming online soon, as well as Port Ellen, currently handling only maltings, but with rumors of returning soon as the once legendary distillery. Of the Islay distilleries, we stopped by for wee drams at Lagavulin, Caol Ila, and Bunnahabhain. We did a full tour and tasting at Laphroaig; a full tour, tasting at my favorite Ardbeg, plus a last minute table tasting of some rarer editions; a full tour and tasting at Kilchoman, the only distillery with malt on the floor; and a warehouse tasting direct from three single casks at Bruichladdich. Later on the trip were tastings at Cardhu, The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, and a stop at The Macallan and their brand new, exceedingly modern facility which was both beautiful and somehow sterile and cold at the same time.

While all of the Scottish Route’s suggested B&B accommodations were excellent, we have to put in a special word for the hospitality of Margaret at the Lambeth House in Bowmore on Islay, and we couldn’t more highly recommend our time with Stewart and Jamie at Firhall in Grantown-on-Spey.

As this was our first fully-guided custom tour, we were so pleasantly surprised by how much insight we gained through an experienced tour guide. Marti is a Blue Badge member of the Scottish Tour Guides Association, meaning he is qualified to guide anywhere in Scotland. It is not an exaggeration to state that Marti is known by almost everyone at every venue we visited throughout the country, often eliciting an excited “Marti!” response, similar to Norm as he arrived at the bar in “Cheers.” What else is there to say, other than we are already starting to discuss plans for a future visit to see the Outer Hebrides, other locations in the Inner Hebrides like the Isles of Skye and Mull, and then up north to Orkney.

Barry and Pam (Colorado/USA) and Mike and Alla (Virginia/USA)

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank Barry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ms-ClareD, Guest Relations Manager at Scottish Routes, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2018

Hello Barry, Pam, Mike and Alla,

Thank you for your incredible review - delighted to hear you had a great time on tour with Marti, and enjoyed your stays at the organised accommodation. Can't wait to hear from you soon to start planning your next Scottish adventure!

Kind Regards,
Clare

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2018 via mobile

We joined a Scottish Routes tour in order to visit Islay - and its distilleries! - as part of our trip to Scotland. I’m so, so glad we did! Brian was an incredible, knowledgeable, entertaining guide; the lodging at Bowmore House was spacious and well-run; and each distillery tour was unique and informative. We never could have replicated such a good experience by planning it on our own. Thank you, Brian & Scottish Routes!

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank charrock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ms-ClareD, Guest Relations Manager at Scottish Routes, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2018

Hello!

Thanks for choosing Scottish Routes, we're delighted to hear you had a great time on tour with us and enjoyed your time with our tour guide Brian, your stay at Bowmore House and of course the wonderful Islay distilleries!

Kind Regards,
Clare

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2018 via mobile

Wow!! This tour was simply amazing and unforgettable. Brian was a wonderful tour guide and went above and beyond. He is extremely knowledgeable about Islay, Scottland and the history. Book this tour and you will not be disappointed, trust me. Brian, if you read this good luck with one day moving to Islay, you made the experience unforgettable.

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank Edward J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ms-ClareD, Guest Relations Manager at Scottish Routes, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2018

Dear Edward J,

Thanks for joining us on tour, delighted to hear you had a great time exploring Islay with Brian.

Kind Regards,
Clare

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2018

What a fantastic tour. From our fabulous tour guide (Barney), the travel arrangements, accommodations and of course the whiskey!!! And as a bonus, a rare sighting of the woolie seals of Islay.

Travel: The tour started from Edinburgh where we then traveled through the country side to pick up the ferry that would take us to Islay. The bus accommodated 16 or so, but we only had 11, so we were very comfortable. Our main destination on day one was getting to the ferry to take us to Islay. All went well and the ferry was big so we could stretch out. Our tour guide made enough stops for us to stretch and see some of the sights along the way. I don’t have enough words to describe how great our tour guide was. He was extremely knowledgable of Scotlish history and country side. He entertained us with stories and music, and he knew quite a lot about the actually distilleries we would soon visit. He was awesome.

Accommodations: We stayed at the Bowmore House in Bowmore. Andrew and Alisha were great hosts at this B&B. Rooms were spacious, very clean and the beds were comfortable. We were served a hearty breakfast every morning to get a good base down before our whiskey excursion. Delicious assortment of food to accommodate anything you might want. Bowmore itself has a few restaurants and pubs so we were able to find dinner in the evenings very easily. There is also a small grocery store there that has most essentials.

Whiskey Tour: The whiskey tour was fantastic. We visited 7 of the 8 distilleries on Islay. The only one we didn’t visit was actually the one in Bowmore. However, It was possible to see if you wanted to before we headed out. We estimated that we had over 50 drams of tastings. Obviously plenty to get a feel for the different whiskey profiles offered. The highlight of the whiskey tastings was the opportunity to drink cast strength whiskey that we pulled right out of the barrel. We did this at 2 of the 7 distilleries. The others offered a nice variety of tasting as well. My education in the art of whiskey making was greatly enhanced and I feel my palette is more sophisticated after tasting many peaty centric whiskeys. I had considered myself more of a Highland/Speyside scotch drinker, but I am now more interested in the taste profiles offered by the Islay whiskey makers. I can’t say enough about this part of the tour. Just great!!!

Woolie Seal Sighting: When traveling on Islay, some of the trek takes you close of the beach. Our tour guide had mentioned that we should be on the look out for “rocks that move” as seals will sometimes inhabit Islay. But little did we know that we would see the rare sighting of the woolie seals. Just beautiful animals. Hope you get the opportunity to see one on your tour.

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank Pat G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ms-ClareD, Guest Relations Manager at Scottish Routes, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2018

Dear Pat G,

It's been wonderful to read your review. It sounds like you had an incredible time on Islay with Barney! I will be sure to pass on your feedback to him and also the Andrew and Alison at Bowmore House. Glad of course that you enjoyed Islay's incredible whisky too!

Kind Regards,
Clare

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews