Showing posts with label Preparation and Logistics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Preparation and Logistics. Show all posts

Trip To Scotland (May 6/May 22, 2017) - Part I Preparation and Logistics

“Drams Come True 2017 Part 1”

Hello Everybody and Welcome to Best Shot Whisky Reviews!


In 2014, my Dutch brother-in-law Jan Bronkhorst and myself made our first Whisky trip to Scotland. On that occasion we stayed one week on Islay/Jura and one week in Speyside and visited around 40 distilleries. This time around we left Rotterdam on Saturday evening, May 6th and returned safely there on Tuesday morning, May 23rd, after having visited around 20 distilleries in the Lowlands, Campbeltown, Islay Revisited, Arran, Skye, Mull and a part of the Highlands. In 2014 we were very unlucky with the weather. With the exception of 2 sunny days on Islay we had mostly rainy and grey days during those two weeks. This time it was the other way around. We had mostly cool but sunny weather in the first week. The second week was not quite as good with one miserable day on Skye and rain during the last two days in the Highlands. May is usually a good month to visit Scotland. If you plan to make a Whisky trip you should consider the fact that during the last days of May and the first days of June the very busy Feis Ile festival of Music and Malt will be held on the island of Islay. All accommodations are usually booked way ahead. If you prefer a little bit more privacy during the distillery visits (like we), the first 3 weeks of May are the better option.


If you are planning a Whisky trip to Scotland it's better if you don't have to depend on public transport. Lots of distilleries are located in the middle of nowhere and buses are scarce. Only a few taxis will be available and they are often expensive. That leaves you with basically two choices. You can fly to either Glasgow or Edinburgh and hire a car or take the ferry and use your own car. We feel the latter is the better choice if available.

In 2014 we took the Rotterdam to Hull ferry but this time we chose the one from IJmuiden to Newcastle to diminish road time in the UK. The ferry is very crowded during the weekends and our advise would be to avoid this period of the week. As in 2014, we were very lucky and the North Sea was as smooth as a Speyside Single Malt.

If you're visiting (some of) the Scottish Islands, the ferries of Caledonian MacBrayne are the obvious option. We booked all ferries in advance and that worked perfectly. It safes a lot of time and worries!

B&B on Arran


We choose, with one exception in Milngavie (near Glengoyne) where we stayed at the Premier Inn Hotel, to make use of the Bed & Breakfast system. Our experiences are generally speaking quite good and not seldom excellent. My brother in law booked all of them in advance and that proved to be crucial. Because all of our B&B's had the "No Vacancies" sign on when we arrived. Booking in advance is almost a must if you go to specific, whisky related regions. Use Trip Advisor whenever possible and make sure your location is not too far from the pubs if you care to take a pint or a dram at night!

B&B in Tayne 

“A Bed”

“And a Breakfast”

Food and Drinks:

I can't deny that there are people who go to Scotland and have Tea, Marmalade, Toast, Yogurt and Fruit for Breakfast. It's healthy of course but it's not the way to do it over there. We thoroughly enjoyed our Haggis, Black Pudding, Sausage, Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Bacon! A good start of the day when you're on a Whisky Trip like us.

For lunch we limited ourselves to the traditional Soup of the Day that is always widely available, good and not expensive! At night, after a day's hard work, our first mission was to find something like this:

You can of course go to a fancy restaurant but we love pubs. They are friendly, cosy, not too expensive and they have draft beer like Tennants (our favourite) and usually sufficient Single Malts for dessert. Our favourite Pub Foods include the traditional (if you can't smell the oil they are good) Fish & Chips, Haggis with Neeps and Tatties, Pizza and Chicken/Curry. To be honest we did go out for some fish or shell fish every once in a while!

Arran Distillery

Shortly Part 2: The Trip