Haggis Adventures: Whiskey Explorer
The Scottish highlands envelop some of Britain’s most wondrously breathtaking sights, and by jumping on board the award-winning Haggis Adventures, intrepid travellers are able to explore Scotland’s most treasured gems. Hitting the roads since 1993, the tour group offers a wide range of awe-inspiring trips; from one-day tours to two-week excursions. They even do trips around England and Wales too.
It was half past eight in the morning when the tour bus left the Royal Mile, in the centre of Edinburgh. Despite several pairs of tired eyes, everyone soon perked up when our tour guide, Scott, began to talk about what to expect on the ‘Whisky Explorer‘ tour, as well as the intriguing history of the city we were leaving behind.
Our first stop was the National Wallace Monument, a majestic tower that commemorates the thirteenth century Scottish heroic knight, William Wallace. Practical shoes are a must; boots with no grip and steep hills aren’t a match made in heaven – as I found out! But when I (finally) reached the top, the view across the ancient capital, Stirling, was a sensational view, especially against a backdrop of vast hills and gorgeous valleys.
The next stop was Doune Castle – one of Scotland’s most charming sights, made famous by Britain’s much-loved film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Surrounded by luscious greenery and shrouded in rich history, the adventurers were impressed by its magnificence. Leaving Doune castle, Scott played a rather comical clip from the film, which had everyone on the bus chuckling!
En route to the the whisky distillery, Scott kindly pulled up on the roadside, where hairy coos (Scottish for ‘cows’!) awaited in their shaggy coats, chomping on the frosty grass. They stood staring nonchalantly into the postcard-esque distance, blissfully unaware as we snapped pictures of them. After leaving the hairy mammals, we drove further into the highlands, where we journeyed past the wonders of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
Around midday, we reached the Famous Grouse Whisky Distillery. Entrance into the distillery is optional, but whisky lovers – I highly recommend! Visitors learn how the ‘water of life’ is made, whilst being enlightened about the history of Scotland’s most iconic brand. As an added bonus, you even got to try a ‘wee dram’ of the different types of the Famous Grouse at the end!
After our whisky fix, we headed into the Hermitage, nestled in the heart of the pleasant district of Perthshire. Strolling through stunning woodland towards Black Linn Falls, we were surrounded by magnificent Douglas-firs and the soft hum of nature. The sight of the wonderful waterfall from Ossian’s Hall was the perfect finish to the day.
Once we inhaled our final breaths of the fresh Scottish Highland air, it was time to head back to Edinburgh. Driving into the city – all feeling slightly sleepy after the day’s adventures – Scott blasted out the Proclaimers ‘500 miles’ as the final track on the play-list. With all the miles covered and all the sights seen, the Whisky Explorer is an ideal day trip for those adventure-seeking whisky lovers… Haggis Adventures certainly lives up to its slogan ‘local guides, legendary trips’!
Book your tour at Haggis Adventures
by Rebecca Day