Let the Tour Be-Gin
Gin Tour of the South of England
Taken at its most basic, it’s just a spirit that’s flavoured with juniper. But behind that simple facade lies one of the world’s most complex and best-loved spirits. Discover a history that spans hundreds of years and reaches back to the dawn of distillation. This incredible new tour from Greatdays allow you to explore the origins of Gin. Travel around the UK and visit selected distilleries and discover for yourself the stories associated with its production. At each distillery you visit, there will be a guided tour from an expert and there will be a chance to sample the product.
2023 dates available on request
Arrive, Panoramic Tour and Portobello Road Gin
Arrive at Heathrow or Gatwick, where you will be met and escorted to your coach for the journey into London. Your guide will then take you on a panoramic tour of London so as to get your bearings. There will be the chance to stretch your legs and take photographs, and a stop for lunch will be made.
At the end of the tour, there will be a stop at the Distillery on Portobello Road, a four-floor mecca for the discerning drinker. The first of its kind in the UK, which is not only a working distillery in the centre of London, but also the new home for the internationally-renowned Portobello Road gin and the critically acclaimed gin-blending experience, The Ginstitute.
Continue to your hotel, and check in. The rest of your evening will be at your leisure.
Beefeater Gin and Kew Gardens
After breakfast in the hotel, join your guide, as we head to our first stop at Beefeater Gin which has a history dating back to 1863 when James Borough bought the Chelsea Distillery. He produced many brands of gin, however by far the most successful was Beefeater gin, named after the Beefeater at the Tower of London. Now located in Kennington, Beefeater gin has become the world’s most awarded gin, thanks to its extensive history and experience; Beefeater is responsible for ¾ of all gin imports into the US.
The distillery has a custom built visitor centre, where you can view the original stills. The VIP tour will last around 2½ hours and will explore the distilling process and the company’s history, before the tasting experience begins.
Lunch will be taken in a local pub, before continuing to the World Famous Kew Gardens.
London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy 132 hectares of exceptionally beautiful landscape, home to the world’s most diverse collection of living plants and a scientific research centre of international renown.
Discover beautiful glasshouses including the iconic Palm House and its exotic rainforest; the Princess of Wales Conservatory which invites you to explore ten of the world’s climatic zones; and the Waterlily House with its amazing, giant lily pads.
You can also visit Kew Palace, the former summer residence of King George III.
Evening at your leisure – try one of the traditional London pubs around the hotel.
Sipsmith Distillery & City of London Distillery
This small gin distillery was the product of two childhood friends with a belief in well made gin. The Distillery opened its doors in 2009 and was the first traditional copper distillery to open in 200 years; incorporating modern technology with traditional recipes and techniques.
Your tour will last around 1 hour 30 minutes, with a Ginny tipple in hand you will discover the story of Sipsmith and their three copper stills; Prudence, Patience and Constance.
There will be a stop for lunch in a traditional English pub, before moving onto our next visit and the London Distillery which opened its doors in 2012, a small batch distillery, experimenting with new gins, combinations and flavours. Their London dry gin remains their most popular, however this hasn’t stopped their other gins winning awards; in 2017 the company won three double gold awards at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition.
A 1 hour 15 minute tour at the City of London Distillery will guide you through the rich gin history of London as well as an explanation of the creation of the gin; introducing you to the copper stills.
Return to your hotel late afternoon and the rest of the day at your leisure.
Bombay Sapphire & Hambledon Vineyard
After breakfast we leave the hotel and head out of London, heading south west into Hampshire, and the Bombay Sapphire Distillery (around 90 minutes).
The creation of Bombay Sapphire gin is unique to other distilleries; Ivano Tonutti, their Master of Botanicals, has travelled the world and has personal relationships with all suppliers. Their distillation process differs from that of other gin distilleries; using vapour infusion, their botanicals are suspended above the spirit so that, when the heat vapour rises, it is infused with these aromatic flavours. The distillery remains traditional using stills from the 1850s, whilst also adding two new copper stills for the production of their gin.
On the Master class tour you will be able to wander through this process at Laverstoke Mill, and see the stills and the greenhouses where they grow their botanicals. You will also be treated to a cocktail master class, with the chance to see, taste and smell the botanicals used in the gins!
There will be a stop for lunch at the Red Lion Pub, close to Whitchurch.
We will then continue to the Hamledon Vineyard close to Portsmouth where you will see this beautiful vineyard, nestled on the edge of the South Downs, and guide you round the unique gravity-fed state of the art winery. The experienced staff will explain the processes involved in making sparkling wine.
Rejoin the coach and we head north to Bristol for our overnight stay (around 2 hours). Check into the hotel, where we will have dinner this evening.
The Wye Valley & the Chase Distillery
After an early breakfast, continue north, crossing the mighty Severn Bridge separating England from Wales, we enjoy the scenery as we drive through Monmouth and the Wye Valley .
We will stop at Ross on Wye for lunch before continuing towards Hereford for a visit to Britain’s first single estate gin, Chase. Originally a potato farmer, William Chase felt detachment from his customers and sought a new direction. As the founder of Tyrrell’s crisps, Chase also followed the path of using his potatoes to create vodka and gin. The Distillery use traditional methods, with the tallest rectification tower in Europe, and hand fill the bottles which are sealed on site.
Your tour at Chase Distillery will explore the processes used to create the award winning spirits, as well as a chance to taste the many flavours within them.
Overnight in the regency town of Cheltenham, where your evening is at your leisure.
Cotswolds Distillery & the Cotswolds
After breakfast leave the hotel, and travel into the heart of the Cotswolds, and our first stop will be at this rural distillery located in a unique setting, the first distillery in the Cotswolds. Producing both gin and whisky, the distillery was set up by Dan Szor, a New Yorker who moved to London and wanted to combine his love for whisky with his desire to start a business. Opened in 2014, the Distillery produces spirits in small batches to ensure no corners are cut, and maintain traditional methods.
The tour covers both whisky and gin. The tour lasts 3 hours and includes a tasting.
We will savour our visit to the Cotswolds with lunch in a traditional Cotswold village inn, before heading back to London where we will arrive in the middle of the afternoon, and check into your hotel.
Your last evening will be at your leisure, however should you wish a farewell dinner, this can be arranged in a local restaurant or pub near the hotel.
After breakfast in your hotel, there will be a private transfer to the Airport. If your flight is not leaving until later in the day, you can store your luggage at the hotel, and have a final day at your leisure.
This tour is suitable for groups minimum 15 persons.
For individuals who wish to drive themselves in the UK, we can arrange a similar itinerary.