Discover the best top things to do in Bridgend, United Kingdom (UK) including Bruichladdich Distillery, Bowmore Distillery, Finlaggan, Islay Woollen Mill, Caol Ila Distillery, Laphroaig Distillery, Lagavulin Distillery, RSPB Loch Gruinart Reserve, Bowmore VisitScotland iCentre, Kilchoman Distillery.
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5 based on 697 reviews
We are an innovative Islay distillery producing unpeated Bruichladdich, heavily peated Port Charlotte and super-heavily peated Octomore single malt whiskies. We use a wide range of barley types, including organic and bere, grown on a variety of terroirs including Islay. We also distill The Botanist gin. Mary at the Laddieshop will be glad to organise a tour of our distillery for you and the distilling team will happily answer any questions you may have.
While on Islay for a week in November of 2017, I visited all 8 of the operating Distilleries on the island. My 8th and last stop was at the Bruichladdich Distillery on 13 November 2017 where I had a super visit. It was a somewhat rainy day on Islay but it did not dampen my enthusiasm for my trip to Bruichladdich.
After my arrival, I started my visit with the Distillery Tour. This tour was led by Mary, a longtime employee of Bruichladdich. There was only two other people on my tour so it was very much like a private tour. Mary was very friendly and did a great job of explaining the Whisky making process at Bruichladdich.
Next, I did the Warehouse Experience Tasting that was led by Frazer, one of the younger employees at Bruichladdich. Frazer walked our group through the tasting of samples from 5 different casks in the warehouse. They were all wonderful whiskies and the last sample was an Octomore, a very highly peated whisky, produced at Bruichladdich.
In summary, my visit to the Bruichladdich Distillery was a great way to wrap up a wonderful week on Islay. I look forward to visiting Islay again in 2018 and making some more Whisky memories.
4.5 based on 509 reviews
4.5 based on 234 reviews
The visitor centre had some interesting information about the Lords of the Isles meeting place and the replica/original artefacts on show. However because of recent rainfall access to the island was restricted, unless you had wellingtons, so the visit was only partial. Also, because there is a charge for the visitor centre, it would have been good to have a site interpretation leaflet, with walking route, interesting features highlighted and brief description of wildlife in the area, to give an overview for visitors. Enjoyed our time there, noting as a photographer how the light and atmosphere changed so rapidly.
4.5 based on 145 reviews
This was a very popular visit with our friends and we had a very interesting talk from the owner. The relationship between the mill and the movies is fascinating.The machine noise is loud but it adds to the authenticity of the mill workings.A great visit.
4.5 based on 316 reviews
Caol Ila distillery is one of Islay’s best kept secrets. Situated on the North West of the Island, your initial approach takes in amazing views over the Sound of Islay and over to the Paps of Jura. The distillery itself hugs the coastline, the old dunnage warehouse that dates back to 1900 guards the stunning glass fronted still house. This George Leslie Darges styled building houses the six impressive copper stills which stand guard over the Sound of Islay. Allow some time to take a tour and experience whisky production at its best. Embracing both old and new technologies while utilizing skills going back generations, the distillery produces a well balanced, lightly smoked whisky, punctuated with fruit, spice and a little salt. Complete your visit with a tasting in the atmospheric surroundings of the old cooperage where you can experience some of Caol Ila's world class single malts.
There is no point in me writing a tour to tell you that Caol Ila offers incredible whisky. It does but that is my opinion and your tastes may differ. However, what I will say is that it is not a distillery to miss if visiting the island.
I visited the distillery with three friends. As I was the designated driver we went with the chocolate and whisky tasting so that I could partially join in at the time. One draw back of this distillery is that, like many, the driver takes their whisky away in a small plastic tub. These tend to leak and are not ideal.
However, any negativity was utterly washed away by Emma our incredible guide. She was knowledgable without any sense of superiority; friendly while allowing space for us to talk and very generous in her approach. As I was driving she gave me a second set of chocolates to take away and try with my whisky at home.
Out of all the tastings I have been on I had the most fun at Caol Ila. Don’t miss this one on your visit.
5 based on 854 reviews
For nearly 200 years a small team of dedicated islanders have worked here to create what is considered to be the most distinctive single malt in the world. Of course over time the people change, but our traditional methods, the ancient skills and absolute dedication to quality always remains. We would be proud if you make the journey to visit our home and you will be assured of the warmest of welcomes when you do.
Honestly, Laphroaig is one of the few whiskies I really cannot drink. However, this has no bearing on the experience I had when visiting and the whole thing was excellent.
David, our guide, was absolutely magnificent. Nothing beats experience and it really was a pleasure for us to have someone like that take us round.
Nice touches in the visitor centre and I felt they had a grasp on what was required to deliver a good experience.
Friends of Laphroaig, marketing genius. What nonsense it is but we still stood around in a peaty bog looking for our plot! Hats off to the distillery.
4.5 based on 594 reviews
I was visiting to meet with the staff regarding my Whisky & Heritage Tours and you take a look at the types of tours available to my small group tour guests.
Despite some rough weather and absences due to illness, Emma went above and beyond to give me a warm welcome and did a wonderful job showing me around the distillery grounds being sure to point out some of the new renovations in the process of being completed.
4.5 based on 119 reviews
Loch Gruinart is a working farm as well as a nature reserve.There's always plenty to see at Loch Gruinart. In autumn, thousands of white-fronted and barnacle geese arrive from Greenland. When they leave in spring, wading birds take centre-stage, with the courtship displays of snipe, lapwings, redshanks and curlews. Watch it all take place from our viewing centre and hides, or on one of our trails. During the summer months we offer guided walks, when we'll listen out for the corncrakes in the evening, or take a stroll through one of our trails searching out treecreepers, willow warblers, roe deer and speckled wood butterflies in the Woodland Trail, or on the higher Moorland Trail look out for hen harriers, golden eagles, red deer and marsh fritillary butterflies.
This is a beautiful area on Islay. When you arrive there is a unattended room with coffee and tea for a small donation. Inside there is a movie about Loch Gruinart Reserve. They have pictures of animals and birds you might see on your stay. There is a clean bathroom outside and parking is available. Be sure to wear some type of waterproof boots or shoes. Wear long pants and be aware of ticks. Use a bug repellent as my wife got a deer tick on her and had to get tested when we got back home. Scotland has only a 2% to 4% chance that the tick has Lyme disease so odds are you wont contract it. The landscape is wonderful with native plants and birds all over. There are many editable berries all over but make sure you know what you are eating.
4.5 based on 85 reviews
Bowmore's iCentre is located in the Square in the centre of the Island of Islay. Information is available to make your stay on the Island the best it can be. Our local, friendly team can help you with accommodation, things to do and of course, information on the Distilleries on the Island. We also offer a wide selection of gifts, including local branded souvenirs.
Janice has been here for many years, is local, very knowledgeable and very cheery. Makes your day to talk to her
4 based on 342 reviews
Had a good lunch in the little coffee shop while we waited until tour time.Friendly staff and tasted good, would suggest some dressing on the salad tho.
Our guide was Cara who was great, also nice looking.was good to see a the field to bottle process.
Whisky pretty good and will get better.will look out for in the shop.
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