We are a planning a flying trip halfway October. One of the possible destinations might be Schotland to visit some whisky distilleries. Independent of weather or sampling-and-flying considerations, what airfields are convenient for visiting what distilleries ?
Any tips, stories, experiences to share?
Islay, Oban, etc.
The only issue about Scottish airports being that most are PPR…
Thanks Dan. First of all: your North America report is of eye watering beauty and eternal envy !!
I put Islay on the list. Lemme have a look at Oban.
Well, it kind of depends on what you fly and what sort of airfield you feel you need, but here goes.
Islay has already been mentioned and for a single destination that would probably be first choice since that’s a distillery rich island with its own small regional airport with hard runways.
In the far North in Orkney there is Kirkwall airport (small regional airport with hard runways) with Highland Park and Scapa distilleries not far away
Back on the mainland there is Pulteney distillery in Wick. Wick airport (small regional airport with hard runways) is north of the town and the distillery is on the south side.
Working South is Glenmorangie distillery in Tain. Tain itself does not have an airfield, well it does have a microlight strip but I’m assuming you need more than that. However Dornoch airfield is about 7 miles distant on the north of the Firth and there is Easter airfield about the same distance to the east. Both grass.
There are many distilleries in the Spey valley but not many airfields. Ones I know of are Easterton (grass) south of Elgin with distillery names like Cragellachie, Macallan and Aberlour maybe 15 to 20 miles further South. Then there is Insch airfield (grass) West of Aberdeen with the Ardmore distillery about 5 miles West again.
Islay is probably the easiest for a lot of distilleries. You can rent e-bikes and ride the south side of the island through bowmore, laphroig, lagavulin and ardberg (there is a total of 11 distilleries one the island as far as I know).
The island of Jura with its distilleries is more difficult to visit, but close by. On the way to Islay or when leaving the island you can also visit oban which is just around the corner.
As mentioned Islay has lots of them. What hasn’t been mentioned is that if you plan to visit lots of them, you’ll probably need a rental car. They are available from just across the road from the airport, but they can be booked out. So best to check in advance to avoid disappointment.
Also probably worth your while making an itinery so that you can get in as many as possible during the day. They all have differnet opening/tour hours.
Probably also worth bring a designated driver
If the weather is too bad to come to Scotland, come to Ireland. Cork (Middleton), Tullamore (Tullamore Dew/Kilbeggan), Sligo (Drumshanbo) and Bellerana (Bushmills) are a few that come to mind. Our aeroplane was in Islay during the summer and there was no avgas, just an FYI, sure it’s all sorted now.
We will be flying a 1978 Turbo Arrow III. Grass is possible – hard is preferred.
So far I note:
You don’t need to go all the way to Scotland! Visit an even better one in the south of England:
It’s the absolute leader in the exciting new category of English Single Malt whisky. Fantastic whiskies (exported to over 40 countries), beautiful location in the Cotswolds, and close to Oxford Airport and even closer to Enstone. Great distillery tours available and unlimited tasting.