Cumbria’s first distillery, the Lakes Distillery, opened recently, bringing whiskey to the lake district. Needless to say, the location is slightly more south of the border than one would expect, but this offers the perfect opportunity to witness a whiskey tour like no other, without having to travel further afield.
The distillery site is housed in an 1850s restored model farm which sits beside the stunning Bassenthwaite Lake, in the Lake District National Park. The whiskey is made using water from the nearby River Derwent and is distilled using only local resources to ensure that the product is truly Cumbrian.
Tours of the distillery run from 11am until 5pm every day and take approximately 45 minutes. Taking visitors on a journey of discovery, the professional tour guides showcase the distillery processes. The state of the art audio-visual tours also tell the story of Lancelot Slee, a local quarryman, farmer and notorious smuggler in the 1800s.
The tours culminate in the tasting room, where visitors can sample not only the distillery’s whiskey, but also the Lakes Gin and the Lakes Vodka, offering something to warm the cockles for every taste preference. Arguably, the best part of the tour is the £5 discount voucher, which comes with the tour ticket, to be used with the purchase of any 70 cl bottle bought in the on-site shop.
You can team your distillery visit with one of a whole host of other activities on offer, be it a trip to the beautiful market town of Keswick, a bracing hike up Skiddaw (one of the highest peaks in the area), or a round of golf. A tour of the Lakes Distillery would give any budding whiskey connoisseur a day to remember. You can then unwind when you head back to your four-star hotel, Borrowdale Gates.