Ardbeg, Three Distilleries walk

Three Distilleries

Route: The Three Distilleries Walk

Area: Southern Islay

Date of walk: 21st March 2022

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 4.5 miles

Ascent: 100 feet

Weather: Mixed cloud and sun

Islay is world famous for its peated whisky, and it’s possible to visit three of the iconic waterside distilleries in the course of a single walk – Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig 

A waymarked route along the coast has been specially created for this purpose, and it is very easy to follow. Although the route is a linear one, a regular bus service runs between the start at Port Ellen and the finish at Ardbeg. We decided to get the bus journey out of the way first so that we’d be sure of our timings. We caught the 9.10am bus, operated by Islay Coaches, out of Port Ellen and about 10 minutes later alighted at Ardbeg. The distillery is nearby and, once inside the visitor centre, we booked a tour. Depending on the season it may be necessary to book in advance, and depending on your preference you may decide to book with one of the other distilleries – or all three of them, though bear in mind you have to walk back to the start, as whisky tastings are part of the experience

After a fascinating tour of Ardbeg, which lasted about an hour, we set off on the walk back to Port Ellen. It has to be said that the walk is a means to an end, and not the end itself. The Three Distilleries and their long history are the focal point of the walk

The route follows a tarmac path beside the road and this detracts from the surrounding scenery, even though the road is a quiet one. Along the way we called in to Lagavulin and Laphroaig but didn’t have time for additional tours, so continued back into Port Ellen to end the walk, one which I can highly recommend to anyone who has a passing interest in fine malt whisky

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

Scroll down – or click on any photo to enlarge it and you can then view as a slideshow

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