Whisky Bus from Inverness

Our Whisky Bus tour from Inverness has been carefully crafted to give malt whisky fans an excellent introduction to the Highland and Speyside whisky regions.

We have selected four of our favourite distilleries, each of whom is delighted to provide our guests with a different experience, from a behind the scenes distillery tour at Tomatin Distillery, to a warehouse tasting at Glenfarclas Distillery, each visit is unique. Combined with a tasting session at Glenlivet distillery, a visit to either Aberlour (Fridays) or Macallan (Mondays) and a tour of the Speyside Cooperage too, this really is a day out to remember!

Key Information:

8.45am – 6.45pm

Departure Point: Inverness Bus Station

£89 / $112 / €99

Mondays and Fridays 1st April – 30th September 2019

Guaranteed departures, we never cancel tours … ever!

Luxury mini-coach coach with A/C, WiFi and USBs

Independent local company

£33 of whisky tastings and tours included

Free cancellation up to 72 hours prior to departure

Easy and convenient online booking

Your Itinerary:

Tomatin (1)

Our first stop is at Tomatin Distillery, where whisky production is believed to have been a way of life since as far back as the fifteenth century. Hundreds of years of experience may go partway to explaining why their whisky is so special, and we wholeheartedly agree with their motto of having “a whisky which is as easy to enjoy as it is hard to forget”! At Tomatin you will be taken on an distillery tour, which will give you a great foundation for the day ahead. After the tour you will be encouraged to “experience the softer side of the Highlands” with tutored tastings of three specially selected drams.

Glenlivet Distillery (2)

We then head east through rolling countryside, skirting the Cairngorm National Park, to arrive in Speyside, where over half of Scotland’s 89 operational malt whisky distilleries are located. Our next stop is Glenlivet Distillery, which recently announced that it had “become the world’s number one single malt Scotch whisky brand”. This is a fantastic opportunity for fans to experience the distillery first-hand, with a tutored tasting of three drams in one of their most exclusive tasting rooms. Following this, you will have some time to browse the exhibition, where you can find out more about the irrepressible spirit of The Glenlivet. You may also wish to browse the shop or try some whisky cake in the café!

Glenfarclas Distillery (3)

Our next stop is Glenfarclas Distillery, one of the few distilleries in Scotland which is still family owned, and a favourite of our customers due to its informal ambience and unique history. Here we will enjoy an introduction to the distillery and a dram in the unique surroundings of their bonded warehouse. After that we will be escorted inside, where you can enjoy a second tasting of this traditional Speyside malt, with heavy sherry influence, in the luxurious surroundings of The Ship’s Room.

Speyside Cooperage (4)

Cooper at work at Speyside coopeageCasks are an integral component of the whisky production process, with the flavour and quality of whisky being partially determined by the type of cask it is matured in. At Speyside Cooperage, the largest working cooperage in the UK, highly skilled coopers are still using traditional skills to restore and repair casks. We will be treated to a 4D audio-visual presentation, before heading to the viewing gallery to admire the coopers at work.  You can even try your hand at making a mini-cask too!

Monday Tours - Macallan Distillery (4)

NEW FOR 2019 – Our Monday tours visit the Macallan Distillery Visitor Centre. Details to follow!

Friday Tours - Aberlour Distillery (4)

On our Friday tours the last stop of the day is at Aberlour Distillery,  where we are guaranteed a warm welcome from their knowledgeable team. Situated in the pretty town of the same name, bang in the middle of whisky country, we end our whisky extravaganza on a high with a complimentary taste  in the delightful setting of one of their dramming rooms.  You will then have time to browse their compact yet delightful shop.

Tour Gallery

When you book onto the Whisky Bus you are booking the following:

£33 worth of tastings and experiences (including at least 8 drams!)
An amazing WOW Scotland tour guide to entertain and look after you on your journey
Well-appointed coach featuring reclining seats, AC, USB ports and WiFi
5 Star VisitScotland rated tour company
Number 1 Inverness tour company, with a 5 star-rating, on TripAdvisor
A company you can trust; member of both Visit Scotland and Visit Loch Ness

We had a fantastic time on this one day tour. A nice variety of distilleries and site seeing along the way. About 10 wee drams each! Stopped to see a hairy coo. Great tour Sandy!

Leah C

Amazing Whisky Bus! The WHOLE day exceeded expectations! We picked the tour as it had the most distilleries included. All were a great selection, each offering different experiences! And to visit the cooperage as well – just great! Gordon never failed to keep us entertained! Cannot recommend this tour enough!

EL

The Speyside Whisky Bus was an absolute treat. Our guide ensured that the tour was the highlight of our trip to Scotland. His knowledge of the area, its history and the distilleries was outstanding. I would highly recommend this tour.

Tracey

Wow, indeed! Getting to see an amazing variety of distilleries with Sandy’s friendly guidance made it the highlight of our Scotland trip.

Sarah

Frequently Asked Questions:

If you’ve any questions about the Whisky Bus tour you should find the answer by clicking on the relevant section. Should your question not be answered please contact us and we’ll be very happy to help.

What sort of vehicle do you use?

In 2019 we will be operating two main vehicles on this route; a 28-seater and a 30-seater.  The 28-seater was build especially for us in 2018 and you can read all about it here!  The 30-seater will be brand new in 2019 and will be of a very similar specification.  Both vehicles are very well-appointed, with panoramic windows, comfortable reclining seats, USB ports under every seat and on-board WiFi.  You can rest assured that you will be able to relax and enjoy the majestic scenery in complete comfort.

Where is the pick-up point in Inverness?

We pick-up from Stance 7 at Inverness Bus Station, Margaret Street, Inverness, IV1 1LT. Look out for the kilted WOW guide and white D&E coach (with WOW sign in the dashboard) and you won’t miss us!

Can children come on the Whisky Bus?

Unfortunately this tour is not suitable for children under the age of 18, as some of the distilleries are unable to accommodate children on their tours.  If you have children with you we would recommend that they, along with an adult, take our Highland & Speyside Explorer Tour, which runs on the same coach as our Whisky Bus.  This will give them more opportunity to enjoy the day, and there is a great children’s playground at Ballindalloch Castle!

Can we be picked up and/or dropped off somewhere else?

For our Whisky Bus and our Highland & Speyside Explorer Tour we can offer pick-up from Carrbridge Train Station, for those travelling by train from Edinburgh or Glasgow. The pick-up is at around 1050 (to meet the train arriving at 0957). You must inform us if you want to do take this option, as we will not stop in Carrbridge otherwise.

We can also drop you off in Carrbridge at the end of the day, to get the 1916 train back to Edinburgh/Glasgow.

What time does the tour start and finish?

This tour departs promptly at 8.45am (0845). Please ensure that you are ready to board the bus at 8.30am (0830) as we will leave promptly at 8.45am (0845), and are unable to wait for any latecomers! The tour will return to Inverness city centre at approximately 6.45pm (1845) – it is possible that we may return a bit later than this although we always try to keep to our schedule as much as possible.

Where will we be stopping for lunch?

The arrangements for lunch are still to be confirmed for 2019  but are likely to be similar to those described below;

We will take orders on the coach for a sandwich lunch from The Glenlivet Distillery. The lunch is priced at £7 for your choice of sandwich, soft drink, crisps, fruit and a chocolate bar. Please bring cash as lunch cannot be paid for by card.

You can choose from the following options:

  • Scottish ham
  • Scottish roast beef
  • Scottish cheddar
  • Brie and cranberry
  • Tuna mayonnaise
  • Egg mayonnaise
  • Coronation chicken

We can also offer a gluten free lunch option which consists of: oatcakes, cheese, crisps, fruit, cake/chocolate bar and a soft drink.

You may be interested to know that The Glenlivet uses locally sourced Scottish produce as much as possible, with suppliers including the Connage Dairy, Cobbs Bakery, Maclean Highland Bakery, Williamson Fruit and Veg, Struan Apiaries, GC Mackintosh Butchers, Graham’s Dairies and Barrs.

Will we be stopping for coffee/snacks enroute?

There are coffee shops at Glenlivet and at the Speyside Cooperage, where you can pick-up snacks and tea/coffee. If you don’t wish to waste valuable malt tasting time then please feel free to bring refreshments with you on the coach.

Will we have time to shop for whisky?

Every distillery we visit has a shop selling their own whisky, plus a range of souvenirs, so we would definitely encourage you to buy your whisky enroute (just make sure you check your country’s rules regarding duty free, as you may well be limited to taking one or two bottles home!). We don’t stop at any other shops along the way.

Can I book with confidence?

Yes! We know that you have a choice of tours, and we are always reviewing our offering to ensure that we are providing the best tour, combined with the best value for money and best customer care, from the minute you land on our website.  We are confident that we do this, and are proud to have been awarded a 5 star rating from VisitScotland in 2016, 2017 and 2018 for providing “exceptional” tours.

Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor (as of  September 2018 we had 1265 5 star reviews) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 activity in Inverness.

For those who are unsure about booking with a small company, please click on any of the following links for assurance that we are a member of the national tourism body; Visit Scotland and also of the local tourism body; Visit Loch Ness.  WOW Scotland has also featured in a number of local and national publications including Wanderlust, Coast Magazine, The Houston ChronicleThe Boston GlobeThe Vancouver Sun,  Scotland Outdoors Magazine, Scottish Life magazine (Autumn 2013 p 49), German TV programme Euromaxx and the Inverness Courier (our logo has even featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Johnny English Reborn..and we are looking out for logo in a new Hollywood film soon – watch this space!).

What forms of payment do you accept?

All payments are taken through our secure online booking system, which utilises Stripe. We accept almost any debit and credit card, including American Express (we cannot accept Diner’s Card or Discover).

 

What are your terms and conditions of booking?

Our terms and conditions can be found here. You’ll find a general overview of our cancellation terms in this FAQ section if you don’t want to read though all the T&Cs!

Is it possible to pay on arrival?

Due to high demand for our tours, we are unable to secure your booking unless you pay the full amount in advance. That being said, you are welcome to come to the bus stop in the morning and, if there are places available, you can join the tour and book/pay online on our website.

Do you offer guaranteed departures?

Yes, if you book onto one of our tours then we will run this tour, regardless if anyone else has booked on or not!

We have never had to cancel a tour yet but, if the weather forecast was so bad that we considered it dangerous to travel, then we may have to cancel a tour. However, this is extremely unlikely, and we would do our utmost to accommodate you on an alternative date.

Do you offer group discounts?

For groups of 10+ please contact us for preferential pricing.

Can I cancel my tour if I change my mind, or if I am unable to get to Inverness for any reason?

Yes, and our cancellation terms for scheduled tours from Inverness (i.e. Isle of Skye Tour, Whisky Bus and Highland & Speyside Explorer) are as follows;

  • If you cancel your tour at least 72 hours in advance of the scheduled departure then we will refund you in full (note that any fees paid for seat upgrades are non-refundable)
  • If you cancel within 72 hours of the scheduled departure you will not be entitled to a refund. However, if we are able to re-sell your place then we will be able to issue a partial refund, so please let us know if you need to cancel, no matter how last minute it is.

Unfortunately we cannot make exceptions to these rules, as it would be unfair to treat customers differently.

Please note that booking direct with WOW Scotland (rather than through an online agent) gives you the best cancellation policy!

Why should we choose WOW Scotland?

We know that you have a choice of tours, and we are always reviewing our offering to ensure that we are providing the best tour, combined with the best value for money and best customer care, from the minute you land on our website.  We are confident that we do this, and are proud to have been awarded a 5 star rating from VisitScotland in 2016, 2017 and 2018 for providing “exceptional” tours.

Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor  as of October 2018 1266 out of 1405 reviews rate us as excellent) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 activity in Inverness.

For those who are unsure about booking with a small company, please click on any of the following links for assurance that we are a member of the national tourism body; Visit Scotland and also of the local tourism body; Visit Loch Ness.

I am planning to drive to the tour pick-up point then leave my car – is this possible?

Absolutely.  Rose Street car park is right next to the tour pick-up point and you can find further information on parking here.

I am planning to stay in Dingwall/Conon Bridge/Muir of Ord/Beauly – can I join the tour?

Absolutely! There is a train regular train service running between Dingwall, Conon Bridge, Muir of Ord, Beauly and Inverness, which allows you to get to Inverness in time for the 0830 departure time, then get back again in the evening. For more details, click here

I am planning to stay in Elgin/Forres/Nairn – can I join the tour?

Absolutely! There is a train regular train service running between Elgin, Forres, Nairn and Inverness, which allows you to get to Inverness in time for the 0820 meeting time, then get back again in the evening. For more details, please click here

I am planning to stay in Edinburgh/Glasgow – can I join the tour?

Unfortunately there is no public transport from Edinburgh or Glasgow which will allow you to arrive in Inverness by 0830, and no public transport departing from Inverness for these cities after 2045. Consequently, if you wish to travel from one of these cities, and take the tour, all in one day then you will require your own transport (the drive takes approx 3 1/4 hours to either city).

I am planning to stay in Aberdeen/Inverurie/Huntly – can I join the tour?

If you have a car then you can certainly drive to Inverness, park for the day and join the tour.

If you wish to travel by train, unfortunately it it not possible to take the first train in the morning from Aberdeen to Inverness, as it arrives at 0836, which is after our departure time.  However, if you can stay in Inverness the night before the tour then there is a train back late evening at 2133 (except on Sundays, when the last train is at 2103 – we would strongly advise against taking this train if you are on the Isle of Skye Tour as we sometimes arrive back later than planned).

Consequently, we would suggest that you stay in Inverness the night before the tour, then return to Aberdeen on the last train back after the tour.

Is the itinerary fixed/guaranteed?

The itinerary has been carefully planned to ensure that you get the most out of your day. However, there are factors outside of our control, such as traffic flow, road closures and adverse weather, which mean that, on rare occasions, we may not be to achieve everything listed in the tour itinerary. Consequently, we reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary, although this will be a last resort, and we will endeavour to visit alternative places of interest instead.

Do I need to bring cash with me on the tour? If so, are Euros/US dollars accepted in Scotland?

It is advisable to bring some cash (GBP £) on all tours. Credit/debit cards are widely accepted but, in some small shops (or for smaller purchases), cash is the only option.

Please note that American Express is not commonly accepted in Scotland, but Visa and Mastercard should be fine. Unfortunately very few places will accept other currencies such as Euros or US dollars.

Can I bring dogs and other pets on the tour?

Unfortunately dogs and other pets are not able to travel on our tours. If you are partially sighted or blind and use a guide dog to get around please do get in touch to discuss ways in which we can accommodate you and your dog.

Can I bring luggage?

Yes, we do have space for a limited amount of luggage. If you wish to bring luggage please contact us before booking. There are also left luggage facilities at Inverness train station for those travelling back to Inverness (please contact the station to find out opening times of this facility prior to use).

Who will our tour guide be?

One of our highly competent local guides will lead your tour – you can read all about the team on our About page, or have a look at their reviews on TripAdvisor.

Should I tip my guide?

If the tour meets or exceeds your expectations then please feel free to tip as it is always very much appreciated. However, please rest assured that tips are not expected in Scotland, so no offence will be taken if you don’t tip. It is worth noting that, if there is a separate driver and tour guide on your tour, they always split any tips equally, so it is fine to give money to either one of them.

Does the tour only run on the dates listed on your website?

Yes, you’ll find the most up-to-date tour dates on our calendar.  Scheduled tours will only run on the listed dates.

Do you offer any other group tours?

Yes, our scheduled group tours from Inverness are listed below;

Isle of Skye tour
Whisky Bus
Highland & Speyside Explorer Tour
Outlander-inspired Walking Tour

I’m a travel agent, can we work together?

We work closely with a number of agents all over the world and welcome enquiries from all travel agents. Whilst we are unable to offer travel agent discounts on private tours, we can offer commission on our scheduled coach tours, for those agents who are sending us their clients on a regular basis.

Do you offer foreign language tours?

At the moment we only offer tours in English, and we are unable to offer any translation services.  This is something which we are working to improve in the future but, for now, hopefully the fantastic Highland scenery can speak for itself!

Do you have any reviews?

Yes, lots! Check out our TripAdvisor ratings to see what our customers say about us (we are currently number 1 in Inverness, have 5 stars and have been awarded a Certificate of Excellence – which means we rate amongst the top 10% of TripAdvisor businesses worldwide – every year since we started the business in 2010!)

You can also see reviews for WOW Scotland on YelpFacebook and Google

How do I get to Inverness?

To find out how to get to Inverness click here. 

Where can I stay in Inverness?

Once you have booked your tour we are happy to send you our list of recommended accommodation providers in Inverness and Skye. As a start, click here for a short list of where to stay in Inverness and Loch Ness.

Book your tour: