Grapes, hops and junipers

by Katie Rowe

Category: Things to do
June 4 2014

Drink up England with vineyard tours, gin tastings and an adventure ale trail through a national park.

Sip English sparkling

Nyetimber in Sussex produces some of the finest English sparkling, rivalling the very best in the world, including a certain country across the channel. They don’t give tours yet, but there are plenty more English wine producers who offer behind-the-scenes experiences, including Chapel Down Winery deep in the Kent countryside. Book a guided winery tour and wander through sun-kissed vineyards while swotting up on Vin Anglais before sampling fine wines. Elsewhere, admire row after row of grapevine fading into rolling hills in the distance on a relaxed tour at Camel Valley in Cornwall. If you’d rather skip the tour, pop open a bottle of award-winning White Pinot Noir Brut instead and admire the views from the terrace.

Drink Gin like Churchill

Drink up the authentic English gin experience by taking a 40-minute tour of the Black Friars Distillery in Plymouth, the oldest working gin distillery in England. You’ll be guided around the working home of Plymouth Gin since 1793 and  find out about the history of the distillery, which used to be a monastery. If you’re as much of a fan of gin as Churchill was of Plymouth Gin martinis, opt for the Master Distiller's Private Tour where you’ll create and distil your very own gin recipe. And if that still hasn’t quenched your thirst for the crisp juniper berry-infused beverage, there are plenty of gin cocktails to choose from at The Refectory Bar.

Go on an adventure ale trail

Dramatic scenery, cosy accommodation, local food and real ale are all on the menu with Jennings Adventure Ales Trails in the Lake District. Head out and explore England’s biggest National Park with a brand new series of ‘real ale trails’ plotted through some of the county’s most dramatic valleys. The walking routes combine all of the best things about The Lakes, whether you want to strap on your hiking boots and cover lots of ground or spend time pottering round hidden corners. Whichever trail you choose, you’re sure to enjoy both striking scenery and a great selection of locally-brewed ales along the way.

In other news…

The Lakes Distillery, Cumbria’s first whisky distillery, will open later this year. Housed in a former Victorian farm in the Lake District, it will make the most of Cumbria’s perfect whisky-producing conditions, distilling its own malt whisky and gin.

Gin fans will love the new Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, also set to open later this year. Bombay Sapphire has worked closely with famous designers to create a glasshouse that will house Bombay Sapphire's 10 botanical ingredients, along with a bar and school. 

Experience more of England’s favourite tipples.

Katie Rowe

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