Ancient Earth and Distillery Tours

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Ancient Earth and Distillery Tours is the only archaeological tour company on the North-east coast that is run by professional archaeologists, who live and work here all year round and have an in-depth knowledge of the historical and archaeological sites, and of course, whisky and gin distilleries of the region.

There are two tours available (both include pick up and drop off at your desired location):


Day Tour 1: A Rare Pair 10am - 5.30pm (7.5 hours)

You will spend the morning visiting Easter Aquthorthies Recumbent Stone Circle and learning about the history of Scotland's best preserved example of a recumbent stone circle, one of a few that still has its full complement of stones.

Following that you will enjoy lunch at Meldrum House Hotel, a Charming 13th century baronial mansion offering locally sourced ingredients of the season.

After lunch you will get a lesson in Scotland's water of life at Glen Garioch Distillery where you will get a change to sample the perfect blend of whiskies and cheese. The balance of ripening fruit, heather honey and a base of barley malt spices and nuts, all interwoven with Glen Garioch’s signature creamy texture, brings out the flavours in cheese, making the union a sublime match. This tasting experience will include whiskies from the Glen Garioch portfolio paired alongside Scottish cheeses and chutneys.

The tour will finish with a stop at Inverurie Whisky Shop where you can purchase whisky and a wide selection of other drinks.


Day Tour 2: Crathes Castle and Royal Lochnagar Distillery 10am - 5pm (7 hours)

Royal Lochnagar Distillery was awarded its Royal status in 1848 when John Begg invited Prince Albert to visit the distillery from the nearby Balmoral Castle, the Queen's residence in the Highlands. The next day the distillery was visited by Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their three eldest children. The distillery then became known as Royal Lochnagar.

Warren field at Crathes Castle is home to the world's oldest calendar created by Hunter-Gatherers around 10,000 years ago. An archaeological excavation uncovered a series of 12 pits which mimic the phases of the moon and track lunar months. The Mesolithic ‘Calendar’ is thousands of years older than previous known formal time measuring monuments created in Mesopotamia. Lunch will be included at Crathes Castle.