London gin distillery tours are the most diverse and plentiful of any city in the world. The city accounts for a fifth of England’s gin distilleries so if you live in or near the capital you are in luck.
Even if you don’t live near London but are a gin-lover it’s worth making time for a pilgrimage to this gin Mecca.
We’ve rounded up the oldest, classiest and quirkiest London gin distillery tours to make planning your gin-tinerary that bit easier…
The grandfather of London gin claims to be able to trace its gin roots back to 1829. Distillation has been ongoing on this site since 1958, making it London’s oldest working distillery.
Part of the tour includes a smelling of the major gin botanicals which is a nice interactive touch.
Open all day to visitors Monday to Saturday, tours last around 1 hour 30 mins and start every half hour.
Cost: £15. 20 Montford Pl, SE11 5DE. Find out more
City of London Distillery
In addition to the standard tours you can also design your own tipple in their first-rate Gin Lab. In this gin paradise you’re guaranteed to have a brilliant day out.
You can even head to their stylish bar afterwards for a post-tour treat or two.
Cost: £15-£125. 22-24 Bride Ln, London EC4Y 8DT. Find out more
Since 1863, over five generations of the Hayman family have been making gin. This particular distillery opened in London in 2018, setting up shop in Balham.
Tours lasts 90 minutes and includes a welcome English Gin and Tonic, tastings and a close up look at the stills.
Although keen on preserving the ‘true English style gin’ of their ancestors, this new distillery has a modern twist.
They host special ‘ginema’ events, which combine film screenings with themed gin drinks and juniper-infused snacks.
Gin Journey Shoreditch
Mixologist Leon Dalloway leads a tour of the gin’s turbulent history, right up to the present day.
Climb on board The Gin Journey’s ‘gini bus’ where you can experience a chauffeur-driven evening distillery and bar tour. A gin cocktail is served at each location.
Tours take place on Saturday afternoon and Wednesday evening and take place across either Bermondsey, Notting Hill and Shoreditch.
Cost: £60, find out more
Gin distillery tours with a difference, Sipsmith really is a must-visit for gin lovers. It’s more than just a tour, it’s a spectacle.
You can opt for either the tour and the tasting, or upgrade to The Sipsmith Supper Club, and enjoy a gin-centric three-course meal at Charlotte’s Bistro.
They even send you home with a goodie bag and a bottle of London Dry. Perfection, really.
Cost: £25-£85. 83 Cranbrook Rd, Chiswick, W4 2LJ. Find out more
East London Liquor Company
An old glue factory transformed into a gin distillery, the East London Liquor Company is now a gin and whiskey distillery in East London with a bottle shop and bar.
Gin lovers can test the good stuff straight from the ELLC source with cocktails served in the bar based on the distillery’s own London dry and premium batch.
Tours last an hour and a half on selected Friday and Saturday afternoons.
Cost: £35. Unit GF1, Bow Wharf, 221 Grove Road, E3 5SN. Find out more
The Ginstitute was opened 5 years ago when a group of gin-loving friends decided to create their own spirit. They installed a 30L copper pot still called Copernicus the Second.
Now, just down the road, they’ve opened a gin hotel. That’s 4 floors dedicated entirely to gin! The basement is fitted with a 400 litre gin still.
There are a range of tours, experiences and masterclasses to try.
Cost: varied. 186 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, W11 1LA. Find out more
Situated in the grounds of an ex public toilet, ‘Ladies and Gents’ is a distillery and pub like no other.
They’ve kept the old Ladies and Gents light-up sign from its previous incarnation. What’s inside is now thankfully vastly different!
Highwayman Gin is an authentically small-batch London gin; the diminutive 16-litre still makes only 12 bottles a day.
Free tours are announced by Highwayman Gin. 2 Highgate Road, NW5 1NR. See more for details
Half Hitch Gin
Camden was once the beating heart of London’s gin distilling industry. Gin used to be transported all around the world from Camden on a daily basis via an express train.
Half Hitch are tapping into this old entrepreneurial spirit and attempting to put Camden back onto the gin map.
You can enjoy tours and bespoke gin-making classes in this micro-distillery located in Camden Market.
Cost: £64. 53 Camden Lock Place, NW1. Find out more