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Well, that’s certainly a way to end Sober September.
I’m heading back to Europe for a few weeks this October, and I’m kicking things off with a boozy trip around Britain. Alongside Matt of LandLopers and Rachelle of The Travel Bite, I’m spending a week sampling the finest British gins throughout England.
I adore gin. It’s my favorite spirit and I went from a college kid whining about how it tasted like trees to an adult searching out gin’s nuanced flavors. My favorite cocktail is the gin-based French 75. And when I go to high-end bars, I often suggest that the bartender make me something with gin and orange.
So you can see that while I rarely take on campaigns or organized press trips these days, this was one that I was quite eager to join, especially since it was sponsored by the UK Trade & Investment instead of a destination marketing organization.
The three of us are doing different routes that go from England to Scotland to Northern Ireland, and my route includes stops in central and northwest England along with London. (In other news, with stops in Warrington and Northampton, you could call this tour “Let’s Explore Kate’s English Exes’ Hometowns.” Ha.)
Altogether, my route is London-Warrington-Lake District-Liverpool-Birmingham-Cotswolds-Northampton-London. An ambitious five-day itinerary that will have me taking in some of the best distilleries in the country.
I’m excited to make my first visits to the Lake District and the Cotswolds, two of the most beautiful areas in England, along with making my second visits to Liverpool and Birmingham. I actually didn’t do anything Beatles-oriented on my first trip to Liverpool, but this time I’m diving deep into Beatlemania!
But more importantly, I’m looking forward to sampling the gins and finding out what makes British gin so special. And after a month of sobriety, I hope my body can handle multiple distillery visits each day!
Finally, if you’ve been reading my site for awhile, you know that I spent a few years dating British guys and living in the UK half the time. The UK and I thus have a peculiar relationship, one that was fraught with equal amounts of joy and frustration. You could also argue that I became as British as a person like me is capable of being, and I feel like I understand the nuances of the UK more deeply than any other country.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to discovering more of the UK as a tourist, not a girlfriend/quasi-resident. Now I go in with all of the knowledge and none of the pressure. It’s just for fun.
Also: on Monday, October 5, we’re having a Twitter chat about gin and UK travel. The chat will take place at 3:00 PM ET with the hashtag #GREATBritishSpirit. Anglophiles and curious onlookers are welcome. Oh, and there shall be prizes!
So if there’s anything that you want me to cover on this trip, do let me know!
This campaign was created and sponsored by UK Trade & Investment in partnership with iambassador. Adventurous Kate retains all editorial control of what is published.
36 thoughts on “I’m Off to Britain to Sample the Gin”
BOOZ Trip ? I personally have a rough story with Gin but I cant wait to follow your trip!
As you’re in the North West, you should go to The Old Bell Inn in Saddleworth. They have a Guinness world record for stocking 430 types of gin! Find out more at http://www.theoldbellinn.co.uk/gin-emporium/. You should also look out for Forest Gin on your travels. It’s made by a family who forage in Macclesfield forest for their botanicals. Having tried A LOT of different gins, theirs is my absolute favourite. It sounds like you won’t have time, but a team called the Liquorists in Manchester do a gin tasting tour called the gincident. The tour is a must for gin lovers, I learnt so much from them. Hope you have a gintastic trip!!
Sounds like a blast! I also love Gin and French 75 is my fave too!!!!! A lot of bartenders look at me with blank stares when I request it. Hope you have a great time in the UK xx
Why on earth would you go to Northampton? Other than Althorp House perhaps there is nothing there! I grew up there and moved away at the first opportunity. Yorkshire on the other hand is beautiful!
Oh and I suppose Northampton do have a great rugby team also and catching a match always gives a great atmosphere.
Visiting Warner Edwards distillery in Northamptonshire. I’ve been to the city before and I understand your sentiments.
It’s great you’re coming back to the UK! If you have time there is a cocktail bar called Jekyll and Hyde in Birmingham which have a victorian gin cocktail bar which looks pretty good! http://www.thejekyllandhyde.co.uk/gin-parlour/
I absolutely second Jekyll and Hyde!
I’m from the Lake District! You’re going to have such a nice time 🙂
A whole trip centered around alcohol. Well you have wasted no time since finishing Sober September! 😛
Can’t wait to follow along.
Literally my ideal tour…… I cannot wait to follow along, and be more than a little jealous 🙂
I am SO jealous that you’re going to two of the most naturally beautiful spots in England – the Cotswolds and the Lake District. Both are on my Travel Wish List, and I’m expecting a lot of beautiful and inspiring nature photos in future posts. You can’t be drinking Gin ALL the time… right? 😉
Sounds like a great trip! Can’t wait to read about it.
Well that sure is a fun way to see Britain!! And so exciting that you’ll be exploring the Cotswolds too, it’s so very pretty and probably one of the most “British” places you can go. Looking forward to reading about your adventure!
You should really start your tour in my hometown of Blackpool. The only way is up from here I can assure you!l We are coming towards the end of the holiday season we have one mile of promenade full of tackiest bars known to man simply known as the scum run!. ???
I have been very curious about Blackpool, to be honest!
My two favorite spirits will always be whisky and rum, but gin would always be a (very) far third!
Niiiiice! You’ll love the Cotswolds and Lake District. I’ve spent a lot of time hiking around both and they’re so beautiful. Hosted my friend’s hen party in the Cotswolds too! Don’t miss Bourton on the Water and Upper and Lower Slaughter. Much lovelier then they sound!
Welcome to Britain, you’re going to have such a great time. I presume you’ll be visiting the Lakes Distillery? I read about recently on another blog and it looks fantastic. You have to seek out Liverpool Gin when you’re there, I bought a bottle as a gift for a scouse friend and she loved it! Shame you can’t squeeze in a visit to Newcastle upon Tyne, we have an abundance of bars dedicated to Gin including one that opened just a few weeks ago making it’s own gin on site!
Kate! If you like Indian food, you must try Kati Roll Company in Oxford Circus, Bangalore Express in Bank and Lahore Kebab House in Aldgate when you’re in London.
They all sound great!
I LOVE Gin and i’m so happy to see what variations you come across on your tour. I’m particularly fond of elderflower and wild berry at the moment xo
You should try ‘forest gin’ its made in Macclesfield (a 20 min train ride out of Manchester) and its just won a virgin entrepreneurship award
Forest Gin. I don’t think I came across that on my trip!
Love it!! Hhaha this actually reminds me a lot about your post of the champagne being liquid courage and the best travel accessory 😉 Have fun, Kate!!
I had no idea the UK is the largest distributor of gin. It’s definitely my favorite spirit and unfortunately a rare find where I live in Costa Rica. Have a blast and drink an extra drink for me!
Welcome to the UK, Kate! I hope you have a great time here. I love French 75 cocktails, too!
They’re the best! Try an Aviation, too. Very similar but with violets.
i hope you have an excellent trip good luck!!
You’ll have a great time. ‘Lovely to have you back in the UK Kate! I’m from Manchester originally so gin is a fave where I’m from although I’m more of a vodka & champagne girl LOL. ‘Hopefully not together. Haw! Haw!
The Lake District and the Cotswolds are fabulous parts of England and not so far from where I grew up, although the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales were probably that bit closer LOL! Makes me a bit homesick just thinking about it as Britain has the best. THE BEST, countryside in the world.
p.s. Give me a buzz if you’re in Berlin.
I was in Berlin for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it visit! Too bad there was no time to meet up. 🙁
I did not know that the UK is the largest distributor of gin in the world. My favorite drink here in Brazil.
I miss Gin time! Looking forward to seeing how you enjoy England this time around (for fun). Cheers
Looking forwards to see your gin adventure!!
well – that’s a different sort of motivation!
I am a travel freak but I need to know about the budget 🙂 . I have a dream to be there 🙂