After a hard day’s exploring (or an easy day’s relaxing) what better way to unwind when on holiday than with an afternoon brewery tour? You can soak up the historic surroundings, learn about one of the UK’s oldest industries, and (most importantly) enjoy a tipple  and perhaps buy a bottle or two to take home. Here are our top 5 recommended brewery and cider tours in the UK…

1. Shepherd Neame Brewery

Founded in 1698, Shepherd Neame is officially Britain’s oldest brewer. Set in the historic market town of Faversham, Kent, the fully-operational brewery offers a great selection of tours for fans of Kentish ale. Alongside sampling some malted barley and viewing traditional mash tuns, guests can experience some tutored tasting. There’s an evening tour that rounds off with a two-course supper, and new to 2013, a beer and food matching evening. If you plan to visit Shepherd Neame why not make it a weekend getaway and stay in one of our rental properties near Kent like King Johns Hunt Lodge. Location: Kent Bookings: For bookings and the full tour brochure click here.

Shepherd Neame Brewery - England - Wei-Feng Xue

Shepherd Neame Brewery – England – Image courtesy of Wei-Feng Xue via Flickr

2. Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm

Situated in the peaceful Cornish countryside, the traditional cider (or cyder as the locals call it) farm belonging to the Healey family was only established in the late 1980s, although many of the techniques and equipment date back hundreds of years. Guests can enjoy a tractor ride through the orchards, see the distillery and press house in action and sample Healey’s scrumpy, several types of whiskey and apple brandy to complete their tour. We’ve got a selection of luxury country homes near Cornwall which would make it the ideal base to explore the region. Location: Cornwall Bookings: Book online with Healey’s.

3. Jennings Brewery

A large brewer based in the Lake District, Jennings was established in 1828 and moved to its current location in the historic city of Cockermouth, Cumbria in 1874. All of the beers produced on site are made from traditionally pure Lakeland water, drawn from the brewery’s own well. Ales – pale and dark – and bitters can all be sampled at the brewery’s Old Cooperage bar. With so much to explore in the region you may want to stay a couple days in one of our nearby luxury properties. Location: Cumbria Booking: Book online via Jennings Brewery website.

Jennings Brewery - England - Image courtesy of Gavin Wilson via Flickr

Jennings Brewery – England – Image courtesy of Gavin Wilson via Flickr

4. Adnams Brewery

Although the process used by Adnams is less traditional than the others noted above, the advanced technologies used behind the Victorian walls of this Suffolk brewer help them to reduce their energy and water consumption, making them an eco-friendly option. The state of the art equipment adds an additional layer of intrigue to the tour too, particularly for those who have previously visited breweries, and the 30-minute tutored beer tasting is almost worth the admission alone. With so much cultural richness to appreciate. Location: Suffolk Booking: Book a tour at Adnams brewery and distillery here.

Adnams Brewery - England - Image courtesy of Adnams via Flickr

Adnams Brewery – England – Image courtesy of Adnams via Flickr

5. Westons Cider Tour

The name behind some of the UK’s most popular traditional ciders, Westons has been running since 1880 and their tours offers a real insight into large-scale cider making processes. Tours during their harvest period, from September through to December, are of particular interest and give visitors a chance to see the process from orchard to glass. The ideal way to explore the region is to stay in one of our nearby properties, in the South West. Location: Herefordshire Bookings: Book your tour with Westons here.

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