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Scotch Whisky Experience facts for kids

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Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, Edinburgh - - 932290
The Scotch Whisky Experience

The Scotch Whisky Experience is a whisky visitor attraction located on Castlehill in the Old Town of Edinburgh, immediately adjacent to the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. The centre offers tours and whisky tutoring sessions, alongside a shop, corporate spaces and Amber Restaurant & Whisky Bar.


Opened in 1988, the Scotch Whisky Experience is located in the former premises of the Castlehill School. Although the school was mixed, boys and girls were kept apart by separate sets of stairways – a design feature which the building still maintains. Due to falling school numbers, the school closed in 1951, fulfilling various roles afterwards, including a catering school, an urban studies centre and a general store..


In July 1987, 19 individual Scotch Whisky companies jointly invested £2m to create The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre – a permanent attraction based on the history and development of Scotch Whisky. The new attraction opened on 5 May 1988, changing its name to The Scotch Whisky Experience in 2006.

Visitor Numbers

In 2013, 300,000 people visited the attraction, with more than 155,000 taking the tour. These figures rose to 308,000 people in 2014, with 157,000 taking the tour. While visitors from traditional markets made up the bulk of visitors, people from emerging whisky markets, including China, Brazil and India, made up a large proportion of visitors.


  • Scottish Tourist Board (VisitScotland) – 5* Visitor Attraction
  • Green Tourism Business Scheme – Silver
  • Distillery Experience Awards – ‘Best Educational Experience’ – Winner 2014
  • British Travel Awards – ‘Best Leisure Attraction’ – Bronze Medal 2014
  • Icons of Whisky – ‘Best Whisky Attraction’ – Winner 2013
  • Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions –‘Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction’ – Winner 2011
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