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Record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont opens new visitor experience at Brora’s Clynelish Distillery

Scots cycling legend Mark Beaumont has officially opened a new visitor experience at a whisky distillery in Brora.

The new Highland Home centre at Clynelish Distillery, located on the North Coast 500 (NC500) tourism route, is an interactive, multi-sensory experience celebrating the whisky’s unique story, as well as revealing stories of the local people, landscape and culture.

The attraction is part of Johnnie Walker owner Diageo’s wider £185 million investment into tourism in Scotland, redeveloping a network of visitor centres across their distilleries.

Beaumont, the fastest man to cycle around the world, is an ambassador for the NC500 and welcomed the investment in sustainable tourism and the new offering it brings to the iconic route.

Barbara Smith and Mark Beaumont

Beaumont said: “Scotch whisky is such an important part of Scotland’s tourism eco-system, along with our incredible natural environment and our beautiful highland and island communities.

“It is vital that we rebuild tourism in the right way for the environment and the community. The future has to be about high-quality visitor experiences that are thoughtful about their local environment, and it is great to see that exemplified with the new Highland Home of Johnnie Walker at Clynelish Distillery.”

Clynelish is the latest Diageo distillery, alongside Lagavulin, Blair Athol, Oban, Brora, Glenkinchie and Royal Lochnagar, to receive a Gold Standard Green Tourism award.

© Till Britze
Inside the visitor centre

Barbara Smith, Managing Director of Scotland Brand Homes for Diageo, said: “We are delighted to be able to open the doors to Clynelish and celebrate the welcomed return of visitor attractions and domestic travel.

“Sustainability from grain-to-glass is at the heart of our ambition for the future. Through our tourism investment in Scotland, we are focused on creating destinations that will be sustainable in the long term, and we’re glad to have Mark here today to champion this.”

Clynelish Distillery will open for domestic visitors from across the UK, in line with the latest advice from the Scottish Government on tourism and travel.

Diageo has also begun a staggered reopening plan for its other Scotch whisky visitor experiences, which will see ten of its 12 distillery brand homes gradually reopen to the public in the coming weeks.

Smith added: “The reopening of Clynelish is very much part of a carefully planned, phased return of tourism that is respectful of local communities. The safety of our people, the local community and our visitors is always our first priority.

“There is still a long way to go before we once again welcome our international guests, but for now we are focused on our neighbours in Brora and the highlands, and staycation visitors from around the country, who we know will love the experience we have created.”

Diageo has also worked with Euan’s Guide, the disabled access charity used by thousands of disabled people to review, share and discover accessible places to visit, as part of the Clynelish redevelopment to make the brand home more accessible for visitors.

The improvements include the introduction of dedicated parking bays, improved signage and a new lift installed in the visitor centre.

For more information and to book a tour at Clynelish Distillery, visit