Published: May 15, 2018
The UK is home to a selection of thriving vineyards that produce deliciously tempting wines, with some even beating Champagne in blind taste tests! What's more, they offer a wonderful day out – explore the picturesque scenery, find out more about the process of making wine, and of course, sampling the end product. Many vineyards are the ideal chance to hire bikes so you can arrive at leisure and don't have to worry about driving back. We've put together a list of our favourite UK vineyard tours and wine tasting experiences for you to enjoy when holidaying in Britain.
Growing and making wine for over 20 years, Camel Valley is nestled in Bodmin and offers tours and tastings. Having just been awarded a royal warrant for their sparkling wine by HRH the Prince of Wales, these award-winning wines are also served in first class on British Airways. Perfectly embodying the relaxed Cornish way of life, Camel Valley can either give you a grand guided tour, or you can simply spend a few hours on the terrace soaking in the sunshine, taking in the views and sipping away.
Nearest Best of British Park: Hendra Holiday Park
Only five miles away from the dramatic Jurassic Coast, Furleigh Estate in Dorset is certainly rooted in history. With soil that's been millions of years in the making, it comes as no surprise that this 85-acre vineyard produces award-winning wines that are enjoyed around the world – even in Japan and other areas of Asia. Taking a stroll through the estate, you might even catch glimpses of local wildlife including pheasants, partridges and even grazing deer. After roaming around you'll be taking to the winery where you can get a behind-the-scenes look and samples to taste.
Nearest Best of British Park: Highlands End Holiday Park
Using the same Traditional Method that's used to create Champagne, Chapel Down vineyard produces world-class still and sparkling wines using locally sourced fruit. Supplying iconic institutions such as The Royal Opera House, Turner Contemporary and No. 10 Downing Street, it comes as no surprise that these wines have attracted fans such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey. After being introduced to Chapel Down, you'll be guided to the vineyards to learn more about how the unpredictable British weather is used as an advantage to grow fantastic fruit – and of course there's tasting in the Cellar Door area or Wine Sanctuary too!
Situated in the scenic beauty of the Cotswolds is Three Choirs vineyard and brasserie. The unique Gloucestershire landscape provides a microclimate that's absolutely perfect for growing the grapes that become some of the finest wines that the UK has to offer. As one of the oldest UK vineyards, you're sure to benefit from their vast knowledge as you saunter through the vine-clad valleys and browse the information boards that feature along the way, before receiving five wines to taste (and a 20% discount on any you'd like to take home).
On the site of a former apple Orchard Biddenden Vineyards has been growing grapes and producing wine since the late 1960s. Now home to 11 different varieties of grape, their award-winning wines span a range of whites, rosés, red and sparkling English wines. Still run by the generations of the same family, the tours take you through their wine-making process before you can taste the end result alongside sharing platters of local cheeses, chutneys, crackers and charcuterie.