Hawick tourist attraction on top of the world after accolade

A tourist attraction in Hawick is celebrating after being rated in the top 10% worldwide this year for rave reviews from visitors.

Director John Forsyth at a still named after him.
Director John Forsyth at a still named after him.

That accolade for the Borders Distillery has come courtesy of travel review website TripAdvisor.

The Commercial Road business has been awarded a travellers’ choice top 10 rating by TripAdvisor as a result of the consistent five-star reviews it has been given by satisfied visitors since opening two years ago.

It offers tours of its distillery building, a former electrical works built between 1888 and 1903, showing guests how it makes its single malt Scotch whisky, William Kerr’s Borders gin and Puffing Billy steam vodka.

Unusually for its trade, those tasked with showing visitors around are the business’s distillers rather than professional tour guides.

That’s one of the main reasons the tour has proved so popular, believes John Fordyce, director and co-founder of the Three Stills Company, owner of the distillery.

He said: “We have a different system to everyone else in the industry. Most people have professional tour guides, but here it’s our distillers who do all the work on the touring, so everybody’s experience is different in a funny sort of way.

“The reason that I am so pleased with this award is that all the public that have come in have probably had a tour which is different to the other tours because it is dependent on which distiller they get and yet the results have been universally popular, and that shows you what a good job the team are doing.”

The distillery opened to the public in May 2018 and shut down on March 23 after the Uk went into lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Tours started up again on July 15 and ran at close to capacity for most of the summer.

Mr Fordyce added: “Since we resumed, I would say we are 80 to 90% capacity on slots.

“It was obviously much busier when Hawick was full with all the staycationers, but even now there is a steady flow.”

For further details, call 01450 374330 between 10am and 4.30pm on weekdays.