Whitby Gin

The local gin distillers

Most people might get back from a holiday to the Outer Hebrides with perhaps a bit of Harris Tweed as a souvenir – but not this couple. By the time Jessica Slater and Luke Pentith had travelled back to Yorkshire, they’d hatched a plan that would change their lives for ever:  they’d swap their desk jobs and daily commute for a distillery and a routine which found them foraging on the heather moorland above Whitby.

Luke and Jess collecting heather from the moorland by Ceri Oakes

Hands cupped together full of heather flowers by Ceri Oakes

A hand full of juniper berries by Ceri Oakes

Inspired by the islands’ artisan gin makers, they made a business plan, bought a small still and in 2017 Whitby Gin was born. Luke, originally from York, and Whitby-born Jessica had never distilled anything before and freely admit they had a lot to learn. “What we lacked in experience, we made up for with passion!” says Luke. “Our vision was to create a top quality gin which would celebrate the natural landscape we’re lucky enough to live in.”

Luke opening distiller door by Ceri Oakes

They soon started to create their signature botanicals – heather foraged from the North Yorks Moors, sugar kelp from Seagrown in Scarborough and local honey. “With our core ingredients finalised, we set about developing a range of flavours” says Jessica. “Family and friends offered to help taste-test until finally we found what we considered to be the perfect combination.” The first bottles of Whitby Gin were produced nine months later, in the tiny utility room at Luke’s parents’ house. Another 3,000 bottles were produced there while they were still doing their old jobs full time and travelling 100 miles across the country.

Gin bottles lined up with distillers in the background by Ceri Oakes

In 2020, they were awarded ‘Bronze’ in the World Gin Awards, and 2023 will see a stylish, contemporary distillery and visitor centre open next to Whitby Abbey overlooking the town.

Until then they’re continuing to distil their gin “in Dora-Grace our 300L Copper still. The name is a tribute to Dora Walker, an unsung hero of Whitby who was the only female skipper in the North Sea during WW2” says Luke. “We’ll be making gin in a state-of-the-art still, but Dora will be on show in the visitor centre!”

Whitby Gin

Business details



Phone number

07535 096137

Purchase products

Their award-winning London Dry Gin – which includes Bramble & Bay and Yorkshire Rhubarb is available in a number of shops in and around Whitby or buy via their online shop

Distillery tours

Tours run 3 days a week. Friday and Saturday at 11am, 1pm and 3pm with Sunday tours running at 11am and 1pm. Book a tour


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