Heather is here

August 25, 2022 2 min read

Heather is here

History of Heather

What is heather…

Heather – an evergreen shrub with twiggy stems and beautiful purple flowers.

The moorland surrounding Whitby is covered by this captivating plant. For those of you visiting Whitby, you will notice different shades of purple on the moorland as the summer season progresses. 

In July you will notice dark purple patches on the moorland. This is the Bell Heather. This is then followed by a beautiful shade of lilac. The lilac-coloured Ling heather is what we use in Whitby Gin partly because it is found all across the moorland and also because of its delicious piney scent. 


The heather-strewn North York Moors are a sight to behold. Mysterious and enchanting, the moors are exposed to strong winds and relentless rain; it takes a resilient plant to thrive in such hostile conditions. Heather, with its thin leaves to prevent excessive water in high winds, is perfectly suited to this harsh environment. Safety in numbers is another survival tactic; heather plants grown close together to help them survive in strong winds.

So, what does this robust purple plant add to Whitby Gin? Heather is responsible for the subtle floral scent of Whitby Gin and balances out the sweetness by adding earthy and herb-like notes.

Every year we wait patiently for the moorland to turn the beguiling shade of purple. As the moorland comes alive it is our signal to start planning our foraging days. With permission from the North York Moors Authority, we pack our gloves and waterproofs and head out on to this rugged terrain.

This year we took our full team for a morning on the moors. After a successful collection of the shrub we were all well and truly ready for a double G&T. 

To learn more please visit the North York Moors Authority website.