Rothesay - Isle of Bute

Rothesay – Isle of Bute

“Bute is very accessible and is an excellent island to visit.  The ferry from Wemyss Bay on the mainland arrives at Rothesay, which is a charming seaside town with some lovely Victorian architecture and at it’s centre is the ruined Rothesay Castle.
There are many places to visit on Bute, but the most special for me was St Blane’s Chapel, at the extreme southern end of the island.  It is reached at the end of a minor road (well signposted) and as the road finishes there is a short climb up towards the site.  However, it really is worth the effort.
The site is set in a spectacular location and has excellent information boards that explain the significance of the Chapel and surrounding site.   Make sure you take the time to enjoy the stunning location, which on a summer’s day is truly magical”.


How do I get to Bute?   There are two ferries to Bute.  The main Caledonian Macbrayne Car Ferry is from Wemyss Bay on the west coast of Scotland to Rothesay, which is the main town on Bute.  The other Caledonian Macbrayne Car Ferry runs from Rhubadach to Colintraive on the Cowal peninsula.


How do I get around Bute?   There is a good Bus Service on Bute, which goes all around the island.  Rothesay is the where most of the routes start and end.  Tours around Bute and the surrounding area are available through Shearings Holidays.


What’s worth visiting on Bute?  12th century Rothesay Castle is walkable from the ferry terminal.  Also, behind the castle is Bute Museum where you can explore the Natural and Historical Heritage of Bute. Mount Stuart, three miles south of Rothesay, is a grand Victorian Gothic Mansion with 300 acres of gardens.  It has a Restaurant that sells locally-sourced meals and snacks. Finally, St Blanes Chapel near the southern tip of the island is a 12th century Chapel set in beautiful surroundings.  It lies in a sheltered rocky hollow some 150 feet above sea level with views of the sea and the Isle of Arran.


Where can I stay on Bute?  Here is just a selection of the Hotels, Guest Houses and B & B’s on offer.  Canon House Hotel and Glenburn Hotel in Rothesay as well as Chandlers Hotel in Ascog.  Also, Munro’s B & B and Boat House in Rothesay as well as Balmory Hall in Ascog.  Roseland Caravan Park in Rothesay is the main campsite on Bute.  Finally, if you want self-catering accommodation, you could try Kames Castle Holiday Cottages at Port Bannatyne, Milton Byre and Kingarth in Rothesay, Rhubodach House and Rhubodach Cottage in Rhubodach, Shepherd’s Cottage at Kinsgarth or Treetops in Ardberg.  Other Isle of Bute Hotels are available through Hotels Combined.


Any other information on Bute?  The magnificent toilets on the pier at Rothesay are the most impressive surviving late Victorian public conveniences in Scotland and probably the UK.  They were restored in the 1990’s and are incredibly ornate and definitely worth a visit!


Other islands in Inner Hebrides: Arran, Coll, Colonsay, Cumbrae, Easdale, Gigha, Holy Isle, Iona, Islay, JuraKerrera, Lismore, Luing, Mull, Seil, Tiree, Ulva



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