Dotted with beautiful Victorian gardens, fishing lochs and featuring three premier golf courses, the Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde nestles just north of Arran and has long been one of Scotland’s most popular isles with visitors. Accessible Bute is a mere two miles from Glasgow, and many visitors take the scenic route from Glasgow flanking Loch Lomond through the sublime Arrochar Alps to Colintraive where you can pick up the 5 minute ferry crossing to Rhubodach.
An alternative longer ferry route runs regularly from Wemyss Bay on the Inverclyde coast across to Rothesay. This is both a car and foot ferry service, with a journey time of about 45 minutes. Main town Rothesay is an idyllic step back in time to the Victorian era. The resort is famed for its mild climate, and features a magical mix of palm fringed promenades and heritage seaside architecture from Winter Gardens to Art Deco pavilions and 1920s pagodas. Don’t miss a visit to Rothesay’s famed Victorian public lavatories adjacent to the pier!
Highlight attractions include Bute’s Ascog Hall Gardens and Victorian Fernery spread across 3 acres and brimming with typically Victorian exotics from butterfly and fern houses to rose gardens. Bute’s lochs are popular fishing lochs, rich in Brown and Rainbow Trout and Pike, whilst the Isle’s three golf courses – Rothesay, Port Bannatyne and the Bute Golf Club at Kingarth are all spectacularly situated.
Many visitors make the trip across to Bute for the Isle’s magnificent sandy beach bays, from the vast sweeping sands of Ettrick Bay to breathtaking Stravannan Bay facing Arran. Bustling Rothesay Bay offers plenty of opportunity for water sports including windsurfing and jet skiing. The Ascog area just south east of Rothesay is a popular diving area.
Walking and activities on the Isle of Bute are another highlight on this island holiday near Glasgow. The Rhubodach Forest area offers a wealth of cycle and foot paths and the West Island Way runs the full length of the Isle. Find places to stay on the Isle of Bute with iknow.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.