Mount Stuart is known as the jewel in the crown of Bute, but it’s far from the only treasure on the island there are so many other things to see and do that make Bute a perfect Scottish holiday. You can take afternoon tea at the well-known Ettrick Bay Tearooms, explore Rothesay Castle or Bute Museum to find out why the island is so special, seal watch at Scalpsie Bay or visit the still-working Victorian public toilets at Rothesay harbour. Or why not visit the villages of Bute where you can discover the birthplace of a Christian saint at St Blane’s near Kingarth or a tiny piece of England at Kerrycroy, modelled after a quintessentially English village.
Those who enjoy a more active holiday are spoilt for choice, with a range of outdoor activities to pursue including walking, fishing, cycling, kayaking, sailing and golfing. Walkers can tackle the West Island Way, an adventurous route that allows you to see the island in your own time, while Loch Fad in the centre of Bute offers those who love to fish the opportunity to do so in glorious surroundings. Hire a bike from the Bike Shed and take advantage of the flat coastal roads and stunning scenery – Bute is well known for its varied wildlife and you might even catch a glimpse of a red deer or a golden eagle as you cycle. There is a fascinating array of birdlife on Bute, for birdwatchers of all ages, providing a feast for the eyes in the winter months.
Keen golfers can choose from one of Bute’s three golf courses, each with its own challenges but all with spectacular views. And speaking of spectacular views, Bute’s beautiful coastline makes this a perfect choice for sea farers. Bute offers a choice of marinas and berthing options and is also one of Scotland’s world class sea-kayaking destinations. Whether a novice paddler or a seasoned sea kayaker, you can explore Bute’s varied coastline with Kayak Bute.
Bute enjoys milder climate than many other Scottish islands and the warmer climate has also allowed a fine collection of beautiful gardens to flourish: as well as Mount Stuart’s own magnificent grounds, you can also visit Ardencraig Gardens at Ascog. We also have an avid bird-watching community who record and enjoy over 200 species of birds found on Bute.
Places to Stay
We have a wide range of self catering properties across the island to suit every visitor but if you would prefer to stay at a hotel, B&B or closer to town there are plenty of options on Bute we recommend. You can purchase discounted tickets to Mount Stuart from any of these businesses.
A family-owned guesthouse in the centre of town the Victoria Hotel offers guests the very best of traditional Scottish hospitality combined with modern facilities. With twenty well appointed en-suite rooms and a choice of dining in eitehr Victoria’s Restaurant or Ghillies Bistro.
Close to the town centre enjoy the stunning vista over Rothesay Bay and the Kyles of Bute from both the living room and double bedroom of this self catering holiday home.
The Ardyne is a beautiful Victorian Villa with many original features close to Rothesay, perfect for family holidays.
This self contained cottage is perfect for a romantic couples retreat with beautiful views across Ettrick Bay.
Plan Farm is a perfect self catering cottage for large groups or family holidays set on a busy working farm.
Situated on the quiet Craigmore shore in Rothesay, The Bayview Hotel is a Visit Scotland Four Star Rated Guest House which provides bed and breakfast accommodation.
Originally constructed in 1892 as a hydrotherapy retreat The Glenburn commands fabulous views overlooking Rothesay Bay and the Cowal Peninsula. With 119 rooms this hotel is perfect no matter how many people you are travelling with.
Ideal for large family gatherings and celebrations, this spacious, detached holiday house was previously a hotel with spectacular views of the sea and the surrounding islands.
Ardencraig House Apartments, are five extremely spacious and comfortable apartments, in a beautifully converted Georgian mansion. Carefully located in a sheltered position overlooking the Firth of Clyde, the house stands in large gardens which are occasionally visited by the local deer and other wildlife.
With The Boat House you get the best of both worlds, the flexibility of self catering and breakfast service include. One of The Boat House suites in wheelchair accessible.
Just a 3 minute stroll from Rothesay Pier and bustling town centre, this guesthouse enjoys panoramic views over Rothesay Bay and the rolling hills of the Cowal peninsula.