Mount Stuart is known as the jewel in the crown of Bute, but it’s far from the only treasure on the island. You can take afternoon tea at the well-known Ettrick Bay Tearooms, explore Rothesay Castle to find out why it’s unique, 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 (St Blane’s near Kingarth) or a tiny piece of England (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 one of the best ways to experience it is on an open top bus! City Sightseeing Bute offer tours from the end of May to mid-September and your ticket gives you unlimited travel on the tour bus and on all local West Coast Motor bus services for 24 hours. 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 and the Victorian Fernery at Ascog.
To find out more about what the island has to offer, please visit the official Visit Bute website.