Rothesay

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Rothesay is the largest town on the Isle of Bute, 8 miles off the coast of Scotland at Wemyss Bay. Regular Trains rum between Glasgow Central and Wemyss Bay, about 50 minutes travel. The island is 15 miles long by 4 miles wide with attractions such as castles, large mansion, old churches, and walking / hiking trails.

The image below is from the ferry arriving at Rothesay.

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Rothesay image

The image right is of the other ferry departing Rothesay. These car/passenger ferries run between the small village of Wemyss Bay and Rothesay all day, 35 minutes crossing time. The ferries sell drinks and snacks, so just enough time to have something to eat, then enjoy the views arriving at Rothesay.
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Rothesay Ferry image

The image right is of Guildford Square in Rothesay centre by the ferry port and marina. There are a number of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars around this area.

The Esplanade Hotel here has a bar/cafe/restaurant on the first floor with views over the marina and port.

Guildford Square in Rothesay image

The image right is of Rothesay Castle by the square in the centre of town. The castle has an interesting history with it being involved in battles with Vikings, English, Oliver Cromwell, and it became a Royal Castle of the Stewarts. The town grew around the castle.

You can visit the castle and explore its grounds, rooms, watch a history video, and climb to the top for great views.

Castle Photo Page.

Rothesay Castle image

The image right is from the top of the castle looking south to the High Street and Castle Street with the Trinity Church. The building with the clock tower is the Old Courthouse.

The other top historic building in this area is the United Church of Bute with the small Saint Mary's Chapel next to it, built in the 1300s. This small chapel has a number of Knights Tombs from the 1300s.

Saint Mary's is situated about half of a mile up the High Street, to the right in this image.

Rothesay Old Court image

The image right is looking along Argyle Street from Guildford Square. The open top buses run throughout the summer from May to September.

The buses tour the island passing a number of scenic bays and drop off and pick up at the islands top attraction, Mount Stuart house, one of the top mansions in Scotland, situated 4 miles south of Rothesay. Mount Stuart Map . Bus Tours Website.

Argyle Street Rothesay image

The image right is of the Rothesay ICentre or Discovery Centre, close to the ferry port, built in 1924 as part of the Winter Gardens.

Rothesay was a top Hydrotherapy / Spa Town from the late 1800s, where people would indulge in water treatments in the top hotels. The treatments from that time are now often described as torture.

Rothesay Discovery Centre image

The image right is of the interior of the Centre with a cafe and information on attractions around the island.

The centre also has a 90 seat cinema showing the latest Hollywood blockbusters, as well a the Bute Film Club who screen arthouse cinema over the winter on Sunday nights.

Rothesay Discovery Centre interior

The image right is of the north end of the gardens with the statue here of Alexander Bannatyne Stewart (1836-1880) Convener of the County of Bute.

There is the large scenic Esplanade Fountain in the gardens, and a large putting green. This was one of the top holiday destination for Glaswegian's from the 1850s, with regular steamers running from Glasgow to Rothesay. Inexpensive package holidays to Spain in the 1970s, led to Rothesay becoming a much quieter resort.

Rothesay Gardens image

The image right is of the Marina and Ferry Port at Rothesay.

Other top attractions on the island are St Blane's Church on the south side of the island, and a hike to the top of 500ft St Blane's Hill by the Church for great views all around. Map .

Kingarth Standing Stones are situated next to the narrow Plan Road leading down to St Blane's Church, across the road from the small airfield.

Rothesay Marina image

Rothesay Attractions

Bute Museum on Stuart Street Map / PA20 0EP

Rothesay's Victorian Toilets at The Pier Map / PA20 9AQ

Loch Fad Trout Fishing 2 miles southwest of Rothesay centre Map / PA20 9PA

Balnakailly Woodland Walks 8 miles north of Rothesay Map .

Kames Castle 3 miles north of Rothesay by Port Bannatyne, private with accommodation can be viewed from the A844 roadside just northwest of the town Map / PA20 0QP .

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