Rothesay is the largest town on the Isle
of Bute, 8 miles off the coast of Scotland at
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
The image right is looking along Argyle
Street from Guildford Square. The open top
buses run throughout the summer from May to
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
The image right is of the Rothesay ICentre
or Discovery Centre, close to the ferry port,
built in 1924 as part of the Winter
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.
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.
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.
The image right is of the Marina and Ferry
Port at Rothesay.
Other top attractions on the island are
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 .
Stones are situated next to the narrow
Plan Road leading down to St Blane's Church,
across the road from the small airfield.