Bute | Town | ★★★

[Rothesay from the top of the Serpentine Road]

Rothesay is the capital of Bute and its main ferry terminal, an attractive place with the hustle and bustle of a thriving seaside resort but the intimacy of an island destination. The council is evidently proud of the sea front, from grand Victorian toilets (which even have their own information leaflet) to perfectly manicured gardens with palm trees and neat flowerbeds. The nearby Ayrshire coastal towns are hidden from view as the bay faces north, and instead all you can see across the water are the graceful, lofty hills of wild Argyll. Moving away from the shore, the main shopping streets are a bit disappointing, but Rothesay Castle steals the show with its impressive gatehouse and moat. Further east, Serpentine Road is worth a look (or careful drive) with over a dozen consecutive hairpin bends: more than Lombard Street in San Francisco. Now onto the important stuff: there are a handful of places to eat. We couldn't get a table at the well-reviewed Harry Haw's, but we were very impressed by the evening fare at the Victoria Hotel. Meanwhile, the unusually-named Electric Bakery does reliable lunch grub.

[Rothesay from the east side of the bay]

Location & info

📌 Rothesay ★★★
Isle of Bute, G.R.: NS 088647 ///

🚶 This is a excellent town to explore on foot, with lots to see. Walking to Ardencraig Gardens is on pleasant quiet roads and paths, but involves a steep hill. Other key island sights are accessible by bus (or bike).
🚢🚌 Rothesay has a car ferry to Wemyss Bay on the Ayrshire mainland. There are buses running up and down the island, including to the smaller ferry at Rhubodach.

See & do (<1 mi away)

>> Bute Museum (not yet featured)
>> Isle of Bute Discovery Centre ★★
>> Rothesay Castle ★★★
>> United Church of Bute & St Mary's Chapel ★★

Nearby (1-3 mi away)

>> Ardencraig Gardens ★★★ (1 mi →)
>> Ascog Hall Gardens and Fernery ★★★ (2 mi →)
>> Port Bannatyne ★★ (2 mi ↑)
>> Ettrick Bay ★★★ (3 mi ←)

[Seafront gardens and the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre]

[Rothesay Castle]

[Ardencraig Gardens]

[St Mary's Chapel]

[Castle Street with the Serpentine Road behind]

[Montague Street]


[Views towards Argyll (7/9/14)]

[Haste Ye Back]


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