The main ferry to Bute sails from Wemyss Bay to ROTHESAY. This is the gateway to Bute and provides the island with a supermarket, Coop shop and other useful retailers.

There are Superdrug,four banks,postoffice and the very useful island ironmongers Bute Tools. There are two good butchers. The 1920s Winter Gardens on the seafront now houses a small cinema and the local information office, (regretably so local it cannot provide bus times for services into Argyll, or even of the opentop tour bus!) It is in Rothesay you will find the Health Centre, Police and Court,plenty of cafes and an amusement arcade. Once a destination for bucket and spade familes from Glasgow, the town has now retired into itself but still boasts fine seawall gardens and Rothesay Castle, restored in Victorian times.

Local Sights & Activities for Rothesay

Sightseeing

One thing you must do before leaving Rothesay is spend a penny in the palatial Victorian public toilets. Rather more than that (£300,000 to be exact) has already been spent on restoring this architectural gem to its former glory. Gents get the best deal but the ladies can also take a peek. Daily Easter-Oct 0800-2100, Nov-Easter 0900-1700.

Rothesay Castle is also well worth visiting. Rebuilt around the 12th century, the castle had been attacked by Vikings, before becoming a favourite with the Stewart Kings. It fell into English hands during the Wars of Independence and was retaken by Robert the Bruce in 1311. It was also occupied by Cromwell's New Model Army after the Civil War and partly dismantled, but restoration work has helped preserve much of this impressive circular, moated ruin. Open Apr-Sep Mon-Sat 0930-1830, Sun 1400-1830; Oct-Mar Mon-Sat 0930-1630, Sun 1400-1630 (closed Thu-Fri afternoon). To get there, follow the signs from the pier.

Behind the castle is Bute Museum, which features interesting displays covering the island's history, wildlife and archaeology. Oct-Mar Tue-Sat 1430-1630; Apr-Sep Mon-Sat 1030-1630, Sun 1430-1630.

Well worth ten minutes of your time is a visit to the old POST OFFICE, now used only as a sorting office and open Monday to Saturday, mornings only. In display cases they have artifacts of the local Post going back before the invention of the postage stamp.

Visitors to The Isle of Bute always take the view that they couldn't tell from arriving in Rothesay how outstandingly beautiful and varied the island is from their first impressions. Once outside Rothesay, the scenery is outstanding, the wildlife bountiful, the countyside ever-changing and unspoilt by modern developments for buiding, tourism, industry or holiday homes. It is unique and very, very special. So get out of Rothesay! There is an open-top tour bus at 11.00, 01.00 and 03.00 p.m. from Rothesay that tours the whole island. And there are regular service buses up and down the length of the east coast.

One thing you must do before leaving Rothesay is spend a penny in the palatial Victorian public toilets. Rather more than that (£300,000 to be exact) has already been spent on restoring this architectural gem to its former glory. Gents get the best deal but the ladies can also take a peek. Daily Easter-Oct 0800-2100, Nov-Easter 0900-1700.

Rothesay Castle is also well worth visiting. Rebuilt around the 12th century, the castle had been attacked by Vikings, before becoming a favourite with the Stewart Kings. It fell into English hands during the Wars of Independence and was retaken by Robert the Bruce in 1311. It was also occupied by Cromwell's New Model Army after the Civil War and partly dismantled, but restoration work has helped preserve much of this impressive circular, moated ruin. Open Apr-Sep Mon-Sat 0930-1830, Sun 1400-1830; Oct-Mar Mon-Sat 0930-1630, Sun 1400-1630 (closed Thu-Fri afternoon). To get there, follow the signs from the pier.

Behind the castle is Bute Museum, which features interesting displays covering the island's history, wildlife and archaeology. Oct-Mar Tue-Sat 1430-1630; Apr-Sep Mon-Sat 1030-1630, Sun 1430-1630.

Well worth ten minutes of your time is a visit to the old POST OFFICE, now used only as a sorting office and open Monday to Saturday, mornings only. In display cases they have artifacts of the local Post going back before the invention of the postage stamp.

Visitors to The Isle of Bute always take the view that they couldn't tell from arriving in Rothesay how outstandingly beautiful and varied the island is from their first impressions. Once outside Rothesay, the scenery is outstanding, the wildlife bountiful, the countyside ever-changing and unspoilt by modern developments for buiding, tourism, industry or holiday homes. It is unique and very, very special. So get out of Rothesay! There is an open-top tour bus at 11.00, 01.00 and 03.00 p.m. from Rothesay that tours the whole island. And there are regular service buses up and down the length of the east coast.

Rothesay Events

Isle of Bute Jazz Festival

The 27th Isle of Bute Jazz Festival will take place in Rothesay on the Scottish Island of Bute.

Grow your own Grub

Pick up the art of growing healthy and tasty vegetables.

Pinetum Walk

This event would help you learn more about the International Conifer Conservation Project.

Guided Autumn Walk

Rothesay Wrap up warm and enjoy the spectacle of rich autumnal colours by joining Graham Alcorn our deputy head gardener on a guided walk of the estate. On a crisp autumn day the colours of beech, maples, and oak trees turn the whole estate into vibrant shades of oranges, yellows and browns.

Guided Summer Walk

Enjoy a walk along the Rock Garden where many exotic plants will be displayed.

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