Argyll & the Isles
The smart Victorian seaside resort of Rothesay is the main town on the Isle of Bute, out in the Firth of Clyde. Rothesay has a splendid Victorian frontage cradling romantic Rothesay Bay. Dominating the shoreline amongst the glorious esplanade gardens is the refurbished Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, a unique 1920s circular structure of cast iron and glass, now incorporating a cinema, theatre and many interactive displays as well as showcasing the best of Bute.
Rothesay Castle, a moated, circular structure, captured by the Vikings in 1230, later became an island residence of the Scottish Stewart kings. Explore the dungeons and the thick outer walls and grand hall, now fully restored. Just behind sits the fascinating Bute Museum.
The colourful display at Ardencraig Gardens near Rothesay includes not only the stunning floral presentations, but also an aviary, which is home to many species of exotic bird.
To the north of Rothesay, through the small community of Port Bannatyne lies Ettrick Bay, Bute’s most accessible beach, which is a relatively safe haven for able swimmers.