The Isle of Bute
Bute is only 33miles from Glasgow (as the crow flies) so a trip down the Clyde is definitely an option, and is one of the most accessible of the westerly isles from the Scottish Central Belt. It’s a peaceful island haven, just a stone’s throw away from the mainland.
The Isle of Bute is only 15 miles long by 4 miles wide but there is loads to see and do. You might spot porpoises accompanying your ferry journey and if you’ve never seen a seal up close in the wild head over to Scalpsie Bay. The West Island Way is an island long marked trail which can be tackled in sections – it’s a great way to see Bute’s flora and fauna and of course the views to Arran and Cowal
Bute is renowned for its glorious gardens and grand architecture. The Esplanade Gardens on the front as you get off the ferry are a summer favourite for a quiet contemplate on a bench or you can try your hand on the putting green. Visit Ardencraig Gardens on Canada Hill which features a walled garden and an exotic aviary. The marvellous gardens of Mount Stuart House are a must (and the house itself of course!) and Ascog Fernery is open once again after a change of ownership.
Rothesay and Port Bannatyne are great places for a bite to eat with cafes, bistros, bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay there are hotels and B&Bs overlooking Rothesay Bay, and loads of self-catering flats and houses to choose from.
Rothesay Golf Course climbs and winds round the slopes of Canada Hill, immediately south of the town. Various high vantage points give vistas to Arran and the lower Firth, while, at some 400 feet, the 12th hole includes the famous “£1,000 view” across Rothesay Bay to The Kyles of Bute and Loch Striven.