Bute is only 33miles from Glasgow (as the crow flies) so a trip down the Clyde is definitely an option. We are 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.
We are 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.
Travelling to Bute
The Isle of Bute is situated in Scotland’s Firth of Clyde, to the north of Arran, and is easily accessible by regular ferry services from the mainland.
There are two ferry access ports to the island both operated by Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries.
The Waverley, the world’s last seafaring paddle steamer, also makes regular trips to Bute.
Colintraive – Rhubodach
There is a tiny hop of 350m from the mainland having driven the scenic route from Glasgow (approximately 75 miles by car ) and takes you along the shores of Loch Lomond and through the Arrochar Alps in the heart of Argyll. This is some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland. Stop at the top of “Rest and Be Thankful” and admire the view. Skirting the top of Loch Fyne, with views across to Inveraray Castle, you head south and arrive at the Colintraive ferry for the 5 minute crossing to Rhubodach on Bute. The crossings are frequent, so if you just miss the boat it’ll be back soon. Rothesay is about 7 miles from here.
Wemyss Bay – Rothesay
The principal route to the island is by car & passenger ferry from Wemyss Bay. The crossing takes 35 mins with sailings every 45mins – 1 hour depending upon the time of day. You can’t book – you turn up and pay at the pierhead. If you’re not driving catch one of the frequent trains from Glasgow Central Station – jump on the train at Paisley if you have flown in to Glasgow Airport.