Victorian public toilets on Bute

Ten fantastic places to visit in… The Isle of Bute

Many of us will be missing out on a ‘trip doon the watter’ with the Waverley out of action, but that doesn’t stop us from visiting Scotland’s wonderful Isle of Bute.

There’s far more to it than just Rothesay – here was present ten things to do on Bute if you’re thinking of a visit.

Mount Stuart

With an interesting and fascinating history, stunning grounds, visitor centre, café and gift shop, this incredible neo-Gothic mansion – which housed the world’s first heated, indoor swimming pool – is a must-see attraction.

Bute Museum

Based in Rothesay, this museum allows visitors to explore the natural and historical heritage of the island, from Mesolithic and Neolithic times up to the closing years of the 20 century.

St Blane’s Chapel

Located on the south of Bute, the ruins of the chapel are well preserved considering that parts of it date back to the 1200s. The churchyard contains a number of weathered slabs, including one from when Bute was part of the Norse empire.

Rothesay’s Victorian toilets

Public lavatories don’t normally feature in a list of things to see, but the Victorian toilets in Rothesay are well worth a pee-k. Commissioned in 1899 by Rothesay Harbour Trust, the loos are a superb example of Victorian opulence.

Asc og Hall Gardens & Fernery

Take a stroll along paths that meander through the three acres of undulating banks and beds that makes up this wonderful garden. The real jewel in the crown is the rare, sunken Victorian fernery, restored to its former glory in 1997.

Isle of Bute Discovery Centre

Housed in the famous 1924 Winter Gardens, this free multimedia exhibition is the perfect introduction to the Isle of Bute. It also houses a cinema where you can watch the latest releases, a gift shop and café.

Ardencraig Gardens

This council-run walled garden has been developed to create a lovely propagation, education and show garden. There is extensive bedding, beautiful fuchsia displays and aviaries containing a range of foreign bird species. Open all year round.

Rothesay Castle

Located in the centre of Rothesay, the circular curtain wall is unique to Scotland, and its water-filled moat is also an unusual feature for a Scottish castle. It is now managed by Historic Scotland and is open all year round.


Rothesay Golf Club is one of Scotland’s most scenic courses, Port Bannatyne only has 13 holes and Bute Golf Club is a lovely 9-hole course. For the enthusiastic beginner there is also the putting green on the front at Rothesay.

Kingarth Standing Stones

There are several standing stone sites around the island. The easiest site to access is in Kingarth on the road to St Blane’s Chapel. Only three stones remain of a stone circle which is thought to date back to the Bronze Age.