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Family friendly days out on the Clyde islands

Bute Family

The Clyde islands offer some fantastic family days out just a stone's throw from Glasgow and Ayrshire - read on to discover ferry adventures for little explorers.


The Firth of Clyde offers plenty of attractions and activities to explore. Spend time on the Clyde coast islands - Bute, Cumbrae and Arran - and make memories you'll cherish for a lifetime. With return tickets priced as low as £2.00 for children aged 5-15, and free travel for children under 5, , it's cheaper than you think!

Island magic awaits... 

Explore Beautiful Bute 

Mount Stuart Family Day Out

Bute is truly a stunning island, offering a plethora of attractions for families to explore. From ancient castles and vibrant gardens to enchanting forests and shores teeming with wildlife, there is an abundance of activities to keep the kids entertained during a day on Bute. 


  1. Mount Stuart Gardens: Visit the stunning Mount Stuart House and its magical gardens. Kids will love the giant rhododendron maze and the chance to spot red squirrels.  

  2. Bute Forest: Take a family-friendly walk in Bute Forest, discovering natural trails, waterfalls, and the excitement of spotting local wildlife.   

  3. Ettrick Bay Beach: Spend time together at Ettrick Bay, building sandcastles, skimming stones, and exploring rock pools. Pack a picnic and stay for the day! You might even spot some local seals.   

  4. Victorian Toilets Discovery Centre: Believe it or not, this unique attraction is a hit with kids. Learn about the history of public toilets in a fun and interactive way.   


Getting to Bute 

Embark on a journey from Wemyss Bay  for as little as £7.60 for adults and £3.80 for children (kids under 5 travel free!). Take a look at the Isle of Bute Timetable to plan your extraordinary day trip. Don't miss out on the opportunity to indulge in locally produced food and beverages while on board the ferry.. 

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Meet the Cumbrae Crocodile 

Cumbrae crocodile rock

Although it may be small in size, Cumbrae is a paradise for families seeking a fun and effortless day trip that will leave a lasting impression on the kids. Exploring Cumbrae on bicycles is a traditional experience, so bring your own or hire them upon arrival - either way, you're guaranteed to have a fantastic time on this delightful little island.

  1. Cycle round Millport: Rent bicycles and cycle around the island, affectionately known as Millport, the main village on Cumbrae. Cycle the scenic coastal road, taking in the fresh air and spotting local wildlife as you go. 

  2. Millport Beach: Spend time at Millport Beach, building sandcastles, exploring rockpools, and collecting treasures by the shore. 

  3. Crocodile Rock: Go to the legendary Crocodile Rock, a unique rock formation that's sure to spark kids' imaginations. This is the perfect family photo spot! 

  4. Experience the Cumbrae Discovery Centre, an educational hub where children can engage with interactive displays to explore the island's past, wildlife, and aquatic creatures.


Getting to Cumbrae

Embark on a journey from Largs to Millport (Cumbrae) for just £4.00 per adult return and £2.00 per child return (children under 5 travel for free!). Check out the Isle of Cumbrae Timetable for sailing times by day and to start planning your unforgettable day trip. 

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Get Adventurous in Arran 

Brodick Castle

Scotland in miniature, the Isle of Arran has it all - including beautiful beaches, forests, and mountains. It also boasts a wide selection of delicious food and drink options that cater to the whole family. With so much to explore, a single visit to Arran will leave you wanting more!


  1. Brodick Castle and gardens: Children can embark on an imaginary quest for hidden treasures in the castle's chambers. The stunning gardens provide an ideal setting for little ones to frolic and enjoy themselves, particularly among the falling leaves of autumn. Additionally, the Isle be Wild adventure playground offers an exciting opportunity for them to expend their energy and have a great time.

  2. Discover the Isle of Arran Heritage Museum, a captivating destination showcasing interactive exhibits, historic structures, and showcases that delve into the island's fascinating history. It offers a stimulating and educational experience for children.

  3. Kildonan Beach: Indulge in some quality time at Kildonan Beach, where kids can delight in building sandcastles and collecting seashells. Take in the breathtaking views of the ancient Kildonan Castle perched on the cliffs. With picturesque vistas of Pladda Island and Ailsa Craig, the scenery is truly magnificent, regardless of the weather.  

  4. Get Adventurous on Arran: Embark on an adventure on Arran by exploring the forest tracks and rugged coastline with Mogabout Safaris' 4wd Mercedes Unimog. This unique vehicle can take you to places that are inaccessible to others.


Getting to Arran

Sail from Ardrossan or Troon (from 29 March up to and including 21 August) to Brodick from as little as £9.20 for an adult return and £4.60 for a child return (under 5's travel for free!). Check out the Ardrossan - Brodick Timetable or Troon - Brodick Timetable for sailing times by day and to start planning your unforgettable day trip. Reservations are recommended in advance of travel.

You can also travel from Claonaig in Kintyre to Lochranza, at the north end of Arran, which takes 30 minutes. Claonaig - Lochranza is a Turn Up and Go route - Simply turn up at the port of departure and go on the next available sailing see the Claonaig - Lochranza timetable for sailing times.

Top tip: You can buy a choice of locally produced food and beverages onboard the ferry.  

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