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Unwind in nature this Easter

man relaxing at Portavadie

Dust off your bonnet, Easter time is almost here. The time of year that brings longer days, a feeling of new beginnings and perhaps a little extra time off to enjoy spring? Who's in?


Bute and Portavadie

The isle of Bute is the ideal spot for a quick island getaway this spring. The beaches and bays are glorious on a bright day. Head to Scalpsie Bay for a bit of wildlife spotting and stunning views of Arran. Stop off at the Ettrick tearoom for a beautiful bite to eat. If you're on wheels, the Serpentine Road is worth a drive, offering a stunning vista from the top. For more visual treats, make sure you make your way to Loch Fad and of course Mount Stuart House and Gardens, which is scheduled to reopen mid-April.

There are two routes over to Bute - from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay, and from Rhubodach to Colintraive, driving on the Cowal Peninsula to Portavadie. The journey to the ferry is part of the adventure - with breath-taking coastlines and some of the best but least visited beaches on the west coast. Portavadie is heaven for food lovers.

Mount Stuart family



Best known around the globe for its peaty whiskies, however, board the boat bound for Islay, and you'll uncover world-class dramatic coastal seascapes, sunsets, birdlife, wildlife, seafood and more. Little wonder it's known as Queen of the Hebrides.

It's a tremendous spot for outdoor adventure sport lovers too - book locally to enjoy guided sea-kayaking around the island, investigating the coves, coastline and geology of the island first-hand.

Islay machair



Take a little time out for yourself on the island of Arran. The perfect location to recharge. Head for the spa - the perfect way to relax surrounded by beautiful island scenery or perhaps you'd prefer to find the perfect spot to unwind in nature - by the waterfalls at Glenashadale or by enjoying a horse-riding session with an invigorating trek along the beach, with the fresh-salty air on your face. You can almost smell the seaside air from out of the screen as you read this!

couple walking along beach on Arran



For natural history lovers of all ages, take a trip across the sea to Skye. Add to the adventure with a road trip west to Mallaig, passing Glenfinnan - it's one of the most memorable routes in Scotland. In Mallaig, take the ferry bound for spectacular Skye. On the island's Trotternish peninsula, fossilised dinosaur footprints made around 170 million years ago have been discovered. You'll need to time the tides well, however. It's also near here that the world's largest ever Pterodactyl was unearthed - the largest every fossil of the Jurassic period was unearthed in 2017 is now on display at the National Museum of Scotland.

Skye Sgurr nan gillean

The west coast is full of great places to go - from day trips to longer stays - our fares start at £3.50 for a return. Wherever you choose to go, we'll get you there. We can't wait to welcome you on board this spring. Check out our timetables pages and start planning today.

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