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Scottish Island Adventures Podcast​

Itinerary #3: Bute



Just a short ferry ride across the Firth of Clyde, Bute is one of the most accessible Scottish islands and a haven for walking, cycling, and wildlife.  

With a promenade lined with palm trees, you will feel like you're somewhere further afield. The island is filled with many attractions as well as beautiful scenery of rolling hills, heather-covered moorlands and sandy beaches. 

MV Bute leaving Rothesay


For the foodies... 

Bute Yard

Bute makes its own cheese, gin, beer, bread, cakes and has its own fish smokehouse - you'll be spoiled for choice with the wide range of delicious eateries  on the island. 

Bute Yard  is a contemporary venue showcasing the best local food and drink, artisan and craft fare on the island. Treat yourself to drinks, tastings and tours at our on-site brewery, distillery and bar. The venue has versatile indoor and outdoor spaces which means it's open all year round - come rain or shine! 

Discover the award-winning range of craft gin at the Bute Distillery  - where hand-picked botanicals are sourced from across the island to create world class spirits. Enjoy a perfect serve in the gin garden at Bute Yard - only a 5 minute walk from Rothesay ferry terminal. 


For the thrill seekers... 

Cycling on Bute

Bute has endless opportunities for the adventurous types, whether it's on land, sea or two wheels!  

For the avid cyclists, you're in for a treat with the range of routes available on the island. Bute is known as Argyll's most accessible island and bikes travel for free on the ferry - so what are you waiting for? Try the 23-mile loop around the island, with glorious views to the Kyle of Bute, Arran and beyond, and enjoy beautiful beaches of Bute along the way. 

Rothesay to Ettrick Bay is a great day of cycling  for all the family. Pedal through farmland and take in the views and finish in Ettrick Bay - a stunning white sandy beach where you can enjoy some homemade cakes at the café to finish off the adventure.  

If you're looking for a bigger cycling challenge, why not try the Five Ferries? It's a very memorable 52-mile route, where you'll whisk your way from Ayrshire onto Arran, Kintyre, Cowal and Bute. Yes, it can be done from Scotland's central belt in one day, or you have the option to take all that beauty in at a slower pace - and really soak in the surroundings. Whatever way you choose to tackle it - you're in for a treat. 

Bute is very popular for walks  as there are so many stunning routes to choose from. For the nature lovers, Bute Community Forest has enjoyable and easy walks and is located on the North end of Bute, near the Colintraive ferry terminal. You can enjoy a variety of plants, animals, insects and protected bird species while wandering anywhere in the forest, or on the waymarked paths. 

The West Highland Way runs the length of the island (25 miles) and can be accessed from various points if you want to split the journey. It crosses dramatic landscapes, beautiful coastlines, beaches, farmland and forests - making it a worthwhile way to explore the island. 


For those who want to relax and unwind... 

Portavadie Spa

Bute has many beautiful sandy beaches, including Ettrick Bay - a mile long stretch of golden sand with stunning views over to the neighbouring Isle of Arran. The dog-friendly Ettrick Bay Tearoom serves up ice cream, tasty lunches, and delicious cakes to enjoy with a view! 

Escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life at Portavadie Marina  which boasts incredible views over Loch Fyne. Visit the award winning spa  and indulge your senses in the heated waters of the infinity pool, with breathtaking views across Loch Fyne and to the Isle of Arran. And, when you're feeling peckish, take your pick from a wide selection of culinary delights at Marina Restaurant and Bar , where every table offers a view of the marina and beyond.  


For the little ones... 

Mount Stuart Family Day Out

Visit Mount Stuart , originally built in 1719 - there is so much to discover. Inside and out. Learn about the history of the house whilst you explore the beauty of the interiors and architecture.  

Inside, design inspired by astrology, art and mythology dazzles. See a map of the stars on the ceiling of the Marble Hall. Take the spiral staircase to what is believed to be the world's first domestic heated swimming pool. This house is filled with innovations - from an early telephone system to a Victorian passenger lift! 

Outside in the 300 acres of gardens, discover nature in all its glory with exotic plants and rock gardens - a fun-filled day for little explorers! 

Leafield Alpaca Trekking hosts great days for all the family. Pack up the picnic baskets and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Bute while taking the furry and friendly alpacas for a walk - sure to be a hit with the kids!

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