Bute:100 things to do

With easy rail and road transport from Glasgow and a scenic 35 minute ferry crossing, the Isle of Bute is Scotland's most accessible island.

And there is so much to see and do here on this extraordinary Scottish island:

  1. Embrace a beautiful sunset at Highlander House B&B
  2. Tour the Isle of Bute's gem...Mount Stuart house
  3. Meander for miles through Mount Stuart gardens
  4. Beach-comb for sea-glass at Mount Stuart
  5. Marvel at Mount Stuart Pavilion's exotic plants
  6. Get the absolute best introduction to the isle at the Bute Discovery Centre
  7. Watch the latest movie release at the wee 82-seater Discovery Centre Theatre
  8. Click away at (when no-ones using) the fabulous Victorian toilets
  9. Enjoy the tranquility in Rothesay's Winter Gardens
  10. Test your skills on the Winter Gardens putting green
  11. Straddle the Highland Boundary Fault Arch depicting the Highland Boundary fault-line that splits the island into Highlands and Lowlands
  12. Stroll the promenade from Battery Place to Ardbeg
  13. Explore (newly re-opened) Rothesay Castle (an absolute MUST)
  14. Wile away a couple of hours at the fascinating Rothesay Museum
  15. participate in, or spectate at, the Bute Highland Games (August)
  16. Dine at the "Gather Deli"...trendiest new spot in Rothesay and only a few hundred metres from Highlander House
  17. Explore the isle from a different perspective on the Hop-on-off Bute Bus with the driver's brilliant and witty commentary
  18. Climb or drive the Serpentine (perhaps the crookest street in Scotland and way better than San Francisco's iconic Lombard St)
  19. Check out the Charity shops for hidden treasures
  20. Treat yourself or friends with some delights from the Wee Scottish Shop in Victoria Street (for all-things-Scottish)
  21. Stroll Rothesay's cobbled Montague Street
  22. Explore Simply Bute-iful for high-end decor
  23. Stop in at Bute Tools ("if we haven't got it, you don't need it") for essentials, must haves, and surprising finds
  24. Isle of Bute Distillery at 65 High Street for craft gins
  25. The Glenburn Hotel for its yesteryear charm
  26. Ardencraig Gardens - a splendid riot of colour, peaking in August
  27. Hire an e-bike from Bute Bikes and explore Rothesay
  28. Bute Island boat trips for stunning alternative island views
  29. Walk the old tramway to Ettrick Bay
  30. See the Standing Stone circle en-route
  31. Enjoy a fabulous late lunch or evening meal at the Kingarth Hotel near Kilchattan Bay
  32. Ramble the Kilchattan walk to lighthouse
  33. Loll about on Kilchattan bay beach
  34. Pop into the Kilchattan Bay Post Office/store for an ice-cream to be enjoyed on the benches overlooking the bay
  35. Ponder the Standing Stones en-route to St Blanes
  36. Let your imagination run free at St Blanes monastery ruins (an Historic Scotland site) dating back to 600AD
  37. Clamber up Dunagoil vitrified fort
  38. Spot a woolly coo
  39. Beach walk Ettrick Bay
  40. Lunch, tea, ice-cream at Ettrick Bay Tea-Room
  41. Scalpsie Bay beach stroll
  42. Observe the Scalpsie Bay seals (a short walk north of the main beach)
  43. Scalpsie Bay swim
  44. Scalpsie Bay viewpoint with Isle of Arran backdrop
  45. Walk the secluded north-island from Rhubodach
  46. Catch the 4-minute Rhubodach-Colintraive ferry, dine at the cosy Colintraive Hotel and return
  47. Walk an Alpaca with Leafield Alpaca Trekking
  48. Hire a paddle-board or kayak from Bute Paddle Boards
  49. Board the Waverley, the world's last remaining ocean-going paddle steamer, and step back into nostalgia
  50. Hook a trout or pike at Loch Fad (lochfad.co.uk)
  51. Perhaps catch a glimpse of an osprey at Loch Fad bird hide
  52. Hear Maggie Zavaroni sing at the Taverna Bar
  53. Polish off some perogies at The Waterfront Polish restaurant
  54. Visit Bute island artists (butestudiotrail.com)
  55. Pop-in for a pint at the community-owned Anchor Tavern & Pub in Port Bannatyne
  56. Play boule/petanque at Port Bannatyne (opposite the marina)
  57. Enjoy tea, cake or Syrian breakfast for lunch at Helmi's
  58. Savour a pint of Guinness while taking in the beautiful interior at the Golfers' Bar
  59. Enjoy a round of golf at one of Bute's three golf courses
  60. Walk the West-Island Way (westislandway.co.uk)
  61. Let all hang loose at Bute Fest (end of July)
  62. Groove along at Bute Jazz Festival (October)
  63. Marvel at tractors new and old... as well as vintage cars at the Bute charity Tractor Run (July)
  64. Enjoy a fun day out at the Bute Agricultural Show (August)
  65. Deer-spot roe and fallow
  66. Select smoked salmon/trout from Ritchies fishmonger on Montague Street...Bute-bred fish, smoked in the oldest smoke-house in Scotland (1888)
  67. Take up crochet and knitting lessons with Helen at Craigard House Studio www.craigard-studio.com/crafter-helen-barr
  68. Enjoy a pint of award-winning Jarl pale ale at the Black Bull pub (as well as fabulous country pub grub)
  69. Visit the Fun-Fair (late August)
  70. Get your book signed by your favourite local crime author at Bute Noir (August)
  71. Pop into Print-Point fabulous book store to sate your book-loving needs and pick up stationery
  72. Grab a delicious fresh-baked steak pie from MacQueens butchery (Bishop Street)...
  73. ...some salad from Jesmays local grocery opposite...
  74. ...and some chips from Zavaroni's around the corner
  75. Enjoy a meal at the Glenburn Hotel (rave reviews about the salmon with leek risotto)
  76. Reserve a table at The Esplanade and savour the ever-popular chicken breast curry
  77. Marvel at the monumental tombs at St Mary's Chapel dating back to the 1300s.
  78. Take a guided walking tour with Wild Bute (www.wildbute.com)
  79. Ladies...treat yourself to something special at the Dressing Room in Montague Street
  80. Gents...treat yourself to a new suit or fedora at "Just Menswear" (30 Montague St)
  81. Treat your feet at Shore Podiatry (E Princes St)
  82. Pop in at the Spirit of Bute micro distillery, in Montague Street, for hand-crafted whisky, gin & liqueurs, as well as local gifts celebrating the Isle of Bute
  83. Hire a recycled bicycle from Doon the Watter (62 Montague St) and peddle Bute
  84. Adopt a hand-puppet from the Triple Aspect Puppet Company (off Montague St)
  85. Indulge at the Jam Jar on Canada Hill (pizzas, fish & chips, soups and other yummies)
  86. Shop for Isle of Bute arts, Scottish gifts, Harris Tweed, Scottish tartans or get your art framed at Picture Bute in Albert Place
  87. Stock up on some treats for your canine or feline family at fabulous Bute Pets (Guildford Square)
  88. Go lawn bowling at Rothesay, Ardbeg or Craigmore Bowling Club
  89. Have some old-fashioned amusement-arcade-fun at Taylor's Amusements (off Guildford Square)
  90. Practice some swimming-pool lengths in at Rothesay Leisure Centre (High Street)
  91. Get some follicle landscaping done at the Orient Salon (Syrian Barbers)
  92. Explore the variety at Mill Cottage Garden Centre
  93. Chow down at the amazing Rockabilly Diner - authentic American dining experience (https://rockabillydiner.co.uk)
  94. Treat yourself to a trinket, a treasure or a tiara at the Victorian Shop at 35E Princes St (you're guaranteed to find something beautiful and affordable)
  95. Head home with an antique wall clock (or simply have your watch battery changed) courtesy of Rothesay's very own father and son horologists, Mr Jonathan & Michael Swift.
  96. Visit the Bute Military Museum in Dean Hood Place
  97. If you, like us, cannot resist a meander through and study of gravestones, be sure to visit St Michael's Chapel ruins with its historic and current graveyard
  98. Peruse Island Treasure (10 West Princess St) antiques for that hard-to-find "unusual" you've always wanted
  99. Take a "selfie" framed by the Bute Isle metal sculpture in the Winter Gardens
  100. Lucky-dip purchase an Amazon-donated "mystery box" from Callum's Cabin (E Princes St)
  101. Indulge your car with a first-class car wash at Terry & Sons Auto Repair (Bishop St)
  102. ...after all the above, simply relax in Highlander House's front terrace and enjoy the ever-changing water views.