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Built around a central castle, Rothesay is an Isle of Bute town that has been popular with tourists since the Victorian era. Reach your hotel by ferry, then settle down to enjoy the beautiful beaches and colourful gardens along the island’s coast. As well as touring Rothesay Castle you’re free to spend your time swimming in the sea or to enjoy shows at Rothesay’s theatre, or to enjoy the fascinating educational attractions including the museum and Discovery Centre.

  • Rothesay
  • Rothesay
  • Rothesay
  • Rothesay Harbour
Rothesay Rothesay Rothesay Rothesay Harbour
  • This region is great for:
  • Rothesay is great for Walking Walking
  • Rothesay is great for Gardens Gardens
  • Rothesay is great for Nature Nature
  • Rothesay is great for Activities Activities

Your guide to Rothesay

Rothesay at a glance:
  • A beautiful town set around a central castle.
  • Watch a show at the theatre, or visit the town’s museum to learn more about its history.
  • Beautiful landscapes include clean beaches and colourful landscaped gardens.
  • Stunning Isle of Bute holiday and short break destination, accessible by ferry from the mainland.
  • Explore the entire island, only 15 miles long by 4 miles wide.

Rothesay is the main resort town on the Isle of Bute, accessible by ferry from Wemyss Bay on the west coast of Scotland near Largs and Greenock. There’s something special about spending a relaxing break on an island the size of Bute, just 15 miles long and easy to fully explore by car (or on foot, if you’re feeling particularly energetic).

Book a Rothesay hotel and you’ll spend your stay on an island that, despite its small size, is packed with plenty to do. Being just a short distance from the mainland, your chosen holiday destination isn’t too far from civilisation. Yet it feels remote, which really encourages relaxing and unwinding as if you were abroad on your holiday.

Rothesay Castle is one of the most prominent attractions in the town, particularly due to its unusual design in a circular shape. Much of the castle still stands, including the Great Hall which is now home to a number of exhibits about the history of the owners. Unlike many British castles, Rothesay features a moat that is still in place and filled, adding to the character of the castle.

The other major property to attract visitors to the Isle of Bute is the beautiful and elegant Mount Stuart - an exquisite country manor with extensive gardens that guests are welcome to tour. Visitors can also see parts of the house itself, showcasing both the intricate architecture and a collection of many artefacts from throughout the building’s history. So beautiful is the property that is has been known to host a number of celebrity weddings, whilst the on-site restaurant and tea room uses local produce to serve delicious refreshments.

Much of the appeal of Rothesay lies in the Victorian history of the town, with many of the original structures still utilised. Even the public toilets are considered to be something of a visitor attraction! You have to pay to enter the toilets, but visitors to the area make a point of using them just to see the ornate original features that are now decades old.

However a whole holiday’s entertainment cannot be sustained on public toilets alone which is why, thankfully, Rothesay is also home to the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, formerly the Winter Garden and now a multimedia visitor centre with a theatre and a state-of-the-art modern cinema showing the latest blockbuster film releases.

This diverse selection of attractions only highlights how stimulating and enjoyable the Isle of Bute is as a holiday destination, even if you decide to visit just for a weekend break. However long your stay in your Rothesay hotel, you’ll be enthralled by the atmosphere and the activities on hand to enjoy.

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