Isle of Bute Forest Posted on 15 Jan 23:49

Getting to the Forest

The community owned land merges with that owned by other parties and the paths, trails and interesting sites run throughout.

The Oak Woodland entrance can be accessed by parking at the ferry terminal and walking north through to the gate.

Here you’ll see a more detailed map of Balnakailly loop.

You can then continue through the field following the dirt track road around the coast until you see a signpost and a gate into the oak woodland.

The Rhubodach entrance to the community forest enters the plantation section.

This is part of the Balnakailly loop and can be reached by heading up the forest access track next to Rhubodach Cottage on the A886 shortly before the ferry terminal.

You can drive up this track off of the main road to reach a to a small parking area at the gate.

This track is used for harvesting the timber and leads to our work area before extending across the forest.

The track can be used for cycling or walking and there is usually little traffic along it.

The Moss Wood entrance is where you can access our area of native birch woodland.

If you’re travelling from Rothesay you will come across this before the other entrances.

It is currently marked with a sign saying moss wood and there is some car parking on your left here.

There is also more parking available of the shore road parallel to here and a path to access the woodland.

If you’re using a satnav this area is known as Shalunt Wood.

Glamping in the forest

The Charcoal Huts are our low impact, off-grid holiday lets, perfect for a unique woodland getaway

To book your magical visit to the Forest, go direct to the Forest website for all details and contact

Rothesay Castle, Rothesay Isle of Bute Posted on 15 Jan 23:24

In the centre of Rothesay you will find the impressive ruins of Rothesay Castle, built for the Stewarts of Scotland in the 13th century and cared for now by Historic Scotland. The impressive corner towers were added to the castle after the attempted invasion by the vikings in 1263, but today all nationalities are warmly welcomed across the drawbridge to visit the castle.

Walk through the atmospheric ruins and visit the restored Gatehouse to see the displays that detail the history of this ancient building. You can even peer down into the windowless prison!

The Castle is not only a popular attraction for the tourists that visit Bute, but it is also a magnificent venue that can be hired for weddings, events and conferences.

This site is closed for now. Historic Scotland are working hard to gradually reopen the places you love while making sure the experience is safe for everyone. Find out more about reopening plans:


Rothesay Pavilion, Isle of Bute Posted on 3 Jan 04:00

The PAV is undergoing a total refurb…

The Rothesay Pavilion has always lain at the heart of the vibrant life of the island community of Bute.

Since its 1938 opening as ‘Scotland’s Pleasure Palace’, the Pavilion has catered for the needs of the local community and generations of visitors, having served first as sumptuous grand ballroom and concert hall, then stylish wedding venue, impressive civic centre and inclusive sports arena.

The building has hosted big band concerts and tea dances, community pantomimes, rock concerts, conferences, football tournaments, horticultural shows, birthday parties and political gatherings.

Eighty years of continuous and sustained use, coupled with the pounding of the elements courtesy of the enviable seafront location, have taken their toll on this iconic edifice. As a result, Rothesay Pavilion was placed on the ‘buildings at risk’ register in 2010. Shortly thereafter, the building’s owners – Argyll and Bute Council – launched a plan to rescue and revitalise the Pavilion, simultaneously kick-starting the regeneration of the island, designed to enhance and actively promote the island’s unique heritage and multiple tourist attractions to a worldwide audience.

To find more information about the Famous Rothesay Pavilion click the link to go direct to their website which is full of information about the past present and future of this outstanding building.

#butegifts #rothesaypavilion #isleofbute #doonthewatter #isleofbutegifts

Visit the Isle of Bute Scotland - lots to see and do Posted on 26 Dec 16:25

Visit the Isle of Bute Scotland - lots to see and do

The Isle of Bute is a picturesque island located off the west coast of Scotland, situated in the Firth of Clyde. It is part of the council area of Argyll and Bute and is easily accessible from Glasgow, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Here's a comprehensive overview of the Isle of Bute to help you create a captivating blog post:

Geography and Location:

  • Geography: Bute is a relatively small island, approximately 15 miles long and 4 miles wide. It features a diverse landscape with rolling hills, scenic coastlines, and charming villages.
  • Location: It is situated in the Firth of Clyde, surrounded by the mainland of Scotland to the east and the Cowal Peninsula to the west.

Getting There:

  • Ferry Services: The primary mode of transportation to the Isle of Bute is by ferry. Regular ferry services connect the island to Wemyss Bay on the mainland, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape during the journey. Only 30 minutes on the Ferry and 90 minutes from Glasgow

Attractions and Activities:

  1. Mount Stuart House: A highlight of Bute is Mount Stuart House, a magnificent Victorian Gothic mansion and the ancestral home of the Marquesses of Bute. The house is renowned for its stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and extensive art collection.

  2. Rothesay Castle: Explore Rothesay Castle, a medieval fortress with a rich history. The castle provides insight into the island's past and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.

  3. Scenic Landscapes: Bute is known for its scenic beauty. Encourage visitors to explore the island's diverse landscapes, from sandy beaches to lush forests. A popular spot is Scalpsie Bay, where seals can often be spotted. Ettrick Bay, St Ninians Bay

  4. Outdoor Activities: Bute offers opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, including hiking, cycling, and water activities. The West Island Way is a long-distance trail that showcases the island's natural beauty.

Cultural and Community Events:

  • Bute Highland Games: If your blog coincides with the Bute Highland Games, be sure to highlight this annual event featuring traditional Scottish games, music, and dance.

  • Bute Jazz Festival: Jazz enthusiasts may want to plan their visit during the Bute Jazz Festival, where musicians from around the world gather to perform.

  • ButeFest: - music festival for family fun

Local Cuisine:

  • Lots of places to eat


  • Hotels and B&Bs: Lots of accommodation options, from charming bed and breakfasts to hotels with views of the sea.


Bute is Beautiful and a must go place on your bucket list - see you when you arrive


#bute #scotland #isleofbute #argyll #visitscotland #rothesay #doonthewatter #scottishisland 

Bute Museum, Rothesay Isle of Bute Posted on 26 Dec 03:46


A must see when in Rothesay

If you are interested in the history and nature in and around Bute, then a visit to the Bute Museum is a must.

The museum is home to a collection of historical artifacts that show Bute’s rich history along with a collection of rock samples illustrating Bute’s complicated geology caused by its position on the Highland Boundary Fault and the subsequent violent activity associated with it.

See stone tools and items of pottery left by later Neolithic settlers at various grave and settlement sites along with artefacts and metal working implements of Iron Age date that were excavated at Dunagoil Fort on the South West coast of Bute and form an important and outstanding collection.

Back to the present day, the Natural History room houses cases of mammals and birds from a wide variety of habitats reflecting today’s wild occupants of Bute.

Records of the flora and insect life are carefully kept, while a display of wildflowers is on show during the season.

Children can enjoy handling various natural objects set out on the Touch Table.

The Museum houses a Lecture room and Library with a fine collection of books, documents, photographs and archival material relating to Bute.

The holiday isle case has the new additions of two bottles donated by the owners of the Rabbie Burns. Mr Punch thinks they look very nice.

This wonderful 3D geological map of Bute came to the Museum over 100 years ago.

It has just been beautifully repainted by Brian Large and is on display in the geology section.


#butegifts #butemuseum #isleofbute #doonthewatter #isleofbutegifts

Mount Stuart House Isle of Bute Posted on 26 Dec 03:39

Mount Stuart House Isle of Bute

This is Britain’s most astounding Victorian gothic mansion.

Home to the Stuarts of Bute, descendants of the Royal House of Stuart.

Mount Stuart is a 19th century country manor house with extensive gardens on the Isle of Bute.

The spectacular Gothic house was the ancestral home of the Marquess of Bute. Mount Stuart is an award-winning attraction featuring magnificent Victorian Gothic architecture and design together with contemporary craftsmanship, surrounded by 300 acres of gloriously maintained grounds and gardens.

This magnificent house sits proudly on the Isle of Bute – ancient stronghold of Scottish kings.

Although it feels as if you have escaped to a wild and wonderful kingdom, this award-winning historical attraction lies just 90minutes away from Glasgow.

The flamboyant house and its 300 acres of gardens reflect the artistic, religious and astrological interests of the 3rd Marquess of Bute.

Once a family home, the attraction is now owned and run by Mount Stuart Trust, a Scottish registered charity.  The House and Gardens provide a spectacular private venue for luxury weddings, exclusive parties and corporate events.

Mount Stuart is a shining example of the grand domestic architecture that came out of Britain’s 19th Century Gothic Revival.

It stands, cathedral-like, as a monument to an obsession with the medieval past.

Mount Stuart House, gardens, café and shop are open to the public seasonally.  Guided house tours and self-guided admission are available throughout the season. We highly recommend booking a private house tour to go behind the scenes and visit the Smoking Room and Burges Chapel with a spectacular mirrored floor, which aren’t normally open to the public.

The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart contains a world class collection of fine art and artefacts, including a handwritten eyewitness account of the execution of Mary Queen of Scots and a Shakespeare First Folio. These treasures, and so much more, can be viewed by special appointment.

Special exhibitions, lectures and events run throughout the season. From pop up supper clubs to contemporary dance performances and lectures from heritage experts, each month brings new and extraordinary experiences to visitors.

Special exhibitions, lectures and events run throughout the season. From pop up supper clubs to contemporary dance performances and lectures from heritage experts, each month brings new and extraordinary experiences to visitors.

The Courtyard Café serves light snacks and lunches, prepared from locally sourced produce wherever possible. Many of the vegetables and herbs used in soups and salads are grown in Mount Stuart’s very own Kitchen Garden.

Visitors looking for a special souvenir or gift can enjoy shopping at the Round-house and Family Entrance shops. Mount Stuart work closely with the Isle of Bute Artist’s Collective who supply a wide range of handcrafted gifts including jewellery, textiles, glass art and cards.

If you’re planning a short break on the island, Mount Stuart offer a range of self-catering properties from cosy cottages to eco-homes. Further information can be viewed on the Mount Stuart website.

For full visiting information including opening hours and how to book, please visit

Mount Stuart is the home to the Stuarts of Bute, descendants of the

‘Royal House of Stuart’


Getting here

Mount Stuart is accessible just 70 minutes from Glasgow Airport and 20 minutes from Argyll mainland.

Getting there by railway:- From Glasgow Central Rail Station it is a 50 minute journey to Wemyss Bay Ferry Terminal.

Getting there by aeroplane:- From Glasgow Airport 40 minutes by road or rail to Wemyss Bay Ferry Terminal.

Getting there by ferry:- From Wemyss Bay Ferry Terminal it is a 30 minute journey to Rothesay Pier.


#mountstuart #isleofbute #bute #mountstuartbute #nicolajonesart #visitbute #visit_bute

The Anchor Tavern Port Bannatyne Posted on 14 Nov 01:47

The Anchor Port Bannatyne Isle of Bute Bar Mat
Have you been to the Anchor Tavern in the Port yet?
If not, you must!!
Our friendly community owned pub and hub on the beautiful island of Bute, was refurbished and opened at Easter 2022.
It has a roaring log fire and friendly folk with clientele from around the world.
Selling a wide range of drinks and local ales and spirits. Our profits are ploughed back into the Port Bannatyne community.
The Anchor Tavern in Port Bannatyne, Isle of Bute, is a charming and inviting establishment that captures the essence of traditional Scottish hospitality.
Nestled in the picturesque village of Port Bannatyne, the tavern is renowned for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Boasting a rich maritime history, the Anchor Tavern exudes a nautical charm, with maritime-themed decor that adds character to the surroundings. 
Enjoy a relaxing drink by the cozy fireplace, or a friendly gathering with friends, the Anchor Tavern provides a delightful experience in a setting that reflects the maritime heritage of the Isle of Bute.
Keep upto date with the Anchor by following the Facebook Page
The Anchor Port Bannatyne Isle of Bute Bar Mat

Tartan Wonderland! Posted on 9 Jun 22:58

Having recently launched a new collection of Tartan designs, Nicola is as delighted with them as her customers are.

Tartan Twist

“I have fallen in love with Tartan over the years of working with it, and whilst official tartans (like Macdonald, Stuart, etc) are what we know and love, the design structure and colours need not be limited to these. 

On creating these new designs, I knew I needed to have a better understanding of tartan - what each meant, and how they were designed. And, in doing this, I discovered a world of tartan possibilities.

It was a fun adventure, playing around with shapes, colours and patterns and watching them come alive on the paper.  Some of them were fantastic, and others just didn’t work on a visual level.

From the huge selection I created, I chose the best and began drawing them digitally into tartans I could use for my products.”

Nicola’s new Tartan Digital Range can be found across the Bute Gifts shop on a range of clothes and accessories. Each is named after a bay on the Isle of Bute, where Nicola resides and draws inspiration from.

And her favourite item? The hats! 

“With their fresh, vibrant colours, the tartans really add life to the hats. Yes, traditional tartans are steeped in history, and should be revered for the stories that they keep alive in the hearts of Scots.

However, I like to think that my new digital tartans are a modern representation of today’s Scot: inquisitive; creative, and still with the resilience we’re known for, represented by the strong bands running through the tartan design.”

Shop for New Bute Tartan or check out Rainy Mackintosh for a full selection of Nicola's custom tartan designs.


ABOUT THE ISLE OF BUTE Posted on 20 Mar 23:25


The Scottish Madera

Bute (/ˈbjuːt/; also known as the Isle of Bute, Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Bhòid or Eilean Bhòdach) is an island in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. It is divided into highland and lowland areas by the Highland Boundary Fault.

Bute is one of the most accessible Scottish islands, just a short 35 minute ferry ride across the Firth of Clyde from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay. You will see splendid Victoriana and art deco-style.

Rothesay is a wonderful seaside resort with palm trees, a promenade a castle in the middle of the town and award winning Victoriana toilets.
Bute has a rich and varied past and is home to ‘Mount Stuart house’ the Jewel in our crown.

For such a compact island, Bute has some extraordinarily varied landscapes. From the lush, fertile and rolling hills of the island's heart to the craggy, heather-covered moorlands of the north and the delightful sandy beaches around the coastline, the island is a haven for walking, cycling, fishing and wildlife.

We love Bute and if you have visited then you will too, if you have not been ‘Doon the Watter’ to Bute then you must make the trip to see our Bute-i-ful Isle.


Rothesay Harbour








 How to get to Bute

About Nicola Jones Artist Posted on 16 Apr 17:57

When artist Nicola Jones was invited to Bute for a visit by a friend, she had no idea it would be the start of a love affair with the island.

New beginnings

Having just left university, her visit paved the way for a new chapter in her life:

"As soon as the ferry turned into the bay and I saw the view of the island, I just fell in love with it.  I'm originally from the west coast but I just adore this place."

Before long, Nicola had settled into her new life: 

"I obviously had to find work, so I decided to set up a shop in Rothesay called The Studio Shop.  I only had £1,000 to set it up so I took on the lease, put some of my work on the wall, and that was the start of the adventure."

Nicola was experimenting with her art at the time, and her style became successful very quickly:

"I knew something would come out my experimentation - due largely to the positive feedback I received. The consensus was 'wow! This is really different!' so I just had to run with it to see how far it could go."

The artistic process...

Described as 'representational' Nicola's style is certainly unusual:  one that has created much debate among fellow artists.  Colourful, fun and unique, her work is digitally hand-drawn, using photographs to ensure that her work retains the integrity of each Bute location.

"I use digital brushes to create the composition and then work with the colour.  I like to be accurate, so if there are cars in front of a building that I want to photograph I can be back ten times to capture the detail, just to make sure I've got it all correct...although I do at times bend my own rules and use my artistic licence!  The images dictate their final state; the style sits on the view and the view does the rest."

The images, explains Nicola, can take up to four days to create.

"Traditional bias dictates that the computer does all the work but that simply isn't the case.  If you look closely at the work you'll see that the curves aren't perfect and the placing of things is quite random.  If the computer was doing this it would be flawless."

Nicola's technique evolved from her experiments with drawing and photography. With her training in these disciplines she combined her vision with the tools available on the multimedia platform:

"My first picture was the view of Rothesay harbour from my flat.  It was two photos that I wanted to merge as one.

As I couldn't, I drew it on the computer instead."

Whilst Nicola's work is representational, she connects with it on an emotional level:

"My ideal would be to live inside my happy little pictures - I want a house in the country, with a cat and lots of peace and quiet - welcome to my world!"


Beyond Bute

Nicola has now been working in this style for over 20 years and has created a collection which include landscapes of Bute, Glasgow streetscapes and landscapes, and other parts of Scotland. And her work is as wide-ranging in global appeal, as it is, in subject.

"My youngest customer is three and my oldest is over 90.  I think the colours can't help but bring a smile, as they are so vibrant and cheerful. We all have hard lives at times, and I feel it's nice to have pictures where everything is happy and fun."

Another common theme in Nicola's work is the absence of cars and people:

"I show what's there today but without the 'human' goings on. I want to let the landmarks and architecture speak for themselves."

Nicola has achieved this in abundance, and her work can be found throughout Scotland, and has also been used for Rangers Football Club official merchandise, as well as various tourism retail outlets.