Bute | Colin Nutt

Island Intro

The Isle of Bute is famed for its beautiful gardens and grand houses, but there’s plenty more to uncover!

Ask an Islander

We asked locals on Bute to tell us why their island is special. Ruby the Yorkie told us:

“My favourite time of year on Bute is springtime. The days get a little longer and the flowers begin to bloom. There is a burst of colour and beauty across the island. Many farms on Bute also have new additions like lambs and calves which are lovely to see.”

There are plenty of beauty spots too, which Ruby the Yorkie is only too happy to share with us. “The island has so many spectacular beaches such as Scalpsie, Straad or Ettrick. The beaches can be enjoyed all year round, but they are extra special when enjoyed in the sun. Scalpsie has especially lovely sand and clear views of Arran’s famous Goatfell across the water.”

But, the best place of all, the island’s true hidden gem, according to Ruby is found in the forest … “A wee treasure visitors may miss is the painted rock trail through the Rhubodach Forest. On this lovely walk you will see collections of multicoloured painted stones and pebbles along a pathway through the woods. On some of the trees, there are curious wee doors and windows creating a magical atmosphere, making a daunder through the forest really special.”

And finally, for those with energy to burn, Ruby shares some ways to enjoy the island. “Sunny days are best spent seizing the great outdoors – we have lots of it here! Going on a cycle around the island is great fun. There are spectacular views to be enjoyed all around the island including the Highlands over the water and the green landscape of the countryside. We have great events too, including “Bute Fest” – a weekend-long music festival enjoyed by locals and visitors alike over at Ettrick Bay on the west side of the island.”

Gaelic / Gàidhlig

The Gaelic name for Bute is Bòd, or Eilean Bhòid.

Want to say ‘good morning’ to someone in Gaelic? That’s ‘madainn mhath‘!

Getting Here

CalMac Ferries operate regular sailings to Bute, 7 days a week, crossing from Wemyss Bay on the Mainland to Rothesay, and Colintraive on the mainland to Rhubodach.

Explore More

Want to find out more about Bute and explore more of our amazing islands?

Download the free Scottish Islands Passport app to:

  • discover your perfect island match,
  • find out about the experiences each island has to offer,
  • collect passport stamps for the islands you visit,
  • find information on accommodation, travel and island amenities.

Get Your Passport

You can find lots more information about things to see and do on the island, see some amazing island photography and collect your island stamp by downloading our app.

Download the app

App in phone

Download the Scottish Island Passport app to collect your island stamps! The app also provides lots more information on each island including recommendations from locals about things to see and do, info on how to get around, more stunning photos and useful offline maps.

  • Unlock Stamps - Collect them all! Stamp your passport when you visit each island - with an individual stamp designed to represent a unique aspect of island heritage.
  • Experiences - Discover the best experiences each island has to offer – from local boat trips to exciting traditional festivals, there is something for everyone.
  • Maps - Navigate the islands with useful offline maps, handy for areas where internet connectivity is weak.
  • Travel Jounals - Create an in-location travel journal with pictures from your island adventures, to look back on your trip.
  • Favourites - keep track of your most loved islands with the favourites feature. Available to access from your account on both the app and web.