Bute by name, beaut by nature…

We were dropped off in Rothesay by The Waverley on Saturday and spent a little while exploring the lovely wee town before the ship picked us back up again. We had just over 4 hours ashore which is quite a limited time. We chose just a couple of things to see and do near the dock so that we didn’t have to rush at all, and to keep the day stress free.

There is lots more to do in Rothesay than I expected so we had quite a lot to choose from. There’s Rothesay Castle in the centre of town; Scotlands only circular castle. There’s the Bute Museum, Winter Gardens, the Victorian toilets on the pier.

In other parts of Bute there’s Mount Stuart House and Gardens, Ardencraig Gardens with an aviary and cactarium, plus St. Blanes Chapel and the Viking graves, and Dunagoil beach and caves. There are some beautiful beaches on Bute too.

As I said we had a very limited time, so we had to take our pick from the selection. Here’s what we did:

Visited Rothesay Castle

Rothesay Castle a pretty castle ruin with a moat running all around it. It Scotland’s only circular castle, built around the early 1200’s as a defence against the Norwegians after several hundred years of viking raids and over a hundred years of the island being ruled by the vikings.

The highlights for us started with the pit prison which you had to climb a vertical ladder down a little hole to get down into. And of course the kids flinging themselves down the little hill next to the castle towards the moat; thankfully not into it. Plus all the seagulls nesting around the castle – every one of them we saw into had 3 eggs in it – clearly breeding the next generation of hot sugar doughnut thieves.

We love exploring a castle anyway, but they also had a big snakes & ladders game set up in the courtyard, and colouring up in one of the castle rooms.

Entry fees apply. It’s a Historic Scotland site so we used our cards for entry.

Played on the beach in Rothesay Bay

We had a splash in the sea and collected ‘beach treasure’. The beach within Rothesay Bay has a lot of shells and small stones so some form of beach shoe is advisable here. The kids had their crocs on which were perfect.

The kids loved exploring all the tide pools, lifting rocks to see what they could find. The tide pools were really small but we found absolutely tons of stuff here; different types of crab, fish, anemone and loads of little eel babies. They would have spent hours longer exploring the beach but we only had a little while left before we due to get back on the Waverley for our return leg home.

Spent some pennies in the arcade

The is just next to the dock, so the kids played in here for a little bit just before heading back onto the boat. They love a shot on the 2p machines, seeing what random little keyrings they can win. And had a few turns on a couple of the other machines.

We honestly could have spent much more time in Rothesay, but it was time to head back to the ship. We will most definitely be back though. The exceptional weather definitely helped, but we had the best wee day out there.