Nestled in the West of Scotland, and placed within the Firth of Clyde, Buteshire hosts a wonderful sense of charm and serenity. The distinctive traits that mark Buteshire are a blend of historic architecture, the lush Scottish terrain, and a vibrant local culture.

In our area guide, we delve into all corners of this picturesque setting; from the bustling town of Rothesay to the ancient intrigue of the island of Bute. We aim to provide a practical guide for life in Buteshire, touching upon all facets of living experiences including education, transportation, and property market overview.

History of Buteshire

With a rich background dating back to the Neolithic age, Buteshire is steeped in history. Previously home to the Scottish King Robert III, and a vital player during the Viking Invasion, it has seen centuries of transition. Its proximity to the Scottish mainland and its vast natural harbor made Buteshire an essential viking base.

The roaring Victorian era left its imprint on Buteshire, with magnificent architectural landmarks such as the Rothesay Castle and Mount Stuart House. The island experienced substantial growth during this time due to its position as a fashionable holiday destination.


Top of the list is the grand Rothesay Castle, a vital link to Buteshire’s rich past. Known for its distinctive circular shape, it’s a magnet for history enthusiasts. Mount Stuart House, a magnificent Victorian mansion set within glorious gardens, is another must-visit. Lastly, Ascog Hall Fernery and Gardens, with its charming Victorian fernery and sunken garden, offers a peaceful retreat.

Landmarks we love

  • Scalpsie Bay: Located on the west coast of Bute, it provides stunning views of the Isle of Arran. A walk here can offer sightings of seals and a variety of birds.
  • St Blane's Chapel: These fascinating ruins tell the tale of Buteshire's ancient ecclesiastical history.
  • The Discovery Centre: An interactive attraction located in Rothesay, providing insights into the local wildlife and geology.
  • Winter Gardens: An enduring symbol of Rothesay's Victorian heritage, hosting exhibitions and concerts.
  • Bute Museum: Showcases relics of Rothesay's abundant natural history and archaeology.

Top 10 things to do in Buteshire

  • Visit Rothesay Castle: Explore this historical site and soak up Buteshire’s rich past.
  • Stroll Mount Stuart Estate: Marvel at the opulent Victorian mansion and explore the surrounding gardens.
  • Walk in Ascog Hall Fernery: Wander amongst the lush greenery and discover exotic plants.
  • Spot Seals at Scalpsie Bay: Enjoy the wildlife attractions and stunning views of the bay.
  • Explore St Blane's Chapel: Get mesmerized by the ruins and the stories they unfold.
  • Discover Bute Museum: Engage with the local geology and wildlife up-close.
  • Roam the Winter Gardens: Experience a slice of Victorian architecture and culture.
  • Relax in Rothesay Pavilion: Benefit from a range of cultural events and space to unwind.
  • Explore the Discovery Centre: Learn about local wildlife and the land's geology.
  • Shop Local in Rothesay: Enjoy the unique local boutiques, baked goods, and beautiful waterfront views.

Our recommended areas to live in Buteshire

  • Rothesay: The main town in Buteshire, it offers plenty of amenities and close proximity to schools, shopping, and ferry routes.
  • Ascog: A serene place to live, it has a tranquil ambience and beautiful sea views.
  • Kilchattan Bay: Offering sandy beaches and a quiet, slower pace of life, Kilchattan Bay is a peaceful retreat.
  • Port Bannatyne: Known for its marina and scenic golf course, this small village presents an ideal setting for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Kingarth: As a rural heartland, it exhibits idyllic scenery and is home to some of Bute’s most notable historical landmarks.

Best schools in Buteshire

Buteshire is home to a range of quality schools. Rothesay Joint Campus and St. Andrew’s Primary School are just two of the many educational institutions that Buteshire hosts. Besides presenting a promising academic curriculum, these schools embrace aspects of outdoor education, utilizing the island's natural settings for real-life learning.

Further education opportunities are also conveniently close, through institutions such as Glasgow Clyde College and University of the West of Scotland, both a ferry ride away on the mainland.

Transport links in Buteshire

Buteshire benefits significantly from its ferry connections. Two different routes connect from the island to the Scottish mainland: the more popular Rothesay to Wemyss Bay, and the Rhubodach to Colintraive passage. Once on the mainland, road and rail connections can easily link you up with Glasgow and further afield. Island transportation comprises of a comprehensive bus route system connecting various locations, providing seamless commute options for residents.

To encapsulate, Buteshire is an island of immense allure, combining all the peace of secluded country living with the convenience of nearby city amenities. Its rich history, scenic landscapes, and amicable local culture make it a remarkable living choice. Whether you seek a tranquil retreat or an active island lifestyle, Buteshire proves capable of catering to all preferences. With strong educational offerings, efficient transport links, and surrounding nature that continues to spellbind, the tranquil charm of Buteshire is indeed captivating.

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