Bute’s only town, ROTHESAY, is a handsome Victorian resort set in a wide sweeping bay, backed by green hills, with a classic palm-tree promenade and 1920s pagoda-style Winter Gardens. Even if you’re just passing through, you should pay a visit to the ornate Victorian toilets on the pier, built by Twyfords in 1899 and now one of the town’s most celebrated sights. Rothesay also features the militarily useless, but architecturally impressive, moated ruins of Rothesay Castle, built in the twelfth century and now hidden amid the town’s backstreets.
Bute’s highlight is Mount Stuart, seat of the fantastically wealthy seventh marquess of Bute (aka former racing driver Johnny Dumfries). The mansion, built for the third marquis between 1879 and World War II, is an incredible High Gothic fancy, drawing architectural inspiration from all over Europe. The sumptuous interior and lovely gardens – established in the eighteenth century by the third earl of Bute – are extremely impressive.