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Issue 19 - Cowal and Bute

History & Heritage

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Scotland Magazine Issue 19
March 2005


This article is 13 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

Copyright Scotland Magazine © 1999-2018. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.

Cowal and Bute

Sally Toms picks a few of the best hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions in the area

Where to Visit - Cowal

Benmore Botanic Gardens
150 acres of the tallest trees in Britain, including a spectacular Avenue of Giant Redwoods, some of which soar over 40 metres high.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 706 261

Castle House Museum
Castle Gardens, Dunoon
Superb exhibits exploring everything from ancient history to the hey day of the Clyde steamer.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 701 422

Cowal Bird Garden
Lochan Wood, Dunoon
Wander through pretty woodland amid exotic caged birds as well as free-roaming peacocks, macaws and pot-bellied pigs.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 707 999

Where to Visit - Bute

Ascog Hall and Gardens
Ascog, Bute
The star attraction in these breathtaking gardens is a rare and carefully restored sunken Victorian fernery.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 504 555

Isle of Bute Discovery Centre
Victoria Street, Rothesay
A unique 1920s circular structure of cast iron and glass, incorporating a cinema, theatre and many interactive displays.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 502 151

Loch Fad Fisheries
Loch Fad, Bute
175 acres of trout filled loch. Some of the prettiest fishing you are ever likely to do.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 504 871

Mount Stuart
Mount Stuart, Bute
The Gothic palace of the Marquess of Bute. The house and gardens are open to the public and there is also a visitors centre, shop, restaurant, plant centre and gallery.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 503 877

Robb Cycles Hire
East Princes St, Rothesay
The best way to tour the island. Bicycles for all the family and an extensive range of spares and accessories.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 502 333

Rothesay Castle
Cattlehill Street, Rothesay
This moated castle was captured by Vikings in 1230 and later became an island residence of the Stewart kings. Explore the dungeons and the grand hall, now fully restored.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 502 691

Rothesay Golf Course
Canada Hill, Rothesay
A sloping course with breathtaking views of the seven counties surrounding the Firth of Clyde.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 503 554

Where to Eat - Cowal

Chatters Restaurant
John Street, Dunoon
A deservedly popular restaurant serving Scottish cuisine with modern flavours and a classic French twist.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 706 402

Coylet Inn
Loch Eck
17th century coaching inn right on the shores of lovely Loch Eck. Great looking dining room and an increasing reputation for good food.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 840 426

Where to Eat - Bute

Brechin’s Brasserie
Bridgend Street, Bute
Brasserie-style restaurant with lunch and dinner menus, home made desserts, continental coffees and a warm welcome.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 502 922

India Pavilion Tandoori
Argyle Street, Bute
Master Chef award winning Indian restaurant.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 504 988

The Pier at Craigmore
Mountstuart Road, Bute
Housed in a beautiful Victorian pier, Craigmore is a traditional tearoom offering home cooked food.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 502 867

The Port Royal
Port Bannatyne, Nr. Rothesay
A Russian style tavern with a great atmosphere. Good food and rooms.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 505 073

West End Café and Chip Shop
Gallowgate, Rothesay
Twice winners of the UK best fish & chip shop award.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 503 596

Where to Stay - Cowal

Abbots Brae Hotel
Bullwood Road, Dunoon
Recently awarded ‘Best Hotel’ by the area Tourist Board.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 705 021

Ardfillayne House
West Bay, Dunoon
A good value bed and breakfast that comes highly recommended.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 702 267

Argyll Hotel
Argyll St, Dunoon
Family owned hotel with gorgeous panoramic views of the Firth of Clyde.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 704 483

Creggans Inn
Strachur, Loch Fyne
Historic country hotel once owned by Fitzroy Maclean, British diplomat and secret agent.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 860 279

Glendaruel Caravan & Camping Park
A quiet, secluded campsite surrounded by woodland gardens and the splendour of the Cowal hills.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 820 267

The Royal Hotel
Arguably one of the best hotels in the West of Scotland. Lovely rooms, sea views and fine food.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 811 239

The Royal Marine Hotel,
Hunter’s Quay, Dunoon
A historic building with plenty of character. Overlooks the magnificent scenery of Loch Eck and Holy Loch.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 705 810

Where to Stay - Bute

Ardyne-St Ebba Hotel
Mount Stuart Road, Rothesay
The largest independent hotel on the island. A leisurely 20 minute walk from the ferry terminal.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 502 052

Cannon House Hotel
Battery Place, Rothesay
This pretty, Georgian townhouse is perfectly situated close to the harbour with views across the bay.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 502 819

Ascog Bay, Bute
Possibly the most luxurious hotel on the island. Fine wine and very fine food.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 505 271

The Moorings
Mount Stuart Road, Rothesay
A charming Victorian lodge and three star bed & breakfast.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 502 277

The Regent Hotel
Battery Place, Rothesay
A warm and homely three star hotel and good restaurant.
Tel: +44 (0)1700 502 006


Cowal Gathering
The last Friday and Saturday in August

Isle of Bute Folk Festival
Late July

Isle of Bute Jazz Festival
28th April-2nd May

Cowal Walking and
Arts Festival
7th-16th October