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Rothesay Castle, a moated, circular structure, captured by the Vikings in 1230, later became an island residence of the Scottish Stewart kings. Explore the dungeons and the thick outer walls and grand hall, now fully restored. Just behind sits the fascinating Bute Museum, affording a glimpse of island life in years gone by.
Rothesay also offers a full range of leisure activities for the more sporting, including a fine swimming pool, superb golf course (Bute has three in all) and vast areas of parkland where youngsters can safely play.
The colourful display at Ardencraig Gardens near Rothesay includes not only the stunning floral presentations, but also an aviary, which is home to many species of exotic bird.
To the north of Rothesay, through the small community of Port Bannatyne lies Ettrick Bay, Bute's most accessible beach which is a relatively safe haven for able swimmers. Scalpsie Bay, set against the magnificent backdrop of the Isle of Arran, is the home of a large colony of seals, who gaze in curiosity from their rocky perches at those who gather to watch their antics.
Visitors can book accommodation in Rothesay online via the VisitScotland.com site:
· Small hotels
· Guest houses
· Self catering