Rothesay Castle

Southern Highlands & Islands

The splendid, ruined 13th-century Rothesay Castle, with seagulls and jackdaws nesting in the walls, was once a favourite residence of the Stuart kings. It is unique in Scotland in having a circular plan, with four stocky round towers. The landscaped moat, with manicured turf, flower gardens and lazily cruising ducks, makes a picturesque setting.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southern Highlands & Islands attractions

1. Bute Museum

0.05 MILES

The most interesting displays in this museum behind Rothesay Castle are those recounting the history of the famous Clyde steamers. Other galleries cover…

2. Bute Brew Co

0.15 MILES

Phone ahead to book a visit at this craft brewer, which has been doing a good job in recent years, or drop in at weekends for beer and pizza. Try their…

3. Victorian Toilets

0.15 MILES

Dating from 1899, these toilets are a monument to lavatorial luxury − a disinfectant-scented temple of green and black marbled stoneware, glistening white…

4. Mount Stuart

3.42 MILES

The family seat of the Stuart Earls of Bute is one of Britain's more magnificent 19th-century stately homes, the first to have a telephone, underfloor…

5. St Blane's Chapel


At the southern end of Bute island, the picturesque ruins of this 12th-century chapel can be found a 10-minute uphill walk from the road. A holy place…

6. Dunagoil Fort

7.15 MILES

This ruined Iron Age hill fort near Kilchattan has a spectacular position on a volcanic outcrop backed by the hills of Arran. The ramparts were vitrified…

7. Cathedral of the Isles

7.56 MILES

Millport boasts Britain’s smallest cathedral, the lovely Cathedral of the Isles, which was completed in 1851. Inside, it’s quite ornate with a lattice…

8. Víkingar!

7.68 MILES

The town's main attraction is a multimedia exhibition describing Viking influence in Scotland until its demise at the Battle of Largs in 1263. It's got a…