Top things to do

Top Choice Ruins in Port Askaig

Finlaggan

Three miles from Port Askaig, tumbledown ruins of houses and a chapel on an islet in a shallow loch mark what remains of the stronghold of the Lords of the Isles. A wooden walkway leads over the reeds and water lili…
Top Choice Historic Building in Bute

Mount Stuart

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 heating and a heated pool. Its eclectic interior, with an imposi…
Top Choice Ruins in Colonsay

Oronsay Priory

If the tide is right, don't miss walking across the half-mile of cockleshell-strewn sand linking Colonsay to smaller Oronsay. Here you can explore the 14th-century ruins of one of Scotland's best-preserved medieval …
Top Choice Distillery in Port Charlotte

Bruichladdich

A couple of miles from Port Charlotte, Bruichladdich (brook-lad-dy) is an infectiously fun distillery to visit and produces a mind-boggling range of bottlings; there's always some new experiment cooking. The standar…
Top Choice Seafood in Inveraray

Loch Fyne Oyster Bar

The success of this cooperative is such that it now lends its name to dozens of restaurants throughout the UK. But the original is still the best, with large, salty, creamy oysters straight out of the lake, and fabu…
Top Choice Seafood in Tarbert

Starfish

This attractive, very welcoming restaurant does simple, stylish seafood of brilliant quality. A great variety of specials – anything from classic French fish dishes to Thai curries – are prepared with whatever's fre…
Top Choice Bistro in Tighnabruaich

Botanica

In the centre of Tighnabruaich village, this place offers a touch of eclecticism focused on solid British ingredients, with simple classics like asparagus with Bearnaise sauce making a lovely lunchtime treat, and a …
Top Choice Seafood in Gigha

The Boathouse

This picturesque stone cottage is right by the water near the ferry slip. It's the place to go for fresh seafood: local lobster, delicious oysters and sustainable, organic Gigha-farmed halibut are the highlights. Si…
Top Choice Cafe in Rothesay

Musicker

This cool little cafe serves Bute's best coffee, alongside a range of home baking, soups and sandwiches with imaginative fillings. It also sells CDs, books and guitars, and sports an old-fashioned jukebox.
Top Choice Cafe in Kilmartin Glen

Kilmartin Museum Café

The cafe of the Kilmartin House Museum has a lovely conservatory with a view across fields to a prehistoric cairn. Nourishing, delicious, home-style dishes include great vegetarian options, sandwiches, soup, cheeses…