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Where is Bute and how do I get there?

So you've decided to come and visit our lovely island but you don't know where to start?!

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Last updated: 16/01/2022

The Isle of Bute, situated in the Firth of Clyde inbetween the coasts of North Ayrshire and the Cowal & Kintyre peninsulae, is well-served by two regular ferry services operated by Calendonian MacBrayne.

The most popular route due to its proximity to Glasgow and the motorway network connects Wemyss Bay (just south of Greenock and just north of Largs) with the main island town of Rothesay. Two large RO-RO ferries serve this route with a 35 minute crossing time, with one ship departing each side approximately once per hour or thereabouts with some variation throughout the day to take account of rail connections and commuter times. Wemyss Bay also has a railway station with a direct connection to Glasgow Central.

An alternative 5-minute crossing is available half-hourly on a smaller vessel between the village of Colintraive on the mainland, and the hamlet of Rhubodach on the Isle of Bute some 10 miles from Rothesay. Colintraive is some distance from the nearest mainland towns, however, with Dunoon being closest at 20 miles via a mountain pass with long stretches of single-track road. It's a great way to reach Bute however from the towns of Inveraray (42 miles) and Oban (80 miles).

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