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West Island Way
Picture representing West Island Way Isle of Bute

West Island Way

Isle of Bute PA20

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A long-distance waymarked path traversing most of Bute

Encompassing some of the finest walking on the island, the West Island Way crosses a variety of landscapes including coastal areas, moorland and forest,and skirts many of our most famous landmarks plus a few lesser-known beauties too.

A great way to immerse yourself in our varied wildlife - no promises of course, but walkers often come across seals and otters, sharks, porpoise, deer, hares and abundant birdlife from oystercatchers to golden eagles and everything inbetween.

Most folks tackling the whole walk will do so over two days, staying mid-way in or near Rothesay.

Dogs Welcome

Stage 1: Kilchattan Bay Circular

With amazing views across the Firth of Clyde, this section of the Way takes in the landmarks such as Hawk's Neb, the Rubh' an Eun lighthouse, Glencallum Bay and the beautifully atmospheric St Blane's Chapel ruins.

West Island Way for Stage 1: Kilchattan Bay Circular
  • 5 mile walk (8km)
  • Moderate difficulty - fairly strenuous
  • Views over Arran and Ailsa Craig
  • Accessible by bus (490)
  • Common wildlife includes deer, otters, seals
  • Birdlife includes falcons, buzzards & guillemots

Stage 2: Kilchattan Bay to Port Bannatyne

Mixed coastal and inland terrains on this longer walk North towards Rothesay and then on to Port Bannatyne

West Island Way for Stage 2: Kilchattan Bay to Port Bannatyne
  • 11.5 mile walk (18.5km)
  • Mostly easy walking with long gentle gradients
  • Views over Inchmarnock and Arran
  • Can be broken into shorter walks
  • Common wildlife includes roe and red deer
  • Birdlife includes ospreys, ravens and cuckoo

Stage 3: Port Bannatyne to Rhubodach

A lovely walk over hills and through glens and forest to the Kyles of Bute and the northernmost point of the island

West Island Way for Stage 3: Port Bannatyne to Rhubodach
  • 8.5 mile walk (14km)
  • Moderate difficulty - some hills involved
  • Visit a decoy WWII village on route
  • Can return by bus if desired!
  • Wildlife includes roe / red deer and grouse
  • Golden eagles are occasionally seen near forests

Stage 4: Rhubodach to Port Bannatyne

A coastal walk with a choice of difficulties - high moorland walks with outstanding panoramic views for the more adventurous, or a roadside verge walk for the more sedate

West Island Way for Stage 4: Rhubodach to Port Bannatyne
  • 5.5 mile walk (8.5km)
  • Moderate or low difficulty - choice of routes
  • Careful navigation needed in some sections
  • Beautiful views over Loch Striven and the Kyles
  • Roe & red deer and highland cattle can be seen
  • Curlew, grouse and hen harriers are common

Throughout each section there are plenty of waymarkers, and detailed notes are available from the West Island Way website. It goes without saying that you should always go prepared - suitable clothing and footwear, maps, mobile phone, water and provisions

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West Island Way Website

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The information presented here is collected from the public domain and/or feedback from previous customers, users of or visitors to West Island Way. It is presented in good faith but is not warranted to be complete or free from errors. E&OE.

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