Island View: Rural and urban charms

The Glenburn Hotel is an iconic part of Rothesay's skyline.
The Glenburn Hotel is an iconic part of Rothesay's skyline.

With discussion on Bute recently being dominated by the recent pre-application consultation carried out regarding a prospective hotel complex opposite the Skeoch Woods, I was reminded about the balance the island strikes between luxury hospitality and rugged wilderness.

Rothesay’s legacy as a booming tourist resort has left its marks in the amount of hotels, guest houses and B&Bs in the town, with no shortage of high-class accommodation, food and drink to find.

The Glenburn Hotel by its impressive facade alone lends an air of opulence to the eastern side of Rothesay Bay.

And on the opposite shore the art deco Pavilion, still undergoing refurbishment, is an iconic part of the history of the town and the island.

But you only need to head a little way out of town to be met with a more rustic aesthetic entirely.

Especially in the sort of weather we have been treated to recently, the rugged hills surrounding the bay are a bleak but bracing reminder of the wild beauty that can be found throughout Scotland.

Further out, the road to Ardbeg neighbours the Skeoch Woods, a popular spot for ramblers and dog walkers.

Continuing out through Port Bannatyne and making for Ettrick Bay opens up plenty more opportunities for walking along the coastline.

Similar walks begin in Kilchattan Bay, and at Rhubodach.

In short, you can pretty much pick a direction out of Rothesay and start walking, and before long you’ll be knee-deep in impressive scenery.

There’s a perfect balance between urban amenities and fresh air attractions.