8 reasons to go wild about Glasgow & Bute

The Heart & Soul of Scotland

From west end to west coast! Glasgow is the cultural heart of Scotland, brimming with exceptional museums and galleries, stunning architecture and fantastic places to eat and drink. But why not experience more?


The beautiful west coast island of Bute is a mere hop and a skip away, and it’s packed with culture too. Here are eight reasons why your short break should twin Glasgow with Bute.

Glasgow & Bute


#1 Hunterian

The Hunterian in Glasgow’s west end is Scotland's oldest public museum. Collections include scientific instruments, Roman artifacts and the world’s largest permanent display of the work of James McNeill Whistler. Look out for 'Big Meg', a skeleton of the biggest fish ever to inhabit the world's oceans. Don’t miss the nearby Hunterian Art Gallery and Mackintosh House, a meticulous assemblage of interiors from the Mackintoshes’ Glasgow home.

#2 Modern times

The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) may be housed in an 18th-century neoclassical building in Glasgow city centre, but the work inside is entirely contemporary. You’ll find an exciting range of modern art from international and Scottish artists.

#3 A beacon of creativity  

The former Glasgow Herald building, the first public commission completed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, makes a brilliant home for The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture and Design. Check out the galleries and the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre before making your way to the viewing platform for immense views over Glasgow.

#4 Dig in 

Glasgow’s bursting at its culinary seams with phenomenal places to eat and drink, many in stunning renovated buildings. Have lunch at Mackintosh at The Willow on Sauchiehall Street. For dinner try The Spanish Butcher - a bustling eatery serving the finest Galician beef. Head to the Horse Shoe Bar on Drury Street for some after-dinner drinks.

Stay at the Blythswood Square Hotel, a fabulously elegant hotel at the heart of Glasgow.

Glasgow & Bute


#5 Gothic revival

Mount Stuart is a spectacular neo-Gothic mansion and the ancestral home of the Marquess of Bute. It features magnificent architecture and design together with contemporary craftsmanship. It was one of the most technologically advanced houses of its age and the first home in the world to have a heated swimming pool. Fancy a stroll? Mount Stuart is surrounded by 300 acres of  grounds and gardens.

#6 Capture the castle

Built by the Stewart family to defend against invading Vikings, Rothesay Castle is a magnificent ruin standing at the centre of Rothesay, Bute’s principal town. The circular curtain wall makes it unique in Scotland.

#7 Take a ride

Hop on board the West Coast Tours open top bus for a sightseeing tour of the island. Sit back, relax and enjoy the views as you follow the coastal route looking out for beautiful Ettrick Bay and the seal colony at Scalpsie Bay.

#8 An Argyll feast

Bute is awash with great-tasting produce and you’ll find lots of eateries serving up this local food in stunning locations, from beachside cafés to neighbourhood bistros. Have lunch at Mount Stuart’s Bute Kitchen and head to Harry Haw’s in Rothesay for dinner.

Stay at the Victoria Hotel in Rothesay on Bute. This family-owned hotel is full of character and many of the rooms have cracking views over the Firth of Clyde. For a traditional seaside guesthouse why not stay at the Bayview Hotel overlooking Rothesay Bay.


Glasgow is served by Glasgow Airport and there are regular bus links from the airport into Glasgow city centre. It's well connected by train from across the UK and is easily accessible by Scotland's extensive road network. Visit the Scotrail website and check out Traveline Scotland

Argyll is well connected from Glasgow. You can fly from Glasgow to Campbeltown, Tiree and Islay or head into Glasgow city centre and travel to the region by bus or train. You can also hire a car. Catch a ferry from Gourock to Dunoon and Wemyss Bay to Bute. 

The Scotrail train journey from Glasgow to Wemyss Bay takes around 50 minutes. From here, the CalMac ferry crossing to Rothesay on Bute takes about 45 minutes. The best way to travel around the island is by bus with West Coast Motors.

Visit Glasgow

Explore the Glasgow's must-see sights, cultural attractions, amazing shopping, vibrant nightlife and more - discover Glasgow and make your next stop Argyll - the Heart & Soul of Scotland.

Visit Glasgow

Visit Bute

The Scottish Highlands are nearer than you think. The compact island of Bute has it all: glorious gardens, Victorian architecture, bags of history and great beaches to boot. All just a hop and a skip from Glasgow. 

Visit Bute 


'The Heart & Soul of Scotland' campaign is a partnership between Argyll & The Isles Tourism Cooperative and Glasgow Life, supported by partners: Visit Scotland, Argyll & Bute Council, Love Loch Lomond, ScotRail, Calmac Ferries, Loganair, Enterprise rent-a-car and West Coast Motors.