|Location Map ( geo)|
|Other Important Destinations|
|Brodick • Rothesday|
|Current Highway Authorities|
|Argyll & Bute Council • North Ayrshire Council|
|Ayrshire • Argyll|
|Transport Scotland Roads|
Buteshire is a small traditional county in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. It covers the islands of Bute, Arran and the Cumbrae isles. Other than Orkney and [[Zetland] it is the only Scottish County to not include any portion of the mainland.
Geography & Economy
The largest of the three islands is Arran, often described as 'Scotland in Miniature'. Howver, the most populous is Bute due to its less mountainous terrain and rich farmland. Both Rothesay, the Capital of Bute and Millport on Cumbrae developed as resorts for Glaswegians going 'doon the watter' in the Victorian era, and they remain popular day trip destinations, served by ferries from Wemyss Bay and Largs respectively.
The main settlements all face east or south east, towards the Ayrshire coast. This is partly due to the prevailing winds coming from the south west, so the better harbours are on the sheltered east coast. It was also closer to the main markets around Glasgow, whether labour or trade, which have dictated much of the islands history. In recent years, tourism has become an important element for all three islands, but in the past it was fishing and farming that sustained them, with dairy farming and cheese making still important businesses.
All three islands road networks loosely consist of a perimeter road around the coast, with one or two other routes crossing the interior. In the case of Bute, the island ring road is often some distance from the coast, with the hilly north and south ends bypassed via easier inland routes. At one point the island ring roads were all A roads, but Cumbrae was downgraded to a B road many years ago, and more recently the Arran road has been reduced to unclassified along the sparsely populated western shore.
All the roads in this county are non-trunk roads and those on the Isle of Bute are maintained by Argyll & Bute, whilst North Ayrshire Council look after the rest. The islands main ferry services are from the Renfrewshire and Ayrshire coast, but both Bute and Arran are also served by shorter crossings from Argyll.
|A844||Port Bannatyne||Port Bannatyne (circular route)||22.0 miles||View|
|A886||Strachur||Port Bannatyne||27 miles||View|
|B8000||Auchenbreck||Port Bannatyne||11.5 miles||View|
|B875||St Colmac||Ettrick Bay||1.9 miles||View|
|B877||Rothesay||Ettrick Bay||5.0 miles||View|
|B879||Ballianlay||St Colmac||3.2 miles||View|
|B881||Rothesay||Kilchatten Bay||8.3 miles||View|
|B899||Millport||Cumbrae Slip||1.9 miles||View|