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Siorrachd Bhòid
Location Map ( geo)
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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

Approaching Brodick on Arran by ferry

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.


Heading north on the A844 from Rothesay

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 that on 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.

Route From To Length


A841 Largymore Lochranza 23 miles View
A842 Brodick Blackwaterfoot 9.9 miles View
A843 Dippin Blackwaterfoot 12.6 miles View
A844 Port Bannatyne Port Bannatyne (circular route) 22.0 miles View
A845 Rothesay Kingarth 6.7 miles View
A860 Millport Millport 10.0 miles View
A886 Strachur Port Bannatyne 27 miles View   
B875 St Colmac Ettrick Bay 1.9 miles View
B877 Rothesay Ettrick Bay 5.0 miles View
B878 Rothesay Milton 2.0 miles View
B879 Ballianlay St Colmac 3.2 miles View
B880 Brodick Blackwaterfoot 9.4 miles View
B880 Milton Ambrismore 5.0 miles View
B881 Rothesay Kilchatten Bay 6.0 miles View
B896 Millport Millport 9.9 miles View
B899 Millport Cumbrae Slip 1.9 miles View
B8000 Auchenbreck Port Bannatyne 11.5 miles View      


Primary Route
Non Primary Route
Former Motorway
Defunct Route
E Road
Future Motorway
Future Primary
Future Non Primary
Historical Route
Tourist Route
Roman Road
Unbuilt Motorway
Unbuilt Primary
Unbuilt Non Primary
National Cycle Network
Cycle Route
Eurovelo Cycle Route


Main Article: Junctions in Buteshire

Bridges, Tunnels, and other Crossings

Main Article: Crossings in Buteshire

NCN73 • A841 • A842 • A843 • A844 • A845 • A860 • A886 • B875 • B877 (Isle of Bute) • B878 • B879 (Bute) • B880 • B880 (Bute) • B881 • B896 • B899 • B8000 (Colintraive)
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