The town of Rothesay i/ˈrɒθ.si/ (Scottish Gaelic: Baile Bhòid) is the principal town on the Isle of Bute, in the council area of Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It can be reached by ferry from Wemyss Bay which offers an onward rail link to Glasgow. At the centre of the town is Rothesay Castle, a ruined castle which dates back to the 13th century, and which is unique in Scotland for its circular plan. Rothesay lies along the coast of the Firth of Clyde.
Rothesay was the county town in the civil parish of Rothesay in county of Bute, which included the islands of Great Cumbrae, Little Cumbrae and Arran. The county buildings, now partially closed down, overlook the castle.
During the Victorian era, Rothesay developed as a popular tourist destination. It became hugely popular with Glaswegians going "doon the watter" (lit: down the water, where the ‘water’ in question is the Firth of Clyde), and its woodenpier was once much busier with steamer traffic than it is today. Rothesay was also the location of one of Scotland’s many hydropathic establishments during the 19th century boom years of the Hydropathy movement. The town also had an electric tramway – the Rothesay and Ettrick Bay Light Railway – which stretched across the island to one of its largest beaches. However, this closed in the mid-1930s. The centre of activities was the Winter Gardens building (built 1923) which played host to some of the best known music hall
During World War II Rothesay Bay was the home port of HMS Cyclops, the depot ship for the 7th Submarine Flotilla. HMS Cyclops and the 7th Submarine Flotilla served as the training facility for virtually all British submariners who saw service during the war. Bute at War
From the 1960s onwards, with the advent of cheap foreign package holidays, Rothesay’s heyday was largely over. The Winter Gardens closed and lay derelict for many years. However in the 1990s, it was redeveloped and is now a tourist information and exhibition centre.
Duke of Rothesay
The heir to the British throne is known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland. This practice was begun by Robert III, who regularly resided at Rothesay Castle, and first granted the title to his son David in 1398. The title was given to the heir of the Scottish throne until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. Unlike the equivalent English title of Duke of Cornwall, there is no land attached in the form of a Duchy. The main landowner on the island is the Marquess of Bute, whose principal seat, Mount Stuart, is located a few miles to the south.
Rothesay is no longer the seaside town it used to be, with more tourists going to Spain etc. However since the recession tourist numbers have increased. Rothesay has also been granted a multimillion pound harbour development project just in time for an arrival of the next generation lower firth ferries Argyle and Bute.
Filed under: British, Ephemera, Holidays, Traveling Tagged: British Railways, Railway posters, Royal Rothesay