Rothesay Town Walk

This is a short circular route which has a steep incline halfway through. It links the main areas of interest in Rothesay with a woodland and seafront stroll allowing views across Rothesay Bay.

Technical sheet
No. 21296247
A North Ayshire walk posted on 24/04/22 by sarahhcfe. Update : 25/04/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 0h55[?]
Distance Distance : 1.71mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 148ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 138ft
Highest point Highest point : 157ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 7ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : North Ayshire
Starting point Starting point : N 55.838505° / W 5.054407°
Download : -
Rothesay Castle


(D/A) With your back to the water, walk South to the main road (junction between High street and A844), then turn right (West) and walk towards the Winter Gardens (Information Centre). Walk past the entrance to the Winter Gardens and turn right (North) taking the path through the park to the far corner.

(1) From the Highland/Lowland sign, walk around the fountain back to the main road (Victoria Street), cross the road and walk Eastwards until you reach the High Street on your left. Turn right (South)into the High Street and walk Southwards, you will pass Rothesay Castle on your right. Continue walking South, then turn right into Stuart Street for Bute Museum.

(2) From Bute Museum, walk back to the main street then down High Street towards the harbour. Turn right (East) at the Town Hall into Castle Street and walk to the foot of Serpentine Road. Take the steps at the side of Serpentine Road and then turn left (North) into Bishop Terrace. Walk along Bishop Terrace until you see the sign for the walking route to Ardencraig Gardens. Take this path and walk through the woodland.

(3) You will eventually reach a lefthand branch in the path, take either this one North, or the next past the Glenburn Hotel on to Glenburn Road. Walk down the road until you reach the seafront and A844. Turn left (South-West) and walk along the seafront until you reach the harbour again then right (North) to the starting point. (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 10ft - Victorian Toilets, Rothesay Harbour
1 : mi 0.22 - alt. 7ft - Highland/Lowland Boundary
2 : mi 0.53 - alt. 33ft - Bute Museum
3 : mi 1.15 - alt. 157ft - Junction in footpath/Glenburn Hotel
D/A : mi 1.71 - alt. 20ft - Rothesay Harbour

Useful Information

Transport: There is parking around the harbour (Albert Pier Car Park) and on the streets, the main Rothesay bus stop is opposite the harbour and ferries from Wemyss Bay arrive here if you taking a day trip from the mainland.

Facilities: There are a number of cafes around the harbour and on High Street towards the castle. Toilets are located in the Winter Gardens.

Accessibility: The main areas are flat and paved, however the Serpentine Hill and woodland stretch include a narrow dirt path and steep gradients. The walk can be made entirely accessible by returning to the harbour after visiting the castle and museum. Turn right and walk along the seafron as far as the Glenburn Hotel, you will see this on your right, then retracing your steps to the harbour.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

  • Victorian Toilets (a visitor attaction in their own right, at the time of writing (2022) these were closed for renovation).
  • Rothesay Harbour
  • Winter Gardens (very helpful staff in the information centre here, maps and souvenirs too)
  • Highland/Lowland Sign
  • Look for the heads carved above the row of shops opposite the harbour.
  • Rothesay Castle (this was closed due to safety reasons at the time of writing with no date for reopening)
  • Bute Museum
  • To extend the walk, continue following the woodland path to Ardencraig Gardens, then return via the seafront.

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