Treat yourself to a meal at one of these excellent eateries!
No kayaking trip to Bute is complete without a hearty meal at one of these restaurants.
At the end of a long day of kayaking you’ll no doubt feel a little drained and whilst you could choose to fire up the cooking stove to make a rustic camping meal, you know that what you really want is a hearty cooked meal at one of Bute’s excellent restaurants.
Scotland is a country that is extremely proud of its food and that includes the tonnes of high quality seafood that is pulled from the Scottish seas each year, as well as the premier standard steaks that are produced from our cows. Whether we’re battering and deep-frying our fish with a punnet of chips, or serving up a premium sirloin steak, restaurants in Scotland take real pride how they prepare and present their food.
Here’s a list of our favourite all out Scottish restaurants on the Isle of Bute – please make sure to contact the restaurants directly to book a table in advance, as many of these establishments are popular with both locals and visitors:
This is a true family favourite and that’s a sure-winner with even the most pickiest of orders. The food at Harry Haw’s is cooked with fresh ingredients and ranges from the traditional (Medallions of Scotch Beef, Haggis Stuffed Chicken) to the more inventive (Thai Coconut Veggie Curry, Pank Deep Fried Brie). For desert there’s something for everyone from a classic Knickerbocker Glory to Harry Haw’s Baked Camembert. There are only 38 covers at this restaurant, so it’s well worth book ahead.
Billed as the only country pub in the Isle of Bute, although this historical building was renovated as recently as 2001 many parts of it date as far back as the late 18th century. Open for 364 days of the year, this is a restaurant that has become well known for its quintessential historical style and excellent home-style cookery. You can choose to eat in one of four different areas and choose from an extensive menu offering an extensive selection of classic pub grub dishes.
We’ve already mentioned the quality of service that’s available at the Victoria Hotel, but it’s certainly worth mentioning that there’s also a fantastic restaurant on site where you can enjoy a number of excellently prepared meals including classic Cullen Skink, a full-blown Steak dinner, as well as a selection of gourmet style burgers.
We understand that kayaking might not exactly be for everyone but that doesn’t mean that visiting Bute and the surrounding lads of Western Scotland is necessarily off the menu for you…
West Scotland is full of wonderful scenery and rammed with the kinds of fun activities that you’d expect in a country of people who are as proud of their country as the Scottish are.
You might have heard that there are plenty of things to do in North Wales, but there’s even more on offer here in West Scotland. Get in touch with these instructors and tour operators to see what else you could get up to on your next trip to Bute:
Rock Climbing with West Coast Mountain Guides
Having been established in 1988, Alan Kimber set about building a team of instructors that would uphold his high standards for quality instruction and safety. Today his crew of qualified instructors take groups out to all sorts of destinations throughout the year, including climbs up Ben Nevis and Winter climbing introductory courses. Guides and instructors are available to take your around many of the area’s most iconic ascents such as the challenging Cuillin Ride on the Isle of Skye.
SUP Stand Up Paddle-boarding
Whilst kayaking is doubtless a good starter for sport for anyone looking to get a paddle in their hands, there’s a lot to be said for the more recent invention of Stand Up Paddle-boarding (SUP). Wilderness Scotland is now offering a unique opportunity for over-stressed urbanites to escape their city (and their phones) for a weekend of care-free paddling, wild camping and casual nature watching. The price of the package is not to be sniffed at, but its a great way of experience the west coast by water, without sitting in a kayak that is!
TRYkitesurfing was set up by open-water swimming champion Mark Deans in 2003 making the centre the longest running in Scotland. Based on Barassie Beach, the school benefits from ideal wind conditions for kite surfing so Mark and his team can get you acquainted with this extreme sport as quickly as possible. Their aim is to be able to take you from complete novice to a confident solo kitesurfer, so that by the time your lesson is finished you’ll have the tools to start kitesurfing by yourself.
Don’t think that you need to fly all the way out to South East Asia to get a true island hopping experience. Bute and the surrounding areas offer the perfect opportunity for intrepid explorers to bounce across a number of different craggy islands with the option for wild camping on nearly all of them. Whether you choose to take a ferry, hop in a sea kayak, canoe or hire a boat – the Islands of the Firth of Clyde are waiting for you to explore them, all you need to do is get out there!
Kayaking on the West Cost of Scotland is easy with the help of these businesses…
Arisaig Sea Kayak Centre
Mike Martin is the man behind Arisaig Sae Kayak Centre a professionally run outfit that offers a number sea kayak activities and courses to get stuck into. Mike holds the highest level of sea leadership qualifications in addition to a number of Advanced water coaching certificates making him a fully qualified kayak coach in any sea state. The Arisaig coastlines is famed for its turquoise waters and white sand beaches, all of which you can admire from the comfort of a sturdy sea kayak.
Sea Kayak Argyll & Bute
If you’d rather take to the water a little closer to Bute then Phil from Sea Kayak Argyll & Bute is the man to see. Phil takes dozens of organised trips out all across the world each year, in addition to offering specialist training in a number of areas such as Rolling, Outdoor First Aid and Sea Survival. Of course, a man such as this is in much demand and, as a result, he often finds himself booked for months so it’s best to get in touch with him as much in advance as possible.
National Kayak School
Oban is a must-visit tourist destination that should be on any visitor’s agenda, hiring a kayak from Sea Kayak Oban gives you the opportunity to experience this place from a completely different perspective. In addition to running their own independent sea kayak shop, the owners also offer day trips and courses for visitors hoping to see what this attractive part of the Scottish coast has to offer. Trips can be taken out to the neighbouring isles of Mull, Iona and Colonsay, to name a few.
Loch Goil Kayak Hire
Located right on the edge of Loch Goil you’ll find Carrick Farm, a peaceful place to stay that also offers kayak hire for up to 19 people at a time. There are a number of options open to paddlers keen to get a closer look at the stunning landscape including stable sit-top kayaks, open canoes and stand-up paddle boards for those looking to try something a little different. Although there are plenty of kayak options here, they do ask that any inexperienced paddlers stay within 50m of the shore.