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Isle of Bute Publications

Bute is an intriguing island with a fascinating geological evolution, and a captivating history of human occupation going back approximately 8000 years. Small wonder that it has been the subject of countless books, research papers, and feature articles over the years. Examples of its rich natural and built heritage can be found at virtually every turn in the landscape, and so it is a favourite destination for outdoor enthusiasts whether walkers, hikers, explorers, birders, or cyclists - who can access a wide selection of maps giving detailed coverage of the Island.

The publications below provide useful information on the Isle of Bute, and would be perfect for pre-planning a visit, or as a source for further investigation, or even as a gift.


  1. The Place Names of Bute: by Gilbert Markus (Published July 2012)
  2. Bute: A Guide: by David McDowall (Published May 2010)
  3. The Isle of Bute: Norman S. Newton (many colour photographs)
  4. Bute's War: How a Small Scottish Island Met the Demands of Its Country at War: Jess Sandeman (Illustrated; Paperback - Jun 2005)
  5. Walking Argyll and Bute: Mary Welsh & Christine Isherwood (Clan Walk Guides; Paperback - 7 April 2006)
  6. A Brandane Boy - memories of an island childhood: John Stewart (hardback & paperback - August 2009)
  7. Arran, Bute and Cumbrae: Ron Scholes (Paperback - 14 Jun 2006)
  8. The Clyde Islands: Arran, Bute and the Cumbraes: John Gillham (A Questa Pocket Visitors' Guide; Paperback - 1 April 2002)
  9. The sea road to Bute: Ralph Roney & Ann K. Jones
  10. Recipes from the Isle of Bute: Patricia Lyon (Paperback)
  11. Rothesay Tramways Company,1879-1949: Ian Leslie Cormack (Paperback)
  12. Clyde Coast Smuggling: JRD Campbell
  13. Isle of Bute (Geologists' Association Guide): Julian Hill, J.T. Greensmith, and David Buist (Paperback - Dec 1991)
  14. Happy Days in Rothesay: Jenny Chaplin
  15. Field Guide to the Isle of Bute (Geology of the Island of Bute, where to collect rocks, minerals and fossils. Includes access information. 95 Pages)
  16. Publications about Bute produced by the Buteshire Natural History Society
NOTE: Item 2 is available for sale at the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, Victoria Street, Rothesay. Phone: 01700-502151; Email: info@rothesay.visitscotland.com; and also from the Bute Museum (including mail order): Phone 01700-505067; email


  1. Isle of Bute: West Island Way - Scotland's First Long Distance (Waymarked) Island Footpath (February 2001)
  2. Walks around Bute: Footprint Map (Map & guide for 8 easy-to-follow walks)
  3. Cowal West and Isle of Bute: OS Explorer Map (Map - 13 Nov 2006)
  4. Cowal West and Isle of Bute: OS Explorer Map Active (Map - 13 Nov 2006)
  5. Cowal West and Isle of Bute (Lamfold OS Explorer Map) (Map - 1 Oct 2004)
  6. 25 Cycle Routes: Argyll and Bute (25 Cycle Routes): Erl B. Wilkie (Paperback - 23 Aug 2001)
  7. Circular 18km cycle route map and description (PDF file)

  8. NOTE: Many of the above maps, as well as a wide range of free brochures, are also available at the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, Victoria Street, Rothesay. Phone: 01700-502151; Email: info@rothesay.visitscotland.com

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