Our next trip into Scotland was a great mix of ferry and train travel, to a notable Scottish Island, named Bute. To get there, we got a train from Glasgow to Wemyss Bay, where the ferry sails from…
Status: Inverclyde, Village, Scotland
Travel: Virgin Trains (Carlisle – Glasgow Central), Scotrail (Glasgow Central – Wemyss Bay via Paisley Gilmour Street), Caledonian MacBrayne (Wemyss Bay – Rothesay)
Eating & Sleeping: N/A
Attractions: Wemyss Bay Train Station, Skelmorlie, Port, Firth of Clyde etc
The train station in Wemyss Bay is part of the ferry port too, as they form part of the same building so passengers can disembark the train and walk around the corner straight to the ferry itself. We got a return ticket over to the Island of Bute, to the main town of Rothesay.
We had a bit of time to kill before we boarded the ferry, so we went off to explore the immediate area. The train station itself is a great building, from 1903 and has a beautiful, curved glass roof. A clock tower stands at one end of the building, and it is the terminus of the train line between Wemyss Bay and Glasgow Central.
Just down the road, literally a minute or two walk, is the border between the council areas of Inverclyde (which we were already in) and North Ayrshire, leading to the small village of Skelmorlie. We quickly nipped over the border to do a bit more exploring, and had just enough time to look back at the ferry port.
From here we could see the ferry at the end of the pier. The ferry can transport cars as well as foot passengers, and it takes around 35 minutes to get over to the island. We made our way back to the ferry port and back through the impressive station building.
This is the walkway connecting the platforms with the ferry pier, and keeps up the curved glass roof, a feat of Victorian Engineering. We boarded the ferry, and began the next stage of our journey.
It was a very smooth crossing, and the sun was shining (although a bracing wind whipped around us, it was October after all) making it a lovely day for a trip out by boat. It was a relatively big ferry, and it included a car deck, a small shop with hot drinks and some tv’s at the forward observation lounge. There were seats up on the top deck as well, open to the elements.
The views we got as we sailed across the firth of Clyde were spectacular, with the rising hills of the Highlands visible far off into the distance, along with some other boats in the vicinity, and of course a great view of the Island of Bute itself.
Further along the route we passed Toward Lighthouse, sat in the small village of Toward at the end of the mainland section of Argyll and Bute that almost connects with Bute. The Lighthouse itself was constructed in 1812, and is still in use today. It stands 63 metres tall and it is easily visible from Bute.
Not long after we reached our destination, and pulled into port in Rothesay, on the Island of Bute, and we started part 2 of our journey…