Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland, United Kingdom

The Isles of Bute on the Firth of Clyde has long been a favorite seaside getaway for Glaswegians, since it is just 35 miles from Glasgow. The romantic, moated ruins of the 13th century Rothesay Castle still attract visitors, and certain features, such as the Great Hall and St. Michael’s Chapel have been restored over the years. The most dominant icon of Rothesay is the cast-iron and glass Winter Gardens building with its exotic Chinese style roofs. Today it is fully restored as the Discovery Centre, replete with the surrounding Esplanade Gardens. The venerable Glenbourn Hotel is another landmark from the Victorian era when Rothesay was a magnet for those seeking hydropathy therapies and seaside fun. The Bute Museum artfully displays the island’s long history from Neolithic period through the Bronze, Iron and Viking ages, right through the heyday of the tourist steamers and electric railways. The island offers other gardens as well, including the Ardengraig Gardens on Canada Hill and the Mount Stuart Gardens and House. The elaborate Victorian (men’s) toilets on the pier are likely the only toilets in the world with their own tourist brochure.