For many years Wemyss Bay has been an important travel hub for people visiting the area or for travellers heading to the Isle of Bute. Wemyss Bay is strategically important for two main modes of transport: trains and boats.
Wemyss Bay station is the end of the line for the Glasgow Central to Wemyss Bay railway line. This route was first introduced in 1865. Since then many visitors have stopped at Wemyss Bay on their travels to other places such as Skelmorlie, Largs and the small town of Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. A bus stop is also situated just outside the station allowing travellers to go to other places by road such as Inverkip, Largs or beyond.
At the turn of the twentieth century it was a very popular stop for the Victorians with the many steamships stopping at all the piers along the banks of the River Clyde. The captains of such popular boats like the original ‘Waverley’ and the famous ‘Jeannie Deans’ used to race each other from stop to stop such as Greenock, Gourock, Blairmore, Dunoon, Kirn and Largs, egged on by their passengers. Although a trip ‘Doon the Watter’ was popular with the working class of that time many Glasgow Merchants involved in trading silks, tobacco, sugar and general supplies would often have a second home on one of the many seaside towns on the banks of the Clyde.
The visitors would often head to Rothesay for their annual holidays where simple pleasures such as a a walk along the beach, a show at the local theatre, a visit to the winter gardens or just walking along the promenade perusing the architecture of the buildings. However the joy for many of those early holidaymakers was to be away from the smog created by heavy industry that choked their city with poor air quality and to breathe in clean air at the seaside.
The Wemyss Bay Ferry Terminal and Rail Station are adjacent to each other providing continuity in public transport. The Wemyss Bay to Rothesay Ferry is operated by Caledonian MacBrayne and carries foot passengers and vehicles. The ferries run consistantly during the day carrying local people visitors and the important job of delivering a supply facility to the island.
Wemyss Bay station is a delight to the eye. With it’s Victorian design of cast metal and huge twisted walkway to the ferry the station is always well maintained by the staff who bring colour to the place with flower pots, hanging baskets and they also keep the station in a clean condition. There are toilets and a bar, should you wish to have a drink of alcohol before embarking on the ferry. There is also a small bookshop and ample parking for those who decide to come to Wemyss Bay by car. The shop sells some historical memorabilia about the stations development. It also has some tourist information on the local area.
Remember running from the train to the boat is for the hectic traveller. Sometimes you just have to slow down a little and take time to enjoy yourself and the journey. As someone once said, ‘it’s not the destination that’s important, it’s the whole journey’. Remember, there will always be another ferry in an hour.
Our suggestion is when you come off your train take your time and try and see something of Wemyss Bay. You can start by crossing the street to our small haven and treat yourself to a snack, or if you prefer a meal we can do that too. You can sit at the window of our Cafe and watch the world go by - slowly. The cafe does a great range of hot and cold drinks providing the best teas and coffee for miles around. Whether your taste is a latte. cappuccino or an espresso our modern coffee machine can serve most requests made to us. If tea is your pleasure we serve a wide range of traditional and modern flavoured teas of the finest quality. Indulge yourself from our cakes and pastries stand.
Once you have had your fill you can amble along the front of Wemyss Bay and take in the view of the River Clyde, there’s always something happening on the water. You can even watch for your ferry leaving Rothesay and sailing back towards Wemyss Bay, so you’ll know when to walk down the gangway to meet the arriving ferry.
Our bistro is home to the popular wine evenings which are held throughout the year. We call them the McCaskies Wine Club nights. Our club nights are usually attended by locals and tourists interested in great food and good wines. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll keep you informed when the next nights are.
McCaskie Butchers: the multi award winning specialist butcher is adjacent to the Bistro and is well stocked with a range of specialist meats and deli items including wines and cheeses.
Having recently won a range of awards including Scotland's Haggis Champion 2015 to 2016, West of Scotland Beefburger Champion and West of Scotland Pork Sausage Champion not forgetting our title of West of Scotland Black Pudding Champion you can tell by our awards you are in food heaven.
If you are travelling to your destination in the local area we can supply our great produce direct to your door. We have many visitors from the local caravan parks who order barbecue packs to make up whilst they sit in the great outdoors. We can also supply you with the all important wine, fruit and veg and any other items from our deli range.
Don’t forget we can make a pace up for you on your home travels or if you don’t want to carry it we can have it delivered to your door anywhere in the UK.
Order online at www.mccaskiebutchers.co.uk or call 01475 520192