Beautiful Bute

7 Feb

I’m just back from what my sister called my “overseas tour” – speaking to a literary society on the Isle of Bute.

Bute is really not that far from Glasgow, so I was half embarrassed that I had never been there, half unable to believe that I had really never been. I spent the first few minutes as the ferry docked in Rothesay dredging up childhood memories of seaside towns I had visited, like Tarbert (ok, lochside, not seaside) and Millport, and mentally holding them up for comparison. But no, none of them fitted.

Rothesay, the capital, is bigger than I realised, and surprisingly town-like. (I was expecting a village.) It has a cinema, swimming baths, lots of social housing, a decent library and actual shops selling things other than postcards and scented candles.

As for the rest of Bute, I never saw it, although there do seem to be a lot of tourist sites (famous gardens, impressive buildings), and three different people told me I must visit St Blane‘s church on the south of the island. So I expect I will go back some day, probably in summer when the weather is a bit less dreich. After all l it’s only two hours and 20 quid from the centre of Glasgow.

As for the North Bute Literary Society, they were very welcoming and listened intently as I took them on a flying visit to the late Roman era and the dark ages, although they asked some seriously challenging questions afterwards! And could I remember the date of Constantine’s conversion off-hand? No reader, I could not. But I survived, and they seemed to enjoy it, and now it is on to the, ahem, international leg of my tour. (I’m away to England.)

And just so you don’t say I’m not nice to you, here’s another lovely picture of sunrise on Bute.

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