A DOGGY DAY ADVENTURE

I love days away with the dogs but my last van wasn’t reliable enough to go anywhere far but now I have a new van I was desperate to go somewhere nice.  Our last doggy day out was at Great Cumbrae last year so we’ve been long over due another.  Doggy day outs usually involve my friend Isobel and her dog Chilli and me and my own dogs Ruby and Flo.  But today special doggy  guests Roxy and Oscar came along for the fun too.  We love visiting the islands and have also visited Arran too with the dogs. So we left on the morning hoping the weather would stay warm and dry and not really knowing what things to do on Bute but deciding beforehand to visit Ettrick Bay, Scalpsie Bay the Kingarth Stone circle and find somewhere nice for lunch.

ETTRICK BAY

A ONE MILE LONG GOLDEN BEACH

So first place we visit is Ettrick Bay on the west coast to let the dogs run and play for a bit.  It has a gorgeous 1 mile long beach, fine sands.  It’s just so super clean and safe (monitored by SEPA) and the water is crystal clear.  It was hot and sunny and the dogs loved just running around and swimming to cool off.  We walked nearly the whole length of the bay, met and spoke to some fellow dog owners then returned back and ate lunch outside at the Ettrick Bay Tearoom.  Brill place to go and food was fab.

SCALPSIE BEACH

A SECLUDED BAY WITH REDDISH SANDS

We were recommended to visit Scalpsie beach as it has a colony of 200 seals to the north of the bay.  It’s another gorgeous beach and you can see Arran and the Holy Isle over the water.  It has a series of posts set in the sand which were part of the WW2 invasion defences.  It’s much more pebbly and rocky than Ettrick beach but absolutely gorgeous.  We never saw the colony of seals but we did see one in the distance just bobbing about.

ST BLANE'S MONASTRY

A RUINED 6TH CENTURY CHURCH

We actually found this by accident while stopping to ask for directions to the stone circle.  St Blane’s monastry was founded by Blane in the 6th century but didn’t survive the Viking incursions that began in 790.

KINGARTH STONE CIRCLE

BRONZE AGE MEGALITHIC MONUMENT

I think there’s something amazing about stone circle’s.  They’re an amazing reminder of our ancient lost culture.  The Kingarth standing stones are situated inside a plantation and built during the bronze age.  There are just 3 standing stones left and since they contain so much quartz they glisten.  When we passed in the car the stones were lit up by the sun and stood out among the darkened trees surrounding them – very atmospheric.

So a fab day out and the dogs loved it.  We even saw the Waverley leave Rothesay to go black to Glasgow and the people getting back on it looked as if they had as much fun as we had. Bute is not expensive to get to and travelling time is very quick.  We reckon it took about 1 hour travelling time each way including ferry ride.

ADDITIONAL INFO

How to get there: Calmac Ferry from Weymess Bay to Rothesay (35 minutes).  No booking necessary. See Calmac website for ferry details. Population: 6,498 Principal town: Rothesay Website: Visit Bute

Isle of Bute

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