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  • Ken Ilgunas

Isle of Bute trip

I have a 3.5-year-old daughter who, for the first time, isn't impossible to travel with. We had a nice weekend holiday on the Isle of Bute, where I dusted off my camera, which I hadn't taken out of its case for years.

Once known as the "Madeira of Scotland," Bute used to be a common (and easy) getaway for people across the UK. (A train station takes you right to the ferry, or you could take your car on the ferry for a measly £40 round-trip.) The main town of Rothesay has a shambly, falling-apart feel to it, like it's seen better days, which was the case. Decades ago, cheap flights made it just as easy and cheap to get to the real Madeira, and not one known for midges, rain, and gray skies.

My main observation: For such a small country, the variances in climate across Scotland are exceptional. I live on the dry, sunny east coast. The west coast (just 100 miles away) feels way more sodden, more humid, and more ferny.

Sidenote & something for me to look into: I am amazed that the VIkings came all the way over to raid and colonize these relatively resource-poor Scottish islands, including Bute. On first glance, I don't see how that could have been worth the hassle, but, as I say, something for me to look into...

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