You Are So Bute-iful To Me

AnElephantCant wait to tell you
Of Bute and all its beautiful bays
Sand, shingle and rock
Such a pleasure to walk
The Elephant spends his time in a permanent daze

Kilchattan has the red sands
And Scalpsie has the seals
Ettrick for paddling
Waddling or dawdling
AnElephant is so happy he squeals

So what to say, where to start?
Port Bannatyne, known as ‘The Port’, lies just north of Rothesay on Kames Bay, with views of Loch Striven.
It is perhaps worth mentioning to the uninitiated that in Scotland some lochs are fresh water (or inland) while others are sea lochs.
In the Lowlands, sea lochs are generally known as firths, e.g. Firth of Clyde, Firth of Forth while in the Highlands they are usually, but not always, just lochs.
In other countries they are fjords or even estuaries.
There is not much in Port Bannatyne, although it does have a 13-hole golf course (with stunning views.
But then everything on Bute has stunning views.) Yes, 13.
And Kames Castle (below) lies just outside the village.

On the other side of the island, directly west of ‘The Port’, is Ettrick Bay.
Glorious beaches here, and, on the days of AnElephant’s visits, people swimming in the sea!
This is not common in Scotland.
Even in what is laughingly called summer here the water can be used to chill wine or children as the mood takes you.
But it was gorgeous and your Elephant took full advantage of the weather to cool his aging extremities.
Then a sensation – an intrepid wild life photographer captured a rare shot of the Elephant at play, with the Isle of Arran visible in the background (see below).
And there is a café here which home bakes apple and rhubarb pie, which it serves with fresh cream.
AnElephant went there twice.

At the south-east end of the island is the village of Kilchattan Bay.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is also a bay on which the village sits.
There is almost nothing here, apart from a little pier (see below), but it is tranquillity epitomised.
It has a beach of red sand, and views across the Clyde and the Cumbraes to Largs on the mainland.
The Cumbraes are islands, known as Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae.
AnElephant will award a prize to the first person who can guess why this is.
Largs is famous for Nardini’s, an ice cream parlour which was opened in 1935, and a battle, which took place even earlier.
In 1263 Norway was claiming sovereignty over the western Scottish islands and seaboard, and so sent an army to enforce these claims.
They anchored in the Clyde to prepare for battle the following day.
Then, unexpectedly to everyone except those of us who have been to Scotland, a storm blew up, and the fleet was scattered and driven ashore.
A battle took place at Largs, possibly due to the lack of ice cream, and the Norwegians were sent homewards to think again.
This battle is commemorated by a monument called The Pencil.
There is another prize on offer if you can guess why.

So, back to Bute!
And to Scalpsie Bay, where the Elephant and his Mahout spent a magical few hours in the sunshine.
Yep, hard to believe, but true.
You know AnElephantCant tell a lie.

A beautiful beach leads to a rocky headland where the seals catch the rays, man, lolling about on the rocks regarding AnElephant with some surprise.
A buzzard is chased from a high rock face by a swarm (or whatever) of wagtails, aided by a few gulls.
A hare is startled by AnElephant who is in turn startled by the hare.
Shags (or possibly cormorants, not sure of the distinction) hang their wings out to dry on the rocks, or skim the surface of the astonishingly placid water.
Arran is, of course, just a few miles across the sea, looming high on the horizon, the Sleeping Warrior majestic in his repose.
The Holy Isle is clearly visible in Brodick Bay, at the southern end of Arran.
Beyond that lies the South Ayrshire coast, with its undulating pasturelands behind.
In short, this is the day when Scotland is just slightly more heavenly than heaven.

AnElephant is at peace with the world.


Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs upon the slimy sea!

That most deadly and vicious of all the world’s deadly and vicious sea predators, the Wild Sea Water Haggis, (pictured below, please view with extreme caution) resplendent in its crusty spiky defensive shell, its mighty offensive claws ready to rip apart any creature it can find and catch.
Now, in all honesty, there are not too many creatures it can find and catch, but still, if you were one of those creatures you would know all about it, boy, that is for sure.
No messing.

This lethal monster is the aquatic cousin of the two better known mountain haggises, or haggi, as we say in Scotland.
The Hillside Haggis, with its two short and two long legs, is perhaps the better known, but the elusive and rarely seen three-legged Haggis is considered the greater delicacy in the restaurants of Paris, Monte Carlo and Damperton-Sur-Leven, where your Elephant is currently billeted.

Ah, now these sweet culinary delights remind the Elephant that it is almost time for dinner. Pass the peanuts, please!!

And he does hope you enjoyed your trip to this little piece of Paradise.

This entry was posted in Daft Rhymes, humour, Scottish Stuff, funny and serious and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to You Are So Bute-iful To Me

  1. Pingback: Isle Be Loving You Always | anelephantcant

  2. Alastair says:

    What a great view there. And the deadly Water Haggis. Now I know what to look out for.


  3. Pingback: Autumn Rhymes With Bottom to AnElephant’s Delight! « anelephantcant

  4. pennycoho says:

    Okay I see your point re: the comments, but I believe those who commented and those who liked did read your post including the wild sea water haggis – your elusive and entertaining cousins to mythical (and magical I think) land haggi. I did read this part before and I loved the photo of the wild sea haggis, shouldn’t one side be longer than the other, no wait, no need they’re on flat land :). I didn’t comment earlier on the last part of your post because I had already enjoyed, so much, your beautiful photographs and the fullsome descriptions of the lands where your live. Both Christina and I were sighing and wishing we could be there for real. I’m guessing your other viewers and commenters felt the same way we did, my friend.


    • Well, jings lassies, you are both so welcome.
      My land is your land.
      My home is your home.
      Thank you for your comments.


      • pennycoho says:

        Certainly most welcome, a pleasure to do so. Yes right now we are figuring out a way, some time in the future to make it over to your side of the world, neither of us are world travellers, as yet, so we think it would be a great and fun thing to do. Thank you for your invitation to us. To be welcomed into your home, an honor. Much thanks, from us both, with affection Penny


  5. Francina says:

    Beautiful photos..and I really enjoyed reading the story with it. It’s so beautiful on your side of the creek. Thank you for sharing!
    Ciao, Francina


    • Thank you, francina, for once again taking the time to visit and to leave such kind words.
      Always so rewarding to post something you enjoy.


      • Francina says:

        You’re welcome , its my pleasure to read your blog. By the way, curious as I always am, I looked up where the Isle is situated. And that is indeed a very beautiful area!
        Ciao, Francina


  6. Christina ~ says:

    Gorgeous photographs of a gorgeous setting….and a history lesson to boot. I was always told any day you learn something new is a good day….so today is a good day! 😉 Hugs ~


  7. mixedupmeme says:

    I said I would be back. I am saving to read again again. The pictures are beautiful..
    I will leave this up for a bit……..if you would like.

    Click to access You%20Are%20So%20Bute-iful%20To%20Me.pdf


  8. ~Lady Day says:

    History, Geography, Photography…
    Quite simply
    A fantastic learning journey
    🙂 hope you’re well, thank you so very much for sharing.


  9. pennycoho says:

    I would come visit there, in real time were I able. truly beautiful. in so many ways. I know of the battle, I’m a history buff with a strong Norwegian background, is it called the pencil because of the norseman who some stories say stepped on a thistle and alerted your armies to their presence (those vikings were sneaky and vicious weren’t they), or is it some more obscure reason? Also I understand the geographic distinction between the Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae Islands but I’m guessing there is ancient lore behind this as well, I will be happy to know those answers if anelephantcant is so inclined to share. By the way, absolutely love the photo taken by the intrepid wild life photographer.


  10. I, too, will have to come back to this tomorrow to read properly. The pictures are lovely 🙂


  11. mixedupmeme says:

    It was/is a beautiful trip. So beautiful that one must come back and read it again. There is no way to enjoy the beauty and the description in one visit. I just rather skimmed over ….. wanting to see the lovely countryside first. It is not a blog entry to be read lightly. I will probably copy it and save along with the pictures.

    I have a friend…in fact two friends…who have visited Scotland. I am going to ask them if there really is such a place as Bute. lol

    Hope the elephant did not catch cold wading in the chilly sea. 😦


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