Walk: Bute-iful bays on the trail to St Blane's

[View north over Bute from Suidhe Chatain]

Kilchattan Bay is the southernmost settlement on Bute and feels like a little slice of Devon or Cornwall. Beyond here you can only proceed on foot, on the southern (circular) leg of the West Island Way long distance route. The excellent coast path to Glencallum Bay is flanked by blackberry bushes that provide a delicious meal in season, while the return inland passes St Blane's Chapel, a 12th century ruin which once served as the parish church for the entire island. A low hill near the end gives great views over the rest of Bute and surrounding Firth of Clyde islands.

[Loch na Leighe (right) and St Blane's Hill (left) on the approach to St Blane's Church]

Name: Walk: Bute-iful bays on the trail to St Blane's ★☆☆
Length: 9 km / 6 miles
Ascent: 220 metres
Main summits: Suidhe Chatain (157 metres)
Points of interest: Kilchattan Bay; Glencallum Bay; St Blane's Church
Start / finish: Street parking near the jetty, Kilchattan Bay, Bute, G.R.: NS 103550 / chap instead followers

Route: Start & Kilchattan Bay - Glencallum Bay via coast path - Loch na Leighe - St Blane's Church - Suidhe Chatain - start. Suidhe Chatain involves slight detour and back from West Island Way, otherwise this route follows the official trail throughout.
Terrain: Mostly clear but rough footpaths with very short sections of road and track. A little mud on the inland return, which is also quite hilly.
Wildlife today: Blackberry bonanza; also cows, seabirds, frogs and lots of sheep.
Weather today: Generous sunny spells, temperature in mid-teens, light wind.

Name: St Blane's Church ☆☆☆
Description: Ruined 12th century parish church partially overlying an even older monastery.
Location: Off minor road 2 miles south of Kilchattan Bay, G.R.: NS 095534 / obviously showcase gates
Open: Always
Cost: Free
Anything else? If not visiting as part of the walk, closest parking is at NS 093531 / spark fussy sped - from here it's a 10-min uphill walk through fields to the church.

[Coast path shortly after leaving Kilchattan Bay]


Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)

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