In January, yes January in Scotland, we decided to go visit the Isle of Bute. Everyone here knows Rothsey – the main town on Bute, but there is oh, so much more than that.
We were invited by Malcolm, McCulloch of Silverknowe House on Bute (just a short journey from the ferry terminal at Rothsey harbour), to come and have a look at what Bute might offer us as a space for workshops and ceremony events.
As with most things, timing is everything.
I had visited Rothsey many times as a child. It was the thing to do in those days of yore, to go ‘doon the watter’. All I really remember of it was the town of Rothsey and even at that just the sea front – the ice cream was very good. I knew it couldn’t be too long a journey, not as far as Arran say, but still a ferry ride. I always feel that I am really going somewhere a little bit special when there is a ferry boat ride.
It is really easy to get to – when the weather is fine. As with all islands the journey is dictated by wind and sea. In January of 2018 it was very windy, wet and the sea was magnificently changeable.
We bought our tickets in advance, and though you can buy them straight through at the station – as we didn’t know exactly what ferry we wanted we were advised to get the tickets separately. The ferry tickets at time of writing were valid for 2 weeks.
We were on the eight am train and off to Wemyss Bay. I had checked the weather and it was quite a changeable day, rain was forecast. Well, yes of course it was, it was January after all. We were lucky it wasn’t going to be heavy snow!
We arrived at Wemyss Bay and as we walked down toward the Ferry ticket office we were looking at big waves through the windows. Big and fast and lots of them. It was only then that we thought we may not get to travel that day.
Our concerns were validated by the lady on the desk. No ferries were sailing from Wemyss…however they were sailing from Gourock just down the road a ways. She very kindly ordered a taxi to take us to the Gourock port (this is S.O.P with Calmac Ferries for these situations).
The adventure had begun from the moment we left our front door that morning and it was eventful enough on the way for us to consider how we might get back! Winter was not just coming, Winter was here! Beira in her element was showing us how she could work while she kept her fire in her cave. We were about to find out just how powerful she is.
Malcolm and his beautiful Jack Russell ‘Willow’ met us at the terminal and we drove up to his beautifully appointed house Silverknowe, where he holds workshop weekends for different therapies and talks. He took us on a mini tour and I was mesmerised by the scenery and the vibe.
I didn’t know there were so many standing stone circles on Bute. The one pictured is in a forested area above Rothsey, it looks quite sheltered in places but when we got to the stone just after the picture was taken the weather turned and a gale force wind carrying hailstones just swept through the clearing where the cars were parked. If you like ‘proper weather’ and don’t mind getting wet and cold a Scottish island in the Winter/early Spring is the place for you.
If you like astronomy, there is very little light pollution there to get in the way of the wonders of the night sky.
There is so much more to the Isle of Bute than meets the eye and we shall definitely be arranging some Shamanic courses/workshops there in the Summer. Weather and Ferries will be something that we cannot control so when you do come please remember that nature will have her way. There is accommodation on the island and there are rooms available at Silverknowe too, though they will get booked up very quickly.
We’ll put more information out closer to the time. So check out the Facebook pages @JourneyCirclesGlasgow & @Spiralhearthealing for dates.
We look forward to seeing you.
Be Well, Be Blessed, Be Loved