Sunday, March 04, 2012

Saints and Psychos on Bute.

We left the west coast of the Little Cumbrae heading for Kilchattan Bay on the SE coast of Bute.

We crossed the Firth of Clyde Channel, keeping a wary eye open for ships but we only crossed paths with "Well-Try" a Poole registered trawler working out of Rothesay.

Entering Kilchattan Bay we passed...

..the New Pier. Although it is new, it dates from the 1880s when the boom in Clyde steamers brought tourists to Kilchattan. It was last used in 1955. The name Kil Chattan means church of St Cathan who came here from Ireland and founded a hermitage here in AD 539. His nephew was St Blane...

...who had this hotel and a nearby church named after him. St Blane's Hotel rather reminded me of the Bates mansion in Hitchcock's film Psycho... we decided to call by and see if either Norman or his mother was at home. Opening the creaking door we were faced by a fading tartan carpet descending from the central Victorian staircase. As we turned right into the Bar, we were slightly apprehensive in case Mrs Bates showed her disapproval of our kayaking wear. In fact we found a warm welcome from the young bar staff, cold Guinness and a really excellent, large plate of fish and chips. Just to reduce sampling error, we ordered a second Guinness, which was just the same as the first. This hotel has received mixed reviews on TripAdvisor but we enjoyed our visit and will happily return to this charming spot on Bute. Sadly, since our visit in September 2010, the hotel has closed and is currently for sale. I hope it reopens soon.