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A walk on the wild side

Bute’s West Island Way
PS Waverly at Rothesay Isle of Bute

BUTE might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of taking a walk ‘on the wild side’. But you’d be surprised! Mention Bute and many people immediately think of Rothesay, and not with any very great enthusiasm.

For, yes, Rothesay is struggling in the face of a long, slow decline that started with the shift to sunshine holidays abroad in the 1960s; a decline later exacerbated by its loss of county status in 1975.

West Island Way was officially opened as part of Bute’s 2000 Millennium celebrations.

But while it may no longer be the ‘Madeira of the Clyde’, we’ve discovered that there is much more to Bute than might be immediately apparent. And for me, one of the real highlights of the island is the West Island Way (WIW).

Sixteen years ago Bute became home to Scotland’s first official long-distance island footpath. Now designated one of Scotland’s Great Trails, the route was the brainchild of a rather unusual trio: a librarian, a ranger and an enterprise officer, namely Eddie Monaghan, Billy Shields and Rhona Sutherland.

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iScot Magazine February 2017