Suidhe Chatain - 157m
Sunday 3rd July 2011

Weather/Conditions: Cool clear evening. Beautiful weather for a coastal top.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 17.8km / 480m / 3h 10m
Accompanying: Alone

Suidhe Chatain is down at the south of Bute in one of the most attractive areas. I started at Kilchattan Bay with knowledge that the West Island Way passed beside the summit. It proved slightly difficult to find the start of the route, but if you go between the houses up near the centre of the village (as in picture #8) and turn left, a path in the bracken (picture #7) takes you all the way to the top.

There was a quarry among the trees which doubled for the local skip. If the rock was cleaned though, it may make some nice rock climbing. Any climbing is very hard to come by on Bute, the only place I found with any potential was Dunagoil. I battered through thick growth by the path until I came out on top, where I met a couple of guys from (I think) Holland who had just started walking the West Island Way. (A lot of people from Holland seem to walk in Scotland. I meet many of them compared to other continental countries.) They had their tent pitched near the summit in a beautiful spot and said they expected to finish in a couple of days.

We chatted for five minutes then I walked along to the trig point. The view is amazing from here, especially as the sun fizzled out in the north-western sky. Up there it was a scene of peace and beauty, of the settling of the world before nightfall. I could almost have envied the guys camping up here. Suidhe Chatain was to become one of my favourite hills of the holiday.

One of the guys camping produced a bongo (or similar) which was when I realised I'd seen them on my boat to Bute the previous day. They confirmed this, I wished them well, and set off down to Kilchattan Bay. I'd half-expected to meet them again along the way. I was out on the island a lot, but never saw them again.

Down in Kilchattan Bay, I met mum and dad at the bench by the sea, and we headed back off to Ardbeg - but not without one more hill first. I climbed Common Hill above Rothesay.


Detail - Arran from Suidhe Chatain

Suidhe Chatain 360°
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 9.35pm Kilchattan Bay (village)
(0.15) 9.50pm Suidhe Chatain
(0.25) 10.00pm Suidhe Chatain (left)
(0.30) 10.05pm Kilchattan Bay (village)

Written: 2011-08-13