Walkers bring a touch of Aran style to Bute

Members of Elle's Belles, a line dancing and aerobics group from Renfrewshire, show off their hand-knitted Aran bunnets during their visit to Rothesay.
Members of Elle's Belles, a line dancing and aerobics group from Renfrewshire, show off their hand-knitted Aran bunnets during their visit to Rothesay.

When one of your colleagues tells you “the cafe next door is full of ladies in white bobble hats”, it’s only natural to be a bit curious about what might be going on.

That’s how we met up on Friday with a group known as ‘Elle’s Belles’, a party of 11 ladies all wearing said natty knitted headgear and enjoying a cuppa and a spot of lunch.

Turns out they were all members of a line dancing and aerobics group from the Bishopton and Erskine area, visiting Bute for a weekend of, in their words, “eating, drinking and walking”.

On being asked to explain the matching hats - each adorned with the wearer’s own choice of colourful decorations - one of the group said: “They’re Aran bunnets. We go away for the weekend a couple of times a year, and this time we were going to go to Arran” - hence the bunnets - “but we thought Arran would be too expensive, so we decided to come to Rothesay instead.”

After lunch the group popped into The Buteman’s office, where we distributed copies of ‘Walking and Cycling on Bute’, the map published in September by Towards Zero Carbon Bute which gives details of the many easy walking and cycling routes on the island, together with travel times from Rothesay to various points on Bute on foot and by bike.

One quick photo later and the ladies were off to explore just a few of those easy walks, their brightly-decorated hats attracting admiring glances wherever they went.

* Copies of ‘Walking and Cycling on Bute’ are still available, free of charge, from The Buteman’s office at 5 Victoria Street - just pop in any time during normal office hours.