This Pilgrim Journey is a cross country matter, venturing over sea, loch and long south-stretching promontories into the heart of Scotland. Bute is strategically placed for travel between Ireland and Scotland, becoming a welcome sanctuary and transit point on routes east. St Blane was born in Ireland on the instructions of his uncle, Catan, but returned to undertake this journey, as did St Kessog though from starting point slightly further north on the Cumbraes.
Something of the gentle spirit of Bute and of Luss on Loch Lomond breathes through the landscapes of southern Argyll and of the Trossachs. This is green, moist country and the Irish missionaries must have felt at home and at peace here. This Journey also connects up with the Perthshire routes through its final destination point at Dunblane, where the Cathedral remains an enduring monument to Blane’s vision.
Bute sits like a pendant jewel in the Firth of Clyde. It has been described as ‘Scotland in miniature’ because the Highland fault which reaches across the country runs through the island, dividing its hilly northern from its gentler southern parts. However the overwhelming impression of Bute is one of green fruitfulness, making it a nursery of Scotland’s early Celtic saints. Bute and its little acolyte isle Inchmarnock both recall the green Island of the Saints that St Brendan the Navigator visits on his famous dream voyage. St Brendan, rather than Blane, was the traditional patron saint of Bute.