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  • Kylie Sprott

What's in a name?

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

I have had many nicknames during my lifetime. Daisy (I can't remember why), Sprott with the lot, Special K and Sprottstar (note the star) have all had a special place in my heart. But the most frequently used by far would be "Kyles". As Australians have a tendency to shorten everything, sometimes Kyles would be further shortened to "Kyle".

So, it was with great delight that I discovered that a body of water around the Isle of Bute is called "The Kyles of Bute". The more I discover about the Kyles of Bute, the more delighted I am.

It turns out the Kyles are split into the East and West Kyles. The East Kyle runs from Rothesay Bay north west up to the entrance to Loch Riddon. Here at the northern end of the East Kyle are the Burnt Islands and the island of Eilean Dubh. The West Kyle runs from here southwest, past the village of Tighnabruaich out to the Sound of Bute. The area is a designated National Scenic Area.

The narrowest strait is only 300 m across and is spanned by the Calmac ferry from Rhubodach to Colintraive. I have crossed this strait a couple of times, not realising that it was the Kyles of Bute. The last time was with Trish and Shaun, on our way to dinner at the magnificent Colintraive Hotel

It was a beautiful evening and I remember looking around and just taking it all in. I even tried haggis that night - and I didn't mind it!

As I dig deeper into my ancestry, I have also discovered that some of my family lived at Kames in Argyll, which is a small village on the Cowall peninsula, on the west arm of the Kyles of Bute. It looks like there were a lot of fisherman on the McVicar side, who lived in this beautiful part of the world. This is Kames Pier:

Photo credit: By Leslie Barrie, CC BY-SA 2.0,

So, what a happy coincidence and the perfect name for both my blog and my flat.

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