The Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

The Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae
The Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

The beautiful Isle of Cumbrae is home to a small island town called Millport. The island itself comes in the form of a 10-mile loop and is located just off the coast of North Ayrshire. It is incredibly scenic, packed with things to do and is a hidden gem when it is comes to exploring Scotland.

If you’re thinking about planning a trip to the island, well… you’ve ended up in the right place.

One thing is for sure, island life should always be simple and stress free. Should you be spending hours and hours of your life planning your island getaway? No chance. You’ve got better things to spend your time on.

To make life easy for you, we’ve taken the time to combine everything you need to know about planning a trip to Millport on The Isle of Cumbrae, all in one place.

Whether it’s food recommendations, things to do, places to stay, the best walking routes or even scoping out a beer garden  – it’s all in here!

We like to call this one: The Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.


Got a quick question you need answered?

It’s probably covered in this:


So, let’s get right into it…

How to get there 

At a short 8-minute ferry away from the mainland, The Isle of Cumbrae has been given the nickname “Scotland’s Most Accessible Island”.

Millport Ferry

The ferry leaves from Largs, a seaside town on the North Ayrshire coast, which is only a 1-hour train journey from Glasgow.

The ferry costs only £3.50 and one leaves every 15-30 minutes in the summer – an island escape has never been so easy!

See the Cal Mac Summer 2021 Largs – Cumbrae Peak and Off-Peak timetables here and Ferry Fares here.

 

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Getting to Largs Ferry Slip

Fire KA30 8BG into your trusted Google Maps. That’ll take you right to the Largs ferry slip where you can grab your tickets.

It’s only 40-minutes from Ayr, 1-hour from Glasgow, or 2-hours from Edinburgh.

Taking public transport? Well, there are also easy train links to Largs through Scotrail or bus links through the 585 Stagecoach and the 901/904/906 McGills services.

 

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The Cumbrae Ferry Timetable

Generally, the ferry leaves every 15-30 minutes. There’s also no pre-booking, just show up and purchase tickets at the office. Jump on the ferry and you’ll be on Cumbrae 8-minutes later.

Here is the Cal Mac Summer 2021 Largs–Cumbrae Ferry Timetable and Ferry Fares.

 

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Getting to Millport Town from the Cumbrae Ferry slip

You’ve got a few options here – bus, bike or car:

How to Get to Jacks Alt-Stays Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

To be honest, we’d always recommend leaving your car on the mainland. Traveling about Cumbrae is as easy as it comes.

The bus always meets the ferry on the arrival and costs only £2 for a single ticket. You’ll be in Millport 10 minutes later. Check out the Cumbrae Bus Fares.

If you’ve got the bike, you can cycle to the town in 25 mins. After all, Cumbrae is known as a ‘cyclists paradise’.

 

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It’s as easy as that!

For further advice on transport links, ferry costs and timetables – check out our full blog:


Things to See & Do

For what the island lacks in size, it makes up for in adventure.

Here are some suggestions on things to get up to:

Cycling Around The Whole Island

You won’t find many islands in the world that come in the form of a perfect 10-mile circular cycling route. So get that helmet on and hit the road!

Cycling Round Cumbrae, Outer Circuit

You’ll find a couple of different cycling route options on the island, but the best is just to cycle right the way around. The views are incredible and it’ll take you 1 – 2 hours.

Clockwise or anti-clockwise though? That’s the big question.

Scott Ferris of Mapes would always recommend going around anti-clockwise. That way, you avoid the Ferry traffic that heads straight to the town, and you can relax on the long way round the north and west sides of the island.

This way, you can stop in at the Fintry Bay Cafe halfway(ish) point for an ice cream and a juice, giving you that well-needed, and deserved, energy boost through the final stretch towards Millport town.

It also means you have a shorter trip back to the ferry after a long day of exploring the Unique Things to See & Do in Millport!

Looking to rent a bike? There are a few bike hire options in the main town, such as Mapes Cycles.

Mapes Millport Quadricycle

For more info & alternative routes, check out our Guide to Cycling in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.

 

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The Glaidstone Viewpoint

360-degree panoramic view around the island? Now you’re talking.

You can find the Glaidstone at the very top of the island, which is at a height of 417 feet (127m) above sealevel. To put that into perspective, a Munro is anything over 3,000 feet – so it is certainly not the tallest peak in Scotland, but a fair hike nonetheless!

The Glaidstone, Isle of Cumbrae

Saying that, it’s well worth the jaunt up to the top as the views across the River Clyde are unreal. You can find the Glaidstone as part of the Inner Circle Walk and it takes about 40 minutes to reach the island’s peak, walking from Millport town.

Once you’re up there, you’ll see the neighbouring Clyde islands of Wee Cumbrae, Arran, and Bute, and back across to the mainland coast of North Ayrshire. On a clear day, it’s nothing short of spectacular and you might be able to see as far south as Ailsa Craig.

Load up the route to the Glaidstone on your Google Maps app Here.

 

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Watersports in Millport Bay!

The Isle of Cumbrae offers brilliant opportunities to enjoy getting out on the water! Millport is incredibly popular with the likes of Stand Up Paddleboarding, Sea Kayaking, Snorkelling, and day Sailing.

Why not rent a kayak from ‘On Yer Bike’ and explore Millport bay?

With the sparkling water and beachfront lined with palm trees, you’ll feel like you’re exploring an island paradise. You can paddle along the beach and out to the ‘The Eileans’ which are the two, small islands in the bay.

Top Tip: Make sure to stay safe whilst enjoying watersports! Millport Bay is sheltered and protected. As you head further out, you’re exposed to elements such as currents and wind, as well as other boats. Check out the likes of the Scottish Canoe Association and RNLI for safety tips, as well as the Met Office for the weather.

Millport Bay

Want to know the best part? You can find seals that live on The Eileans most of the year! They’re amazing to watch from the kayaks so make sure to paddle out and pay them a visit.

Kayaking in Millport is suitable for almost all ages and the shop says, “as long as you can swim, anyone can hire our Kayaks”. Life jackets are included with the hiring.

 

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Cumbrae Rocks

The Isle of Cumbrae is home to a collection of quirky rock formations which can be found dotted around the island.

While you’re exploring the coast, see if you can spot all three ‘Cumbrae Rocks’ – Crocodile Rock, Lion Rock, and Indian Rock.

Indian Rock Lion Rock Crocodile Rock Millport

The most recognisable out of the trio is the ‘Crocodile Rock’ which has been around for over 100-years! It is also considered to be one of Scotland’s “quirkiest, best-known landmarks”.

The Lion Rock can be found on the east side of the island and is known for its iconic shape. The geological formation is called a Dyke and the rock was weathered down during the last ice age to look how it does today.

Lastly, we have The Indian Rock. This wee guy is a bit harder to spot and was painted during the 1920’s. Since then, he has been perched up in the forestry on the west side of the island.

Check out our Cumbrae Rocks blog for more information.

 

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Isle of Cumbrae Distillers

Less of an outdoorsy type? Why don’t you pay a visit to our good friends at the Isle of Cumbrae Distillers.

This well-loved community venture was started by a unique team of 5 international woman. This makes them one of the only all-female distilling teams in Scotland! Indulge yourself in a tasting session and a tour of the island’s very own gin distillery.

The team named their flagship gin “NostalGin” as it embodies the heritage of Millport as well as the Scottish Island experience.

They’ve also just launched their brand new ‘Croc Rock Gin’! Check it out:

Isle of Cumbrae Distillers, Croc Rock Gin

 

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The Cumbrae Sensory Trail

The Sensory Trail takes you around Cumbrae’s 10-mile coastline, giving you the opportunity to delight in the island’s nature, wildlife, sandy bays and pebble beaches, sea life, and beautiful scenery.

There are five Sensory Point Markers on the trail where you can just pause in peaceful and calming surroundings. They look like this:

Cumbrae Sensory Trail

These are at five coastal locations around the Island namely, Farland Point (1), Ballochmartin Bay (2), White Bay (3), Fintry Bay (4), and Sheriff’s Port (5).

With the help of the audio guide below, you can see, taste, smell, touch and listen to aspects of Cumbrae and relax and unwind through this enjoyable and invigorating sensory experience.

You can cycle, walk or drive around the Trail. All markers are near the roadside, apart from Farland Point, which is a short, but level walk.

Look out for the ball at the top of the Sensory Point Markers – touch all five and take with you the gift of luck from the Islanders!

Cumbrae Sensory Trail Map

Introduction

1. Farland Point

2. Ballochmartin Bay

3. White Bay

4. Fintry Bay

5. Sheriff’s Port

 

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Wildlife Spotting

Fancy yourself as an aspiring David Attenborough? Well, you’re in luck.

The island is a paradise for nature-lovers and wildlife watchers with over 125 species of birds, seal colonies, porpoises, and basking sharks.

Around Cumbrae’s coast, it’s quite common to see grey seals and harbour porpoises. If you’re lucky, you may even be lucky to see Minke whales, basking sharks, and common dolphins.

 

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Top Tip: You can often see porpoises from the ferry over to the island, so keep an eye out!

A great place for fishing and spotting wildlife is down at Farland Point. Check out how to get there by reading our Best Walking Routes on the Isle of Cumbrae blog.

Farland Point, Millport

 

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The Wedge

The Isle of Cumbrae is home to what was crowned “The Narrowest House in World”.

The front of ‘The Wedge’ only measures 47 inches and it has a place in the Guinness Book of Records for being the narrowest ever recorded home. Well… it did until a house in Warsaw, Poland, named the ‘Keret House’ stole the title in 2008, at 32 inches wide.

So, Millport’s Wedge has now claimed the title of ‘Britain’s Narrowest House’.

The Wedge Millport

The house gets wider as you move towards the back and is uniquely shaped like a wedge of cheese, hence the name.

Despite the tight squeeze, The Wedge boasts beautiful sea views and it’s right in the middle of Millport town – so no complaints on location!

Unfortunately (as it’s someone’s home) you can’t actually go inside, but make sure you keep an eye out for this bizarre, wee house when you’re in town!

 

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The Cathedral of the Isles

Another Guinness Book of Records holder! Well… technically not, but The Cathedral of the Isles is actually the UK’s smallest cathedral – another wee claim to fame. (See what I did there?)

You can find the Cathedral tucked away in the trees just behind the town of Millport. The grounds and building itself are beautiful, so it’s definitely worth the 5-minute stroll up from the shorefront to see.

Millport, Cathedral of the Isles

Across the road, you’ll find the Garrison House which has lovely gardens to walk through, as well as the Cumbrae Community Gardens. You can find a good spot for a picnic here on a nice day!

 

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The Jacks Alt-Stays Experience

You didn’t think we’d leave ourselves out, did you?

At Jacks Alt-Stays, we offer guests our unique ‘Alternative Eco-Cabin Experience’.

Jack's Alt-Stays Alternative Eco-Cabin

Our Eco-cabin concept is the next generation of tourist accommodation in Scotland.

Each cabin comes with its very own theme and story. You can expect clever interior design and a one-of-a-kind artist’s wall mural, created by our good friend and top-class artist, Katie Forbes. Not only this, but we’re creating a totally unique and fully immersive sensory experience.

The Eco-Cabins will be built locally using sustainable materials and will be powered by 100% renewable energy. We’ll also have 10 trees planted for every booking made through our partnership with Ecologi.

Within walking distance from the beachfront and main town, the cabin is the perfect hub for exploring the Isle of Cumbrae and has everything you need to keep entertained. Whether it’s board games or cosy Netflix nights, we’ve got you covered.

We’re launching our cabins at the end of the year! So why not sign-up below to be the first to hear about our plans and free-stay giveaways?

Sign up:

Newsletter

 

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Wee Cumbrae Day Trip Tour

Fancy exploring an uninhabited island? Well…

Clyde Charters have gained permission to land day trip passengers onto the magnificent place that is Wee Cumbrae.

At the moment charters are only setting off from Largs Marina, but we’re currently talking with Clyde Charters to arrange a Millport pick-up!

There are lighthouses, castles, cairns, caves, and abandoned forts. This is a must-see place for hillwalkers, bird spotting, photographers, and all other outdoorsy types.

Wee Little Cumbrae Island

You’ll also have an opportunity to see lots of amazing wildlife on this tour, including Cumbrae’s own resident dolphin!

Why not read Daniel’s blog about his experience going on the Clyde Charters Voyage.

 

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Golfing on Cumbrae

I challenge you to find a golf course with a better outlook than at the Millport Golf Club. Seriously, what a view:

Millport Golf Club View

This special golf course is often described as a ‘hidden gem’ by visiting golfers and it’s one of the best ways to take in the surrounding beauty of the island.

Meander around the well-maintained course as you enjoy stunning views across to the Isle of Arran, Bute, and the Ayrshire coast.

During the summer season, full catering and bar facilities are available. Visitors can also organise catering packages including breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Don’t fancy the full 18-holes? Not to worry, there’s always crazy golf on the Millport promenade.

 

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Millport Calender Events

If you’re lucky enough to visit on one of the many event weekends, you’re in for a treat. From the Classic Car event in early May, to the Scooter Rally in late August, these are some pretty unique events you’ll find on Cumbre.

Millport Country and Western Festival

The Island’s flagship event is the Country and Western Music Festival in September where thousands of revelers descend onto the island in fancy dress for live country music, lively bar atmospheres, and fun activities for kids.

If you’re more of the artistic type, the Cathedral of the Isles runs a Classical Guitar Retreat, a brand new Opera Retreat Festival in 2022, and you’ll find several “plein air” painting events.

 

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Walking Routes

On The Isle of Cumbrae, you’ll find five main nature walks, all of which are equally spectacular.

Whether it’s a hike up to the Glaidstone for 360” panoramic views or a long stroll around the full outer circuit, there’s plenty opportunity to take in the beauty of the island.

So, ditch the car on the mainland, stick on the FitBit,  and get those boots strapped up. Here are the best walking routes on the island, complete with pre-loaded Google Maps route buttons.

Cumbrae Walking Routes


The Outer Circuit

As it says on the tin – the whole way round.

Cumbrae is known as a cyclist’s paradise, and this route is exactly why. There’s nothing stopping you from braving the walk round though! This main Cumbrae walking route will take you around 3 hours and 15 minutes on foot.Isle of Cumbrae Outer Circuit Walking Route

Click here to open the Outer Circuit route on your Google Maps app.

Cumbrae is essentially a big 10-mile loop, but it’s certainly no chore to venture the whole way round, with the wonderful coastal views to be taken in on all sides.

Clockwise or Anti-clockwise? That is the hotly debated question! Some say clockwise is the best. Some say anti-clockwise. I say, if you’re walking, do whatever you want – you’re going the full way round anyway.

Our Top Tip – Always walk on the right-hand side of the road so you can see oncoming traffic. The locals are well used to walkers & cyclists and are great at giving you enough space, but always err on the side of caution and step in, just in case!

Here’s a few things to keep an eye out for along the way!:

Oh, also this might come in handy… Here are all of the public toilet locations around the Outer Circuit.

Isle of Cumbrae Toilet Locations Walking Route

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The Inner Circuit

A trek around Cumbrae’s inner circle. Be sure to stop off at the island’s highest point – The Glaidstone viewpoint – for 360-degree panoramic views around the Clyde.

Cycling Round Cumbrae, Inner Circuit

Click Here to open the Inner Circuit route on your Google Maps app.

The panoramic views from the top are absolutely breathtaking. You’ll look over to the Isles of Arran, Bute, Cumbrae’s little brother ‘Wee Cumbrae’, and of course, back over to Largs on the North Ayrshire coast. On a clear day, you’ll even see as far south as Ailsa Craig!

If you’re up for a challenge, complete both the Inner and Outer circuits in one day!

Our Top Tip – This route is perfect for dog walkers. Just be careful of what’s coming around the bend and pop your furry friend on the leash when passing the many farms’ cattle.

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The Targets Route

Up close and personal views of Wee Cumbrae.The Targets Walking Route Millport

Click Here to open The Targets route on your Google Maps app.

This is a nice easy one if you’re in need of a short burst of fresh sea air to perhaps cure a NostalGin hangover from the night before.

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Top Tip: Leave nothing but footsteps!

While you’re out enjoying the scenery, keep our island litter free. It should go without saying, but if there’s not a bin nearby, do the right thing by taking it with you. Also, of use recycling points where available.


The Farlands Point Route

Easy on the legs with stunning sea views. This is one for the wildlife watchers!

Click Here to open the Farland Point route on your Google Maps app.

Head right along Millport’s Victorian promenade, past Kames bay, and keep going a little further. If you hit the Field Studies Centre (FSC) you’ve gone too far.

Our Top Tip – Cumbrae is home to over 125 species of birds, seal colonies, porpoises and basking sharks. The Farland Point route is definitely one for the wildlife watchers! Look out for Oystercatchers in the skies, limpets and barnacles in the rock pools, grey seals, and our very own resident dolphin and porpoises in the ocean!

 

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The Fintry Bay Route

It’s pretty much Illegal to do this route and not stop in for an ice cream at the Fintry Bay Café.Fintry Bay Walking Route Cumbrae Millport

Click Here to open the Fintry Bay route on your Google Maps app.

From the town, head up to the Millport Golf Club and join the woodland walking route from there. At the most elevated point you’ll see a spectacular view of Arran’s ‘Sleeping Warrior’. I took this photo last time I was up there:

Isle of Arran Sleeping Warrior

Follow the path down to the gate at the road and turn right towards the turning point at Fintry Bay. Grab your obligatory ice cream, and head back south towards Millport town via the pavement on the coastal road.

 

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Places to Drink

Looking for somewhere to wet the whistle? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Something we always get asked is “well, where’s the best pub in Millport?” and to be honest, it’s not an easy answer.

Even though Millport is only a wee town on a wee Island, there are a number of brilliant options for bars, pubs and beer gardens. Here a few of your choices…


The Millport Pier Hotel

Millport Pier Hotel, Cumbrae

Where: Quayhead Street, KA28 0AP.

What: A Harbour-side hotel and bar with beer garden and sea views.

The Millport Pier Hotel is a welcoming bar and restaurant which can be found next to the pier (funnily enough). You can expect a wide selection of alcohol as well as locally sourced, freshly cooked food.

Our favourite thing about The Millport Pier Hotel is the outside beer garden. It’s a wee sun trap on a nice day and the views across the water are superb – would recommend.

 

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The Newton Bar

The Newton Bar

Where: 1-2 Glasgow Street, KA28 0DJ.

What: A family-friendly pub serving food by the sea.

The Newton Bar is a fantastic bar/restaurant and certainly worth a visit when you come to the Isle of Cumbrae. Visitors always praise the food, and some say it’s the best on the island.

You can expect a great drink selection, quiz nights, a winning atmosphere and really friendly staff. It’s dog friendly too! What’s not to like?

 

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Frasers Bar

Frasers Bar

Where: 7 Cardiff St, KA28 0AS.

What: Pub Grub and a wide range of beers.

Here you’ll be greeted with lovely staff, great service and a nice local atmosphere.

If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, then this might be the one for you. Check out the expansive selection of craft beers and local ales.

Sunny weather? Superb, there’s a lovely wee beer garden out the back door. Pouring with rain? Not to worry! There’s a roaring fireplace inside to warm up. The best of both worlds.

Frasers bar is definitely one of the best pubs in Millport – never a disappointment!

 

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The Twa Dugs

The Twa Dugs

Where: 16 Stuart St, KA28 0AJ.

What: A cosy pub with a brilliant atmosphere.

The Twa Dugs is a dog-friendly pub (hence the name) and can be found near the seafront in Millport town. It’s a small, one-room bar but it’s lively at the weekends. In a Covid-free world, you could expect great entertainment including live bands and karaoke.

It’s known for its terrific service, friendly staff and it’s popular with the locals. You won’t be let down by a visit to The Twa Dugs.

Top Tip: The Twa Dugs is known for a good whiskey, so it’s one to visit if that’s your thing!

 

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Leaning towards a G&T? All of the local bars serve the brand new and locally distilled ‘NostalGin’. Best served with tonic, bramble liqueur, and ice.

Cumbrae Gin Distillery

You can read more about the NostalGin Distillery and tours in our “Unique Things to See and Do in Millport” blog.


The Tavern Bar

The Tavern

Where: 36 Glasgow Street, KA28 0DL

What: A friendly bar with great entertainment.

The Tavern is a very welcoming bar with lovely owners. When the world allows, there’s all sorts of entertainment, from bingo to karaoke.

They also tend to play football and other sports on the TV, including the Champions League – why not give them a message on their Facebook Page to check first?

Sunny weather, why not have a pint out the back? It’s our favourite beer garden on the island!

 

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Places to Eat

  • The Ritz Café

    Where: 26 Stuart St, KA28 0AJ

    What: Retro style, 1950s café with amazing ice cream.

    The Ritz Café – a much loved local institution. People who have visited Millport over the years all hold fond memories of this place and it’s an iconic part of the island. It is the perfect place to stop if you’re looking for a quick bite or some lunch.

    At the Ritz you can expect filled rolls, toasties, burgers and – best of all – their famous sweet selection. The café serves all sorts of ice creams, milkshakes, even some tasty puddings and cakes.

    Our recommendation: It’s got to be the Marshmallow ice. Vanilla ice cream, melted marshmallow and raspberry sauce. You get a thick layer of warm marshmallow which stays melted on the cold vanilla ice cream – too good!

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    Brewbaker

    Where: 17 Stuart Street, KA28 0AJ

    What: Amazing bakery with fresh, tasty homemade goods.

    At Brewbaker, you can expect fresh food that is made with love.

    Whether it’s bread, quiche, cookies, cakes, tarts, bagels or muffins – you’ll be sure to find some seriously delicious home baking. The best thing to do is just show up and check the blackboard to see what is fresh out of the oven!

    Out with the baking, they make their own chocolates/truffles and have amazing coffee. There’s also some great options if you’re stopping for lunch including their speciality salads.

    Our recommendation: The famous quiches. They’re undefeated. Wash it down with a Brewbaker Latté.

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    The Dancing Midge Café

    Where: 24 Glasgow Street, KA280

    What: Family-run business, providing freshly prepared food, homemade scones and brilliant Italian coffee.

    The Dancing Midge is a brilliant wee café and is perfect if you’re looking to have brunch in Millport. They serve full breakfasts, French toast, hot rolls, and bagels.

    If you’re visiting a bit later in the day, why not try one of their burgers or jumbo hotdogs? They’re top drawer.

    Our recommendation: It’s got to be the full breakfast. Two slices of bacon, egg, black pudding, haggis, lorne sausage, potato scone, double beans, toast and tea / coffee – the perfect way to fuel yourself for a day exploring the island!


    Top Tip: Looking for veggie? The Dancing Midge might be the spot for you. They serve ‘The Midge Vege Breakfast’ and they do an amazing spicy bean burger.

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    Round Island Cafe

    Round The Island CafeWhere: 51-52 Stuart Street KA28 0AG

    What: Fresh, modernised cafe which serving brilliant coffee, lunch and baked goods.

    The Round Island Cafe has a wonderful, warm welcome and many describe it as a wee Island gem. On the menu there’s a selection of toasties, baguettes, baked potatoes, salads and soups.

    They serve cracking homemade specials and all the baking is fresh too. You can even get an amazing Afternoon Tea! (the scones are home made and are to die for).

    Our recommendation: Their smoothies are the best. I’d recommend one of their Green smoothies – who knew blended broccoli could taste so good?

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    The High Tide Cafe, Fintry Bay

    Where: Fintry Bay, KA28 0HA

    What: Sunset cafe with stunning views out over the Clyde to Arran and Bute.

    You’ll find the Fintry Bay Cafe completely secluded on the West side of the Isle of Cumbrae and it’s an obligatory stop if you’re cycling around the island.

    On a warm summers day it’s the perfect spot for a break to enjoy an ice cream, milk shake or cold drink. They also have a great selection of fresh baking as well as soups, sandwhiches, salad & pasta boxes.

    All the food is fantastic however my favourite part is the amazing views across to Arran and Bute. Check it out:

    Our recommendation: Definitely their beef or bean (V) chilli nachos. Served with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and jalapeños. Oh yes.

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    The Garisson House Cafe

    Garrison House Cafe Outdoor

    Where: Glasgow St, KA28 0DJ

    What: Wonderful cafe in the grounds of the Garrison House.

    The Garrison House is a beautifully restored building and fantastic example of 19th Century gothic architecture. At the Garrison you’ll find a lovely enclosed garden, the ‘Museum of the Cumbraes’ and, of course, The Garisson House Cafe.

    The cafe serves a wide range of food, so there’s something for everyone. You can expect light bites, healthy options, breakfasts, lunches, hearty meals, smoothies and cafe classics – all at a reasonable price!

    Take a seat in the courtyard if there’s good weather, or you can take a seat indoors next to their “music wall of fame”.

    May be an image of food and indoor

    Our recommendation: Try one of the salad boxes! These change from time to time but are always TASTY.

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    The Burger Shack

    May be an image of one or more people and outdoors

    Where: Guildford street, KA28 0AE 

    What: The freshest and best burgers in town. fact. [Takeaway only].

    If you’re looking for a burger in Millport town, look no further. Get yourself down to see the boys at The Burger Shack for some seriously delicious burgers and fries.

    They use 100% aged Scottish beef from the local butcher and freshly bake their own Japenese Hokkaido style buns every time they open. Fresh, local and unbelievably tasty. What’s not to love?

    Our recommendation: The Crocodile Style Chicken Burger is the absolute business. Pair that with a side of cajun fries for a mouthwatering combo.

    May be an image of food and text that says "Southern Fried Chicken American Cheese Chipotle Mayo Buffalo Sauce Bacon Burger Shack. S BurgerShack 1 THE CROCODILE STYLE CHICKEN BURGER (WORLD FAMOUS)"

     

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    The Newton Bar

    Where: 1-2 Glasgow Street, KA28 0DJ.

    What: A family-friendly pub serving food by the sea. [Takeaway available].

    The Newton Bar is a fantastic bar / restaurant and certainly worth a visit when you come to the island. Visitors and locals always highly praise the food, and some say it’s the best place to eat in Millport.

    When it comes to the menu you can expect a great selection of meals including steak, burgers, curry and different chicken dishes. Proper tasty stuff.

    Our recommendation: Curry Club Wednesdays! Your choice of curry, rice, poppadoms, spiced onions and mixed pakora. All for £10. Quality.

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    Millport Pier Hotel

    Millport Pier Hotel, Cumbrae

    Where: Quayhead Street, KA28 0AP.

    What: A Harbour-side hotel and bar with beer garden and sea views.

    The Millport Pier Hotel is a welcoming bar and restaurant which can be found (you guessed it) next to the Millport pier. You can expect a wide selection of alcohol as well as locally sourced, freshly cooked food.

    Suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and you’ll find classics like haggis, burgers and fish & chips.

    The Millport Pier Hotel also features in our Best Bars and Pubs in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae blog.

    Our recommendation: Haggis, Neeps n Tatties – och aye!

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    Frasers Bar

    Where: 7 Cardiff St, KA28 0AS.

    What: A snug bar with great pub grub.

    If you head to Fraser’s bar you’ll be greeted with lovely staff, a wide range of beers, great service and a nice local atmosphere.

    It’s also a great shout for food – whether it’s for lunch or dinner. We’d describe the food as ‘hearty scran’ so you can expect classics like soup, steak pie, scampi, burgers and fish & chips.

    Our recommendation: The steak pie! It’s class.

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    Deep-Sea Fish and Chips

    Where: 5 Quayhead, KA28 0AW

    What: Award-winning fish and chips [Takeaway only].

    You can find Deep-Sea Fish & Chips on the far end of the town, next to the Millport pier. There’s not much to say other than it’s a brilliant Chip Shop with all your classic options. Superb stuff.

    Our recommendation: The classic Fish & Chips, but get the fish breaded and load the chips with chip shop curry sauce. Oaft. Wash it down with a pint from the Millport Pier Hotel next door.

     

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    Top Tip: Leave nothing but footprints!

    Let’s keep Scotland’s landscapes litter free. It should go without saying, but if there’s not a bin nearby, do the right thing by taking it with you. Also, please use recycling points where available.


    Crocodile Chippy

    Where: 30 Glasgow St, KA28 0DL

    What: Golden deep-fried goodness [Takeaway only].

    You’ll find the Crocodile Chippy off the beach right next to Crocodile Rock (funnily enough) and it’s a place that certain to tingle your tastebuds. We love this place, and the menu boasts a lot more than a standard ‘chippy’.

    Of course you get your chip shop favourites, but they also serve unreal specials at the weekend which are a bit different. Expect fresh stone-baked pizza, burgers, lamb koftas, and crispy Korean BBQ cauliflower.

    They are open Wednesday – Sunday from 4:30pm. Specials are also “until sold out”, so don’t miss out!

    Our recommendation: The World Famous ‘Crocodile Style Chips’! Cajun chippy chips and crispy southern fried chicken topped with cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese, buffalo sauce, chipotle mayo and bacon bits. Jeezo… my mouth started watering as I typed that

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    Crocodeli

    Crocodeli Millport

    Where: 33 Stuart Street, KA28 0AJ

    What: A lovely deli and bakery which is open all year round.

    Crocodeli is a smahing wee deli serving a variety of fresh baking including pastries, baguettes and a variety of breads.

    It’s a fantastic spot for grabbing a coffee, a quick bite or to pack up for a picnic. The produce is always fresh and tasty, and the service is friendly.

    Our recommendation: Anything involving the freshly baked bread – it’s the BEST! Try pairing it with one of their signature salads.

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Places To Stay

From budget hostels to eco-cabins, there’s all sorts of accommodation available on the Isle of Cumbrae.

Whether you’re looking for rural or something a bit more modern, there’s something for every type of traveler on the Island.

Here are 13 places you can stay in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:


The Bothy – Private & Exclusive Cottage

The Bothy Millport Accommodation

Figgitoch Farm is situated on the beautiful Isle of Cumbrae with fantastic views of the Firth of Clyde. It’s the perfect place for relaxing, walking, cycling, golfing, painting, or just chilling out. The bothy is a quant farm cottage which has been lovingly restored to a high standard, complete with a private garden and patio.

You can find The Bothy on Airbnb.

 

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The College Guest House

The College Guest House Millport Accommodation

The College is a Visit Scotland 3 Star Guest House. It is located next to Britain’s smallest cathedral, The Cathedral of The Isles. Both were built at the same time in 1851 by the architect William Butterfield. The College was originally built for students of theology in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

The College was refurbished recently and now allows visitors to enjoy a unique combination of modern luxury and homemade meals in a building full of history and character.

You can find The College Guest House website here

 

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Seal View

Seal View - Places to stay in Millport

This ground floor villa has stunning views over the sea and is only 100 yards from the sandy beach with tropical palms fronting the promenade and yachts moored out in the sheltered bay. From here you can explore the charm of a seaside town with cafés, shops, bars, and bistro.

You can find the Seal View Villa on Airbnb.

 

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Millport Beach Apartment

Millport Beach Apartment - Places to stay in Millport

A newly furnished and decorated 2 bedroom flat on the seafront.  With spectacular sea views, this second floor flat has two double bedrooms, a large living area, a separate kitchen, and a bathroom with shower.

It’s right above The Ritz Cafe, 1 min walk from Quay Head bus stop. On the second floor, the property is well equipped with little luxuries like Egyptian cotton 600 thread count bed linen and big fluffy towels. Perfect for families and couples.

You can find the Millport Beach Apartment on Airbnb.

 

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Jacks Alt-Stays – Alternative Eco-Cabins

Jack's Alt-Stays Alternative Eco-CabinJacks Alt-Stays - Alternative Eco-Cabins Millport Accommodation

Well… not quite yet, but soon!

We’re launching our unique Alternative Eco-Cabin experience in late 2021. The concept combines quirky interior design, eco-consciousness, the great outdoors, and stunning scenic views, with all your mod cons thrown in too.

We’re talking hot tubs, wood-fired stoves,  and cosy Netflix nights – all in a stunning island setting and powered by 100% renewable energy. Each cabin has its own story, interior theme, and one-of-a-kind wall mural.

The cabins are perfect for couples and small families seeking a premium, relaxing island retreat. They’re also located a short walk from Millport town.

Check out our Next Generation Tourist Accommodation Concept and be the first to hear about our official launch!

Sign Up

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Croc Rock Studio Apartment

Croc Roc Studio

The Croc Rock Studio is a delightful wee ground floor apartment which has fantastic views across to Millport Bay. Look out the window from your comfortable armchair and enjoy amazing views towards the sea and beach.

The carefully designed studio has lots of thoughtful touches and is a place for peace and tranquility. It has also been described as the perfect place for artists and writers. There’s no TV, however you can expect art supplies, super quick broadband, books and games. Plenty to keep you entertained!

Also if you’re a responsible pet owner, then you’re in luck – “nice dugs are welcome!”.

If you’d like to book, you can message the lovely owner, Suki,  on the Croc Rock Studio Facebook page.

 

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Millport Pier Hotel

Millport Pier Hotel - Places to stay in Millport

The Millport Pier Hotel has undergone a total refurbishment to the Bar, Restaurant & Kitchen areas. A new wrap around beer garden offers outstanding views over the Newtown bay and a beautiful view south over Wee Cumbrae and Arran The Bar/Restaurant will offer a locally sourced freshly cooked menu with a range of fine wines, Scottish & International beers.

You can find the Millport Pier Hotel on Google.

 

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The Nest

The Nest Millport Accommodation

A Holiday studio apartment near to the golf club. The Nest is a small 1st-floor bedsit reflective of Millport’s original accommodation, though lucky enough now to have an inside toilet!

This is one for the digital detoxers! No internet, no sky tv, no gas central heating, no washing machine! Just a place to rest called The Nest, after enjoying the beautiful peaceful island.

You can find The Nest on Holiday Lettings.


Top Tip: If you’re looking for more options, check out the “Millport ‘Staycation’ Accommodation” group on Facebook. The group is for both advertising and finding holiday accommodation in Millport, Cumbrae!

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Heaven above the Haven

Heaven above the Haven - Millport Accommodation

This is truly a little piece of Heaven in Millport. A three-bedroom flat sleeping 6 with stunning sea views overlooking the Firth of Clyde, across Millport Bay and towards the Isle of Arran in a peaceful and tranquil location at the edge of the town.

Ideally located just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Kames Bay and either a 15-minute walk or short bus journey to the shops of Millport town, Garrison House, and the famous Ritz Cafe.

You can find Heaven in Millport on Holiday Lettings.

 

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Cosy Corner

Cosy Corner - Millport Accommodation

This Apartment features a private garden and is close to the beach. Complete with wood burning stove, the apartment has 1 bedroom, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, an equipped kitchen with a microwave and a fridge, a washing machine, and 1 bathroom with a shower. Pets welcome.

You can find the Cosy Corner on Booking.com.

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Beside the Bay

Beside the bay - Places to stay in Millport

This beachfront apartment was originally part of a small grocer’s shop and is grade C listed. The building dates from the 1830s and has been carefully stripped back inside to provide a compact, quirky space to enjoy.

A kitchen/ living room with a cosy wood burner looks out to Kames Bay, and on a summer morning, with the window open, you’ll be able to hear the waves and the call of the seabirds.

You can find Beside the Bay on Booking.com.

 

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Millport Holiday Park

Millport Holiday Park

Millport Holiday Park is a friendly, family orientated Static Caravan Park & Touring Site. It has a private play park, a games room, a coin-operated laundry & a coin-operated shower block. It is situated only a 5-minute walk from the main seafront of Millport and just a 2-minute walk from the Golf Club. It boasts fantastic views across the Firth of Clyde to Argyle, Bute & Wee Cumbrae. No dogs. Linen hire costs £15.

You can find Millport Holiday Park on Millport.org.

 

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Rose Cottage

Rose Cottage - Millport

This is a unique and quirky cottage. Accessed from the road by a few stone steps, the cottage is tucked away behind other buildings, making it a quiet and peaceful haven. It has its own private garden, and we welcome up to two dogs- no extra charge!

You can find Rose Cottage on Booking.com.

 

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Things to See & Do in Largs

Great news! There’s plenty of more fun to be had across the water…

Let’s check out all of the best things to get up to:


Visit the Largs Pencil Monument

The Pencil monument stands at about 70 feet tall and towers over the Largs coastline. It was built in 1912 to commemorate the Battle of Largs (1263) when we defeated the Vikings of Norway on the shorefront.

Largs Pencil Monument

Largs has since become famous for its Viking connections and has been given the nickname ‘Viking Town’.  You’ll find all sorts of Viking references throughout the town, from the Viking Chippy to the ‘Vikingar!’ leisure centre.

Largs even host an annual Viking Festival to give people a glimpse of what life was like in a 13th Century Viking Village.

The Pencil can be found along at the end of the prom, near the Largs Marina.

 

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Visit Magnus the Viking

Another reference to the town’s Viking roots – Magnus the Viking. Magnus was given his spot on Largs prom in 2013 which marked the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Largs (1263).

You’ll find this big guy right across the road from the world-famous Nardini’s. In fact, you can’t really miss him as you’re walking along the prom.

Largs Magnus Viking

It’s a great photo opportunity and you might even find him dressed up depending on the season. He’s been spotted wearing football scarves, santa hats and has even been wearing his facemask throughout lockdown.

 

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Visit the Largs Marina

Along at the edge of town, you’ll find the Largs Yacht Haven which hosts all sorts of fun for water lovers. Whether you’re a boat owner or someone who’s just visiting, there’s plenty to keep you entertained.

Largs Yacht Haven

The marina offers private boat tours from the likes of Clyde Charters or Sea Clyde Private Charters which is an amazing opportunity to see the surrounding islands from a different perspective. You’ll find all sorts of wildlife on these tours including dolphins, seals, sea birds and porpoises – so keep those eyes peeled!

The marina also is home to a contemporary bistro offering great coffee and light lunches called Bosun’s Table as well as a quality restaurant called Scott’s. Whether you’re looking for a coffee pit-stop or a night of dinner and cocktails, the marina has you covered.

 

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Thinking of booking a boat tour?: You should check out Daniel’s ‘Voyage to Wee Cumbrae‘ blog where he talks about his recent boat tour with Clyde Charters to the uninhabited island of ‘Wee Cumbrae’.


Visit Kelburn Castle & Country Centre

Now, this is probably my favourite place to visit in Largs – Kelburn Estate. You’ll find it on the outskirts of Largs, an additional 15-minute walk out from the marina.

Kelburn is great fun for all ages, whether you’re a family looking for a day out, or a couple looking for an adventure. You can expect woodland walking routes, waterfalls, a beautiful walled garden, and a (very) eye catching castle.

The psychedelic mural was painted on the castle in 2007 by Brazilian street artists and its brought some serious colour to Kelburn Estate ever since.

Kelburn Castle, Largs

For children, you’ll find lots of play areas including the outdoor Adventure Course, Secret Forest, Wild West Saloon and the indoor Playbarn.

Kelburn is also famous for its many unusual trees, two of which have been recognised by the Forestry Commission in the Top 100 most important ‘heritage’ trees in Scotland.

There’s all sorts of fun to be had, so grab those walking boots and get ready to explore the wonders of the enchanted forest. Once you’re finished, you can stop off at the on-site café for some food and refreshments.

 

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Inverclyde Sports Centre

Feeling active? Well maybe this will be up your street.

Largs is home to the state-of-the-art Inverclyde Sports Centre which offers a wide range of activities for both members and guests. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, football pitches, fitness studios, a golf course, and a gymnastic hall.

Inverclyde Sports Centre Largs

If you’re visiting in a small group, you might be interested in trying their gym, tennis, badminton, table tennis, golf-training, archery or maybe even one of their fitness classes!

Check out their website and make enquiries here.

 

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Visit Geraldo’s

Geraldo’s is Ayrshire’s 1st ever 5-Star Tourist Shop and you’ll find it a short 2-minute walk away from the ferry slip.

Geraldos Largs

Primarily this family-run business sells some seriously tasty ice cream (which is produced on-site), but it’s also the perfect place to pick up a nice souvenir!

They specialise in handmade chocolates, gift hampers, and a range of unique and unusual gifts that change throughout the seasons. You’ll also find a wide range of premium spirits from all across the country.

Why not check out their range of Arran Whiskys or Scottish Gins? Of course, you’ll also find that they stock Millport’s very own ‘Nostalgin’ from the Isle of Cumbrae Distillers.

 

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Walk Along Largs Prom

This one is a must do if you’re visiting Largs for the first time – a walk along the prom.

The Largs promenade stretches from Aubrey Park to the Largs Marina and it takes 45-minutes to walk the full length. The seafront boasts incredible views across the River Clyde and towards Bute, Cumbrae and the Isle of Arran.

The good news is, you’re already on the route as you exit the Isle of Cumbrae to Largs ferry. A quick left turn will take you to a lovely, pebbled beach as well as the promenade lined with palm trees. Here you can also see ‘Magnus the Viking’ or grab an ice cream from Nardini’s.

Largs Seafront

Most of the walk, however, can be found by turning right as you come off the ferry. As you make your way over to the marina, make sure to take in those views. There’s plenty of nice spots to stop including the many colourful benches, large grass areas, parks, and a lovely sandy bay.

Make sure to keep an eye out for the Largs War Memorial and the Pencil Monument along the way!

Here’s the route:

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More To Do in Largs…

You’re spoiled for choice in Largs with lots to explore.

Check out our extended Largs blog for information on walking routes, places to eat & places to drink:


So, there you have it…

The Ultimate Guide To Millport, Isle of Cumbrae!

Hopefully with this guide you’ll spend less time planning your trip, and more time enjoying yourself.

Throughout this guide, there are links to our full blogs which have lots more information, suggestions and recommendations. In case you missed them:

We hope you have a belter of a trip!

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Unique Things to See and Do in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

Unique things to See and do in millport
Unique things to See and do in millport

Thinking about a trip to the Isle of Cumbrae, and looking for things to see and do? Well, you’re in right place…

Here are all of the best and most unique things you can do on ‘Scotland’s Most Accessible Island’.



The Glaidstone Viewpoint

360-degree panoramic view around the island? Now you’re talking.

You can find the Glaidstone at the very top of the island, which is at a height of 417 feet (127m) above sealevel. To put that into perspective, a Munro is anything over 3,000 feet – so it is certainly not the tallest peak in Scotland, but a fair hike nonetheless!

The Glaidstone, Isle of Cumbrae

Saying that, it’s well worth the jaunt up to the top as the views across the River Clyde are unreal. You can find the Glaidstone as part of the Inner Circle Walk and it takes about 40 minutes to reach the island’s peak, walking from Millport town.

Once you’re up there, you’ll see the neighbouring Clyde islands of Wee Cumbrae, Arran, and Bute, and back across to the mainland coast of North Ayrshire. On a clear day, it’s nothing short of spectacular and you might be able to see as far south as Ailsa Craig.

Load up the route to the Glaidstone on your Google Maps app Here.

 

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Isle of Cumbrae Distillers

Fancy a wee G&T after a day of exploring the island? Well, our good friends at Isle of Cumbrae Distillers have got you covered.

Cumbrae Gin Distillery

Isle of Cumbrae Distillers is was started by a unique team of 5 full and part-time “Millportonians”, distinctively positioned as being one of the few all-female distilling teams in Scotland, and the only international women’s team, drawing representation from the UK, Canada, and the USA.

The idea began to blossom during Thursday quiz nights at the ‘Twa Dugs’ local bar, but quickly developed into the Isle of Cumbrae’s first-ever distillery. The distillery was officially launched in September 2019 and, since then, has been a roaring success.

The team named their flagship gin “NostalGin” as it embodies the heritage of Millport as well as the Scottish Island experience. The gin itself has flavours of lavender, fresh island bramble and a hint of sweet orange.

They also released their second “Croc Rock” gin in April 2021, appropriately named after the island’s iconic Crocodile Rock.

Coming soon in November 2022 is the Restoration Gin, to help raise funds to regenerate Millport’s beloved Town Hall.

Currently, the lovely group have their store open in Millport town and have been running gin tastings and tours since Summer 2021. As part of their plan for the future, they also hope to offer cocktail-making, lamp-making, and other workshops – so stay tuned!

Here’s a video of our recent visit:

You can find the Isle of Cumbrae Gin Distillery Here.

 

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Lion Rock, Crocodile Rock & Indian Rock

The Isle of Cumbrae is home to a collection of quirky rock formations which can be found dotted around the island. Over the years these have become iconic Cumbrae landmarks, and they’re bound to catch your eye as you’re out walking or cycling.

Crocodile Rock

The most recognisable out of the trio is the ‘Crocodile Rock’ which has been around for over 100-years! It is also considered to be one of Scotland’s “quirkiest, best-known landmarks”.

Check out our full blog post on The Cumbrae Rocks to discover where to find them!

 

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This blog post is part of our ‘Ultimate Guide’ to the island. Check it out by clicking the link below:


Watersports in Millport Bay!

The Isle of Cumbrae offers brilliant opportunities to enjoy getting out on the water! Millport is incredibly popular with the likes of Stand Up Paddleboarding, Sea Kayaking, Snorkelling, and day Sailing.

Why not rent a kayak from ‘On Yer Bike’ and explore Millport bay?

With the sparkling water and beachfront lined with palm trees, you’ll feel like you’re exploring an island paradise. You can paddle along the beach and out to the ‘The Eileans’ which are the two, small islands in the bay.


Top Tip: Make sure to stay safe whilst enjoying watersports! Millport Bay is sheltered and protected. As you head further out, you’re exposed to elements such as currents and wind, as well as other boats. Check out the likes of the Scottish Canoe Association and RNLI for safety tips, as well as the Met Office for the weather.


 

Millport Bay

Want to know the best part? You can find seals that live on The Eileans most of the year! They’re amazing to watch from the kayaks so make sure to paddle out and pay them a visit.

Kayaking in Millport is suitable for almost all ages and the shop says, “as long as you can swim, anyone can hire our Kayaks”. Life jackets are included with the hiring.

 

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Cycle Around The Whole Island

Cumbrae was made for cycling, and I’m not just saying that…

You won’t find many islands in the world that come in the form of a perfect 10-mile circular cycling route. So get that helmet on and hit the road!

You’ll find a couple of different cycling route options on the island, but the best is just to cycle right the way around.

Clockwise or anti-clockwise?

Well, that’s the big question.

Scott Ferris of Mapes would always recommend going around anti-clockwise. That way, and if you’re starting from the Cumbrae ferry slip, you avoid the ferry traffic that heads straight to the town, and you can relax on the long way around the north and west sides of the island.

This way, you can stop in at the Fintry Bay Cafe halfway(ish) point for an ice cream and a juice, giving you that well-needed, and deserved, energy boost through the final stretch towards Millport town.

If you’re looking for tips for cycling on the island, I’d recommend checking out our full Guide to Cycling Around the Isle of Cumbrae.

Mapes Millport Quadricycle

Needing to rent a bike? You have the options of Bremner’s Bike Hire, Mapes Cycle Hire, or ‘On Your Bike’ for flexible bike hire that won’t break the bank.

Top Tip: If you’re a group of 3+, why not try the 4-person, QUADRICYCLE!? – it’s some laugh!

 

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The Cumbrae Sensory Trail

The Sensory Trail takes you around Cumbrae’s 10-mile coastline, giving you the opportunity to delight in the island’s nature, wildlife, sandy bays and pebble beaches, sea life, and beautiful scenery. 

There are five Sensory Point Markers on the trail where you can just pause in peaceful and calming surroundings. They look like this:

Cumbrae Sensory Trail

These are at five coastal locations around the Island namely, Farland Point (1), Ballochmartin Bay (2), White Bay (3), Fintry Bay (4), and Sheriff’s Port (5).

With the help of the audio guide below, you can see, taste, smell, touch and listen to aspects of Cumbrae and relax and unwind through this enjoyable and invigorating sensory experience. 

You can cycle, walk or drive around the Trail. All markers are near the roadside, apart from Farland Point, which is a short, but level walk. 

Look out for the ball at the top of the Sensory Point Markers – touch all five and take with you the gift of luck from the Islanders! 

Cumbrae Sensory Trail Map

Introduction

1. Farland Point

2. Ballochmartin Bay

3. White Bay

4. Fintry Bay

5. Sheriff’s Port

 

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The Wedge

The Isle of Cumbrae is home to what was crowned “The Narrowest House in World”.

The front of ‘The Wedge’ only measures 47 inches and it has a place in the Guinness Book of Records for being the narrowest ever recorded home. Well… it did until a house in Warsaw, Poland, named the ‘Keret House’ stole the title in 2008, at 32 inches wide.

So, Millport’s Wedge has now claimed the title of ‘Britain’s Narrowest House’.

The Wedge Millport

The house gets wider as you move towards the back and is uniquely shaped like a wedge of cheese, hence the name.

Despite the tight squeeze, The Wedge boasts beautiful sea views and it’s right in the middle of Millport town – so no complaints on location!

Unfortunately (as it’s someone’s home) you can’t actually go inside, but make sure you keep an eye out for this bizarre, wee house when you’re in town!

 

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The Cathedral of the Isles

Another Guinness Book of Records holder! Well… technically not, but The Cathedral of the Isles is actually the UK’s smallest cathedral – another wee claim to fame. (See what I did there?)

You can find the Cathedral tucked away in the trees just behind the town of Millport. The grounds and building itself are beautiful, so it’s definitely worth the 5-minute stroll up from the shorefront to see.

Millport, Cathedral of the Isles

Across the road, you’ll find the Garrison House which has lovely gardens to walk through, as well as the Cumbrae Community Gardens. You can find a good spot for a picnic here on a nice day!

 

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Top Tip: Leave nothing but footprints!

Let’s keep Scotland’s landscapes litter-free. It should go without saying, but if there’s not a bin nearby, do the right thing by taking it with you. Also, please use recycling points where available.


Wildlife Spotting

Fancy yourself as an aspiring David Attenborough? Well, you’re in luck.

The island is a paradise for nature-lovers and wildlife watchers with over 125 species of birds, seal colonies, porpoises, and basking sharks.

Around Cumbrae’s coast it’s quite common to see grey seals and harbour porpoises. If you’re lucky, you may even be lucky to see Minke whales, basking sharks, and common dolphins.

 

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A post shared by The Coig (@the_coig)

Top Tip: You can often see porpoises from the ferry over to the island, so keep an eye out!

You’ll also see a huge variety of birds around the island’s coast. Around Millport itself it’s you’ll see ducks, oystercatchers, red-breasted mergansers as well as the usual gulls. Just make sure they don’t steal your chips!

Farland Point, Millport

A great place for fishing and spotting wildlife is down at Farland Point. Check out how to get there by reading our Best Walking Routes on the Isle of Cumbrae blog.

 

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The Jacks Alt-Stays Experience

You didn’t think we’d leave ourselves out, did you?

At Jacks Alt-Stays, we offer guests our unique ‘Alternative Eco-Cabin Experience’.

Jack's Alt-Stays Alternative Eco-Cabin

Our Eco-cabin concept is the next generation of tourist accommodation in Scotland.

Each cabin comes with its very own theme and story. You can expect clever interior design and a one-of-a-kind artist’s wall mural, created by our good friend and top-class artist, Katie Forbes. Not only this, but we’re creating a totally unique and fully immersive sensory experience.

The Eco-Cabins will be built locally using sustainable materials and will be powered by 100% renewable energy. We’ll also have 10 trees planted for every booking made through our partnership with Ecologi.

Within walking distance from the beachfront and main town, the cabin is the perfect hub for exploring the Isle of Cumbrae and has everything you need to keep entertained. Whether it’s board games or cosy Netflix nights, we’ve got you covered.

We’re launching our cabins at the end of the year! So why not sign-up below to be the first to hear about our plans and free-stay giveaways?

Sign up:

Newsletter

 

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Wee Cumbrae Day Trip Tour

Fancy exploring an uninhabited island? Well…

Clyde Charters have gained permission to land day trip passengers onto the magnificent place that is Wee Cumbrae.

At the moment charters are only setting off from Largs Marina, but we’re currently talking with Clyde Charters to arrange a Millport pick-up!

There are lighthouses, castles, cairns, caves, and abandoned forts. This is a must-see place for hillwalkers, bird spotting, photographers, and all other outdoorsy types.

Wee Little Cumbrae Island

You’ll also have an opportunity to see lots of amazing wildlife on this tour, including Cumbrae’s own resident dolphin!

Why not read Daniel’s blog about his experience going on the Clyde Charters Voyage.

 

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Golfing on Cumbrae

I challenge you to find a golf course with a better outlook than at the Millport Golf Club. Seriously, what a view:

Millport Golf Club View

This special golf course is often described as a ‘hidden gem’ by visiting golfers and it’s one of the best ways to take in the surrounding beauty of the island.

Meander around the well-maintained course as you enjoy stunning views across to the Isle of Arran, Bute, and the Ayrshire coast.

During the summer season, full catering and bar facilities are available. Visitors can also organise catering packages including breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Don’t fancy the full 18-holes? Not to worry, there’s always crazy golf on the Millport promenade.

 

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Millport Calender Events

If you’re lucky enough to visit on one of the many event weekends, you’re in for a treat. From the Classic Car event in early May, to the Scooter Rally in late August, these are some pretty unique events you’ll find on Cumbre.

Millport Country and Western Festival

The Island’s flagship event is the Country and Western Music Festival in September where thousands of revelers descend onto the island in fancy dress for live country music, lively bar atmospheres, and fun activities for kids.

If you’re more of the artistic type, the Cathedral of the Isles runs a Classical Guitar Retreat, a brand new Opera Retreat Festival in 2022, and you’ll find several “plein air” painting events.

 

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Geocaching

Here’s a way to have some fun while you’re out exploring the island – Geocaching!

Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunting game where participants navigate to coordinates in order to find treasure, or the “geocache”. Geocache come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, and can be anything from boxes, to plastic containers, to film canisters.

Inside the geocache you’ll find a log book to sign and some treasure! Take a bit of treasure and replace it with something of your own, to mark your visit.

There’s plenty of geocache to be found on the Isle of Cumbrae, so grab your smartphone and get searching! Click here for more info.

 

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Kelburn Castle & Country Centre

Now, technically you won’t find this place on the Island, however, we couldn’t resist adding it to our ‘Unique Things to See & Do’ list.

You’ll find Kelburn Estate across the water, just on the edge of Largs town, and since it’s so close, it’s definitely worth a visit!

Kelburn Castle, Largs

At Kelburn you can expect woodland walking routes, waterfalls, and a (very) colourful castle. It is great fun for all ages, whether you’re a family looking for a day out, or a couple looking for an adventure.

Grab those walking boots and get ready to explore the wonders of the enchanted forest. Once you’re finished, you can stop off at the on-site café for some food and refreshments.

Check out some of the best things to see and do in Largs.

 

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So, there you have it…

All of the best and most unique things to see and do on Millport, Isle of Cumbrae!

Oh, and lastly. Although we encourage you to get out there and explore, please remember one thing…

…Once you get off that ferry, you’re officially on island time. You’ve arrived on the Isle of Cumbrae, where the clocks run a little slower.  Make sure to switch off for a while, enjoy being away from it all, and most importantly, RELAX.

Have a great trip!

 

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Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:

For everything you need to know about planning your visit to the island, check it out our full guide:

A Guide to Cycling in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

A Guide to Cycling in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae
A Guide to Cycling in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

Planning on cycling in Millport? You’ve come to the right place.

The Isle of Cumbrae is known as a ‘Cyclist’s paradise’, and for good reason too!

The island is only an 8-minute ferry ride from Largs on the North Ayrshire coast, and is one big 10-mile loop. Bikes are also free to take over on the ferry.

So, next time you visit, ditch the car on the mainland and get peddling!



Getting Here

Firstly, you’re going to need to get over here. Luckily I’ve written a full guide on How to Get To Millport, Isle of Cumbrae for you to check out.

In summary, fire KA30 8BG into your Google Maps to get to Largs ferry terminal. Largs is only a 1-hour car/train journey from Glasgow. The ferry costs only £3.50 and in the summer, one leaves every 15 minutes!

Here is the Cal Mac Summer 2021 Largs–Cumbrae Ferry Timetable.

Cumbrae Ferry

 

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Bike Hire

If you don’t have your own to bring over, you’ll need a bike.

Luckily, you’re sorted when it comes to bike hire in Millport town. So, from the ferry, hop on the 10-minute bus to town and head over to either;

Mapes Cycle Hire | 4-5 Guildford St, Millport, KA28 0AE | 01475 530444 | www.mapesmillport.co.uk

Mapes Millport Quadricycle

At Mapes, there are some weird and wonderful choices from tricycles, tandems, quadricycles, tagalongs, kiddie cabs, dog trailers, baby carriers, and electric scooters. Otherwise, you can opt for the more conventional two-wheeler! Check out the awesome toy collection in the Mapes Toy Shop too!

Mapes’ standard bike prices are £8.00 for up to 3 hours, and £10.00 for 3 hours plus. Helmets are included in this price. Check their website for other hire options and pricing.

Or

On Your Bike | 27/29 Stuart Street, Millport, KA28 0AJ | 01475 530 300 | www.onyourbikemillport.com

On Your Bike Millport Bicycle Hire

On Your Bike offer a wide range of bicycles including mountain bikes, racing bikes, tandems, adult and child tricycles, electric bikes, a mobility scooter, and even a seven-seater conference bike, with a variety of accessories including trailers for both dogs and kids, child seats and tag-a-longs! You can even hire kayaks from here. Check out the watersports you can do in Millport.

On Your Bike’s standard bike hire price is simply £10 for all day. Helmets and baskets are free with your booking. Check their website for other hire options and pricing.

 


Cycling Routes

There are a couple of options here, from the nice and easy, all the way round, to something a little more… ‘vertically challenging’, shall we say.

1. The Outer Circuit

Cycling Round Cumbrae, Outer Circuit As it says on the tin – the whole way round. No matter which way you turn off the ferry, that’s you on the Outer Circuit.

The island is essentially one big 10-mile loop, but it’s certainly no chore to venture the whole way round, with the wonderful coastal views to be taken in on all sides.

You can start this route from either the ferry slip or from Millport town. It’ll take 1 – 2 hours.

 

Clockwise or anticlockwise?

That’s the big question.

Scott Ferris of Mapes Cycle Hire Shop would always recommend going around anti-clockwise. That way, you avoid the Ferry traffic that heads straight to the town, and you can relax on the long way around the north and west sides of the island. 

This way, you can stop in at the Fintry Bay Cafe halfway(ish) point for an ice cream and a juice, giving you that well-needed, and deserved, energy boost through the final stretch towards Millport town.

It also means you have a shorter trip back to the ferry after a long day of exploring the Unique Things to See & Do in Millport!

Click here to open the Outer Circuit route on your Google Maps app.

 

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Planning your visit to the Isle of Cumbrae?

This blog post is part of our ‘Ultimate Guide‘ to the island. Check it out by clicking the link below:


Things to look for along the way…

Whilst en-route round the island, there are a few things to keep your eyes peeled for!

 

The Cumbrae Rocks

The Isle of Cumbrae is home to a collection of quirky rock formations which are bound to catch your eye – Crocodile Rock, Lion Rock, and Indian Rock.

Indian Rock Lion Rock Crocodile Rock Millport

 

Fintry Bay Cafe

You’ll find the Fintry Bay Cafe completely secluded on the West side of the Island and it’s an obligatory stop if you’re cycling the Outer Circuit.

They have amazing ice cream and lots of great food options including wraps, sandwiches, soup, and fresh home baking. Grab a quick bite while enjoying the best part which is the amazing views across to Arran & Bute. Check it out:

Also, if you cycle for 2 minutes North of the Fintry Bay Cafe, you’ll find some lovely sandy beach areas! Why not bring some food or grab a takeaway from the cafe and have a picnic? It’s the perfect spot on a nice day.

 

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Top Tip: Leave nothing but footprints!

Let’s keep Scotland’s landscapes litter-free. It should go without saying, but if there’s not a bin nearby, do the right thing by taking it with you. Also, please use recycling points where available.


 

Wildlife Watching

The island is a paradise for nature-lovers and wildlife watchers with over 125 species of birds, seal colonies, porpoises, and basking sharks.

Around Cumbrae’s coast it’s quite common to see grey seals and harbour porpoises. If you’re lucky, you may even be lucky to see Minke whales, basking sharks, and common dolphins – so keep an eye oot!

 

HMS Shearwater Memorial

This monument can be found on one of the most Northern points of the Island and was erected in memory of two young shipmen who were tragically killed in a boating accident.

In 1844 two boys, Charles Cayley & William Jewell, were out sailing on the North end of Cumbrae when a strong north easterly wind caught them and drove them under the waves. Another Government steamer witnessed this and unfortunately, despite extensive efforts, the boys were unable to be rescued.

As the story goes, the bodies were never found and all they were able to recover were the boys’ hats.

Shearwater Memorial

 

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Public Toilets

Oh, this might come in handy…

Isle of Cumbrae Toilet Locations Walking Route

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2. The Inner Circuit

Cycling Round Cumbrae, Inner Circuit Fancy a bit more of a challenge? Hit Cumbrae’s Inner Circuit. It’ll take 1 – 1.5 hours.

Be sure to stop off at the island’s highest point – The Glaidstone viewpoint – for 360-degree panoramic views around the Clyde. Start and finish this route from Millport town.

Click Here to open the Inner Circuit route on your Google Maps app.

 

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While I have you…

My cousin, Adam, and I are setting up our very own ‘Alternative Eco-Cabin‘ business on the Isle of Cumbrae towards the end of 2021.

How class do these look?!

Jack's Alt-Stays Alternative Eco-Cabin

Why not sign up to be first to hear about our launch and free stay giveaways?:

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Keeping safe while cycling around Millport

Finally, here’s a little note on cycling safety and etiquette.

It’s an obvious one, but so many people just don’t bother. Wear a helmet. Seriously. It may not be the most fashionable look, but it’s more fashionable than lying in hospital with a head injury.

Millport residents are well used to having cyclists on the road and will give you plenty of space, but make sure to keep in single file, or two abreast where possible, and no more. Cycling around the island is incredibly popular in the summer months which can make it very difficult for locals to get around – so be aware of your surroundings!

Millport Town
Millport Town

Keep your bike in good nick! Both Mapes and On Your Bike actually offer a bicycle maintenance & repair service. Keep those tyres pumped up, chain oiled, and carry a bike pump.

Keep hydrated! Take water round with you, especially on those rare sunny days. If you forget or run out, stop in halfway round at Fintry Bay Café for a soft drink or a free water bottle refill.

Well, there you have it.

There’s not much more to it than that. Have fun and be safe on your island cycling adventure! Remember, take it slow and soak in the scenery.

 

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Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:

For everything you need to know about planning your visit to the island, check out our full guide:

How to get to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

How to Get to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae
How to Get to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

The Isle of Cumbrae is known as ‘Scotland’s Most Accessible Island’, and for good reason. It’s only an 8-minute ferry ride across from Largs on the North Ayrshire coast.

Largs is only a 1-hour car/train journey from Glasgow and is well connected with wider Ayrshire. So, you’ll be on island time before you know it.

Even better – the ferry costs only £3.50 and one leaves every 15-30 minutes through the summer! Here’s how to get to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.



Firstly, How to get to Largs Ferry Slip

 

If You’re Driving to Largs:

Fire KA30 8BG into your trusted Google Maps. That’ll take you right to the Largs ferry slip where you can grab your tickets and hop on the boat.

Largs is only 40-minutes from Ayr, 1-hour from Glasgow, or 2-hours from Edinburgh.

Top Tip – Why not ditch the car on the mainland and make the most of your island experience on foot or by bike? The island is known as a ‘cyclist’s paradise’ and is one 10-mile circuit round. Bikes are free on the ferry.

Also,

Top Tip Parking right by the ferry isn’t always easy. Park your car at the nearby seafront parking for a few quid (no overnight parking) or for free (responsibly & respectfully!) on nearby Bath Street, Union Street, Makerston Place, or Charles Street, and walk 5 minutes along to the ferry slip.

 

If You’re Taking the Train to Largs

Jump on at any stop on the Glasgow–Largs line. Trains run every hour. From Largs train station, it’s a short stroll down to the Largs ferry terminal.

Here is Scotrail’s Glasgow–Largs route info & timetable.

Largs to Glasgow trainline

 

If You’re Catching the Bus to Largs

Stagecoach and McGill’s buses both stop on Largs main street, right around the corner from the Cumbrae ferry ticket office.

Here are the 585 Stagecoach and the 901/904/906 McGills timetables.

 

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The Cumbrae Ferry Timetable

Generally, the Cumbrae ferry sets off every 15-30 minutes. We like to say that you’ve never really missed the Millport ferry. You’ve only shown up early for the next one… unless it’s the last boat, then you’ve shown up REALLY early for the 6:35am boat the next day. 😂

There is no pre-booking available for this one, so it’s a case of showing up and hopping on.

Always check the Cal Mac Service Status before travelling, and show up at least 10 minutes before the departure time to allow time for tickets and queueing.

Cumbrae OFF-PEAK 2021 Ferry Timetable*

*This timetable is currently due to extend through winter 2021.

Cumbrae-off-peak-summer-timetable

In the peak summertime and on public holidays be sure to leave PLENTY of time to queue and don’t be disappointed if you miss the boat you were aiming for. There can sometimes be waits of 1.5 – 2 hours.

Don’t fret though! There is plenty to do & see in Largs, including some awesome food & drink options if hunger strikes.

Top Tip – While you wait, why not grab an Ice Cream from the Iconic Art Deco Nardini’s Ice Cream Parlour just along the road?

 

Cumbrae Ferry

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Cumbrae Ferry Fares & Getting your Tickets

Return tickets only cost £3.50 for foot passengers, £13.45 for a car, and bikes are free.

You can’t buy them in advance for this route so just pick your ferry tickets up when you arrive.

Covid safety measures are in place in the ticket office, including 2-meter distancing, wearing masks, card-only payments, and hand sanitiser is available.

 

Cumbrae Ferry Fares* – Summer 2021

TICKET RETURN FARE
Driver/passenger £3.50
Child 5-15 (Infant under 5 free, must have valid ticket) £1.75
Car or 4X4 (excludes driver) £13.45
Motorhome Up to 6m £13.45
Up to 8m £20.20
Up to 10m £26.90
Caravan, boat/baggage trailer Up to 2.5m £6.75
Up to 6m £13.45
Up to 8m £20.20
Motorcycle £6.75
Pedal cycles (restricted numbers) Free

 

*Note all fares are return tickets. As there is only one route on and off the Isle of Cumbrae, you do not have to present a ticket on the way back to Largs.

 

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This blog post is part of our ‘Ultimate Guide‘ to the island. Check it out by clicking the link below:


The Cumbrae Ferry Journey

The sailing over to the Isle of Cumbrae is quick, easy and affordable.

Hit the top deck, kick back, relax, and enjoy the stunning views. 8-minutes later you’ll arrive in a place where the clocks go a little slower.

Millport Ferry

 

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Now that we mention it…

We’re launching our Alternative Eco-Cabin concept in Millport in late 2021!

They’ll look like this:

Jack's Alt-Stays Alternative Eco-Cabin

Awesome, right? Check out the Eco-Cabin Concept and sign up below for the official launch announcement and for your chance to win free stays!

Sign Up

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How to get from the Cumbrae Ferry slip to Millport Town

Hop off the ferry and you’ll have a few options to get to the town.

One thing that’s for sure is that you cannot get lost. The island is pretty much one big loop with only one way on or off.

How to Get to Jacks Alt-Stays Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

 

If You’re Driving

Take a left for the short but scenic route and you’ll be in Millport town in less than 10 minutes. Take a right for the slightly longer, but even more scenic route (recommended) and you’ll be there in 20-25 minutes.

 

If You’re Cycling

The same applies. Left takes 25 minutes, right takes 35 minutes. Check out our Guide to Cycling in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.

 

If You’re Walking

The same applies again. Left takes 1 hour, 20 minutes and right takes 2 hours. Just beware of your surroundings whilst walking as there are no pavements the whole way around the island. Walk on the right-hand side of the road so you can keep an eye out for oncoming traffic.

Top Tip – Be sure to do both the inner-circuit and outer-circuit walking routes while you’re there. They’re great ways to explore the whole island with some breathtaking views along the way.

Check out our blog on The Best Walking Routes on the Isle of Cumbrae.

 

Take The Bus!

This is probably the easiest way to get to the town, as the bus meets every ferry on arrival. It’s only £2 for a single ticket and you’ll be in Millport in 10 minutes.

Millport Bus Fares – Summer 2021

TICKET FARE
Adult Return £3.50
Adult Single £2.00
Child Return £1.70
Child Single £1.00

 

The bus is always dog friendly and your furry friend travels for free.

Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

 

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Top Tip: Leave nothing but footsteps!

While you’re out enjoying the scenery, keep our island litter free. It should go without saying, but if there’s not a bin nearby then take rubbish with you. Also, of use recycling points where available. Do the right thing – we’re counting on you!


Things To Do in Millport & Wider Cumbrae

For what the island lacks in size, it makes up for in adventure.

Whether it’s one of the five main nature walks, discovering the ‘Cumbrae Rocks’ or enjoying the 360” panoramic views from the Glaidstone (Cumbrae’s highest point), there’s plenty opportunity to get back in touch with nature.

Isle of Cumbrae Walking Routes

 

A cycle round the outer circuit is a must. Luckily there are a few bike hire options in the main town, such as Mapes Cycles. Check out our Guide to Cycling in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.

While you’re exploring the island, see if you can spot all three ‘Cumbrae Rocks’ – Crocodile Rock, Lion Rock, and Indian Rock.

Indian Rock Lion Rock Crocodile Rock Millport


Less of an outdoorsy type? You can indulge in a gin-tasting experience in the island’s very own gin distillery, or enjoy some great food and drink in the variety of cosy pubs and restaurants.

Cumbrae Gin Distillery

There are all sorts of quirky places to see too. Millport is home to the smallest cathedral in Britain – The Cathedral of the Isles, and the narrowest house in the Britain – ‘The Wedge’.


How about a voyage to Cumbrae’s ‘little brother’ – Wee Cumbrae? Clyde Charters have recently gained permission to land day trip passengers onto the magnificent place that is Wee Cumbrae. However, they are only departing from Largs Marine at the moment.

There are abandoned lighthouses, a 16th-century castle, a victorian-style mansion, cairns and caves. I recently made the venture over there. Check out my blog: A Voyage to Wee Cumbrae.

Wee Little Cumbrae Island

Those were just a few of the many things you can get up to on the Isle of Cumbrae. Check out our Unique Things To Do in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae blog for many more.

 

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Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:

For everything you need to know about planning your visit to the island, check it out our full guide:

 

Best Things to See and Do in Largs

Things to See & Do in Largs

So… you feel like you’ve exhausted all the highlights on The Isle of Cumbrae and you’re looking for some new adventures? Not to worry, there’s plenty more fun to be had just across the water.

Let’s take a look at some of our favourite Things to Do, Walking Routes, Places to Eat and Places to Drink. Hopefully, this will give you some inspiration…



THINGS TO DO

Visit the Largs Pencil Monument

The Pencil monument stands at about 70 feet tall and towers over the Largs coastline. It was built in 1912 to commemorate the Battle of Largs (1263) when we defeated the Vikings of Norway on the shorefront.

Largs Pencil Monument

Largs has since become famous for its Viking connections and has been given the nickname ‘Viking Town’.  You’ll find all sorts of Viking references throughout the town, from the Viking Chippy to the ‘Vikingar!’ leisure centre.

Largs even host an annual Viking Festival to give people a glimpse of what life was like in a 13th Century Viking Village.

The Pencil can be found along at the end of the prom, near the Largs Marina.


Visit Magnus the Viking

Another reference to the town’s Viking roots – Magnus the Viking. Magnus was given his spot on Largs prom in 2013 which marked the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Largs (1263).

You’ll find this big guy right across the road from the world-famous Nardini’s. In fact, you can’t really miss him as you’re walking along the prom.

Largs Magnus Viking

It’s a great photo opportunity and you might even find him dressed up depending on the season. He’s been spotted wearing football scarves, santa hats and has even been wearing his facemask throughout lockdown.


Visit the Largs Marina

Along at the edge of town, you’ll find the Largs Yacht Haven which hosts all sorts of fun for water lovers. Whether you’re a boat owner or someone who’s just visiting, there’s plenty to keep you entertained.

Largs Yacht Haven

The marina offers private boat tours from the likes of Clyde Charters or Sea Clyde Private Charters which is an amazing opportunity to see the surrounding islands from a different perspective. You’ll find all sorts of wildlife on these tours including dolphins, seals, sea birds and porpoises – so keep those eyes peeled!

The marina also is home to a contemporary bistro offering great coffee and light lunches called Bosun’s Table as well as a quality restaurant called Scott’s. Whether you’re looking for a coffee pit-stop or a night of dinner and cocktails, the marina has you covered.


Thinking of booking a boat tour?: You should check out Daniel’s ‘Voyage to Wee Cumbrae‘ blog where he talks about his recent boat tour with Clyde Charters to the uninhabited island of ‘Wee Cumbrae’.


Visit Kelburn Castle & Country Centre

Now, this is probably my favourite place to visit in Largs – Kelburn Estate. You’ll find it on the outskirts of Largs, an additional 15-minute walk out from the marina.

Kelburn is great fun for all ages, whether you’re a family looking for a day out, or a couple looking for an adventure. You can expect woodland walking routes, waterfalls, a beautiful walled garden, and a (very) eye catching castle.

The psychedelic mural was painted on the castle in 2007 by Brazilian street artists and its brought some serious colour to Kelburn Estate ever since.

Kelburn Castle, Largs

For children, you’ll find lots of play areas including the outdoor Adventure Course, Secret Forest, Wild West Saloon and the indoor Playbarn.

Kelburn is also famous for its many unusual trees, two of which have been recognised by the Forestry Commission in the Top 100 most important ‘heritage’ trees in Scotland.

There’s all sorts of fun to be had, so grab those walking boots and get ready to explore the wonders of the enchanted forest. Once you’re finished, you can stop off at the on-site café for some food and refreshments.


Inverclyde Sports Centre

Feeling active? Well maybe this will be up your street.

Largs is home to the state-of-the-art Inverclyde Sports Centre which offers a wide range of activities for both members and guests. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, football pitches, fitness studios, a golf course, and a gymnastic hall.

Inverclyde Sports Centre Largs

If you’re visiting in a small group, you might be interested in trying their gym, tennis, badminton, table tennis, golf-training, archery or maybe even one of their fitness classes!

Check out their website and make enquiries here.


Visit Geraldo’s

Geraldo’s is Ayrshire’s 1st ever 5-Star Tourist Shop and you’ll find it a short 2-minute walk away from the ferry slip.

Geraldos Largs

Primarily this family-run business sells some seriously tasty ice cream (which is produced on-site), but it’s also the perfect place to pick up a nice souvenir!

They specialise in handmade chocolates, gift hampers, and a range of unique and unusual gifts that change throughout the seasons. You’ll also find a wide range of premium spirits from all across the country.

Why not check out their range of Arran Whiskys or Scottish Gins? Of course, you’ll also find that they stock Millport’s very own ‘Nostalgin’ from the Isle of Cumbrae Distillers.


Visit Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

Whether you’re going on a day trip or a full-on island retreat, the Isle of Cumbrae is a must visit! At only an 8-minute ferry from Largs pier, Cumbrae is known as “Scotland’s Most Accessible Island”.

If you’re looking to plan a trip to the island, we’ve written the ‘Ultimate Guide‘ to the island. Check it out:

Also, Cumbrae happens to be where we’re bringing our ‘Alternative Eco Cabin’ Concept in late 2021! Check them out:

Jack's Alt-Stays Alternative Eco-CabinSign up to be the first to hear about our launch and for free stay giveaways!

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Walk Along Largs Prom

This one is a must do if you’re visiting Largs for the first time – a walk along the prom.

The Largs promenade stretches from Aubrey Park to the Largs Marina and it takes 45-minutes to walk the full length. The seafront boasts incredible views across the River Clyde and towards Bute, Cumbrae and the Isle of Arran.

The good news is, you’re already on the route as you exit the Isle of Cumbrae to Largs ferry. A quick left turn will take you to a lovely, pebbled beach as well as the promenade lined with palm trees. Here you can also see ‘Magnus the Viking’ or grab an ice cream from Nardini’s.

Largs Seafront

Most of the walk, however, can be found by turning right as you come off the ferry. As you make your way over to the marina, make sure to take in those views. There’s plenty of nice spots to stop including the many colourful benches, large grass areas, parks, and a lovely sandy bay.

Make sure to keep an eye out for the Largs War Memorial and the Pencil Monument along the way!

Here’s the route:

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Our Top Tip: If the weather is nice, take a walk along to the marina around lunchtime and enjoy a half-way stop at Scott’s to refuel. Get yourself a seat outside, enjoy some lunch and wash it down with a cold pint – superb. I’d recommend Classic Fish & Chips or the Beef Burger with Chilli & Parmesan Fries.


THE BEST WALKING ROUTES

Already walked the prom? Not to worry, Largs boasts loads of great walking routes with some stunning views of the coast. Here are my favourties:

The Gretta Falls Walk

The Gretta (Greeto) Falls is a fantastic walk towards the hills at the back of Largs town. You can expect amazing views over the coastline and the Gogo river which runs through the valley of the hills.

It’s a really popular walk for families and dog walkers and you’ll find some lovely streams and waterfalls at the top.

Gretta Falls

The walk to the waterfall takes around 1 hour from the foot of the hill and you can simply follow the wide path (there’s a distinct road which has been made for hydo construction works).

On a nice day it’s a lovely place to visit and you can even go for a dip in the water if you’re feeling brave enough. Here’s me taking the plunge:

If you do fancy a dook, please make sure you stay safe in the cold water. You can do this by taking the advice of Scottish Fire & Rescue and cluing yourself up on water safety.

Lastly, here’s your route from the Largs ferry slip:


The Largs Sundial Walk

A walk ‘up the Sundial’ offers superb panoramic views of the coastline and pretty much the full town of Largs. It’s also a great opportunity to walk through some of the local parks which you’ll find along the way.

From the ferry slip, it’s a 20-minute walk along the prom and up towards Anderson Park. It’s worth a walk through here on the way, especially if it’s springtime as the cherry blossom trees will be out in full force!

Continue across the road to Douglas Park. Follow the road through to the back of the park and keep the tennis court to your right-hand side. From here, you can follow a path up the back of the hills.

This part of the walk takes an additional 30 minutes, with some pretty steep hills and stairs, but it’s all worth it when you reach the sundial at the top.

Check out that view (not Daniel, although he’s looking not too bad):

Sundial View

Also, here’s your route:


Top Tip: Leave nothing but footprints!

Let’s keep Scotland’s landscapes litter free. It should go without saying, but if there’s not a bin nearby, do the right thing by taking it with you. Also, please use recycling points where available.


Knock Hill Walk

Climbing up to the Knock Hill summit is the most challenging out of all the Largs walking routes, but it also offers the best views. At 268 meters above sea level, Largs and the Firth of Clyde has never looked so good. It’s also the best way to see the wonderful Isle of Cumbrae, in all its glory.

This walk starts from the seafront and continues up past the Routenburn golf course. From there, the route soon leads onto the side of the course. Once you get to the top it’s pretty spectacular, here’s a quick video I took:

 

On the way back down, you can chose to complete the entire ‘Knock Hill Circular‘ walk or you can come back the same way you came.

Some of the terrain on this part of the walk is pretty boggy, especially in the winter time, so walking boots are required!

Google maps were pretty useless for making a route for this one but it’s pretty well explained online already. You can read the full description and download your walking route here.


Quad Rocks Walk

A walk up to the Quad Rocks offers another impressive view over the full town of Largs, the coast, and over to Arran, Bute & Cumbrae, just from a different perspective. Just check out that view!:

The Quad Rocks

The rocks are a popular spot for rock climbers or those who are looking for a hike with a smashing view.

From the ferry up to the Quad Rocks themselves, it’ll take you about 1 hour in total. The first 30 minutes is through the town and to the car park at the back of Inverclyde Sports Centre.

From the electric car charging point head up the hill, but stick by the river to the right. Don’t take the new pathway to the left (although that’s a great walk too!). Keep right and you’ll shortly come across a gorge where you can cross the river. Continue following the blazen trail, you’ll see the Quad Rocks and you can storm right up there, climbing a couple of fences as you go. This terrain here is pretty steep and uneven in parts, so it’s another one where walking boots are recommended!

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While I have you…

My cousin, Daniel, and I are setting up our very own ‘Alternative Eco-Cabin’ business on the Isle of Cumbrae.

If you’re looking out from Largs, Cumbrae is the wee island just across the water – only an 8-minute ferry away!

Check out The Concept and join our journey below.

Sign Up:

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THE BEST PLACES TO EAT

Feeling hungry? Largs is packed with amazing places to eat. Whether you’re after a lovely restaurant, a quality takeaway or some seriously good pub grub, the town has it all.

So, let’s get right into it.  In no particular order, here’s all the best places to eat in Largs…


Room

What: Modern restaurant and cocktail bar.

Where: 48-52 Gallowgate St, KA30 8LZ

Room Restaurant Largs

Room is an award-winning family-friendly restaurant, located just off the seafront in Largs.

Whether it’s the Katsu chicken curry, their famous enchiladas, or a make-your-own-pizza for the kids, there’s something for everyone here, with tastes influenced from across the globe.

It also has a really modern bar and seating area, in case you’re only interested in drinks. You can expect a wide range of premium spirits and tasty cocktails.


The Three Reasons

What: Pub serving quality food.

Where: 14 Gallowgate St, KA30 8LX

The Three Reasons, Largs

You only need one reason to go here. The top-quality pub grub. The fact they are #1 of 26 restaurants in Largs on TripAdvisor says it all, really.

Being from Largs ourselves, The Three Reasons is our personal favourite. Stuart always has an exciting guest ale on too.


Koh-I-Noor

What: Indian restaurant serving fresh curries.

Where: 43 Main St, KA30 8AE

Koh I Noor Largs

If you fancy something a bit different, this might be the shout. Koh-I-Noor is a proper good Indian restaurant which is certain to satisfy all your curry and pakora needs.

Fresh ingredients, traditional curries, and just an all-round quality restaurant – would recommend!


Tintos Tapas

What: Spanish tapas bar.

Where: 1 Boyd Street, KA30 8LD

Tintos Tapas Largs

Tintos is an authentic Spanish Tapas Bar which has a good few venues across Glasgow and the West of Scotland, including our very own in Largs.

The restaurant is quite small so it’s a nice, snug atmosphere and I guarantee the food will not disappoint. You can expect all the Spanish traditional food and drink like paella, patatas bravas, prawn dishes, Spanish meats, sangria and cocktails.

They also do half price tapas every Tuesday from 5pm!


Fish Works

What: Quality fish & chips, sit-in and takeaway.

Where: 3 The Promenade, KA30 8BG

The Fish Works Largs

If you think of a day trip to Largs, you think ice cream, coastal views and, probably most of all, fish & chips. You’ll find tons of chippy’s in Largs, some better than others, but in my opinion, Fish Works is the best of the best.

The produce is completely fresh, sustainably sourced, and delivered daily. Expect top-quality Scottish seafood with the best views of Firth of Clyde.

You’ll find classics like fish & chips but also twists on the traditional like fresh langoustine tails, calamari, seasonal fish, and good old-fashioned fish finger butties.


Lounge 

What: Modern cocktail bar and restaurant.

Where: 33-43 Main Street, KA30 8AE

Lounge Largs

Lounge is a fancy cocktail bar, rooftop bar, lovely restaurant and Largs’ only nightclub all rolled into one.

For the food, it’s “street food by day” and “casual fine dining at night”, so you’ve got the best of both worlds. There’s quite a variety of different dishes but it’s all quality and proper tasty stuff.

You can check our their menu here.


Nardini’s

What: Ice cream parlor and cafe.

Where: 2 Greenock Road, KA30 8NF

Nardinis Cafe Largs

Probably the most well-known and loved establishment in the town of Largs – Nardini’s Cafe.

There are world-famous ice cream sundaes, continental sandwiches, fish teas, and proper Italian coffee & pastries. It’s considered “Scotland’s Most Famous Cafe” for a reason and you won’t be disappointed if you visit.


Scott’s 

What: Quality bar & restaurant.

Where: Largs Yacht Haven, KA30 8EZ

Scotts Largs

As mentioned, Scott’s can be found in the heart of the Largs Yacht Haven, right next to the waterfront.

The restaurant itself is really modern and is a great option for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They serve some fantastic seafood, steak and traditional Scottish breakfasts in the mornings.

They have plenty of outdoor seating, making it the perfect place to sit outside on a nice day. There’s also outside heating in in case it gets chilly.

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THE BEST PLACES TO GO FOR A DRINK

As soon as you come off the ferry, you’ll see a big Wetherspoons pub next to the slipway. What we want you to do is, well… walk right past it.

Largs is packed with quality bar/restaurants and pubs and we’d love for you to support the local businesses when possible!

If you’re looking for a modern cocktail bar in the middle of town, check out Room or Lounge. You could also take a stroll out to Scott’s at the marina for a cocktail. Fancy a wide selection of beers combined with some of the best pub-grub in town? Then check out the Three Reasons.

Now, let’s have a look at your other options:


Ye Olde Anchor Inn

What: Cosy, traditional and very friendly pub.

Where: 36 Gallowgate Street, KA308

Ye Olde Anchor Inn Largs

This place has a lot of character and is a local favourite – the Ye Olde Anchor Inn. It’s a traditional pub which can be found a couple of minutes walk from the ferry slip (quite handy if you need to stagger back to Cumbrae afterwards).

It can be described as snug and charming. You’ll find that it can be very lively and have a fantastic atmosphere at the weekends. You’ll often find live music playing including someone on the accordion.


JG Sharps

What: Family-run pub with beer garden.

Where: 34-36 Nelson Street KA30 8LW

JG Sharps Largs

JG Sharps is a traditional, family-run pub which is located a short walk from the Largs seafront.

They’ve got a great selection of beers, wines & spirits and they’ll often have live sports on the TV. Our favourite part, however, is the beer garden out the back – a brilliant spot for a pint on a warm day!


Drouthy Neebors

What: Nice pub playing live sport.

Where: 80 Main Street, KA30 9AL

Drouthy Neebors Largs

Formerly known as McCabes, Drouthy Neebors is a family friendly sports bar and restaurant. They have a nice wee beer garden and a wide range of tasty pub grub.

It’s also very handy if you’re coming to Largs via the train, as it’s right next to the station!


The Waterside

What: Pub with a variety of live music.

Where: 14 Bath Street, KA30 8BL

The Waterside Largs

Looking for a pub with some live music? Well, The Waterside might be the one for you.

They provide all sorts musical entertainment at the weekend, including Karaoke on Fridays and live bands on Saturdays. They also have a variety of music on Sundays, from traditional Scottish music to Jazz. 

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So, there you have it…

All the best things to do & see, walking routes, places to eat and places to catch a drink in the town of Largs.

As promised, there’s plenty of more fun to be had across the water, just make sure you check the times for the last ferry! We can’t have you stuck on the mainland…

Here’s the Cal Mac Summer 2021 Largs–Cumbrae Ferry Timetable.

Looking for more fun across the water? Check out:

 

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Places to Stay in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

Places to Stay in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae
Places to Stay in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

For a wee island that’s only 10-miles round, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to places to stay in Millport.

From the ‘budget option with the sea views’, to the ‘farm cottage with Ayrshire coos’.

Cumbrae is known as Scotland’s Most Accessible Island. At only an 8-minute ferry ride over from Largs which is only 1-hour from Glasgow, it truly is ‘Island time in no time’.

It’s a fantastic option for a quick and easy-to-reach island getaway for those looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of every day life, to somewhere where the clocks go a little slower for a few nights.

Here are 13 places you can stay in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:


The Bothy – Private & Exclusive Cottage

The Bothy Millport Accommodation

Figgitoch Farm is situated on the beautiful Isle of Cumbrae with fantastic views of the Firth of Clyde. It’s the perfect place for relaxing, walking, cycling, golfing, painting, or just chilling out. The bothy is a quant farm cottage which has been lovingly restored to a high standard, complete with a private garden and patio.

You can find The Bothy on Airbnb.


The College Guest House

The College Guest House Millport Accommodation

The College is a Visit Scotland 3 Star Guest House. It is located next to Britain’s smallest cathedral, The Cathedral of The Isles. Both were built at the same time in 1851 by the architect William Butterfield. The College was originally built for students of theology in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

The College was refurbished recently and now allows visitors to enjoy a unique combination of modern luxury and homemade meals in a building full of history and character.

You can find The College Guest House website here


Seal View

Seal View - Places to stay in Millport

This ground floor villa has stunning views over the sea and is only 100 yards from the sandy beach with tropical palms fronting the promenade and yachts moored out in the sheltered bay. From here you can explore the charm of a seaside town with cafés, shops, bars, and bistro.

You can find the Seal View Villa on Airbnb.


Millport Beach Apartment

Millport Beach Apartment - Places to stay in Millport

A newly furnished and decorated 2 bedroom flat on the seafront.  With spectacular sea views, this second floor flat has two double bedrooms, a large living area, a separate kitchen, and a bathroom with shower.

It’s right above The Ritz Cafe, 1 min walk from Quay Head bus stop. On the second floor, the property is well equipped with little luxuries like Egyptian cotton 600 thread count bed linen and big fluffy towels. Perfect for families and couples.

You can find the Millport Beach Apartment on Airbnb.


Jacks Alt-Stays – Alternative Eco-Cabins

Jack's Alt-Stays Alternative Eco-CabinJacks Alt-Stays - Alternative Eco-Cabins Millport Accommodation

Well… not quite yet, but soon!

We’re launching our unique Alternative Eco-Cabin experience in late 2021. The concept combines quirky interior design, eco-consciousness, the great outdoors, and stunning scenic views, with all your mod cons thrown in too.

We’re talking hot tubs, wood-fired stoves,  and cosy Netflix nights – all in a stunning island setting and powered by 100% renewable energy. Each cabin has its own story, interior theme, and one-of-a-kind wall mural.

The cabins are perfect for couples and small families seeking a premium, relaxing island retreat. They’re also located a short walk from Millport town.

Check out our Next Generation Tourist Accommodation Concept and be the first to hear about our official launch!

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Croc Rock Studio Apartment

Croc Roc Studio

The Croc Rock Studio is a delightful wee ground floor apartment which has fantastic views across to Millport Bay. Look out the window from your comfortable armchair and enjoy amazing views towards the sea and beach.

The carefully designed studio has lots of thoughtful touches and is a place for peace and tranquility. It has also been described as the perfect place for artists and writers. There’s no TV, however you can expect art supplies, super quick broadband, books and games. Plenty to keep you entertained!

Also if you’re a responsible pet owner, then you’re in luck – “nice dugs are welcome!”.

If you’d like to book, you can message the lovely owner, Suki,  on the Croc Rock Studio Facebook page.


Millport Pier Hotel

Millport Pier Hotel - Places to stay in Millport

The Millport Pier Hotel has undergone a total refurbishment to the Bar, Restaurant & Kitchen areas. A new wrap around beer garden offers outstanding views over the Newtown bay and a beautiful view south over Wee Cumbrae and Arran The Bar/Restaurant will offer a locally sourced freshly cooked menu with a range of fine wines, Scottish & International beers.

You can find the Millport Pier Hotel on Google.


The Nest

The Nest Millport Accommodation

A Holiday studio apartment near to the golf club. The Nest is a small 1st-floor bedsit reflective of Millport’s original accommodation, though lucky enough now to have an inside toilet!

This is one for the digital detoxers! No internet, no sky tv, no gas central heating, no washing machine! Just a place to rest called The Nest, after enjoying the beautiful peaceful island.

You can find The Nest on Holiday Lettings.


Top Tip: If you’re looking for more options, check out the “Millport ‘Staycation’ Accommodation” group on Facebook. The group is for both advertising and finding holiday accommodation in Millport, Cumbrae!


Heaven above the Haven

Heaven above the Haven - Millport Accommodation

This is truly a little piece of Heaven in Millport. A three-bedroom flat sleeping 6 with stunning sea views overlooking the Firth of Clyde, across Millport Bay and towards the Isle of Arran in a peaceful and tranquil location at the edge of the town.

Ideally located just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Kames Bay and either a 15-minute walk or short bus journey to the shops of Millport town, Garrison House, and the famous Ritz Cafe.

You can find Heaven in Millport on Holiday Lettings.


Cosy Corner

Cosy Corner - Millport Accommodation

This Apartment features a private garden and is close to the beach. Complete with wood burning stove, the apartment has 1 bedroom, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, an equipped kitchen with a microwave and a fridge, a washing machine, and 1 bathroom with a shower. Pets welcome.

You can find the Cosy Corner on Booking.com.


This blog post is part of our ‘Ultimate Guide‘ to the island. Check it out by clicking the link below:


Beside the Bay

Beside the bay - Places to stay in Millport

This beachfront apartment was originally part of a small grocer’s shop and is grade C listed. The building dates from the 1830s and has been carefully stripped back inside to provide a compact, quirky space to enjoy.

A kitchen/ living room with a cosy wood burner looks out to Kames Bay, and on a summer morning, with the window open, you’ll be able to hear the waves and the call of the seabirds.

You can find Beside the Bay on Booking.com.


Millport Holiday Park

Millport Holiday Park

Millport Holiday Park is a friendly, family orientated Static Caravan Park & Touring Site. It has a private play park, a games room, a coin-operated laundry & a coin-operated shower block. It is situated only a 5-minute walk from the main seafront of Millport and just a 2-minute walk from the Golf Club. It boasts fantastic views across the Firth of Clyde to Argyle, Bute & Wee Cumbrae. No dogs. Linen hire costs £15.

You can find Millport Holiday Park on Millport.org.


Rose Cottage

Rose Cottage - Millport

This is a unique and quirky cottage. Accessed from the road by a few stone steps, the cottage is tucked away behind other buildings, making it a quiet and peaceful haven. It has its own private garden, and we welcome up to two dogs- no extra charge!

You can find Rose Cottage on Booking.com.


Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:

For everything you need to know about planning your visit to the island, check it out our full guide:

 

Crocodile Rock, Lion Rock & Indian Rock | Isle of Cumbrae

Crocodile Indian Lion Rock Millport Cumbrae
Crocodile Indian Lion Rock Millport Cumbrae

Known as “Scotland’s Most Accessible Island”, The Isle of Cumbrae boasts amazing scenery, walks, wildlife, experiences, and spectacular views across the River Clyde.

There’s something quite special about the wee island where we’re setting up our “Alternative and Eco Accommodation Cabins” later this year.

Cumbrae is home to a collection of quirky rock formations that are scattered around the island. Over the years these rocks have become famous landmarks and they’re bound to catch your eye as you’re travelling around the island’s 10-mile outer circuit.


Crocodile Rock

A bizarre stone beast lurking on the beach. Fortunately, you’ll find that it’s more amusing than alarming.

This Crocodile Rock can be found on the beach in Millport town and is the most recognisable out of all the rocks. In fact, it’s actually considered to be one of Scotland’s “quirkiest, best-known landmarks”.

Crocodile Rock Millport

In 2013 the crocodile marked it’s 100-year anniversary which now makes the crocodile 108 years old – pretty good going if you ask me!

But how did the Crocodile Rock come to be? Well… the story goes, one day back in 1913, a local man and artist by the name of Robert Brown was having a couple of lunch time pints – as you do – in the Tavern Bar.

Robert’s nickname happened to be ‘Tadger’. I’m not sure why, and I’m not sure if I want to know…    

Anyway, as he stumbled along the promenade, he noticed that a group of rocks along the shore bared a certain reptilian resemblance. In his perhaps typsy state, he decided that he would head home to grab his paints and brush, and returned to create what we now know as the Crocodile Rock.  

Crocodile Rock, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

The croc’s world-famous face is now kept freshly painted ahead of each summer season by volunteers from the local Burns Club. 

 The Rock has been quite the inspiration for many local businesses since. For example, the Isle of Cumbrae Distillers latest creation is called the ‘Croc Rock’ gin – a gin that has quite the snap. Pardon the pun.   

You’ll also see businesses around the town with names like the ‘Crocodeli’, The ‘Croc Rock studio apartment’ AirBnb, and the Crocodile chippy.  

 It’s even inspired local menu items, like Crocodile Style Chips from the Crocodile Chippy, and the Crocodile Style Burger from the local Burger Shack, which let me tell you, has quite the bite… right, that’s the end of the puns, I promise.  

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Lion Rock

You’ll find the Lion Rock sitting proudly on the east side of the Isle of Cumbrae. It’s like something straight out of the pride lands of the Lion King movie.  

Lion Rock Millport

The pre-historic rock formation is 10 meters high, 50 meters long, and has been about for 65 million years, believe it or not. 

Its unique lion shape was caused by a dyke of Labradorite rock intruding into the existing Old Red Sandstone. That’s essentially geology talk for one rock forcing itself inside another.

Then in the last ice age, the shifting glaciers wore down the soft sandstone, exposing the labradorite dyke which has since been weathered to the shape resembling a lion that we see today. 

Lion Rock, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

 

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This blog post is part of our ‘Ultimate Guide‘ to the island. Check it out by clicking the link below:


Indian Rock

Now, this guy is slightly harder to spot – The Indian Rock. You’ll find this landmark tucked away in the trees as you’re coming round the west side of the island. Not going to lie… he’s a wee bit creepy.

Indian Rock Location Millport

This guy was painted in the 1920’s and has been perched up there within the forestry ever since. I reckon they just decided that after 10 years The Crocodile Rock was looking a little lonely, so they painted him a wee brother. One to keep an eye out for!

Indian Rock, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

It is thought that it was first painted by a local man known as Fern Andy who was an old cave hermit. Fern Andy apparently used to live in a cave on the west side of the island, and would fashion fern baskets to sell to the local people. 

Legend has it that the ‘nose’ of the rock was first painted as a guide for sailors coming into the stone jetty just up the coast. Then, the face came afterwords, at some point in the 1920s, thanks to the famous Millport cave hermit, Fern Andy. 

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Top Tip: Leave nothing but footprints!

Let’s keep Scotland’s landscapes litter free. It should go without saying, but if there’s not a bin nearby, do the right thing by taking it with you. Also, please use recycling points where available.


The Glaidstone

You can find the Glaidstone up at the very top of the island, which is at a height of 417 feet (127m). To put that into perspective, a Munro is anything over 3,000 feet so it’s certainly not the tallest peak in Scotland.

Saying that, the views you get are something else and it’s 100% worth the jaunt up to see it when you’re visiting the Isle of Cumbrae.

You’ll find the Glaidstone on the Inner Circuit walk.

Glaidstone Millport

Once up there, you get the full benefit of 360-degree panoramic views around the island, the neighboring Clyde islands of Wee Cumbrae, Arran and Bute, and the mainland coast of North Ayrshire.

On a clear day it’s nothing short of spectacular and you might be able to see as far south as Ailsa Craig.

The Glaidstone, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

 

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Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:

For everything you need to know about planning your visit to the island, check it out our full guide:

 

The Best Places to Eat in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

Best Places To Eat in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae
Best Places To Eat in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

So you’ve found yourself in Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae, and hunger strikes? Well, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this blog, I’ll be telling you about all the best cafes, restaurants, and takeaways you can find on the island. So, whether it’s lunch, dinner, or a quick snack, we’ll make sure you don’t starve. I’ll also make sure to throw in our recommendations – so you know what’s good!

So… let’s get right into it! Here are the best places to eat in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.


  • The Ritz Café

    Where: 26 Stuart St, KA28 0AJ

    What: Retro style, 1950s café with amazing ice cream.

    The Ritz Café – a much loved local institution. People who have visited Millport over the years all hold fond memories of this place and it’s an iconic part of the island. It is the perfect place to stop if you’re looking for a quick bite or some lunch.

    At the Ritz you can expect filled rolls, toasties, burgers and – best of all – their famous sweet selection. The café serves all sorts of ice creams, milkshakes, even some tasty puddings and cakes.

    Our recommendation: It’s got to be the Marshmallow ice. Vanilla ice cream, melted marshmallow and raspberry sauce. You get a thick layer of warm marshmallow which stays melted on the cold vanilla ice cream – too good!

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    Brewbaker

    Where: 17 Stuart Street, KA28 0AJ

    What: Amazing bakery with fresh, tasty homemade goods.

    At Brewbaker, you can expect fresh food that is made with love.

    Whether it’s bread, quiche, cookies, cakes, tarts, bagels or muffins – you’ll be sure to find some seriously delicious home baking. The best thing to do is just show up and check the blackboard to see what is fresh out of the oven!

    Out with the baking, they make their own chocolates/truffles and have amazing coffee. There’s also some great options if you’re stopping for lunch including their speciality salads.

    Our recommendation: The famous quiches. They’re undefeated. Wash it down with a Brewbaker Latté.

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    Planning your visit to the Isle of Cumbrae?:

    This blog post is part of our ‘Ultimate Guide‘ to the island. Check it out by clicking the link below:


    The Dancing Midge Café

    Where: 24 Glasgow Street, KA280

    What: Family-run business, providing freshly prepared food, homemade scones and brilliant Italian coffee.

    The Dancing Midge is a brilliant wee café and is perfect if you’re looking to have brunch in Millport. They serve full breakfasts, French toast, hot rolls, and bagels.

    If you’re visiting a bit later in the day, why not try one of their burgers or jumbo hotdogs? They’re top drawer.

    Our recommendation: It’s got to be the full breakfast. Two slices of bacon, egg, black pudding, haggis, lorne sausage, potato scone, double beans, toast and tea / coffee – the perfect way to fuel yourself for a day exploring the island!


    Top Tip: Looking for veggie? The Dancing Midge might be the spot for you. They serve ‘The Midge Vege Breakfast’ and they do an amazing spicy bean burger.


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    Round Island Cafe

    Round The Island CafeWhere: 51-52 Stuart Street KA28 0AG

    What: Fresh, modernised cafe which serving brilliant coffee, lunch and baked goods.

    The Round Island Cafe has a wonderful, warm welcome and many describe it as a wee Island gem. On the menu there’s a selection of toasties, baguettes, baked potatoes, salads and soups.

    They serve cracking homemade specials and all the baking is fresh too. You can even get an amazing Afternoon Tea! (the scones are home made and are to die for).

    Our recommendation: Their smoothies are the best. I’d recommend one of their Green smoothies – who knew blended broccoli could taste so good?

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    The High Tide Cafe, Fintry Bay

    Where: Fintry Bay, KA28 0HA

    What: Sunset cafe with stunning views out over the Clyde to Arran and Bute.

    You’ll find the Fintry Bay Cafe completely secluded on the West side of the Isle of Cumbrae and it’s an obligatory stop if you’re cycling around the island.

    On a warm summers day it’s the perfect spot for a break to enjoy an ice cream, milk shake or cold drink. They also have a great selection of fresh baking as well as soups, sandwhiches, salad & pasta boxes.

    All the food is fantastic however my favourite part is the amazing views across to Arran and Bute. Check it out:

    Our recommendation: Definitely their beef or bean (V) chilli nachos. Served with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and jalapeños. Oh yes.

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    The Garisson House Cafe

    Garrison House Cafe Outdoor

    Where: Glasgow St, KA28 0DJ

    What: Wonderful cafe in the grounds of the Garrison House.

    The Garrison House is a beautifully restored building and fantastic example of 19th Century gothic architecture. At the Garrison you’ll find a lovely enclosed garden, the ‘Museum of the Cumbraes’ and, of course, The Garisson House Cafe.

    The cafe serves a wide range of food, so there’s something for everyone. You can expect light bites, healthy options, breakfasts, lunches, hearty meals, smoothies and cafe classics – all at a reasonable price!

    Take a seat in the courtyard if there’s good weather, or you can take a seat indoors next to their “music wall of fame”.

    May be an image of food and indoor

    Our recommendation: Try one of the salad boxes! These change from time to time but are always TASTY.

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    The Burger Shack

    May be an image of one or more people and outdoors

    Where: Guildford street, KA28 0AE 

    What: The freshest and best burgers in town. fact. [Takeaway only].

    If you’re looking for a burger in Millport town, look no further. Get yourself down to see the boys at The Burger Shack for some seriously delicious burgers and fries.

    They use 100% aged Scottish beef from the local butcher and freshly bake their own Japenese Hokkaido style buns every time they open. Fresh, local and unbelievably tasty. What’s not to love?

    Our recommendation: The Crocodile Style Chicken Burger is the absolute business. Pair that with a side of cajun fries for a mouthwatering combo.

    May be an image of food and text that says "Southern Fried Chicken American Cheese Chipotle Mayo Buffalo Sauce Bacon Burger Shack. S BurgerShack 1 THE CROCODILE STYLE CHICKEN BURGER (WORLD FAMOUS)"

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    The Newton Bar

    Where: 1-2 Glasgow Street, KA28 0DJ.

    What: A family-friendly pub serving food by the sea. [Takeaway available].

    The Newton Bar is a fantastic bar / restaurant and certainly worth a visit when you come to the island. Visitors and locals always highly praise the food, and some say it’s the best place to eat in Millport.

    When it comes to the menu you can expect a great selection of meals including steak, burgers, curry and different chicken dishes. Proper tasty stuff.

    Our recommendation: Curry Club Wednesdays! Your choice of curry, rice, poppadoms, spiced onions and mixed pakora. All for £10. Quality.

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    Millport Pier Hotel

    Millport Pier Hotel, Cumbrae

    Where: Quayhead Street, KA28 0AP.

    What: A Harbour-side hotel and bar with beer garden and sea views.

    The Millport Pier Hotel is a welcoming bar and restaurant which can be found (you guessed it) next to the Millport pier. You can expect a wide selection of alcohol as well as locally sourced, freshly cooked food.

    Suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and you’ll find classics like haggis, burgers and fish & chips.

    The Millport Pier Hotel also features in our Best Bars and Pubs in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae blog.

    Our recommendation: Haggis, Neeps n Tatties – och aye!

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    This blog post is part of our ‘Ultimate Guide‘ to the island. Check it out by clicking the link below:


    Frasers Bar

    Where: 7 Cardiff St, KA28 0AS.

    What: A snug bar with great pub grub.

    If you head to Fraser’s bar you’ll be greeted with lovely staff, a wide range of beers, great service and a nice local atmosphere.

    It’s also a great shout for food – whether it’s for lunch or dinner. We’d describe the food as ‘hearty scran’ so you can expect classics like soup, steak pie, scampi, burgers and fish & chips.

    Our recommendation: The steak pie! It’s class.

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    Deep-Sea Fish and Chips

    Where: 5 Quayhead, KA28 0AW

    What: Award-winning fish and chips [Takeaway only].

    You can find Deep-Sea Fish & Chips on the far end of the town, next to the Millport pier. There’s not much to say other than it’s a brilliant Chip Shop with all your classic options. Superb stuff.

    Our recommendation: The classic Fish & Chips, but get the fish breaded and load the chips with chip shop curry sauce. Oaft. Wash it down with a pint from the Millport Pier Hotel next door.

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    Top Tip: Leave nothing but footprints!

    Let’s keep Scotland’s landscapes litter free. It should go without saying, but if there’s not a bin nearby, do the right thing by taking it with you. Also, please use recycling points where available.


    Crocodile Chippy

    Where: 30 Glasgow St, KA28 0DL

    What: Golden deep-fried goodness [Takeaway only].

    You’ll find the Crocodile Chippy off the beach right next to Crocodile Rock (funnily enough) and it’s a place that certain to tingle your tastebuds. We love this place, and the menu boasts a lot more than a standard ‘chippy’.

    Of course you get your chip shop favourites, but they also serve unreal specials at the weekend which are a bit different. Expect fresh stone-baked pizza, burgers, lamb koftas, and crispy Korean BBQ cauliflower.

    They are open Wednesday – Sunday from 4:30pm. Specials are also “until sold out”, so don’t miss out!

    Our recommendation: The World Famous ‘Crocodile Style Chips’! Cajun chippy chips and crispy southern fried chicken topped with cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese, buffalo sauce, chipotle mayo and bacon bits. Jeezo… my mouth started watering as I typed that.

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    Crocodeli

    Crocodeli Millport

    Where: 33 Stuart Street, KA28 0AJ

    What: A lovely deli and bakery which is open all year round.

    Crocodeli is a smahing wee deli serving a variety of fresh baking including pastries, baguettes and a variety of breads.

    It’s a fantastic spot for grabbing a coffee, a quick bite or to pack up for a picnic. The produce is always fresh and tasty, and the service is friendly.

    Our recommendation: Anything involving the freshly baked bread – it’s the BEST! Try pairing it with one of their signature salads.

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Giovanni’s Pizza & Pasta

Where: 15 Stuart Street, KA28 0AJ

What: Pizza & Pasta Takeaway

Giovanni’s is a cracking place offering takeaway pizza & pasta. Either order directly on +44 7731 418877 or simply pop in.

The pizzas are authentic, stone baked and delicious. Create your own pizza or chose from their tasty range of pastas. There’s also sides available including chips and garlic bread.

You can check out their menu here.

Our recommendation: Create your own pizza! All your favourite toppings, cooked to perfection.

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Prefer to eat in?

Feel free to cook up a storm from the comfort of your very own Jacks Alt-Stays cabin.

Jack's Alt-Stays Alternative Eco-Cabin

We’re launching our Alternative Eco-Cabin business on the island later this year!

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So… there you have it

All of the best places to eat in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae. It might be a small town on a small island but one thing is for sure – you won’t struggle to find some proper good food.

Try one of our recommendations and let us know how you get on!


Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:

For everything you need to know about planning your visit to the island, check it out our full guide:

The Best Bars, Pubs & Beer Gardens in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

Best Bars and Pubs in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae
Best Bars and Pubs in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

So, you’ve landed yourself in Millport after a long day and you’re looking for somewhere to wet the whistle. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Whether it’s been a day of scenic walks, cycling or relaxing at the beach, it gets to that time in the day where you deserve to settle down and enjoy a drink.

Something we always get asked is “well, where’s the best pub in Millport?” and to be honest, it’s not an easy answer.

Even though Millport is only a wee town on a wee Island, there are a number of brilliant options for bars and pubs. Here are your choices…


The Millport Pier Hotel

Millport Pier Hotel, Cumbrae

Where: Quayhead Street, KA28 0AP.

What: A Harbour-side hotel and bar with beer garden and sea views.

The Millport Pier Hotel is a welcoming bar and restaurant which can be found next to the pier (funnily enough). You can expect a wide selection of alcohol as well as locally sourced, freshly cooked food.

Our favourite thing about The Millport Pier Hotel is the outside beer garden. It’s a wee sun trap on a nice day and the views across the water are superb – would recommend.

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The Newton Bar

The Newton Bar

Where: 1-2 Glasgow Street, KA28 0DJ.

What: A family-friendly pub serving food by the sea.

The Newton Bar is a fantastic bar/restaurant and certainly worth a visit when you come to the Isle of Cumbrae. Visitors always praise the food, and some say it’s the best on the island.

You can expect a great drink selection, quiz nights, a winning atmosphere and really friendly staff. It’s dog friendly too! What’s not to like?

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This blog post is part of our ‘Ultimate Guide‘ to the island. Check it out by clicking the link below:


    • Frasers Bar

      Frasers Bar

      Where: 7 Cardiff St, KA28 0AS.

      What: Pub Grub and a wide range of beers.

      Here you’ll be greeted with lovely staff, great service and a nice local atmosphere.

      If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, then this might be the one for you. Check out the expansive selection of craft beers and local ales.

      Sunny weather? Superb, there’s a lovely wee beer garden out the back door. Pouring with rain? Not to worry! There’s a roaring fireplace inside to warm up. The best of both worlds.

      Frasers bar is definitely one of the best pubs in Millport – never a disappointment!

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      The Twa Dugs

      The Twa Dugs

      Where: 16 Stuart St, KA28 0AJ.

      What: A cosy pub with a brilliant atmosphere.

      The Twa Dugs is a dog-friendly pub (hence the name) and can be found near the seafront in Millport town. It’s a small, one-room bar but it’s lively at the weekends. In a Covid-free world, you could expect great entertainment including live bands and karaoke.

      It’s known for its terrific service, friendly staff and it’s popular with the locals. You won’t be let down by a visit to The Twa Dugs.

      Top Tip: The Twa Dugs is known for a good whiskey, so it’s one to visit if that’s your thing!

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      Leaning towards a G&T? All of the local bars serve the brand new and locally distilled ‘NostalGin’. Best served with tonic, bramble liqueur, and ice.

      Cumbrae Gin Distillery

      You can read more about the NostalGin Distillery and tours in our “Unique Things to See and Do in Millport” blog.


      The Tavern

      The Tavern

      Where: 36 Glasgow Street, KA28 0DL

      What: A friendly bar with great entertainment.

      The Tavern is a very welcoming bar with lovely owners. When the world allows, there’s all sorts of entertainment, from bingo to karaoke.

      They also tend to play football and other sports on the TV, including the Champions League – why not give them a message on their Facebook Page to check first?

      Sunny weather, why not have a pint out the back? It’s our favourite beer garden on the island!

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      Don’t drink on an empty stomach! Check out The Best Places to Eat in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.


      Prefer a cosy night in?

      Feel free to stock up the fridge and have a drink from the comfort of your very own Jacks Alt-Stays cabin.

      Jack's Alt-Stays Alternative Eco-CabinWe’re launching our Alternative Eco-Cabin business on the island later this year!

      Why not sign up to be the first to hear about our launch and for free stay giveaways?

      Sign up:

      Newsletter

      Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:

      For everything you need to know about planning your visit to the island, check it out our full guide:

The Best Walking Routes on the Isle of Cumbrae

The Best Walking Routes on the Isle of Cumbrae
The Best Walking Routes on the Isle of Cumbrae

At only 10-miles round and 127-meters high, exploring the Isle of Cumbrae on foot is the perfect opportunity to get those steps in. Did you know there were five main Cumbrae walking routes?

So, ditch the car on the mainland, stick on the FitBit,  and get those boots strapped up. Here are the best walking routes on the island, complete with pre-loaded Google Maps route buttons.

 


Feel free to skip right through:


The Outer Circuit

As it says on the tin – the whole way round. Cumbrae is known as a cyclist’s paradise, and this route is exactly why. There’s nothing stopping you from braving the walk round though! This main Cumbrae walking route will take you around 3 hours and 15 minutes on foot.

Isle of Cumbrae Outer Circuit Walking Route

📍Click here to open the Outer Circuit route on your Google Maps app.

Cumbrae is essentially a big 10-mile loop, but it’s certainly no chore to venture the whole way round, with the wonderful coastal views to be taken in on all sides.

Clockwise or Anti-clockwise? That is the hotly debated question! Some say clockwise is the best. Some say anti-clockwise. I say, if you’re walking, do whatever you want – you’re going the full way round anyway.

Our Top Tip – Always walk on the right-hand side of the road so you can see oncoming traffic. The locals are well used to walkers & cyclists and are great at giving you enough space, but always err on the side of caution and step in, just in case!

Prefer to cycle round? Scott Ferris of Mapes would always recommend going around anti-clockwise. That way, you avoid the Ferry traffic that heads straight to the town, and you can relax on the long way round the north and west sides of the island.

This way, you can stop in at the Fintry Bay Cafe halfway(ish) point for an ice cream and a juice, giving you that well-needed, and deserved, energy boost through the final stretch towards Millport town.

Check out our Guide to Cycling in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.


Things to look for along the way…

Whilst en-route round the island, there’s a few things to keep your eyes pealed for!

 

1. The Cumbrae Rocks

The Isle of Cumbrae is home to a collection of quirky rock formations which are bound to catch your eye.

Indian Rock Lion Rock Crocodile Rock Millport

2. The Cumbrae Benches

The Isle of Cumbrae has hundreds of benches, with the majority of them found in Millport. Most of those benches have plaques acting as memorials. North Ayrshire Council has a project to protect Millport from sea flooding, and this means that that a lot of the existing benches along the seafront in Millport are going to be moved.

The aim of the ‘Cumbrae Benches’ project is to photo each bench (and plaque) before they are moved. North Ayrshire Council know most of the ‘owners’ of the benches, but there are a number they have no contact details for, the council has a list, which is reproduced at cumbrae-benches.great-site.net.

 

3. Fintry Bay Café

You’ll find the Fintry Bay Café completely secluded on the West side of the Island and it’s an obligatory stop if you’re walking The Outer Circuit.

They have amazing ice cream and lots of great food options including wraps, sandwiches, soup and fresh home baking. Grab a quick bite while enjoying the best part which is the amazing views across to Arran & Bute. Check it out:

Also, if you walk for a few minutes North of the Fintry Bay Café and you’ll find a lovely, sandy beach! Why not bring some food or grab a takeaway from the cafe and have a picnic? It’s the perfect spot on a nice day.


Top Tip: Leave nothing but footprints!

Let’s keep Scotland’s landscapes litter-free. It should go without saying, but if there’s not a bin nearby, do the right thing by taking it with you. Also, please use recycling points where available.


 

4. Wildlife Watching

The island is a paradise for nature-lovers and wildlife watchers with over 125 species of birds, seal colonies, porpoises, and basking sharks.

Around Cumbrae’s coast it’s quite common to see grey seals and harbour porpoises. If you’re lucky, you may even be lucky to see Minke whales, basking sharks, and common dolphins – so keep an eye oot!

 

5. HMS Shearwater Memorial

This monument can be found on one of the most Northern points of the Island and was erected in memory of two young shipman who were killed in a boating accident.

In 1844 two boys, Charles Cayley & William Jewell, were out sailing on the North end of Cumbrae when a strong north easterly wind caught them and drove them under the waves. Another Government steamer witnessed this and unfortunately, despite extensive efforts, the boys were unable to be rescued.

As the story goes, the bodies were never found and all they were able to recover were the boys’ hats.

Shearwater Memorial

Public Toilets:

Oh, this might come in handy… Here are all of the public toilet locations around the Isle of Cumbrae.

Isle of Cumbrae Toilet Locations Walking Route

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This blog post is part of our ‘Ultimate Guide‘ to the island. Check it out by clicking the link below:


The Inner Circuit

A trek around Cumbrae’s inner circle. Be sure to stop off at the island’s highest point – The Glaidstone viewpoint – for 360-degree panoramic views around the Clyde.

Cumbrae Inner Circuit Walk

📍Click Here to open the Inner Circuit route on your Google Maps app.

The panoramic views from the top are absolutely breathtaking. You’ll look over to the Isles of Arran, Bute, Cumbrae’s little brother ‘Wee Cumbrae’, and of course, back over to Largs on the North Ayrshire coast. On a clear day, you’ll even see as far south as Ailsa Craig!

If you’re up for a challenge, complete both the Inner and Outer circuits in one day!

Our Top Tip – This route is perfect for dog walkers. Just be careful of what’s coming around the bend and pop your furry friend on the leash when passing the many farms’ cattle.

 

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The Farland Point Route

Easy on the legs with stunning sea views. This is one for the wildlife watchers!

📍 Click Here to open the Farland Point route on your Google Maps app.

Head right along Millport’s Victorian promenade, past Kames bay, and keep going a little further. If you hit the Field Studies Centre (FSC) you’ve gone too far.

Our Top Tip – Cumbrae is home to over 125 species of birds, seal colonies, porpoises and basking sharks. The Farland Point route is definitely one for the wildlife watchers! Look out for Oystercatchers in the skies, limpets and barnacles in the rock pools, grey seals, and our very own resident dolphin and porpoises in the ocean!

 

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With all of this walking, you might build up quite the appetite.

Check out:


The Targets Walk

Up close and personal views of Wee Cumbrae.

The Targets Walking Route Millport

📍 Click Here to open The Targets route on your Google Maps app.

This is a nice easy one if you’re in need of a short burst of fresh sea air to perhaps cure a NostalGin hangover from the night before.

Our Top Tip – Save this blog page to your phone browser favourites so you have all of the route info and pre-loaded maps to hand when you get to the Isle of Cumbrae!

 

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Oh, while I have you…

I’m working with my cousin to bring our ‘Alternative Eco Cabin’ concept to the Isle of Cumbrae.

We’ll be launching our business in early 2022! Check out the cabin concept:

Jack's Alt-Stays Alternative Eco-Cabin

Looks awesome right? Why not sign up to be the first to hear about our launch, and be in with a chance to win free stays?

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The Fintry Bay Route

It’s pretty much Illegal to do this route and not stop in for an ice cream at the Fintry Bay Café.

Fintry Bay Walking Route Cumbrae Millport

📍 Click Here to open the Fintry Bay route on your Google Maps app.

From the town, head up to the Millport Golf Club and join the woodland walking route from there. At the most elevated point you’ll see a spectacular view of Arran’s ‘Sleeping Warrior’. I took this photo last time I was up there:

Isle of Arran Sleeping Warrior

Follow the path down to the gate at the road and turn right towards the turning point at Fintry Bay. Grab your obligatory ice cream, and head back south towards Millport town via the pavement on the coastal road.

 

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Well, there were the 5 best walking routes you can take while visiting Cumbrae. Hopefully, this article will help you get the most out of your island experience!


Ultimate Guide to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:

For everything you need to know about planning your visit to the island, check it out our full guide: