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!
Feel free to skip right through:
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.
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
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.
On Your Bike | 27/29 Stuart Street, Millport, KA28 0AJ | 01475 530 300 | www.onyourbikemillport.com
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
Oh, this might come in handy…
2. The 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.
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?!
Why not sign up to be first to hear about our launch and free stay giveaways?:
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!
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.
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: