Local Area Information

The Isle of Cumbrae, more commonly known by the name of it's only town, Millport, is a haven for walkers, cyclists, nature lovers, or those just looking for a short break away from it all. The town is busy and vibrant during the summer, with day trippers from nearby Glasgow and the West Coast coming down to enjoy the magnificent scenery, a game of golf, a cycle, or just a seat on the beach to watch  their small children build sandcastles. 

Out of the high summer season ( July and the first two weeks of August are the Scottish school holidays) the town has a more laid back, relaxed feel. May and early June are the times to visit if you prefer a slightly quieter break.  The end of the traditional season is marked on the last weekend in September by a huge firework display, and all the shops decorate their windows with lights and home made decorations, often harking back to the more traditional seaside pursuits. It's quite unique, and very family oriented. 

The winter is still a great time to visit, for some very budget friendly rates and quiet weekend walks on the beach- there's a more limited selection of cafes open, but you'll definitely be able to get a seat! 

Outwith the town, many cyclists set off from one of the cycle hire shops , such as the iconic Mapes to pedal around the outer perimeter of the island, stopping for a breather and refreshments half way round  at the Fintry Bay Cafe to sample some excellent food, cakes  or an ice cream.  Sit inside or outside  while enjoying the fantastic sea views. 

There are so many great places to eat in the town too. Many are dog friendly, including the Pier Hotel, and The Dancing Midge Cafe , both of which are within easy walking distance from our properties. Frasers bar has a family room for food( no dogs here please ) and The Newton Bar has a selection of meals and is dog friendly . Why not pop into the Ritz cafe ? It's iconic fifties decor remains untouched and is completely original . It's around five minutes walk from Rose Cottage, ten from Beside the Bay- just an easy pleasant stroll along the prom. 

The Garrison building, which was damaged in a fire and rebuilt using as much of the original stonework as possible, is right in the middle of the town. This was the original headquarters for the military stationed here in the 18th century, to try to stamp out smuggling which was rife along the rugged West Coast of Scotland. Many of the streets on the island   ( including George street )  are named after the ships or captains . The building now houses a lovely airy cafe with plenty of outside seating in the courtyard, and a small museum. 

In fact, everywhere is in easy walking distance! The beauty of the small town is that everything you'd need for shopping is arranged along the main street, with the sea beside you. There's a post office within the supermarket, a delicatessen, two newsagents which also sell basic food stuffs, a pharmacy and some souvenir shops as well as several cafes, restaurants and pubs. 

The tiny  Cathedral of The Isles was built by William Butterfield in 1851, and is the smallest Cathedral in Europe- well worth a visit for the peaceful grounds and architecture, and in the summer months, there are Sunday concerts of classical music. The July " Classical guitar retreat " is also held here . 

There's plenty to occupy you in the town, but should you be keen to walk and enjoy the scenery, there are many walking trails, of varying difficulty and length, details of which can be found here.

The beauty of Cumbrae, too, is how close it is to the mainland. The Calmac ferry only takes seven minutes, and once on the mainland you're spoilt for choice as to how to spend some time.  It's perfectly feasible to go for a day trip from the Isle to Glasgow, Ayr, ( the birthplace of Rabbie Burns )  or Edinburgh,  to sample some of the fantastic tourist sights . If you're looking for some different walking routes, the Muirsheil Regional Park has some stunning scenic trails , some encompassing the pretty villages that are nearby, some right into open moorland. There's parking in a dedicated car park around ten minutes drive from Largs, on Haylie Brae. 

The Isle has several special " Festival" weekends including Classic Car displays, a Country Music Festival and Happy Daze 1990s music weekend. There's a newly opened Gin Distillery with guided tours, and of course the famous Crocodile Rock!

All in all, there's something for everyone. For further information, I recommend Liking my Facebook page, Millport Breaks, to see up to date photos, special offers and what's on in the town.