Easily accessible Millport is the gateway to the cycle-friendly Isle of Cumbrae.
As the main, and only, settlement on the Isle of Cumbrae, any visitor making the ferry journey from Largs is likely to spend some time in the seaside town of Millport. The town sits on a hilly bay on the south coast of the island and is known for its Victorian promenade and Britain's smallest cathedral, the Gothic revival Cathedral of the Isles. Cumbrae’s compact size and fairly flat topography makes it ideal for cycling around. A 10-mile (16-kilometre) circular loop around the island’s main road offers views of the North Ayrshire coast and the Isle of Bute.
While in Millport, you can pick up some wheels from one of the town’s bike hire shops. The town is also home to a handful of cafes and shops where you can fuel up in preparation for your bike ride. Behind the town you’ll find Millport Golf Course where you can enjoy a round with views to Ailsa Craig, Bute and the Cowal Peninsula. The only campsite on the island, Millport Holiday Park has pitches with electric hook-ups.
Up the coast from Millport, Ballochmartin Bay is a popular place for kayaking and sailing. You can rent a kayak in Millport and paddle up the coast and around the Eileans (the two small islands in the bay). As you paddle, you’ll likely spot harbour and grey seals, as well as seabirds such as gannets and terns and (if you’re lucky) porpoises and dolphins.
If cycling around the island, Fintry Bay, on the west side, is a great place to take a break. There’s a little tea room here serving a range of light refreshments. Geocaching is a popular activity here, with around a dozen active caches on Cumbrae, including some around Deadman’s Bay south of Fintry Bay.
With long daylight hours and good chances of sunny weather, summer is the best time to explore Millport and the Isle of Cumbrae. Due to its easy access from the mainland (Cumbrae is known as Scotlland’s most accessible island), Cumbrae does get busy with visitors during peak summer, especially on weekends and school holidays. Spring is a good alternative: the crowds will not have arrived yet and the weather should be mild enough for enjoying the outdoors.