Walk 100 -Millport Inner Circuit, Isle of Cumbrae – 7 miles

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Starting at the ferry slip on the Isle of Cumbrae, you will head uphill to the Glaid Stone, the island's highest point, before descending into Millport. Return via the quiet Ferry Road. You will pass several small lochs, a mineral well and the Cathedral of the Isles (Britain's smallest cathedral). Not forgetting the famous Crocodile Rock. This walk is along tarmac surfaces making it ideal for buggies, although prepare yourself for plenty of uphill sections!

buggy-friendly-image  Buggy friendly walk

  The route is designed to be walked from the ferry slip on Cumbrae, returning to the same point. To take the ferry to Cumbrae you embark at Largs where there is chargeable car parking available at the ferry terminal (KA30 8BG). Largs train station is only 300m from the ferry terminal and local buses stop on A78 near the ferry terminal.

Inner Circuit, Cumbrae

WALK REPORT: 10th December 2016

My 100th walk of 2016!! A challenge I set myself back in February and was concluding today, along with friends and family who joined me to celebrate  🙂  I wanted my 100th walk (notice I do not call it my final walk!) to be a bit special but at the same time accessible for everyone so I chose this 7 mile loop on the Isle of Cumbrae (with an option to stop after 4 miles for anyone who so wished). I had cycled round the island many times and had even walked the Ferry Road between Millport and the ferry slip before, but not the whole Inner Circuit. It also appeared to be buggy friendly, meaning that my 3 year old could join me and I could open up the invitation to friends with young children too. In fact what I decided to do (actually I was given the idea by a friend) was to invite everyone who had joined me on one of my previous 99 walks to join me for the 100th. I knew that given the proximity to Christmas and the short notice I was providing, it would be difficult for most people to commit but I loved the idea and when the day came I was delighted to share the experience with friends and family alike.

We were treated to a rain-free day and even a spot of sunshine from time to time. Since the route took us away from the coastal road and up onto the higher parts of the island, the views were stunning even with the cloud.  As a result, most of the route was uphill, something I  hadn’t factored in when describing the route to my buggy-pushing companions, oops! Well…. I am pretty sure I also never told anybody that it was a flat walk…… So I should be forgiven I think… 🙂 It was also possibly one of the smellier walks I have done, thanks to the numerous farms we passed!  That fresh country air that is apparently so good for us….

On descending towards Millport, Britain’s smallest cathedral, The Cathedral of the Isles is very prominent so a few of us decided to take small de-tour (described above) to have a closer look at it. It is a very short loop round behind the building and then down some steps to return to College Street. We even saw a friendly pony and young horse! Despite what the signs say, the horse did not bite me, rather it was quite happy for me to clap it’s nose.

Very unusual for me to do this, but we actually stopped mid-walk in Millport to have a bar lunch (as you do!) before commencing the return leg. Facilities on the island appear to be very poor for babies and toddlers, with local cafes displaying “sorry no buggies” and “sorry no toilets” signs (The Ritz). Even The Royal George Hotel didn’t have any baby change facilities, and my friend was offered to change her 18 month old on the floor of a corridor next to the restaurant….. As a vegetarian, I also cannot recommend the bar lunch menu either unfortunately. My options were as varied as a choice between mac & chips or a veggie burger. Let’s just say if I return I will try the veggie burger….. 😮 On the plus side, the hotel was very accommodating and even provided my 5 and 3 year olds with paper and pens to write a letter to Santa which they then replied to (in the form of a personalised handwritten letter from Santa) a week later. The kids were delighted and I just loved the personal touch! It certainly trumps Royal Mail’s effort which was a boring old standard printed card which could have been for anyone. Gold star for effort goes to The Royal George!

It was refreshing to walk back from Millport to the ferry slip via a route other than the main drag, which I’d done many times either on foot or by bike. So the aptly-named Ferry Road gets the thumbs up from that perspective. It is also a shorter route (hillier though), a fact known by the locals and regular visitors it would seem from the occasional flurry of traffic coming along it with each ferry arrival.

Enjoy my collection of photos from the day!

The view that greeted us on arrival to the island!
The route passes several (smelly but pretty) farms
The Millport Mineral Well. I was amazed how it has weathered; holes forming in the stone as though it was being constantly bashed by sea water.
The road up to the Glaid Stone (looking back towards Largs)
Summit of the Glaid Stone, the highest point on Cumbrae at 127 m / 417 ft above sea level
Lake Minnemoer
First glimpse of Millport!
Cathedral of the Isles – Britain’s smallest cathedral and a category A listed building
Millport’s iconic Crocodile Rock! No visit to the island is complete unless you have had your photograph taken atop said rock!
Kames Bay
Ferry Road just outside Millport. It was generally a quiet road, with the occasional flurry of 5-6 cars which coincided with the ferries!
A local person had obviously been hard at work making the place look festive!
Our ferry coming in to dock to take us on the 10 minute crossing back to Largs. And more flowering gorse bush! A lovely day was had by all!

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