I’ve put together this quick guide to help you plan and prepare cycling and bike hire in Millport. The route around the island is fairly flat and has a very scenic path, so it can make a great day out for keen cyclists or family/friends who just want to get active during their spare time.
Last year I set myself a few summer goals, a few things I wanted to see and activities I wanted to do; and one of them was cycling around Millport. The Island of Cumbrae might be better known for its only town – Millport. On a very windy but sunny May day, we did just that. I wanted to create this guide for anyone either thinking about going and hesitant of what to expect, or for those who never even knew what a great day out cycling around Millport can be.
Cumbrae is an island located just off the Ayrshire coast of Scotland and is less than a nine minute smooth ferry ride from the Largs Port. The island is home to Millport, the single town on the south coast of the island where restaurants, shops, bars and ice cream are aplenty.
How to get to Millport (via Largs Port)
The easiest and most efficient way to get to Millport is to take the ferry from Largs. Here are your options from getting from Glasgow to Largs port:
Train – Glasgow Central Station offers a train to Largs every hour and at a cost of £9.30 for an off peak return. From there you can get the ferry across to Millport.
Bus – The number 901 McGills Bus from Glasgow’s Buchanan St Bus Station will take you to Largs seafront and runs every 30 minutes. From there you can get the ferry across.
Driving – You can park at Largs and get the ferry across (with or without the car). Largs Port postcode: KA30 8BG.
The Ferry from Largs to Millport
There is no need to advance book your tickets, just show up and pay for a return ticket. Ferry’s are every 15 minutes in the summer months and 30 in the winter months. The journey takes 10 minutes one-way.
Please note, these prices are correct as of publishing in 2016.
Child (5-15): £1.60
Car (excluding Driver): £12.20
For more information, timetable and restrictions, please visit the official Calmac website here.
Cumbrae Port to Millport
Once you get off the ferry at Cumbrae’s port, the town of Millport is another five minute drive around the other side of the island. If you take your car on to the ferry then it is easy to drive around, but if you are on foot then it is best you hop on the local bus that circles the island. The bus has a stop up on the main road beside the ferry slip so it is very easy to find. I’m sure you won’t be the only one waiting for it either.
Bus prices have changed since my visit, but they are around another £2.50 for a return trip. (Well worth it if you are planning on a day of cycling – you don’t want to be walking back and forth back to the slip!).
Millport Bike Hire Prices
There are a couple of shops that you can rent bikes from in Millport. However, I’ve given a run down of the average prices for daily bike hire. Please note, these prices are correct as of 2016.
1 Hour – £3
1.5 Hours £3.80
2 Hours – £4.60
3 Hours – £5
All Day (6+ Hours) – £6
In the main town of Millport there are plenty of bike hire shops that also let you hire out helmets, bikes with trailers, tandems and even throw in child seats for free!
Bike Hire & Cycling Around Millport
Hiring a bike (or bringing your own) and cycling it round the island’s 10 mile (18km) coastal route is one the main attractions at Cumbrae. The paths are relatively flat and smooth making it a great day out for the entire family, not to mention cycling alongside the stunning Firth and breathtaking views of the Ayrshire coast.
Generally you cycle on the road, however, the majority of drivers are very aware that this is a cyclists paradise so are very vigilant of others on the road. Picnic benches are also peppered throughout the route making it easier to eat on the go and save some cash for an ice cream cone once you’ve finished.
Is Cycling Around Millport Easy?
I would say if you can ride a bike then you can cycle around Millport. The island is very relaxed and there’s no pressure to keep with the flow of traffic (there is barely any) or to keep up with faster riders. We found that at the weekends, there are a lot of families so the pace is very leisurely. And as I mentioned above, there are a few benches to stop and catch your breath if needed.
Top Tip: When cycling, there are one or two inclines at the start so start by doubling back on yourself (cycle in the direction the bus drives).
How long does it take to cycle around Millport?
The road that runs around Millport is just over 10 miles long so if you wanted to cycle the entire thing, I would give yourself 1 or 2 hours going at a leisurely pace. Factor in time for lunch, breaks and maybe a coffee and cake at the end of your cycle.
Top Tip: Take note of the bus and ferry times so you can time it getting back to Largs with minimal wait. More cake time!
Have you ever thought about visiting Millport and the Isle of Cumbrae?
What’s your favourite way to keep active?