Millport, Great Cumbrae

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Gaelic: Port a' Mhuilinn
Arran from South Eilean, Millport bay (149246826).jpg
Millport Bay across to the Isle of Arran
Grid reference: NS162549
Location: 55°45’7"N, 4°55’48"W
Post town: Millport
Postcode: KA28
Dialling code: 01475
Local Government
Council: North Ayrshire
North Ayrshire and Arran

Millport is the only town on the island of Great Cumbrae, an island of Buteshire in the Firth of Clyde. The town is four miles south from the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry slipway.

Tourism is an important aspect of the economy. Due to its small size, the island and its town are often linked in the minds of visitors and residents. Millport has the smallest extant cathedral in the British Isles, belonging to the Scottish Episcopal Church.[1]

Tourism and leisure

Approaching Millport, Great Cumbrae, on the PS Waverley

Millport, along with Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, is famous with generations of daytrippers from Glasgow as one of the resorts visited going "doon the watter", meaning taking a trip aboard a Clyde paddle steamer. At one time it was common for visitors to stay for several weeks over the summer, however nowadays the primary tourist trade comes in the form of daytrippers. It is still possible to experience a traditional day out courtesy of the PS Waverley which calls at Millport twice a week during the summer, once originating at Ayr and once at Glasgow.

The town has hosted a Country and Western Festival in September for the past 11 years, and a firework display is held during September Weekend.

Millport Bay contains a number of free-to-use visitor moorings, and is a popular destination for sailors in the summer. There is a small boat yard at the western end of the town.


The Scottish Episcopal Church's Cathedral of the Isles and Collegiate Church of the Holy Spirit, completed in 1851, seats only 100 people and is the smallest cathedral in Great Britain.[2]


Millport has an 18-hole golf course, with spectacular views over the hills of the Isle of Arran. Other recreational facilities include a crazy golf course and two football pitches, one at either end of the town. Two fresh water reservoirs beside the golf course provide fly fishing and sea fishing (primarily for mackerel in those waters) can be done from the rocks at Farland Point.


The Garrison House in the centre of town, constructed in 1745, was formerly the barracks and Captain's mansion, then the home of the Earl of Glasgow, and is now in community ownership (see "Current Developments" below).

During the development of the River Clyde as a main thoroughfare for goods, shipbuilding and smuggling, Millport was a strategic base for Customs and Excise. Several of the streets in Millport are named after crew members of the Revenue cutter Royal George.

In the Victorian era the town grew in population and new buildings arose. East and west of the old harbour were built many fine Victorian and Edwardian villas, and new tenements elsewhere. These still form the backbone of the village's houses.


  1. "The United Diocese of Argyll and the Isles" The Scottish Episcopal Church. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  2. "Cathedral of the Isles" Retrieved 27 November 2009.

Outside links