Oh my, our first island experience on Great Cumbrae…..

A cloudy start to the day but still warm and as the afternoon arrived the sun came with it! Today we are having our first experience of an Island visit by ferry – we are off on the 7 minute crossing from Largs to Great Cumbrae.

And what a happy little journey it was – first on and first off!

We decided to take an anti-clockwise journey using the coastal road which hugs the shore all the way round and we very soon came across our first beach – White Bay.

The road is mostly a wide single track road with plenty of passing places and little nooks to park up in on the way. There were few cars on the road but plenty of bikes and little scooters, both of which are available to hire in a number of places, so stopping and starting to take photos or explore further was never a problem. Our first stop was appropriately Wine Bay (not that I had any then but I am now!) a mostly stony beach though the tide is fully in.

We took the opportunity to have a play and a paddle as apart from a fairly constant stream of cyclists along the road there was no one about.

It really is absolutely magical, clear, warmish waters, misty island views (Bute), birdsong, the occasional chatter of passing cyclists – what a pity I didn’t bring a tent or we would have been tempted to stay awhile!

We did eventually move on to Little Skate Bay and just around the corner the larger and sandier Bell Bay.

Finding ourselves a little sandy nook for another paddle and wonder!

A short hop to Fintry Bay…

A stony beach, with a popular picnic spot on the grass above and also home to a very busy cafe with atleast 50 bikes abandoned outside!

And a particularly well loved (and indeed much appreciated) Toilet block.

A bit further along the road was this rather lovely memorial to those lost during the wars with no known graves.

Beyond which we discovered this little gem – Sheriffs Port Beach.

Here we spent a good while paddling in the shallows, watching the world go by and of course chasing stones.

It was nearly 5pm by the time we reached Millport, with the tide well on its way out, we wandered through the town? which was buzzing with people enjoying the sunshine, picking up or dropping off hired bikes and scooters, eating in the many street cafes or wandering along the promenade gazing at the fabulous views beyond the towns plentiful beaches – fabulous place to live – I wonder what it would be like to retire here? From the pretty little harbour…

Along the lively sandy main beach – Newtown Bay.

To the mostly deserted sandy Kames Bay…

And all the way around the crescent shaped beach to view the town from the other side.

One more beach to see – Ballochmartin Bay.

Then it was time to catch the ferry home Two thoughts of the day:

What a fabulous day we have had – up there with my favourites.

We will definitely return to visit as many if the other islands as we can – maybe with a tent?