Great Cumbrae Island (aka Isle of Cumbrae) is the larger of the two "Cumbraes" located in Firth of Clyde (western Scotland). The island covers a total area of 11,7 km2 (4,5 ml2), has population around 1,500 and its highest elevation point (The Glaid Stone) is 127 m (417 ft). Near Great Cumbrae are located the following Scottish isles - Bute and Arran (to the west), Jura (to the east) and Ailsa Craig (to the south) - all are visible in clear weather.
By size, the list of main (largest) Firth of Clyde Islands is as follows: Arran (432 km2), Bute (122 km2), Great Cumbrae (11,7 km2), Holy Isle (2,5 km2), Little Cumbrae (3 km2), Sanda (1,3 km2), Ailsa Craig (1 km2). Firth of Clyde Islands are Scotland's 5th largest island group - after the Hebrides (Inner and Outer), Orkneys and Shetlands. Administratively, they are part of Argyll and Bute.
As vacation travel destination, the Cumbrae Island is famous with the "National Watersports Centre", "Cathedral of the Isles" and the 18-hole golf course.
- The island's population increases greatly (up to several thousand in the weekends) during summer season, as numerous second homes are built for tourism businesses. The island's single biggest landowner is the Millport Golf Club.
- Bike and bicycle rentals are very popular as the island has around 18 km (11 ml) encircling road that parallels the coasline.
- There is a small cafe at Fintry Bay (approx 5 km / 3 ml from Millport).
- Millport Bay is a popular sail boat / yachting port as it provides moorings for the boats.
- The National Watersports Centre provides tuition in all main boating disciplines (including powerboating, yachting, kayaking) the whole year-round.
- Cathedral of the Isles (built 1849, opened 1851) is surrounded by gardens and woodland. Attached to the building is the Cumbrae Theological College (Retreat House, serving as Argyll Diocesan Conference Centre).
- The Wedge is a private home, with the UK's smallest frontage - a front door width.
- Among the island's other popular tourist attractions are the Cumbraes Museum and the Marine Biology Station (with an aquarium and a sea museum.
Great Cumbrae Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Great Cumbrae Island dock (anchor) at Millport - port town (isle's only) located around a large bay on the southern coast. Millport pier, serving both ferries and smaller-sized cruise ships, was built in 1833.
The car and passenger ferry ship MV Loch Shira (one of the CalMac Ferries / "Caledonian MacBrayne") connects Great Cumbrae with mainland Scotland. It runs on regular schedule between Millport and Largs (North Ayrshire). The other two ferry ships serving the island are named MV Loch Striven and MV Loch Linnhe.
During summer, Great Cumbrae Island (Millport) is regularly visited by PS Waverley - world's oldest (only one) original and still operational paddle-wheel steamship.