If you can’t find a pub cat, find a picture of a shark. I think that’s the rule.
Foreign travel is always thrilling for the pub ticker, and the Caledonian Macbrayne ferry to Great Cumbrae (pop. 1376) is no exception.
“Don’t forget your
passport tetanus jab” said Duncan.
No bar on board, even though it’s a ten minute journey. Opportunity wasted for thirsty Glaswegians.
The retiredmartin family stayed in Largs in 2001, when cheap flights (free for infants) saw us pop from Stansted to Prestwick several times for Ayrshire sand and ice cream.
I have a recollection of steaming a pushchair round the island back then, to Mrs RM’s irritation. This time I took the bus into Milport, which was very lazy but gave me plenty of time to capture ALL of Cumbrae’s highlights for you.
Except Alligator Rock, apparently.
A lady on the bus, returning from a shopping expedition to the mainland which seemed to consist entirely of white Morrison’s bread, talked excitedly about the Garrison.
Actually, she talked excitedly about the café in the Garrison, which houses an impressive (i.e. free) social history museum.
There’s a few beachy stretches, but the Guardian reading Home Counties families come to let their Emilies and Toms play on rocks.
And that was the odd thing. On 20 August, one of the hottest day of the year, Scottish schoolchildren were already back learning deep-frying skills, leaving Scotland’s treasure to the English. The ferry timetable was already Off-Peak. In August.
Only one vehicle passed me in an hour.
If Millport was in England it would be Romney Marsh, I guess. Simple pleasures, bit remote.
I didn’t notice much change in 20 years, though some invaders from Paisley had left their mark following a Millport v St Mirren friendly.
And I guess the internet is new, though I couldn’t get it to work in Frasers, the alluring GBG entry.
The guy that I shall call Fraser, who came over to offer me the WiFi code, was a cheery star and one of the best adverts for a pub this year.
And Frasers is a professionally run pub with widespread appeal. There were even some Australians, trying to hide from Jofra Archer.
Especially appealing for people with hats and Hi-Vis.
On the downside, Mumford and Sons accompanied (another) Kelburn that improved from a poor start before stalling at NBSS 2.
And that was Cumbrae, though the painting of the Royal George looked more compelling than the actual pubs.
Would I ever return to Great Cumbrae ?