Cathedral of the Isles – Millport, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Cathedral of the Isles

The United Kingdom's smallest working cathedral also serves as a quaint bed and breakfast. 


Tucked away down a wooded lane off the main streets of Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae sits the United Kingdom’s smallest working cathedral. It’s a quaint, quiet oasis within a popular vacation destination.

The cathedral has served Millport’s spiritual needs since it opened in 1851. Ancient Celtic stones lie in the porch at the entrance. These were uncovered around the small island by Victorians during the building’s construction, hinting at Cumbrae’s long human history.

The place is an absolute joy to visit, particularly in spring as the path leading to it is covered in snowdrops. It is also a peaceful sanctuary from all the craziness of the holidaymakers and day-trippers who frequent Millport’s attractions. To the north of the building is a grass-cut labyrinth for meditation and reflection.

Be sure to step inside the cathedral. Its interior, though compact, is beautiful. Its cloisters are worth checking out while you are there.

Fancy visiting for more than a few hours? The grounds also serve as a guest house and retreat open to all faiths and those without accommodation. Although there are no televisions or radios in its rooms, you can apparently get excellent WiFi. 

Know Before You Go

The cathedral sits on a small hill and has quite steep steps leading up to it. This may be difficult for people with mobility issues. It is free to visit and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Reservations for the guest house can be made online.


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