Crocodile Rock – Millport, Scotland - Atlas Obscura
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Millport, Scotland

Crocodile Rock

A bizarre stone beast lurks on the beach of a popular tourist island. 

Great Cumbrae is a small island with a circumference of just about 10 miles. It magnetically attracts holidaymakers, day-trippers, and retirees in abundance. Millport, its only town, has also attracted a bizarre stone beast.

The site of a crocodile in Scotland is certainly something shocking. Fortunately, this one’s more amusing than alarming. When exactly the crocodile came to be is uncertain, though it’s known that its creator was publicly thanked for his work on it in 1913.

A local man named Robert Brown was the mastermind behind this unusual beachside attraction. One day while returning from the pub after some lunch and a few beverages, he noticed that a group of rocks along the shore seemed to resemble a certain reptile. Armed with paint and a brush, he set out making a thing now called the Crocodile Rock.

It’s unclear if he really thought the Crocodile Rock would last. But more than a century after its creation, it’s still a beloved landmark that has thrilled generations of locals and tourists alike. Kids get their kicks clambering atop the goofy stone reptile. The crocodile gets painted every few years, though these touch-ups follow Brown’s original design. In 2013, a massive party was held to celebrate the rock’s centennial.

Know Before You Go

Visiting the rock is free. You can easily spot it while exploring Millport's beach. Take caution, though: Sometimes the tide gets a bit high around the rock, so it's best to keep an eye on small children who might want to clamber over it. There are public restrooms nearby.

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