When it comes to unusual places to stay a Cathedral is pretty far up there. If that wasn't enough what about staying on a Scottish island at the smallest Cathedral in Britain, some say Europe? I spent 2 nights bed and breakfast at theCathedral of the Isles, situated in the town of Millport on the Island of Great Cumbrae.
The rooms are actually situated in the North College next to the cathedral, built in 1851 it was originally used for students of theology. I must add that you do not have to be religious or of a particular faith to stay here.
There are a range of rooms from single to family sized, some are also en-suite. There is a separate bathroom, shower room and several toilets including one with disabled facilities. A common room with a tv, books, fridge etc is situated on the ground floor.
The rooms are basic and rustic but have all you need for a comfortable stay. This is probably not the place for you if you can't survive without mod cons as the kettle is the only electronic convenience you will find! The rooms have no tv, no wifi and I didn't even have a phone signal. However, in keeping with the ethos of the place, I embraced the quiet time away from outside distractions.
For me, one of my favourite touches was the inspiring room names. I opted for 'Peace' which was very apt but other rooms included 'Kindness', 'Joy', 'Fortitude' and 'Hope'. It's hard not to feel uplifted with such positive plaques marking your journey along the corridor.
For some luxury and a WiFi fix, guests have access to the south college with a pretty cloister leading to the common room and cosy library. Large leather armchairs and shelf upon shelf of old books make this the perfect place to relax.
In the cloistered area there are some drinks, snacks and souvenirs available, all working on an honesty box method.
This building also houses The Refectory where breakfast is served. Guests sit together at a long table and are joined by the cathedral warden, David Todd, a fascinating man who helps to keep the conversation flowing. I personally really like this approach as you can pick up good tips and share interesting tales. It's also a great way for solo travellers to meet new friends.
There are cereals, yoghurt, fruit, juice, tea, coffee and toast available. You can also choose from a full cooked breakfast (with vegetarian option) and porridge. The breakfast was excellent and we were surprised to find out the chef doubles up as the groundsman!
Another bonus of staying here is the opportunity to visit the Cathedral itself as often as you wish. It's open everyday and well worth a visit or two.
Rooms start from £40 p.p per night, booking can be made online through the website.
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