Designated as an Ancient Monument, The Greenock Cut is an aqueduct built in the 1820s to supply water from Loch Thom to Greenock. The 7 mile route is full of interesting features which is probably why it has been rated one of the top 50 walks in Scotland! It is an easy walk along tarmac country roads, gravel tracks and grassy footpaths. You will be rewarded with fantastic views to Greenock, Gourock, the River Clyde and the southern Scottish mountains.
Download the route to your mobile phone HERE (Viewranger app required)
Car parking available at Greenock Cut Visitor Centre (PA16 9LX)
Route: From the car park entrance turn left along The Waterman’s Road, past the cafe at Ardgowan Fishery. The track starts to head gently uphill with Compensation Reservoir and Loch Thom on your right all the way, and fine views back from the highest point. From here the path descends with the town of Greenock and the River Clyde coming into view. At the bottom of the hill turn left onto The Greenock Cut and follow it around the hillside until you come to a minor road. Cross the road and pick up the track again on the other side, keeping left at a fork to emerge onto the road at the Visitor Centre.
WALK REPORT: 25th June 2016
I walked The Greenock Cut many times as a young girl, when my parents used to take my sister and I out hiking at weekends with a group of family friends. It had however been a lot of years since I last visited the area and so it had been on my ‘to walk’ list since I began my 100 walk challenge in January 2016. Memories for me included the flat narrow grassy footpath, the stone bridges, and one particular view down across the open hillside to Greenock …. I don’t know why this image crept into my head any time I thought of The Greenock Cut but I was pleased to find it looking exactly the same all these years later 🙂
I was joined by my friend Lesley for this one. Our first walk together… ever?! (I’m not quite sure) We are better known for lunch dates and prior to that during our uni years it was always shopping trips! It was great to have a proper catch up while enjoying the views and fresh air together. If Lesley would like to repeat the experience some other time then she will however need to invest in a new pair of hiking boots because today the soles split open on her old pair (probably in protest at you slagging them for looking like moon boots eh Les?!)
The walk starts nice and easy along a tarmac road with the Compensation Reservoir and Loch Thom by your side until you reach the top of the hill. The views back down are lovely from here.
Then you round a corner over the crest of the hill and boom….. this stunning view opens up in front of you!
At this point you are still on The Waterman’s Road. It is not until you pass Reservoir No 8 and join the grassy footpath to the left that you are then on The Greenock Cut. This is where you start to see all the historic features such as the stone bridges . These also make great spots to stop for your lunch!
The track is flat all the way back to the Visitor Centre and being at an elevated position you continue to enjoy spectacular views the entire way round. You are quite exposed at this point which is fine on a calm dry day but I imagine things get pretty wild and miserable up here sometimes. Thankfully we were blessed with blue skies and sunshine and the approaching dark grey clouds waited until we were driving home before they burst.