This post contains affiliate links from which I may make a commission. All opinions are my own. If you’d like more information you can contact me via the Contact page, a link to which is at the bottom of this page in the footer.
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.
Car parking available at Greenock Cut Visitor Centre (PA16 9LX)
Route: Starting from the Greenock Cut Visitor Centre car park, turn left (North East) onto the access road in the direction of Ardgowan Cafe. Continue on this track with the Compensation Reservoir on your right-hand side. After 800m you will see a weir on your right. Here the track bends left and uphill past Loch Thom Cottage. Follow the track in a North East direction uphill for approx 700m. From here the path descends North East with the town of Greenock and the River Clyde coming into view. Halfway down the hill ignore a track off to the left – continue North East to pass two small reservoirs. At the bottom of the hill at a path junction turn left (West) onto a narrower gravel path. After 800m at a crossroads continue ahead (West). Follow the Greenock Cut trail around the hillside for 6km, keeping the water course and a number of stone bridge-like structures close to your left-hand side at all times. You will emerge at a minor road – cross over (South East) to pick up the continuation of the Greenock Cut trail on the other side. Turn left (South East) at a fork 260m along the path. You will now have the road on your left and the burn on your right and the path runs parallel to these for a further 500m to reach a waterfall. The path from here leads you out onto the minor road just outside the Greenock Cut Visitor Centre. Cross straight over (North East) to return to the Greenock Cut Visitor Centre car park.
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.