Walk: Greenock - a Cut above

Inverclyde | Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park | Half day walk | ★★★

[Greenock Cut]

The Greenock Cut is a 9 km-long aqueduct running around three sides of Dunrod Hill above Greenock. Constructed in 1827 to supply the town's industry and houses with a reliable water supply, it eventually fell out of use when it was replaced by a tunnel under the hills. More recently, lottery funding saved the aqueduct from falling further into disrepair, and a newish path constructed alongside it now provides a nearly flat, high-level walking route with fabulous views across the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, and over the Firth of Clyde with the Argyll hills beyond. A wide track over a low pass completes the circuit, with a visitor centre (and cafe next door) in the heart of the park explaining the history of the Cut - the water supply also incorporates a complicated chain of reservoirs, dams and sluice gates. They say that the best views require a lot of effort... but having experienced these easily-gained ones, we're not so sure...

[Loch Thom]

Location & info

📌 Walk: Greenock - a Cut above ★★★
Start / finish on Overton Road, 1 mi south of Greenock town centre, G.R.: NS 266749 ///paths.frame.farm
🚌 Glen Kinglas Road | 🚆 Drumfrochar (0.5 mi, steeply downhill) | 🚗 Car park

▶ 12 km / 7 mi | ▲ 180 m | ⌚ Half a day
Features: Greenock Cut & reservoirs; Greenock Cut visitor centre
Easy | Good tracks and paths - gentle but sustained ascent at first.

Route: Car park - Loch Thom Cottage - Greenock Cut visitor centre - start via Greenock Cut. Info leaflet with map here (our route reverses the direction, starting at a different point).

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On our visit

Wildlife: Tufted ducks and Canada geese on the reservoir; lots of sheep.
Weather: Afternoon sun with a few cloud banks, but feeling cold in the shade. Light winds, about 5°C with snow on the higher hills.

Chronological photo guide

[View over the Firth of Clyde from near the start]

[Greenock from near the start, with the hills of Argyll beyond]

[The start of the circuit passes several feeder reservoirs for the Greenock Cut]

[Feeder reservoir]

[Feeder reservoir]

[Climbing towards White Hill]

[Loch Thom]

[Loch Thom]

[Loch Thom outflow]

[Canada geese on Compensation Reservoir]

[Dunrod Hill, which this route encircles]

[Compensation Reservoir]

[Greenock Cut visitor centre]

[Start (top) of the Greenock Cut]

[Overflow from Compensation Reservoir]

[Approaching the farm at Shielhill]

[Greenock Cut]

[Greenock Cut]

[Greenock Cut]

[View southwest towards the Cowal peninsula (centre) and Bute (far left, into the sun)]

[Greenock Cut]

[Greenock Cut]


[Approaching Greenock]

[Greenock with the hills beyond]

[High on the hill above Greenock]

[Workers' bothy]

[Waterfalls on the Hole Burn]


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