Sunday 22 May 2022

All About Inverclyde - information for visitors

Situated on the south bank of the River Clyde on the west coast of Scotland, Inverclyde is a lovely place to visit.  Inverclyde’s three towns - Greenock, Port Glasgow and Gourock offer many different types of attractions.

Ginger the Horse, Cathcart Street, Greenock


We have a beautiful castle – Newark Castle – in Port Glasgow – just 10 minute bus journey or a short taxi ride from Greenock.  It is well worth a visit.  Check with Historic Environment Scotland beforehand to find out about opening times and booking arrangements.  If you would like to know a bit more about Port Glasgow and its history then download the Port Glasgow Heritage Walk available here.

Watt Institution, Union Street, Greenock

Here in Greenock, just a short walk from the town centre, we have a wonderful museum and art gallery - the Watt Institution.  On Union Street and Kelly Street, It is open Wednesday through to Saturday from 10 till 4.  It is named after Greenock’s most famous son – James Watt (1736-1819) an inventor and engineer, you will find lots of local references to this famous man.  You can download a booklet about him from the Inverclyde Council website here.  The Council website also has lots of other booklets which will give you more information about the local area.  You can download a map here too.

Fire & Rescue Service Museum, Dalrymple Street, Greenock

Another great museum you should visit is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Museum & Heritage Centre.  It opens especially on cruise ship days and is run by volunteers who will make your visit very enjoyable.  Check out their website for opening times.  It is based in Greenock’s 19th century Fire Station in Dalrymple Street, Greenock.  Well worth a visit – you will not be disappointed!

Yardmen Art Installation, Waterfront, Greenock

Walking – There’s a lovely walk along Greenock’s waterfront near where cruise ship passengers disembark.  Walking along the riverside, there’s lots to see.  Look out for the art installations along the way.  Customhouse Quay is a fabulous place to stop and take photographs.  Greenock’s former Custom House, built in 1818 is a beautiful classical building.  It houses a museum dedicated to Scottish poet Robert Burns and run by volunteers.  Check in advance for opening hours here at the Greenock Burns Club website.  Another interesting object at Customhouse Quay is the Beacon Clock Tower – a metal column full of unusual features (read about them here).  Then why not stop at the Beacon Arts Centre – a beautiful modern building housing Greenock’s theatre.  There’s also a cafĂ© where you can enjoy a coffee or perhaps lunch while gazing at the beautiful views across the Clyde.  From here, it is just a short walk to Greenock town centre or back to where cruise ships are berthed.

Coat of Arms above Custom House, Custom House Quay, Greenock

There are lots of other great walks – download a brochure “A Walk Along Greenock Esplanade” from the Inverclyde Council website.  It is a guided walk along the riverside, this time heading west.  The Esplanade is a beautiful promenade constructed in the 1860s.  Along the way there are some very interesting houses – the brochure gives you some of the history of this area.  It is a flat, gentle walk with lots of benches along the route.  There’s also a downloadable guided walk of Greenock’s West End, highlighting some of the older buildings along the route.  You can find it here.

Shopping – If you love small, independent shop then take the short bus or taxi ride to Gourock.  Here you will find lots of lovely shops, cafes and bars.  It is a small seaside town and the views across the River are wonderful.  You can get a ferry across the River to Dunoon from here.  Port Glasgow has the Gallagher Retail Park which contains some big name shops – Next and M&S among others.  Greenock has the Oak Mall, sadly not as full of shops as it used to be, but there are some lovely shops along West Blackhall Street which are worth a visit.  If you like charity shops (thrift stores) then this is the place for you!

It would be impossible to list all the local attractions here, the best way of finding out is to visit the Inverclyde Council website and check out the list on the right hand side of their page.  It lists maps and leaflets you can download in advance to help plan your visit.

Some cruise ship passengers are surprised to find themselves here in Greenock as many cruise line companies list the destination as "Glasgow (Greenock)".  So it is best to know that Glasgow is about 25 miles east of Greenock.  When you arrive at Greenock you will then have to make your own way to Glasgow either by bus or by train – both have frequent services.  The journey takes about 40 minutes.

If you need any more information or would like to ask any questions, then please get in touch – there’s a “Send Message” box on the top right column of this blog.

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