Greenock is a historic industrial town by the Firth of Clyde, 25 miles west of Glasgow.
Greenock grew from a fishing community to become the site of the first dock on the Clyde in 1711. Shipbuilding and overseas trade transformed Greenock over the subsequent centuries. The town’s maritime history is shown at the Custom House Museum, while the McLean Museum and Art Gallery dedicates a room to Greenock’s most famous son, the steam engine pioneer James Watt. Much of the west end of Greenock retains its impressive Victorian buildings, not least the 245-foot Victoria Tower crowning the town hall which remains incomplete. Beside the town hall lies 'Cowan's Corner', a plain wall where a building which was destroyed in World War II once stood. Another notable building is the Old West Kirk, which dates from 1591 and was the first church built in Scotland after the Reformation. The church is famous for its stained glass by artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The town is home to the world's first Burns Club, with many of the founding members having known Robert Burns himself. Burns' love Mary Campbell (Highland Mary) died in the town and is buried in Greenock Cemetery.
The Greenock Cut is an aqueduct which sits in the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park and is part one of the top 50 walks in Scotland, offering panoramic views of the Clyde. The walk also has a visitor centre which has an interactive exhibition as well as a coffee shop. Another viewpoint over the Clyde towards Kilcreggan can be found at the town's Esplanade which is located in the west end. Here visitors can see examples of the large villas which were once home to the ship owners and industrialists which stayed in the town. Lyle Hill is another viewpoint in the town which overlooks Gourock and the Tail of the Bank, and Glasgow and Arran on a clear day. A beacon sits upon the hill which was built to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth and is still lit on special occasions. A distinctive anchor shaped war memorial to the Free French forces who fought in World War II stands on the western brow, in homage to the Maillé Brézé which exploded off Greenock's coast and the other Free French vessels which sailed from the town.
Greenock has a number of shopping facilities, including the Oak Mall Shopping Centre, and many restaurants, cafes and pubs to eat in. The town has a variety of sporting facilities. Greenock boasts nine railway stations, which provide services to Glasgow, Gourock, Wemyss Bay and other surrounding stops. There is a number of local bus routes which travel to Greenock, Gourock and Port Glasgow, as well as further destinations such as Glasgow, Largs and Dunoon. Ferries run from Victoria Harbour along the Firth of Clyde to Dunoon and other destinations. The town is located at the end of the M8 motorway which begins in Edinburgh and travels through Glasgow, making it easily accessible by car.