Find your way around Gourock

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FIRST THINGS FIRST! The best way of finding your way around the Burgh of Gourock is to purchase a copy of Ronald P A Smith's Greenock/Gourock/Port Glasgow Street Plan, available from the publisher. The map is printed in full colour with a distinctive view of Gourock from the Free French Memorial on the cover. At the large scale of 5 inches to 1 mile (1:12,500), it is the most detailed map of its kind available; the only one with comprehensive indexes and locations of places of interest; leisure facilities; schools; places of worship; health and welfare facilities; and other information including the local footpath network and locations of industrial estates, emergency services, etc.

As well as Greenock, Gourock and Port Glasgow, the street map covers the Inverclyde villages of Inverkip, Wemyss Bay and Kilmacolm. To order by post direct from the publisher, please click on the 'Map Ordering' button on the left.


As can be seen from the photograph on the left, the town of Gourock is spectacularly situated on the Firth of Clyde, looking across to the mountains of Argyll. It is a thriving dormitory settlement for the industrial towns of Greenock and Port Glasgow immediately to the east, and its location at the end of an important railway line gives easy access to Glasgow for work and shopping purposes. The town, established as a burgh of barony in 1695 and as a 'police' burgh in 1858, is perhaps best known as a ferry port with vehicular ferries to Dunoon and Hunter's Quay (the latter from some two miles west of the centre of town), and passenger ferries to Kilcreggan and Helensburgh. In contrast to the rest of Inverclyde, and due to the town's popularity as a residential area, the population of Gourock has risen steadily over the years - from 2,116 in 1861 to 9,107 in 1951 and 11,511 in 2001.

The hilly nature of the town gives an abundant range of pleasant views; to the right can be seen the coastline stretching westwards towards Cloch Point and its famous lighthouse. Gourock's excellence as a place to live is reflected in the considerable amount of private house-building who has extended the built-up area quite some distance to the west. Here also, on the high slopes above the Clyde, is Faulds Park, a high amenity industrial site, introducing large-scale industry and commerce to the town for the first time since the well-known Gourock Ropework Company moved to Port Glasgow one and a half centuries ago.

Places of Interest

The Clyde - The Firth of Clyde is a contant source of interest with the passage of ferries and the movement of ships and boats in each direction. The photograph on the left shows a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry returning to Gourock from Dunoon. In the bays to east and west are moored hundreds of yachts and dinghies, giving an impression of wealth and sophistication.

Kempock Stone - Hidden away behind the tenements at Castle Gardens, but overlooking the firth, is the prehistoric standing stone popularly known as 'Granny Kempock', so-called because of its faint resemblance to a shrouded figure. It is said that fishermen or newly-wed couples could ensure good luck by walking round the stone seven times.

Levan Castle - Now surrounded by the expanded town, this 14th century castle has been restored as a private dwellinghouse. Because of its presence, the surrounding streets are named after castles.

Cloch Lighthouse - Just beyond the western extremity of the town stands the much-photographed Cloch Lighthouse, dating from 1797. It was partly the work of Robert Stevenson of the well-known lighthouse-designing and novel-writing family.

Parks and Recreation

Ashton Esplanade - Pictured on the right, this attractive half-mile long esplanade was once thronged with Glasgow daytrippers and holidaymakers. Today, it is less busy, but none the worse for that! Towards the town centre is the Gourock Outdoor Swimming Pool, one of very few such heated pools left in Scotland and which still has an enthusiastic patronage.

Gourock Park - As well as the informal park on the top of Tower Hill, which gives all-round views of the land and seascape, Gourock has a large and popular public park featuring a walled garden, pets corner and woodland walks as well as catering from the more usual activities of bowling, tennis, putting and football.

Golf Course - Gourock Golf Club maintains an attractive course on an elevated site with magnificent views over the Firth of Clyde towards the mountains of Cowal in Argyll.

R P A Smith's local map also covers Greenock and Port Glasgow, plus the villages of Inverkip, Wemyss Bay and Kilmacolm. Further information on Greenock and Port Glasgow is available by clicking the relevant buttons on the upper left.

March 2013

R P A Smith's range of Street Plans covers the following towns and villages in Inverclyde and Renfrewshire (so far):

Wemyss Bay
2013 - Ronald P A Smith

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