Greenock is a historic industrial town on the south bank of the Firth of Clyde, 25 miles west of Glasgow. Greenock hugs the coastline of the Firth of Clyde between neighboring Gourock to the west and Port Glasgow to the east, directly across the water from a confluence of lochs joining the Clyde and the mountains of the south-west Highlands. The town grew as a fishing community, then became the site of the first dock on the Clyde in 1711. Shipbuilding and overseas trade transformed the town from then on until the latter half of the 20th century.
Today, much of the west end retains impressive Victorian buildings, not least of them the 245-foot Victoria Tower crowning the town hall. The waterfront is under considerable redevelopment. The ferry chugs from Victoria Harbour around the Firth of Clyde to places such as Dunoon, Rothesay and Tarbert. A superb view of the Clyde Estuary and the mountains is to be had from the Free French Memorial on Lyle Hill.
The town’s maritime history can be traced at the Custom House Museum, while the McLean Museum and Art Gallery dedicates a room to Greenock’s most famous son, steam engine pioneer James Watt. A small gallery houses works by Scottish Colourists Fergusson, Peploe and Cadell, and Glasgow Boys Hornel and Guthrie.