Top 12 Things To Do In Greenock, Scotland

things to do in greenock
| 4 min read

Scotland is a holiday destination that has many explorable things and activities and can always surprise you with its quirkiness. There are many things Scotland can offer you, be it in terms of culture, heritage, events, and even exciting neighbour cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow. Greenock is one of the Scottish towns that holds many surprising aspects that will leave you in awe with its beauty and history. It’s located around 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) from Glasgow and known for being the site of the first dock on the Clyde back in 1711, giving it a strong maritime history. Greenock is the city that will provide you with a perfect balance of historical exploration and entertainment with its culture and shopping. Keep scrolling to find out about the best things to do in Greenock, the UK.

1. Watch some great cultural shows at The Beacon Arts Centre

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The Beacon Arts Centre is the place to be for cultural shows or if you’re looking for a place for classes and workshops in music, art, and drama while in Greenock. It is the home of the Greenock Arts Guild and opened on January 2013.

Besides the main auditorium with a seating capacity of 500, the venue also features the Studio Theater that can sit up to 128 people. The Gallery Suite serves as a multifunction meeting, rehearsal, and function area while the in-house café serves tasty meals at lunchtime but turns into a bar during show nights.

The Beacon Arts Centre

Address: Custom House Quay, Greenock PA15 1HJ, United Kingdom

Website: The Beacon Arts Centre

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

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2. Dive into arts and history at McLean Museum & Art Gallery

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The McLean Museum & Art Gallery started as a collection of the Greenock Philosophical Society members’ artificial and natural curiosities including armors, coins, maps, prints, medals, and such. It was finally established as a museum (that was then housed in the Greenock Library) in 1816. The museum and art gallery got its name from James McLean, a local timber merchant and a member of the Philosophical Society, who funded the construction of the museum building that was completed in 1876.

Since then, the museum continues to receive donations and artifacts including an Egyptian mummy, ancient Roman ceramics, Paleolithic stone axes, artworks from different eras, and a lot more.

McLean Museum & Art Gallery

Address: 15 Kelly St, Greenock PA16 8JX, United Kingdom

Website: McLean Museum & Art Gallery

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed from Sun - Tue)

Price: Free Admission

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3. Learn more about Greenock's history at Lyle Fountain

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Located right in the heart of town, Lyle Fountain is one of the most iconic landmarks in Greenock. The 141-year-old fountain was named after Aram Lyle, the founder of the Lyle sugar refinery that gifted the drinking fountain to the town.

The circular fountain features an ornamental dome that depicts the crests of 18 prominent families from Greenock including Ardgowan, Fairlie, Stewart, Cartsburn, Steele, Watt, Wood, and Morton. An inscription that says “This Fountain Given To The Inhabitants of Greenock By Abram Lyle Provost 1879” can also be seen on the base of the magnificent structure.

Lyle Fountain

Address: Cathcart Square, Greenock PA15 1BS, United Kingdom

Website: Lyle Fountain

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4. Have an exciting time with the gang at Laser Matrix

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Laser Matrix on Thursday, December 16, 2010

Laser Matrix is one of Scotland’s largest multilevel laser tag arenas. It features a thrilling theme that lets you experience the world of the renowned Matrix movie. There are three ways to enjoy this fast-paced, action-packed game—battle it out against an opposing group, play solo against everyone, or sign up for specific missions.

You can also book the place for special events like team buildings, birthday parties, stag or hen nights, or corporate events. It’s absolutely safe so you can bring along your kids and have a great time at Laser Matrix!

Laser Matrix

Address: Fort Matilda Estate, Eldon St, Greenock PA16 7QB, United Kingdom

Website: Laser Matrix

Opening hours: Mon- Fri: 12pm - 6:30pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 6:30pm

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5. Admire Victoria Tower, Greenock's tall landmark

The Victoria Tower
Source: Photo by user Thomas Nugent used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Greenock Victoria Tower is also one of the evidence that the city has a very dynamic and lively past even back in the days. The tower’s construction was completed in 1886 with an Italian Renaissance style and decorations by granite and also sculptures on the top. It stands proud on 75 metres’ (246 feet) height, and you can see it from all over the city of Greenock, making it a perfect landmark and symbol of the town.

Greenock Victoria Tower

Address: Municipal Buildings 24 Clyde Square, Greenock

Website: Greenock Victoria Tower

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6. Enjoy a walk with a view at Greenock Cut

Greenock Cut
Source: Photo by user Thomas Nugent used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Being in a city that’s very close to nature, it would feel perfect to take a walk on an accessible walking path in the town–and for Greenock, it’s Greenock Cut. The way of Greenock Cut is circular and will give you a brilliant view of the Clyde. Originally the cut is a 5.5-mile (8.9 kilometers) long canal that wasn’t navigable and it was used to feed water from Loch Thom for both domestic and industrial use.

Greenock Cut

Address: Cornalees Bridge, Loch Thom, Greenock

Website: Greenock Cut

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7. See the history and culture of Greenock all in one place

McLean Museum and Art Gallery - - 322507
Source: Photo by user Thomas Nugent used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This is the place where you can learn about the history of Greenock through its many exhibitions. McLean Museum was due for a re-opening in early 2020 after a three-year-long renovation, that caused the museum to move some of its exhibits to the Inverclyde Heritage Centre of Cathcart. The Art Gallery housed more than 300 Scottish paintings created by several significant Scottish artists, and also some European and American works that include from those the late 19th and early 20th century.

McLean Museum and Art Gallery

Address: 15 Kelly Street, PA16 8JX Greenock

Website: McLean Museum and Art Gallery

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed from Sun - Tue)

Price: Free

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8. Get a bird's-eye view of Greenock City at Lyle Hill Viewpoint

Lyle Hill
Source: Photo by user Stevouk used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This viewpoint is a place that stays in the heart of its visitors, whether tourists or locals. Lyle Hill is located at the top of Lyle Road, where you can take a full view of Gourock and the Clyde. It’s the place that will take your breath away on any weather and any time, be it warm or cold, day or night. Many locals go to this place for important events, such as a proposal or laying down ashes of loved ones. It might be a consideration for you when you visit Lyle Hill Viewpoint–it would be worth it to create a memory at this spot.

Lyle Hill Viewpoint

Address: 156 Lyle Road, Greenock

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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9. Stop by the Free French Forces Memorial, a serene tribute at the top of a hill

Free French Memorial, Lyle Hill - - 417332
Source: Photo by user Raymond Okonski used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This memorial is also located at Lyle Hill so when you’re climbing up here, you will also have the get a glimpse of the olden days of Firth of Clyde. You can also see the memorial monument that took the shape of Cross of Lorraine combined with an anchor, to commemorate the Free French Naval Forces vessels that took part in the Battle of the Atlantic by sailing from the Firth of Clyde.

Free French Forces Memorial

Address: Lyle Road, Greenock

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10. Visit Dutch Gable House, an ancient house with history

The Dutch Gable House
Source: Photo by user Lairich Rig used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Dutch Gable House is one of the most famous buildings in the town quarter of the historic William Street at Greenock. At the back of the house, there was a connecting pathway to the oldest house in Greenock. Currently, this place is used as a museum and art gallery, where exhibitions are usually being held. Of course, being the oldest surviving house in Greenock, some stories accompany the house, not leaving out the scary ones. You might want to prepare yourself when you’re passing the house at night.

Dutch Gable House

Address: 14 William Street, Greenock

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Nearby attractions

11. Be awed by Newark Castle in Port Glasgow

Newark Castle - panoramio (7)
Source: Photo by user Scotia used under CC BY 3.0

There are many elegant and majestic castles all around Scotland, for this list we’d recommend you one to one of the castles by the shipping docks, Newark Castle in Port Glasgow, around 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) from Greenock. The castle is very well-maintained, considering the fact that it was built in 1478 and just got renovated recently. Newark Castle is filled with history and the staff will gladly guide you around the place while sharing some of the stories about the castle and the family who owned it and if you’re lucky you can get your photo taken in Middle Ages costumes.

Newark Castle

Address: Castle Road, Port Glasgow PA14 5NG, Scotland

Opening hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm (daily)

Price: 8 USD (adult); 5 USD (children)

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12. Take the kids to Glasgow Science Centre and let them learn in a fun way

Glasgow Science Centre
Source: Photo by Flickr user Tony Webster used under CC BY 2.0

When in Glasgow, you and your family have to visit the Glasgow Science Centre, it’s a place where all of the visitors can have fun while learning about science and technology in unique ways. Your kids will love their exhibits that can make them busy for hours, that includes IMAX presentations or even exploring the celestial treasure in the planetarium. The Science Centre even has a small cafe where you can relax and have a cup of hot drinks and snacks to fuel your energy before continuing your holiday in Glasgow. Or maybe end the day’s activity at the Science Centre, with the kids being busy learning new things that might even surprise you.

Glasgow Science Centre

Address: 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1EA, Scotland

Website: Glasgow Science Centre

Opening hours: Summer Hours (Apr - Nov): 10am - 5pm (daily); Winter Hours (Nov - Mar): Wed - Fri: 10am - 3pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon - Tue)

Price: 15 USD (adult); 13 USD (children); Add-ons: Planetarium: 4 USD; IMAX: 4 USD; Glasgow Tower: 5 USD

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Greenock's calm atmosphere and Glasgow's big city excitement

Being located near Glasgow has made Greenock as a popular town to stop by. Then, head to the even quirkier Glasgow to take a few days of slowing down the holiday pace. You’re definitely making a great decision if you’re stopping by at Greenock; you’ll be taken aback by the stories this small town has. Time to decide what to try from the best things to do in Greenock, the UK.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Elmira, also known as Elmo, is a dedicated travel writer who lives by the belief that visiting at least one new place each year broadens knowledge and enriches the heart. Her passion for exploring...Read more

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