|Location Map ( geo)|
|Heading west from the B786|
|Distance:||8.1 miles (13 km)|
|Meets:||A8, B7054, B786, A761|
|Old route now:||A761, B789|
|Route outline (key)|
The B788 is a cross-country B-road in the Inverclyde Council area, which consists of the western part of the former County of Renfrewshire. It runs from the A8 at the east end of Greenock town centre to the A761 at Knapps Loch on the south side of Kilmacolm.
It starts at traffic lights on the A8 opposite Victoria Quay just east of central Greenock. It heads south along a short dual carriageway section of Dellingburn Street where a roundabout serving Carnock Street and Morrison's supermarket is encountered after 80m. It then passes under the Gourock branch of the Inverclyde Line railway where an earlier roundabout under the railway has been modified to become an extension of the dual carriageway (the fenced-off north side of the former roundabout is still visible).
Immediately after the railway bridge, the C79, Regent Street branches off to the right where the B788 starts to climb Baker Street before it TOTSOs left at traffic lights, with the B7054 continuing ahead. This junction was realigned in 2019 to accommodate removal of a sharp bend on the B7054.
Another TOTSO right at the C82 Belville Street shortly afterwards leads to Kilmacolm Road, which continues climbing away from the Firth of Clyde. It goes over the mouth of two tunnels (one disused) on the Wemyss Bay branch of the Inverclyde Line, with Whinhill station just to the west.
After running through the Strone area of town the road reaches open country just after passing Knocknairshill Cemetery on the left. There are excellent views to the left over the Firth of Clyde and the hills of Dunbartonshire as the road climbs steadily out of the east Greenock suburbs towards the 200m contour line. Eventually, however, the road bends to the right, turning away from the coast and onto the moors.
There is around a 2Km stretch of the road which passes between Lurg Moor on the right and Devol Moor on the left. Knocknairshill Reservoir and Harelaw Reservoir can be seen on the left. The eight wind turbines at Corlic Hill Wind Farm on the right side of the road were built in 2020.
Nearing the end of the moorland stretch, Devol Moor electrical sub-station is passed on the left. At 207m, this is the highest point on the route.
Gryfe Water and Green Water
The C17 is passed on the left on the descent to Auchenfoyle, where it crosses the Gryfe Water. The road does not remain in the valley, however, as it immediately climbs out the far side before dropping down again at Faulds Farm and following the valley of a tributary (Green Water) for a mile or so, passing the C58 on the right.
The road then climbs out of this valley as well, on the same side as it entered. It heads eastwards over the hills towards Kilmacolm.
The road climbs past East Green Farm before descending past the turn off to Balrossie at Mountblow on the left and taking a couple of sharp turns before reaching the B786, which has priority at the crossroads.
Kilmacolm War Memorial, located outside the village proper, can be seen in the field on the left just after passing through the crossroads. The road continues to descend, passing Milton on the left and then Duchal Estate on the right before crossing the River Gryfe once more. It then passes on old motte in a field on the right before going under a bridge on the disused Glasgow St Enoch to Greenock Princes Pier railway line (now NCN75) before ending at a T-junction on the A761 at Knapps Loch to the south of Kilmacolm.
Originally the B788 continued to the right via Bridge of Weir to end on the original line of the A737 on the far side of Johnstone, although this section was renumbered to what it is today later in the 1920s. Most of the road to Johnstone is now the A761 whilst the final section through Johnstone itself is the B789.