|Location Map ( geo)|
|Very steep, very sharp bend at Whinhill|
|Old Largs Road|
|To:||Rottenburn Bridge (NS248689)|
|Via:||Old Largs Road|
|Distance:||5 miles (8 km)|
|Meets:||B7054, C41 (North Ayrshire)|
|Route outline (key)|
The C47 starts on the B7054 above Greenock Town Centre and follows Drumfrochar Road south, before turning onto Old Largs Road. This climbs steeply out of the town onto Whitelees Moor and Darndaff Moor, before dropping a little to skirt Loch Thom. Continuing south, it follows the Rotten Burn upstream to Rottenburn Bridge on the council Boundary. As its name suggests, the road itself continues over the watershed and down to the coast in Largs.
Drumfrochar Road to Whitelees Moor
The C47 starts at the junction of the B7054, Drumfrochar Road and Cornhaddock Street (which continues west as the B7054). It immediately starts to climb, initially gently to cross the Wemyss Bay branch of the Inverclyde railway, but increasing sharply within the first half mile, peaking at 14% on the hairpin bend near the start of Old Largs Road.
A level crossing on the 'Old Puggy Line' which served the paper mill at Overton crossed the road at this point. This line, which closed in 1923, branched off the Wemyss Bay branch of the Inverclyde Line near the present day Whinhill station and climbed very steeply to the paper mill. No trace of the level crossing remains, but the remains of the line can be seen in the fields on each side of the road.
Leaving the south suburbs of Greenock behind, Whinhill water works, High Murdieston Farm and Whinhill golf course are passed in quick succession on the left. Take a few moments to stop and admire the stunning views of the Firth of Clyde and south Highlands from Whinhill.
Just over a mile from the start of the road, a cattle grid marks the boundary of Whitelees Moor, which slightly further on merges seamlessly with Darndaff Moor. At this cattle grid, green pastures suddenly give way to brown moorland in an area criss-crossed by multiple power lines and buried gas pipelines.
From here, the road is unfenced for most of the remainder of its length. Proceed with care, as sheep and cattle are frequently found to be blocking the road across the moors.
Whitelees Moor to Loch Thom
The lochs, high hills and general moorland scenery (including farm animals straying on the road) in this area are reminiscent of the not too distant Highlands, which can be seen from several points on the road.
The road drops down from Darndaff Moor on the approach to Loch Thom, which can be seen on the west side. Gryffe No. 1 reservoir can be seen to the east. Both reservoirs come close to the sides of the road, with Loch Thom being around 10m above the road and Gryffe being pretty much at road level.
There are several passing places along this stretch of the road, but not all of these are sign-posted.
Falling within the Clyde Muirshiel Regional park and offering a circular route back to Greenock via the C48, this stretch of the road is popular with walkers and cyclists, especially during the summer months.
Loch Thom to the North Ayrshire Boundary
After dropping down to the cattle grid at the south end of Darndaff Moor, the road immediately climbs again, up the side of the east dam of Loch Thom. The road was re-routed around the loch when it was expanded in 1872, resulting in the 90 degrees bend in the road at the south east corner of the loch.
The road follows the banks of the loch for most of the way to the junction with the C48 at its south end.
From the junction with the C48, the road climbs up the east side of the curiously named Mount Pisgah, climbing 40m in less than a mile. From the top of this hill can be seen the North Ayrshire boundary and the beginning of the C47 (North Ayrshire), which is at the foot of yet another hill where the road crosses the North Rotten Burn on the stone arched Rottenburn Bridge.