The Kelly Cut
Start location: Cornalees (NS 247 720)
End location: Kelly Mains (NS 199 689)
Path distance: 6.5km
Back to Search
From Cornalees Visitor Centre the UCR heading south crosses the overflow channel of the Compensation Reservoir and immediately on the right is a pedestrian width tubular metal gate which forms the start of this route. Here is a notice of West of Scotland Water announcing this as the Kelly Aqueduct. The Kelly Cut is an aqueduct, now redundant, which took water from the Kelly Reservoir above Wemyss Bay to Loch Thom at Cornalees, the source of Greenock's water supply. The route starts on the 1m plus wide embankment of the aqueduct over open moorland. The oath surface is grass grown hard core. It is apparent in the fairly recent past the aqueduct which tends to grow aquatic vegetation has been mechanically re-excavated in places with the spoil added to the embankment increasing its width without detracting from the quality of its level surface. After say 2km, following the contour the way deteriorates into a narrow footpath between clumps of rushes with frequent muddy puddles beside the water channel which is largely choked with sphagnum and rushes. There are some re-excavated sections, a couple of small broken wooden bridges, not presenting any real difficulty and a couple places where the embankment has been breached allowing the water to follow towards Daff Reservoir. At say 222694 and southwards the channel towards Daff Reservoir has been concrete lined and fenced. A hard core vehicle width track follows this channel on its west side to join the Water Board track is a good hard core vehicle track as far as Kelly Bank Cottages at 208684 where there is a tubular metal vehicular width gate. Here the track becomes macadam and is easily followed to Kelly Mains at 199690. The footbridge at 220686 marked on the 1:25000 Explorer sheet 341 may have been superseded by the vehicle bridge.