See some of Paisley’s finest architectural treasures and learn about its rich history while exploring these town centre gems.
Paisley has an easily-walkable historic centre with Scotland’s largest concentration of listed buildings outwith Edinburgh.
All of these venues are 10-15 minutes walking distance apart and you’ll find plenty of places to stop for a meal, a snack or a drink on your journey.
Download a leaflet mapping out the Discover Paisley walking trail:
Paisley Walking Trail (pdf)
Please note that some of these locations are currently closed to the public. Find out more below:
8 Wellmeadow St, Paisley PA1 2EE
Built by the family of Thomas Coats after his death, the majestic Victorian neo-gothic structure was initially budgeted at £20,000. But by the time it was completed in 1894, costs had soared to an estimated £110,000 – over £6m today!
High Street, Paisley PA1 2BA
Home to an internationally-significant collection of Paisley shawls and ceramics. The museum will reopen in 2022 following a £42m refurbishment – and it’s still a stunning sight worth including in any walk around Paisley town centre.
49 Oakshaw Street West, Paisley PA1 2DE
Scotland’s oldest public observatory is part of the museum complex and also currently closed for major refurbishment. But any stroll in the Oakshaw area of town should include the observatory as a must-see sight.
Oakshaw Trinity Church
6 School Wynd, Paisley PA1 2DB
Located on the highest point of Paisley’s townscape, the church was formerly Paisley High Parish Church. Architect John White designed the building, which dates back to 1764. Legend has it that after a stone mason fell to his death during construction, his workmates carved the outline of handkerchief and spectacles into the cobbles where he fell as a tribute.
Abbey Close, Paisley PA1 1JG
An essential stop on the trail and the jewel in the town’s crown. The Abbey is cradle of one of the most enduring royal dynasties, the Stewarts. See if you can spot the gargoyle that has been modelled to look like one of the monsters of the film Alien. It’s thought to be the handiwork of a cheeky stone mason during refurbishment work. Admire the stone work of the rare 10th century Barochan Celtic Cross.
Paisley Town Hall
Abbey Close, Paisley PA1 1JF
Located in the historic centre of the town, this grand 19th century building is embarking on a major refurbishment to create a landmark entertainment venue fit for the 21st Century.
St Mirin’s Cathedral
Incle Street, Paisley PA1 1HR
Designed by Thomas Baird in 1932, the spectacular Neo-Romanesque building became a cathedral in 1948. Named after the patron saint of Paisley, it’s the mother church of the Catholic diocese of the town.
Paisley Thread Mill Museum
12 Seedhill Road, Paisley PA1 1JS
Explore the social and industrial heritage of the Paisley and Renfrewshire thread mills, through photographs, mill machinery, samples of products and sewing artefacts. You can also find out more about the Coats family.
7 Thread Street, Paisley PA1 1JR
This magnificent A-listed mill building, which played a key role in the global cotton industry, has been restored as a stunning place to live. It’s also a great photo opportunity on the trail. No public entry.
St Matthew’s Church
Gordon Street, Paisley PA1 1XL
Built in 1906 and designed by William Daniel McLennan, this stunning A-listed building of national importance was once described as ‘the most significant Art Nouveau church in Europe’.
The Russell Institute
30 Causeyside Street, Paisley PA1 1UN
This category A-listed Art-Deco building was donated by Miss Agnes Russell to the women and children of Paisley on 19 March 1927. The former health centre was restored and reopened in early 2017 and is now used as a skills and employability hub. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture photos of the building’s ornate statues.
Paisley Arts Centre
15 New Street, Paisley PA1 1EZ
Take a self-led tour and discover the history of the silk merchants and manufacturers buried within the grounds. The Paisley Arts Centre stage has hosted some of Scotland’s biggest names in the three decades since the 250-year-old former church building was converted into one of the country’s most vibrant small entertainment venues. The building is set to undergo a £2.8m transformation as part of a wider investment in Paisley’s venues and outdoor spaces
Sma’ Shot Cottages
15 Shuttle Street, Paisley PA1 2HZ
Home to two distinct periods in Paisley’s weaving history. The weaver’s cottage highlights what life was like 250 years ago for the artisans, with the original weaving looms in place. The complex also houses the residence of a foreman of a nearby mill from the mid-19th century. Please note: Sma’ Shot Cottages are currently closed.