Amazing attractions to explore in Paisley and Renfrewshire

Thursday 18th January, 2018

From adventurous days out to stunning heritage sites, here’s just a few of the amazing attractions you should visit across Paisley and Renfrewshire.

Are you looking for something new and exciting to do? Well, you won’t be stuck for choice in Paisley and Renfrewshire.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just fancy exploring some of Scotland’s most remarkable heritage sites and gorgeous architecture, there’s so many fantastic places for you to enjoy in the area.

Here’s a list of some of the amazing attractions that you must visit across Paisley and Renfrewshire.

Paisley Abbey

View of Paisley Abbey roof and stain glass windows taken from the floor looking up

Take in some of Paisley’s history at the 850 year-old medieval Abbey. The spectacular site is believed to be the location where William Wallace was educated and is also the final resting place of six high Stewards of Scotland including Marjory Bruce – the daughter of Robert the Bruce. You can take one of the fantastic guided tours of the Abbey at 2pm on Tuesdays & Thursdays.

Paisley Town Hall

Paisley Town Hall towers in the sunshine

This eye-catching 19th century building, located right next to Paisley Abbey, instantly grabs your attention as you enter the town centre. Paisley Town Hall features prominently in Renfrewshire’s events calendar, regularly hosting concerts and social events throughout the year. The venue’s stunning Victorian architecture also makes it a popular setting for weddings and ceremonies.

Sma’ Shot Cottages

Take a step back in time and experience life as a weaver at Paisley’s famous Sma’ Shot Cottages. Local guides are on hand to give you an insightful tour of the 1750s weaver’s cottage before letting you explore a number of historically decorated cottages dating back to the 1820s. No visit is complete without stopping by the tea room and enjoying a slice of cake before returning to the present day!

Paisley Museum and Art Galleries

Find out more about the Paisley pattern, the town’s rich textile heritage and a wealth of natural history and archaeology collections during a visit to Paisley Museum and Art Galleries. The museum is home to the world-famous collection of Paisley shawls and features a year-round programme of changing exhibitions. Make sure you say hello to the famous resident ‘Buddy’ the lion. Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite…

Coats Observatory

Telescope at Coats Observatory,Paisley

Built in 1883 and located behind Paisley Museum, the Coats Observatory is the oldest of its kind in Scotland. Perfect for stargazing, the public observatory is home to a vast range of telescopes and a state of the art digital planetarium. Learn more about the universe around us and the historic building itself with a free tour.

The Experience

On your marks, get set and go to The Experience at Hillington Park! Get your adrenaline pumping with a race around Scotland’s first indoor electric go-karting circuit before challenging your pals in the laser tag arena. Kids big and small can enjoy plenty of regular activities and the award-winning Refuel Café offers the perfect pit-stop for some tasty treats.

intu Braehead

With over 100 stores across its shopping centre and retail park, intu Braehead is ideal for a spot of retail therapy. The centre also contains a 5,000-seat arena which hosts regular music and sporting events throughout the year as well as a fantastic indoor ice rink. The ice arena is home to the local Braehead Clan and Paisley Pirates ice hockey teams, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch a game.


Located next to intu Braehead, Soar is perfect for an action-packed family day out. Thrill-seekers can enjoy skiing and snowboarding on the UK’s largest indoor real snow slope at Snow Factor or take to new heights on the highest indoor freestanding climbing wall in Europe. The leisure centre also offers miniature golf and ten-pin bowling facilities, a cinema, fantastic restaurants and much more!

Paisley Thread Mill Museum

One of Paisley’s ‘must see’ attractions, Paisley Thread Mill Museum gives visitors the opportunity to learn more about the town’s industrial and social past. Opened in 2003, the museum displays samples of products, photographs, mill machinery related to the thread industry and artefacts donated by people connected with the local mills.

Castle Semple Country Park

Explore the wildlife and great outdoors on one of the fantastic walking routes at Castle Semple Country Park. Visitors can also enjoy biking on the 15km Semple Trail or a number of watersports, including rowing, sailing, kayaking and windsurfing at Castle Semple Loch. No visit is complete without taking in the stunning views from the Visitor Centre Café with a cuppa or ice-cream.

Get your boots on and discover Paisley on foot

In a town that sees creeping influences of Mackintosh and Thomson amongst others, it very much extends the structural beauty of Glasgow to its neighbour in the west.

Neil Robertson
Travels With A Kilt

Many urban areas would love to have a measure of the pedigree that this post-industrial conurbation boasts. Aside from its textile legacy, and illustrious denizens, Paisley has an incredible architectural heritage, from the 12th-Century Abbey, with its glorious Edward Burne-Jones windows, to its Victorian Observatory, to the stunning Art Deco Russell Institute.

Gemma Fullham
Reporter, Irish Independent

I regularly visit the Paisley Museum and Art Galleries and Paisley Arts Centre and try to attend as many of the festivals and events in the town as possible... I particularly enjoy Sma’ Shot Day.

Laura Gray

Other things to explore in Paisley and Renfrewshire

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