Be a tourist in your town – Johnstone

Friday 14th August, 2020

Johnstone – one of the largest towns in Renfrewshire – has a rich history to explore.

The town’s main industry was cotton thread, with mills powered by the Black Cart Water to the north of Johnstone, and a six-storey cotton mill, one of the largest in Scotland – built in 1782.

As well as the historical significance of the town the area also boasts several excellent restaurants to visit and enjoy.

Activities and sights

If you want to take in the historical sights of Johnstone – start in the heart of the town and head along to Houstoun Square to see the Johnstone War Memorial. The granite sculpture of a private of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in full pack and Tam ‘o’ Shanter beret, commemorates the residents of Johnstone who were killed or missing in the First and Second World Wars.

If you want to get out and about in the great outdoors then Johnstone is the perfect place – the Clyde to Forth cycle route –National Cycle Route 75 runs through Johnstone and on to Gourock and Dunoon.

There are also three different woodlands to explore around Johnstone which are all close to the town centre meaning you can walk straight from the streets to the trees.

Rannoch Wood is part of the Johnstone Castle estate – on a walk through the open woodland you can see tall beech trees and silvery birch.

The pretty woodland of Bluebell Wood is like a picturesque garden. You can explore the many paths to find sunlit clearings, rocky outcrops and the Craigbog burn that flows through the area. May is a great time to visit as drifts of bluebells appear through the trees.

The final Johnstone woodland to explore is Windyhill – where you’ll find some impressive oak trees among mossy boulders. Around the southern end of the site you can find Brandyburn waterfall where the burn plunges down the rocky slope.

If golf is your game there’s some great greens to play in the town including the Castle Golf Range and Cochrane Castle Golf Club

@lorzk2112 commented on Instagram: “There’s a beautiful walk off the cycle track between Kilbarchan and Johnstone that takes you right down to the river. In behind the paper mill – it’s so lovely.”

Eating, drinking and shopping

Johnstone is home to some great local shops, cafes and restaurants. Here are some of the places people love to visit in the town.

@murray_blyth tweeted: “Trattoria Roma good food & service.”


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@amyhelendunn also tweeted: “Pizza crolla do the best fritters and the man that runs it is so lovely!”


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We’re always looking for your suggestions on great places to visit and things to do in Renfrewshire to Steal Back Summer. Make sure to share your recommendations on our social media channels.

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