Be a tourist in your town – Paisley

Friday 31st July, 2020

As Scotland’s largest town Paisley has loads to offer with its vibrant cultural scene, spectacular architecture and rich history – it is a place of makers, radicals, secrets and fascinating stories waiting to be told.

Paisley is the place that made the iconic Paisley Pattern and built the second-largest concentration of listed buildings in Scotland. There’s no shortage of places to explore and discover in this historic town.

Activities and sights

There are so many ways to Steal Back Summer in Paisley. The town is famous for many things – its legendary Paisley Pattern, its famous faces and its stunning architecture.

A short stroll around the town centre will reveal some spectacular architectural feats with some fascinating stories to tell – such as Paisley’s famous Abbey.

Truly a sight to behold, Paisley Abbey was founded in 1163. when Walter Fitzalan, the High Steward of Scotland, signed a charter at Fotheringay for the founding of a Cluniac Monastery on land he owned in Renfrewshire. It is also believed that Sir William Wallace was educated by the monks at Paisley Abbey.

Take a walk around the Abbey grounds and see if you can spy the unusual gargoyle inspired by Ridley Scott’s Alien movie.



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Enjoy a true art-deco treasure in the town’s Russell Institute. This architectural gem stands tall on the corner of Causeyside Street and is iconic of Paisley’s thoughtful sense of wellbeing and strong sense of community.

The building was commissioned by Miss Agnes Russell to provide child welfare as a tribute to her two brothers and now acts as skills development hub for the residents in Renfrewshire. Opened in 1927, the masterful building oozes history and fine craftsmanship – perfect addition to your Paisley photo album.


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Another example of Paisley’s stunning architecture is the outstanding Coats venue – a Gothic revival church built in 1894. The Coats family built the church in memory of Thomas Coats – a philanthropist and devout Baptist committed to the wellbeing of Paisley. Initially budgeted at £20,000, costs soared to an estimated £110,000 – over £6,000,000 today.



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Paisley has a fantastic series of eye-catching wall murals located throughout the town that are well-worth discovering. From Paisley First’s stunning 16-metres-tall kingfisher and local girl Eva Rose Ross on Storie Street to the famous Gerry Rafferty mural in Browns Lane – there’s so much to explore.



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If you’re looking to enjoy some green spaces in Paisley why not visit Barshaw Park? The 55 acre park includes a pond used by model boat enthusiasts, an outdoor gym, children’s play areas, BMX park, crazy golf and putting (seasonal), peaceful walled gardens, café, fantastic miniature railway (seasonal), and its very own golf course.

The park is ideal for a morning jog or family picnic, and if the sun is out, a perfect spot for sunbathing (when we get the weather for it!)



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If you want to have a woodland adventure with the little ones this summer head along to Hawkhead Village Fairy Woods. Local children Rocco and Stella transformed the woodland into a magical Fairy Village during lockdown. Why not take a trip to experience the magic and explore the woods?

Eating, drinking and shopping

We all have our favourite places to eat, drink, visit and shop in town and there is no shortage of options. We asked you to tell us your favourite places to go – here are some of your recommendations:

@thisisntinstant commented on Instagram saying: “Brew has been my favourite coffee spot for a good while now”



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@marcodportermusic had loads of great recommendations for us on Instagram. He said: “I love this town. Blend coffee house for day-time hangs. Paisley Canal bar for evening drinks and a nibble. Bungalow for music. The fact that the gorgeous Glennifer Braes are so close is a massive bonus.



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Lynne Clarke commented on Twitter about her favourite childhood place to visit, she said: “Oh my god the fountain gardens my childhood place to go in the summer”


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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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