Four scenic places to go running in Renfrewshire

Monday 17th April, 2023

With Spring arriving, and the Paisley 10k coming up in August, now is a great time to go running in Renfrewshire. The blossoms and bluebells are starting to bloom, the evenings are lighter, and you don’t need to put on ten different layers just to get out the door.

Whether you’re a regular runner or just enjoy moving through interesting places, we’re spoilt for choice with places to run across Renfrewshire. From abandoned mines, volcanos and waterfalls to riverside paths and peaceful trails, there’s something for everyone.

As well as being great for your mental and physical health, exploring your local area on foot gives you a more intimate look at the space around you.

Here are four scenic places some of the Paisley.is team love to run.

Gleniffer Braes looking towards a lonely tree

The eastern edge of the Gleniffer Braes, above Brownside Farm

Gleniffer Braes Country Park

With a vast network of trails, good parking and stunning views ‘the Braes’ is one of the most popular places in Renfrewshire for trail running. Sitting on the southern edge of Paisley and Johnstone, the Braes is a one-stop-shop for all kinds of terrain. From managed woodlands with winding paths, to wide open moorland, it’s full of interesting routes.

Because of its size, you can easily link across to lots of different places. These include Neilston and Barrhead through the picturesque Ferenze Hill and Killoch Glen, or Rannoch and Bluebell Woods in Johnstone.

As we’re in Scotland, the trails can be muddy, they can be steep, and you might encounter highland coos! But with such a wide variety of runs available, you can tailor your route to suit you.

Freneze Braes looking towards Barrhead

Freneze Hill looking down towards Barrhead

Linwood Moss

Home to Renfrewshire’s oldest Parkrun, Linwood Moss is a great place for an easy short run.

The network of trails includes tarmac and gravel, covering parkland and woodland. It’s very flat, with very gentle undulations, which also makes it a great place to run with kids.

Whilst the trails can get quite muddy after rain, there’s great parking and the On-x Linwood Sports Centre has a café for a wee refreshment afterwards. Linwood Parkrun is a free, fun, and friendly weekly 5k community event. Walk, jog, run, volunteer or head along and spectate, it happens every Saturday at 9.30am.

Linwood Moss Nature Reserve

Linwood Moss Nature Reserve

Erskine Waterfront

Running next to water is better for your mental health, thanks to a nicer soundscape and less pollution. At least that’s what The Canal and River trust say, and we’d have to agree.

You can explore the sights and sounds of the River Clyde in a few different locations in Renfrewshire, but one of the most popular is the Erskine Waterfront. Featuring wide paths and vast views up and down the river, including the Erksine Bridge.

The main waterfront area runs between Newshott Island Nature Reserve and Boden Boo Woodlands. This makes it an ideal place for a long run, with a great variety of terrain and ever-changing scenery. The Erskine Waterfront Parkrun is fun, free and takes place here each Saturday at 9.30am.

Erksine Waterfront Walkway looking towards Erksine Bridge

Erksine Waterfront Walkway looking towards Erksine Bridge

Head East along the White Cart River

A perfect route for those who want to stick to tarmac, the White Cart Cycleway links Hawkhead in Paisley to Crookston and Rosshall in Glasgow. Starting from Ben Nevis Road, it follows National Cycle Route 7 on wide and smooth paths alongside the river before opening with views across parkland.

You can follow Crookston Road round to Glasgow Road and head back into Paisley in a big loop. Or you can continue following the cycle route into Rosshall Gardens and discover the hidden grotto and disc-golf course.

And if you fancy a much longer run, the cycle route eventually flows all the way through Pollock Park, Glasgow City Centre and beyond.

White Cart Water

White Cart Water from the Hawkhead to Crookston Cycleway



Tell us where you like to go running in Renfrewshire

Do you have a set route round the block, or do you have a favourite local trail?

We want to hear from you.

Your name

Where do you love to adventure? Running, hiking, bike riding, wild swimming or anything else!
What kind of outdoor person are you?