In pictures: Stunning photos of Paisley and Renfrewshire in winter

Thursday 20th December, 2018

Award-winning photographer Gary Chittick has captured some amazing winter scenes in Paisley and Renfrewshire’s – and he shows you some of his favourites here:

The winter weather can be unpredictable, which plays havoc with transport but can give some additional interest to photographs. I really enjoy being out in the snow and seeing how it changes the landscape and the colours of the scene. Renfrewshire has so much rural land on its doorstep that there are always places you can escape to and go for a long winter walk – with a hot chocolate to look forward to afterwards.

I’ve picked out a few recent winter scenes from the area to share with you and I hope you enjoy seeing them. As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, recommendations or challenges, please feel free to get in touch with our PaisleyIs team.

Image 1 – Paisley Town Centre, Paisley First’s Winterfest

The first image was taken during a wander around Paisley Town Centre exploring Paisley First’s Winterfest.

Paisley Town centre is great for walking around at any time of year but there is a certain magic when the festive lights are switched on and there is a lot of colour and buzz around the town. Winterfest has lots of activities for the family including the ice rink, rides, food and drink stalls, Nutcracker trail and the big wheel.

The big wheel is a landmark you can see for miles around and it’s a spectacular sight at night when it’s dark and the lights are on.

The image was taken looking down the White Cart River towards the big wheel. It’s a slightly longer exposure than normal to get a little movement in the water without appearing too unnatural.


Image 2 – Reindeer in Paisley?

I thought this image was particularly festive and shows the annual arrival of Santa and his herd of reindeer as they come past Paisley Abbey and Paisley Town Hall.

Mr Claus’ arrival coincides with the Christmas Lights Switch On and the town centre is always a hive of activity and events long before the live music and switch on are performed.

It’s always great to see the number of children and families in Paisley town centre at this time of year and being able to see Santa’s actual reindeer at close quarters is really special. The team that look after the animals with Santa are fantastic and they clearly love what they are doing.

I thought this image captured the fun and spirit of Christmas events in the town and it’s one of many events on right throughout winter.

Keep an eye on for a whole range of events and activities for all the family.


Image 3 – Paisley Abbey in the Snow

I could not post images in winter and not include a snowy scene so here you go.

Last winter provided some incredible snowfall (it didn’t prevent me getting into work … somehow!) and because of the red weather warning, most people were safely tucked up at home in the warm. Four layers of clothes later and I was wandering around the town centre looking for a winter scene for a Christmas card.

I stopped at our historic Paisley Abbey and enjoyed the view in between blizzards of course! The snow, quiet roads and silence really set a poignant and beautiful scene and one that I hope we get to see again this winter!

You can find all about Paisley Abbey here.


Image 4 – A Wander on the Braes

I thought it would be a great idea to go for a long walk up on the Gleniffer Braes in the snow. Four falls later, my enthusiasm was wearing off but I kept going!

I stopped on the road that runs from near Hartfield Moss to Howwood and enjoyed the view over endless white fields. Even the cows and sheep seemed to be enjoying the weather although they have slightly thicker hair than me!

There wasn’t another soul around, which meant my falls went unnoticed, but it also added to the experience as it was very quiet and peaceful. I highly recommend that you (safely) explore the country roads in Renfrewshire in the snow. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll see the landscape in a whole new way.

I’d also highly recommend the walking routes available in Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park – you can get details here.


Image 5 – Winter Aurora

I’ve displayed images of aurora before but I wanted to use this opportunity just to highlight that winter can be one of the best times to view aurora from Renfrewshire. This particular image was taken from Lochwinnoch overlooking Castle Semple Loch.

Remember that aurora is dependent on a number of factors that can affect viewing including solar activity, clear skies, a new moon and minimal light pollution. I’ve been lucky enough to see and photograph aurora in every month of the year from Renfrewshire (including the day after the summer solstice) but longer, darker nights mean there is more opportunity to take advantage in winter.

The winter nights are great for night sky viewing in Renfrewshire and there are a number of phenomena that can be observed at different times including aurora, the milky way, meteor showers, comets (Comet 46P/Wirtanen is currently just about naked-eye viewable in the Southern sky) and the very rare nacreous clouds. Take a flask of warm tea, some food, a blanket and warm clothes and go and sit in a dark spot for a couple of hours – you’ll be amazed at what you’ll see. Look up!

Remember that Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park run stargazing nights with astronomer John Pressly and these are highly recommended, especially whilst Paisley Museum and the Observatory are transformed over the next few years. Look out for dates and events here.

Remember to share your adventures, videos and images on social media with #PaisleyIs and check out the latest news at

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

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