Slow Travel in Renfrewshire

Thursday 4th May, 2023

Immersing yourself in nature, getting up close to the history of a place, or just going places without the car – there are plenty of ways to enjoy Slow Travel in Renfrewshire.

What is slow travel?

Slow travel is about making connections with a place, creating personal memories, and finding a peace and calm by taking things one step at a time. It’s about switching off from your phone, heading into nature, stopping to admire the view, and taking your time. Just like microadventuring, slow travel in Renfrewshire can be about changing your perception of a place.

“When we stop, close our eyes and listen when out in nature, something magical happens. The sounds of nature hold so much power and help heal our everyday stresses fears and anxieties”. Jack Cairney, Founder Hidden Scotland

Getting outside

If you’re looking for a great place to walk in Renfrewshire, we have plenty to offer. From long hikes across vast open moorland and gentle strolls along lochs to peaceful woodlands and hidden waterfalls.

If cycling is more your thing, we have incredible connections thanks to the Sustrans National Cycle Network, as well as some gentle easy cycling around our towns and villages.

And being outside doesn’t have to mean a big hike. Sitting in your local park, or out in your garden, can be just as good for your health and wellbeing. Barshaw Park Walled Peace Garden is an oasis of calm not far from Paisley town centre. And if you don’t have a garden yourself, getting involved with your local allotment or growing ground can be a great way to be connected to the land and community around you.

Taking time for yourself

In a world full of work and technology, it can be hard to find the time to switch off. But the benefits for your mental and physical health are huge. Nature can improve your mood and help you feel more connected to the spaces and people around you. It can improve your physical health and help you feel more relaxed.

Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park ranger led walk

Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park ranger led walk

Get out in a group

A great introduction to connecting with nature can be to get outside with an organised group. RSPB Lochwinnoch have several ranger-led events throughout the year aimed at getting you out into nature, including wellbeing walks. Active Communities based in Johnstone have regular walks aimed at making connections with both nature and community. Paisley Ramblers host regular walks of various lengths including trips further afield. And OneRen have a range of walking groups across Renfrewshire all aimed at getting you outside, exploring your local area and making connections.

Helping others travel slowly

If you want to go exploring but aren’t sure where to start. Or if you just want to connect with the paths around you in a meaningful way. There are a few projects that you could get involved in.

Scottish Paths Map is a project from Ramblers UK. The aim is to walk and record every path in Scotland, including all those that aren’t shown on regular maps. There are over 42,000 miles of paths in Scotland, and Ramblers UK are looking for volunteers to help audit the project.

Slowways is a UK-wide network that uses existing paths, ways, trails and roads. You can use Slow Ways routes to walk or wheel between neighbouring settlements and combine them to create longer trips. You can sign up to the website, choose a route, walk it and then review it. The reviews help others understand what the terrain is like, how easy the route is, and any interesting features.

Both the Scottish Paths Map and Slowways UK are great resources for route planning. The interactive maps are a great place to start if you are looking for new places to explore.

Ramblers UK Scottish Path Map showing excerpt of Johnstone

Ramblers UK Scottish Path Map excerpt showing paths in Johnstone

Find some slow travel inspiration