We can’t wait to tread the boards at RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve with the opening of a new 400m boardwalk.

Visitors have been enjoying the wildlife at the RSPB Lochwinnoch wetland and woodland site for years. Now, visitor access has just got even better with a new circular path letting people explore more of what the nature reserve has to offer.

The boardwalk closes 400 metres of the gap in a circular route around the Aird Meadow Loch. The new route means a new waterside walk, better access to view water birds and and wonderful scenic views of the loch.

The route ends at a viewpoint beside the Peel Tower. This scheduled monument was consolidated last year as part of the Garnock Connections project. The 16th century fortified tower was built by the Sempill family as a ‘safe place’ in times of war but, until now, most visitors to RSPB Lochwinnoch did not know it was there.

RSPB Scotland have completed the construction thanks to generous support from Visit Scotland’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as part of the Garnock Connections landscape partnership scheme.

Tabby Lamont, RSPB Scotland Site Manager at Lochwinnoch, said: “The new boardwalk is a real game-changer for the nature reserve.  It will allow our visitors to experience new views and see so much more of the incredible wildlife here, not to mention the Peel Tower, that hardly anyone even knew was there.

“At the same time, it means our staff and volunteers can easily access the site and make sure it’s safely managed for everyone and for the wildlife that uses the loch.  We’re really looking forward to celebrating this with everyone who has helped us to make the project happen.”


A great place to visit

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

Paisley’s Hedgehog Trail runs from Friday 28 April until Tuesday 9 May.

Try this fun family trail in Paisley town centre and see if you can spot all the hedgehogs that have made their way here.

It’s a great, free activity for Bank Holiday weekends – and it’s national Hedgehog Awareness Week!

All lovingly made by Bears by Sue Quinn (based at Lawn Street, Paisley), these 10 adorable hedgehogs are in the windows of local businesses. Can you find them all?

Once you complete the trail, pop an entry form in one of the special hedgehog postboxes to be entered into a prize draw.

You can get all the details and a trail map on the Paisley First website. You can also pick up a trail map from the Piazza Shopping Centre or the Paisley Centre.



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?

Paisley’s Spring Gonk Trail is coming to Paisley town centre from Friday 31 March until Sunday 16 April.

10 gonks in local business windows have ventured out from their wintry barns to soak up the Spring sunshine.

Find and name them all, then write down the Letter Clue to discover where children can collect a free Creme Egg for completing the trail.

Plus, two winners will be chosen at random to win bumper Spring Hampers from Paisley First.

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “It’s been a long winter for everyone but brighter days are definitely on the way!

“Paisley town centre businesses have everything you need to help you enjoy a great day out.

“Our Spring Gonk Trail is the perfect activity to get everyone out in the fresh air and have some free, family fun at the same time!”

As always, leaflets will be available from either the Piazza Shopping Centre or The Paisley Shopping Centre or you can download your own copy from the Paisley First website.

Once you have completed the trail and collected your free Crème Egg, just post your entry form in one of the special Easter postboxes located in either of the
shopping centres to be entered into the prize draw.

Love the school holidays? Love Paisley this Easter.

The Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) is returning to Paisley in March for the sixth edition of the annual Paisley Takeover.

It all takes place at The Bungalow on Thursday 30th and Friday 31st March.

The event series features six performances, showcasing some of Scotland’s most exciting artists, and two development workshops.

Ahead of the Takeover, we spoke to Richy Muirhead of SAMA to find out more about this year’s events.

Richy said: “Paisley has such a great music community and is the perfect location for a Takeover.

“SAMA have always worked with amazing local music venues such as Paisley Arts Centre and The Bungalow to deliver these events. Paisley Takeover is a chance for SAMA to work with a range of artists and also host some industry led events aimed at artist development.

“This year we are thrilled to have another really diverse and exciting music programme. We welcome artists such as Poster Paints, featuring members of Teen Canteen and Frightened Rabbit. This will be the band’s first performance since SXSW in Austin Texas, which will be a lot of fun. We’ll also welcome Rebecca Vasmant with an eight-piece ensemble, including some incredible jazz musicians.

“For those interested in a career in music we also have two free specialist workshops run by 23rd Music Precinct and charity Help Musicians, covering artist development themes and access to funding in the arts.”

SAMA is an annual music awards platform which celebrates genres such as electronic, hip hop, rock, acoustic and more. It has presented awards to artists such as Gerry Cinnamon, Lewis Capaldi, Steg G, TAAHLIAH, Bemz, Lizzie Reid, Linzi Clark and more since launching in 2010.

The SAMA Paisley Takeover 2023 is supported by Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Event Fund, as part of the Future Paisley programme, which uses the power of arts, heritage and culture to impact social and economic change.

So, why should you head along to this year’s Paisley Takeover? Richy has the answer…

“People can enjoy two nights of amazing live music in an intimate setting. There’s a mix of artists from Paisley but also from across the rest of Scotland in genres such as soul, jazz, indie, and pop!”

Book tickets for the evening gigs and free day-time workshops slots.

Toni James, chair of the festival board, on why you should check out this year’s festival programme.

You can find out just why Toni is so excited on the Tannahill Arts Festival website.

“The experience of Tannahill Arts Festival in 2023 is going to be very different.

“The 2021 Festival was delivered while the pandemic was still altering life, and dictating what we could or couldn’t do.

“I am really quite proud of us. We were among the first arts organisations at that time, to deliver a hybrid festival that included in-person events. The team had to develop stringent Covid protocols of course, but also really embrace the challenge of reimagining what was possible.

“In light of the hardship so many people endured during that time, the work took on even greater significance.  The task was to ensure artists could continue doing the work they love for their audiences, who felt safe and could savour the joy of being immersed in live performances again.

“This year’s festival continues to affirm the sense of magic that happens in those live moments between artist and audience; the very first event is a homage to that in a way.

“Saxophonist Tommy Smith OBE is one of the finest jazz musicians on the planet – he’s played with so many greats, from Chick Corea to Kenny Barron.  This concert for Tannahill Arts Festival will be a special, intimate, contemplative experience for the audience; the artist will explore the relationship between sound and space, letting the music breathe and develop in the natural acoustics of the cavernous Paisley Abbey.  Drawing on tunes from the jazz, folk and praise song traditions, Smith says, “I see [this] as a celebration of melody”.  Speaking to London Jazz News, Smith spoke about the chance to experiment with and explore concerts in churches, abbeys and cathedrals, “because they all have different characteristics and that makes every concert unique”.

“Certainly, this festival has a jazz theme running across its opening two nights!  However, the programme covers so much range stylistically.  Violinist and vocalist Seonaid Aitken’s Ella Fitzgerald homage, exploring the Great American Songbook with her trademark maverick arrangements, will bring distinct glitz, glamour and flirtatiousness to Tannahill.  Well-suited to deliver the musical stylings of Jazz and Hollywood’s golden ages, much like the bankable stars of the era, Seonaid has her very own brand of star power.  Considered one of the most interesting musical artists working in Scotland today, her composing and arranging credits include commissions from the BBC, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival.

“If the 2023 festival feels a bit starry, that’s because it is. This year also welcomes The Whistlebinkies, pioneers of the Scottish folk revival, with an impressive worldwide following.

“That notwithstanding, from its inception, the organisation has cemented the role it considers to be at the heart of its mission: to support the development of diverse talent.  The organisation offers workshops and training and gives up-and-coming voices a platform.  ‘Script to Stage’ events featured table-readings and performances of new scripts by local writers.  This year, Ivor-Novello-nominated songwriter and national hero Boo Hewerdine brings his critically acclaimed workshop to Paisley for the first time, to work with and inspire a new generation of songwriters.

“Artistic Director Alan Fleming-Baird says these types of tailored, bespoke training opportunities are key for aspiring artists: “all developing artists need access to opportunities that develop their professional skills and networks, and who better than someone who has written songs for Sia, K.D. Lang and Eddi Reader”.  Hewerdine will also adjudicate the festival’s annual young artist competition, this year open to songwriters and named in honour of Paisley arts supporter and stalwart Corbin Miles.

“One area of its activities the organisation hopes to expand in the coming months, is its programming for children and young people. Acknowledging the critical importance of access to creative learning for wider cognitive, social, physical, and psychological benefits, Tannahill takes seriously its role engaging young audiences.

“This year’s festival will host Hopscotch Theatre Company, an organisation with 30+ years of experience at the forefront of professional contemporary theatre for young audiences.  Hopscotch takes its programme of plays, pantomimes and learning projects to communities across Scotland, nurturing young learners and helping them navigate the world.  Local children in Renfrewshire, will be enthralled and delighted by an energetic, interactive and original play that takes them on a journey through the life, music and poetry of the bard Robert Burns with the help of some of his friends.  Campfire Storytelling Club also returns, providing children with the opportunity to create their own stories and characters in a relaxed, low-key and non-intimidating environment.

“Tannahill Arts Festival helps us brush off the winter cobwebs this year, encouraging us to get out and about.  Writer Anne Scriven and her musical collaborators celebrate the new season with their Spring Evening of Word and Song.

“We may need to don winter woollens and bundle up one last time to take The Urban Historian’s new ‘Origins of Paisley’ walking tour, which explores how a once ancient village became Scotland’s largest town!

“Gifted and charismatic wordsmith and Tannahill Arts Festival Makar, Shaun Moore, will bring this year’s smashing festival to a riotous, celebratory conclusion with the hugely popular poetry slam Tanna Slamma Ding Dong 2.  In 2021, the event saw participants from far and wide converge on Callum’s Cavern for a truly breath-taking and uplifting evening of original spoken word.

“Playing a key role in Paisley’s ongoing renaissance, Tannahill Arts Festival has the distinction of appealing to visitors and locals alike; it has a relevant, current and international outlook, while being a local festival for local people that celebrates local people.

“Apt for the season and showing signs of things to come, Tannahill Arts is planting seeds for the future and seems set to grow and grow.”

The Tannahill Arts Festival is supported by the Future Paisley programme, which uses the power of arts, heritage and culture to impact social and economic change.

Check out this year's programme

Do you love listening to opera singers like Pavarotti, but maybe never thought to give it a go yourself? Or you love to sing but have never considered that opera could be for you? Perhaps you’ve only ever sang in the shower!

Paisley Opera is on a mission to unite the community through music and prove absolutely everyone can sing and enjoy opera.

They have a free free taster session on Sunday 5 March (2pm-5pm) at Holy Trinity & St Barnabus Church Hall, Back Sneddon Street, Paisley – your chance to meet new people and see what it’s all about!

Eilidh Riddell is taking part for the first time and she told us a little more:

“I will  be joining Paisley Opera as a newbie from Sunday, but what I do know is that Paisley Opera is a community opera company founded on the principles of making the joy and friendship that opera brings accessible to everyone who is brave enough to come along and try it out.

“They’ve built a community of music lovers who are able to bond over all aspects of life, including singing wonderful music together.

“You can be old or young, you don’t have to be able to read music or do an audition – and the best part is you’ll get the opportunity to sing with a fantastic orchestra and professional opera singers.

Verdi’s Macbeth

“My first experience of singing was in a similar community opera group, which was the entire reason I went on to study music at university. So I’m very excited to join Paisley Opera at the taster session for their production of Verdi’s Macbeth.

“If you know the Shakespeare play that it’s based on, you’ll be familiar with the story. If not, that’s not a problem – we will be singing in a unique ‘Paislean’ translation, as they have done for their previous productions of La Bohème and A Paisley Kiss.

“Verdi’s music is also extremely tuneful (think of The Drinking Song from La Traviata) so I’m sure that by five o’clock, lots of us have the melodies stuck in our heads for quite a wee while!

The Taster Session

“The taster session itself will start at 2pm with an introduction from founder, Simon Hannigan, and members of the team. Then everyone will start to warm up our voices and sing together – easy pace and no pressure!

“Next we’ll split into two groups to start to learn a wee bit of the music from Macbeth with a well-earned tea break in the middle!

“Once we’ve sung in our groups some more, there will be a solo performance from one of our professional singers, and then it’s time to come together to sing what we’ve learned in the afternoon.

“Whether you’re a seasoned opera singer who’s looking for a great performance opportunity in your neighbourhood, or you just fancy coming along to meet new people and see if it’s for you – Paisley Opera will give you a very warm welcome. I’ll definitely be chatting to as many people as I can!

“If you would like to let us know you’ll be there, you can send an email saying just that to register@paisleyopera.org, or feel free to just show up on the day.

“Looking forward to seeing you there!”

Renfrewshire is set to host a spectacular programme of major events across 2023.

This year’s programme will feature the return of the Royal National Mòd to Paisley. Scotland’s premier celebration of Gaelic culture and heritage will take place in October – exactly 10 years after the town first staged the revered event.

Mòd Phàislig 2023 is expected to bring thousands of visitors and competitors to the area for a range of competitions, as well as a Mòd fringe festival of events across nine days.

Organised by Renfrewshire Council, the area’s major events programme begins with the popular Paisley Food and Drink Festival on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 April.

The two-day event will see a tantalising offer of top street food from across Scotland, fantastic local traders, live music, workshops and more against the stunning backdrop of Paisley Abbey.

This will be followed by the annual Renfrew and Barshaw Gala Days on Sunday 4 June and Saturday 17 June.

Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebration is one of the world’s oldest workers’ festivals and will take place on Saturday 1 July.

The holiday takes its name from a famous dispute between the local shawl weavers and manufacturers in the 19th century and is held on the first Saturday in July to mark the time of year when the weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.

Summer will also see the return of the Renfrew Pipe Band Competition, which takes place at Robertson Park on Saturday 22 July.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore hidden gems and fascinating venues in the area during a full weekend of fun at Renfrewshire Doors Open Days on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September.

The Mòd Phàislig 2023 programme will take place at venues across Paisley from Friday 13 – Saturday 21 October.

Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the Mòd festival will feature a range of competitive disciplines, including Gaelic song, poetry, literature, drama, instrumental, Highland dancing and sport.

The Mòd fringe will see a range of events to enjoy, including activities for children and families, at venues around the town centre alongside the main festival programme.

Widely regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK, Paisley Halloween Festival will return with a spine-tingling programme of thrills and frights for all the family in October.

There will be lots of family fun to bring in the festive season with Paisley’s Christmas town centre activity across December and Christmas Lights Switch-On events in Renfrew on Saturday 25 November and Johnstone on Saturday 2 December.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events for Renfrewshire Council, said: “We look forward to hosting another year of thrilling events for locals and visitors to enjoy.

“Renfrewshire has firmly established itself as a key destination on Scotland’s events map and the programme is part of a wider plan to attract visitors and drive footfall to our town centres and villages.

“We’re also thrilled that the Royal National Mòd will return this year, marking the second time we have hosted this event, and the opportunities it will provide for local communities to come together, learn and celebrate the importance of Gaelic language and culture.”

Ingliston Estate and Country Club on the outskirts of Bishopton in Renfrewshire has opened a fully-serviced luxury Motorhome and RV Park (Recreational Vehicle Park) on its grounds, widening its reach as a popular tourist destination.

The Paddocks will feature 30 hard standing pitches complete with water and electric supply as well as access to all the amenities Ingliston has to offer including restaurants, bars, live entertainment and award winning equestrian facilities.

Representing a £500,000 investment, the Park is expected to a minimum of 10 new jobs.

The Park has been designed to be open 365 days per year. Luxury amenities include onsite shower, toilet and washing facilities and a laundry.

Managing Director Paul Fraser said “Ingliston’s location is at the heart of its charm, not just its views, and we hope the new Motorhome and RV Park will open up a new leisure market, which has exploded since the pandemic, that will be of benefit not just to us but the local community.

“As well as an investment in our Estate we’re also passionate about generating investment for the local area, including jobs and the wider economic benefits.

“We believe staycations are here to stay and our existing facilities and entertainment, as well as our accessibility to both Glasgow and Loch Lomond, provide all the attributes needed for a terrific holiday. The Park is now open and we are really looking forward to extending a warm welcome to visitors.”

A family owned business founded in 2007, Ingliston, which spans 100 acres, is a popular all-year destination for visitors, weddings and corporate events with a luxury equestrian centre at its heart.

Development of the RV park was supported with a £10,000 grant award from Renfrewshire Council’s Business Resilience Fund.

Details of prices and to book can be made by calling 01505 864333 (OPTION 4) or from  www.ingliston.com/thepaddocks

Find out more