Coats Observatory


Coats Observatory is part of the Paisley Museum complex. The museum complex is closed right now – an exciting £42m project to transform it into a world-class visitor destination is now underway. You can read more about that project in our Paisley Museum Reimagined section.

But no walking tour of Paisley town centre would be complete without a stroll in Oakshaw to admire the exterior of the observatory!

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what is out there beyond our planet?

Built in 1883, Coats Observatory – the oldest public observatory in Scotland – holds a vast range of telescopes and a state of the art digital planetarium.

One of the key pieces includes a fully-working orrery (model of the solar system) made by Adam Hilger.

The observatory also served as a seismic recording centre monitoring earthquakes worldwide, which included the famous 1906 San Francisco quake.



Paisley has an understated beauty. Paisley is the confident, attractive character in the room that doesn’t need to shout about it but still lets you know it’s there. Paisley is a great walking town and you are always likely to discover something new in the streets whether you are exploring for five minutes or five hours.

Gary Chittick

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