Paisley Halloween Festival Access Guide

Access Guide

We want Paisley Halloween Festival 2023 to be as inclusive as possible, so that everyone can enjoy it. This access guide is designed to help you, or your loved one, navigate the event.

We’ve tried to cover as much as we can in this guide. However, if you have additional questions, or if your enquiry is about a specific physical access need, please get in touch with the team at events@renfrewshire.gov.uk


Site Description

Paisley Halloween Festival takes place across several streets and open areas in Paisley Town Centre. This year we have introduced two zones to the festival site.

Alongside this guide, please refer to the accessible map for reference.

Halloween Trail Zone 

The Halloween Trail Zone starts from Cotton Street, at the rear of Paisley Abbey, and extends in a clockwise direction around the Abbey. This zone includes a fire garden, installations, lighting and community art and inflatable sculptures.  

The surfaces throughout the Trail Zone are all hard and paved. Cotton Street and Bridge Street are asphalt road surfacing. Abbey Close is laid with flag stones. There is also a small, raised pavement in Abbey Close.  

The Fire Garden takes place on grass. However, hard matting will be laid down to provide a suitable walkway. The paths leading to and from the Fire Garden are wide and paved.  

In general, all surfaces around the Trail Zone are flat and level. There is a small undulation in the paved path which runs through Abbey Gardens. Ramps will be provided at key points to assist with changes in ground level. 

The last entry to the Trail will be 8.30pm each night. 

Trail Queue

There will be a queue to access the trail which should be joined on Gauze St, opposite Bianco Nero. This is to ensure as many people as possible get the chance to experience all the magic, in a safe and managed way. Stewards will be on hand to help, and timings will be displayed to let you know how long the wait is. Once you’re through the haunted gates, we estimate you’ll spend between 30 and 60 minutes making your way around the Trail Zone.  

Performance Zone(s) 

The Performance Zone is a collection of spaces where street theatre and live performances will take place.  

All surfaces are hard and paved, with typical road surfaces and pavements. Ramps will be provided at key points to assist with changes in ground level. The paths in Dunn Square are laid with bricks which can be a little slippery after rain. The most level access to Dunn Square is from St Mirren Street, as access from Gauze Street requires a flight of steps.  

Gauze Street, the Cenotaph, St Mirren Street, and Dunn Square are all hard and paved areas but are all on a slope. 

There will be an accessible viewing area on Gauze Street at the top of Dunn Square, across from the Cenotaph. Please see viewing areas below. The Dyers Wynd/Bank of Scotland side of the Cenotaph is much steeper than the High Street side.  


Food and drink on site

Food and drink vendors will be located on the High Street and Smithhills Street. Both areas are wide and smooth. The High Street slopes upwards on a gradient heading away from the Cenotaph. 

A wide range of restaurants, cafés and shops is available in Paisley Town Centre if you’d prefer to eat or drink off-site.


Getting onto site 

Depending on where you are coming from, your access to the festival site may be different.  

For those coming from the Glasgow Road-side of town, your route in will incorporate flat road surfaces and pavements with dropped curbs.  

If you are coming from Morrisons/Orchard Street area, you will be directed along a footpath to Forbes Place. The footpath is paved and narrow. Forbes Place is a cobbled road surface. Due to the narrow nature of the footpath, Forbes Place will be one-way. However, you can also choose to avoid the cobbles by heading along Orchard Street and up Causeyside Street.  

Bridge Street will be closed to all through traffic.  


Lights and Visibility 

While there is ambient lighting, along with general street lighting, Paisley Halloween Festival takes place after dark. This year the festival is starting at 5pm, an hour earlier than previous years. This is to allow a ‘dusk hour’, where there will be more natural light available. Some of the lighting installations may not be as bright at this time, but the ground visibility will be better.  

There will be lighting installations throughout the festival site, particularly in the Trail Zone. Some of the performances may also include lasers and strobe lighting.  

Sound and Noise 

As with any large-scale event, the festival site can get quite loud. There will be a mixture of music, ambient noise, singing and talking. As the site is in the town centre, noise can also echo off nearby buildings.  

There will be a quiet space available in the Trail Zone, under a marquee adjacent to the Abbey on Cotton Street. Stewards will be on hand to guide you.  

A quiet space will also be available in the Live Performance Zone inside the Methodist Central Hall, in a small room called the Trinity room. Stewards will be on hand to guide you. 

Soft bean bags and noise-cancelling headphones, paper and pens will be available in each quiet space. 


Accessible viewing areas

This year we have two accessible viewing areas. These will be flat areas, providing a clear and unobstructed view. One will be at the Cenotaph, this is a raised platform and from here you will be able to view live performances around Gauze St and the Cenotaph area. The second will be at the lower end of Gauze Street, providing a view of the aerial shows. Please see the accessible map for exact locations. Both areas will be manned by stewards. Please see the accessible map for exact locations.  

Accessible parking 

There will be limited, dedicated spaces for Blue Badge parking on the upper deck of the Renfrewshire House car park, which is available on a first come, first served basis. This is the Council headquarters. Access to the car park will be from the traffic light junction on Mill Street.  

On presenting your blue badge, a wristband will be given to indicate you have parked on the upper deck at Renfrewshire House.  From there, make your way down the ramp to enter the Trail zone. Please note, parking at Renfrewshire House means starting your event journey at the Trail Zone, rather than choosing to check out the Performance Zone first.  

You do not need to book Blue Badge parking, but you must have it on display in your car. Stewards will be on hand in the car park to assist. More parking locations can be found here.

Accessible Toilets 

There are five toilet locations around the event site this year, and each location includes an accessible toilet.  

In the Halloween Trail Zone toilets are located at: 

  • Bridge Street, just behind the Spooky Bat Cave 
  • Between the Raven’s Realm installation and Paisley Town Hall

In the Live Performance Zone toilets are located at: 

  • The lower end of Dunn Square, in front of Clydesdale Bank 
  • Smithhills Street, where there will also be a Changing Place including a toilet with extra space and an adjustable changing bench with hoist.
  • Gauze Street, near the start of the Trail Zone queue.  

There will also be accessible toilets behind each of the accessible viewing platforms. 


Dogs and Assistance Dogs

All dogs are welcome to attend the Halloween Festival. However, due to the busy nature of the event, the darkness, and the noise, it is not the most enjoyable place for dogs. Please think carefully before bringing your furry friend along.

Assistance dogs are also more than welcome to attend, however we would recommend using your own judgement as to whether the event is suitable for your dog.


A quieter time

This year, the festival is starting an hour earlier, at 5pm, to give people more time to experience everything on offer. If you’re attending with young children and would prefer to come when it’s quieter, we’d recommend attending on the Thursday from 5pm. In past years, the festival has been busiest Friday and Saturday from 6.30pm – 8.30pm.


Watch our Access Video for an immersive guide to the festival site.

Attending with a young family

Bringing a pram

You can of course bring a pram with you to the festival but be aware it can be busy, especially on the Friday and Saturday. Please be aware there is no on-site pram parking for this event.

Baby Changing

There will be baby changing facilities available at each of the toilet blocks, within one of the accessible toilets. Accessible toilets will be located at five points around the site.

In the Halloween Trail Zone:

  • Bridge Street, behind the Spooky Bat Cave
  • Between the Raven’s Realm installation and Paisley Town Hall

In the Live Performance Zone:

  • Lower end of Dunn Square, in front of Clydesdale Bank
  • Top end of Dunn Square opposite the Cenotaph
  • Smithhills Street
  • Gauze Street, near the start of the Trail Zone queue.

Breastfeeding provision

A small area will be available within the Art Department for breastfeeding. This is located on the ground floor of the Paisley Centre and can be accessed from Causeyside Street. This space will be open from 4.30pm – 8.30pm each night of the event.

There are also many local businesses who will be staying open during the festival, some of whom may have their own facilities which could be used by families.

Mobility support services

Shopmobility Renfrewshire supports people with mobility disabilities, to help them to move around and participate fully in social, economic and cultural activities in the local area.

This includes the hire of wheelchairs, powerchairs and electric scooters, for both day hire and longer periods at a low cost.

To enquire about equipment hire or their support services, contact the Shopmobility team on 0141 889 0441 or email shopmobilitypaisley2019@outlook.com

Or find out more on Facebook

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