While the town of Paisley has long held a reputation as a commuter haven, Scotland’s largest town is so much more than just a convenient location from which to access Glasgow and the wider world.
Paisley is also a cultural showpiece, set amongst a patchwork of Scotland’s finest rolling Renfrewshire countryside. There is a thousand years of history in the streets beneath its stunning spires and immaculately preserved civic buildings.
Those who visit the town remember it fondly, and those fortunate enough to live there rarely take it for granted.
Here are some of the reasons why:
A Town Woven in History
The town’s textile heritage is written large across the history of Scotland and the wider world. The iconic Paisley pattern, which takes its name from the town, has been seen throughout history on everyone from Queen Victoria to the Beatles.
It is as much a part of the town’s identity today as in the past with many museums showcasing nationally important collections including Paisley shawls, fully working looms and pattern books.
Even today, the town is still home to the world’s largest crafter and distributor of fine threads – J&P Coats.
Bringing tradition and modern living together with style
Paisley offers a great deal of choice when it comes to leisure and cultural pursuits. There is an abundance of excellent quality dining and retail to suit every taste along with a wide array of other attractions.
The Lagoon Leisure centre, along with several excellent gyms and fitness venues mean that those who enjoy keeping fit don’t have to venture into the city to do so. For those with a love of the arts, Paisley Art Centre and The Central Library are definite highlights.
As for museums, there are several and people travel from far and wide to visit them. Paisley Thread Mill Museum, Paisley Museum and The Thomas Coats Observatory, Scotland’s oldest public observatory are all popular destinations in this University town.
Paisley Farmers Market is held every second and last Saturday of the month, with over 30 producers selling their wares, many say it is the pride of Renfrewshire and has won recognition from the BBC Good Food Magazine as one of the UK’s best.
A diverse and beautiful town
Paisley became an economic powerhouse during the industrial revolution and has retained many of its varied, important and beautiful places of worship from that time.
St Mirin’s Cathedral, built in 1808 remains the mother church of the diocese of Paisley, Oakshaw Trinity Church, Thomas Coats Memorial Church and The Wynd Centre are also well known landmarks on Paisley’s West Lowland skyline.
Of all the town’s religious centres though, Paisley Abbey is perhaps the most famous, birthplace of the first Stewart king, Robert II, grandson of Robert the Bruce in 1316.
In 2017 Paisley narrowly missed being awarded the UK City of Culture 2021, however the town deservedly made the final-five shortlist, the sole Scottish nominee to do so and the perfect testimony to the town’s ongoing commitment to celebrating everything that it has to offer.