We all need to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life from time to time. To enjoy the chance to relax, breathe in some fresh air and slow things down for a day or two at least.
What makes this even better is if we have the opportunity to do it somewhere that also has beautiful views and scenery to savour – and the area around Paisley is absolutely perfect for this.
Despite just being a short drive from Glasgow at times it can seem like you’re a million miles from the city and, although it might not be one of the most remote places on Earth, there’s certainly seclusion to be had.
Gleniffer Braes Country Park
This is a great place to start if you’re looking for scenery that inspires. It’s a marvellous combination of woodland and moor that is rich with wildlife of every kind. It’s the perfect place for a picnic or simply to escape into the fresh air for an hour or two. There are several marked walking routes to suit every ability and for the very best views head for the area round the Robertson Car Park which looks out over Lower Renfrewshire to Ben Lomond and beyond.
The Hamills Waterfall
An equally impressive sight can be found at the Hamills Waterfall next to Anchor Mill. Up until the 1980s when, like so many of its kind, it was forced to close, the Mill was an important producer of fabric. Indeed it produced much of the Paisley material which gained its name from the town. After falling into dereliction a major project restored it to its former glory and found new uses for the magnificent building. Along with the waterfall in the foreground the mill still makes for a great photo opportunity.
As part of the town’s museum, the Coats Observatory is the oldest in the country, having been built in 1883. It’s not only an observatory but also an important centre for recording earthquakes around the world as well. There are guided tours all year round but in November and December you can enjoy scenic views of a different kind as you gaze through the powerful telescopes into galaxies far, far away.
If admiring beautiful gardens is more your sort of thing then look no further than Greenbank Garden. Set in the grounds of a grand home built by Glasgow tobacco merchant Robert Allason in the 1760s today it is home to over 3,600 different plants which provide an ever-changing scene throughout the year. There are also regular talks and demonstrations that all keen gardeners are sure to enjoy.
For a truly panoramic view of the whole region take a stroll up Saucel Hill. Within minutes you’ll have climbed high above the town to enjoy some precious moments of tranquillity and peaceful reflection.
So hopefully these few suggestions have inspired you to get out and explore not just Paisley but the whole Renfrewshire area. And once you have, you’re sure to want to return again and again, that’s a promise!