Known well to be the largest town in Scotland and located a few miles from Glasgow, Paisley is a magnificent place to be and experience its incredible architectural legacy and rich history, especially in textiles.

The town is considered a playground for architectural connoisseurs with many stunning landmarks and iconic tourist attractions to savour. Students staying nearby or in the campus accommodation in Paisley can take their time off on weekends to travel to these six must-see buildings with one of the most striking architecture across Scotland.

Paisley Abbey

Paisley Abbey is a parish church that helped the once quiet town, Paisley, gain prominence with its establishment in the 12th century. Located in the town’s core, it serves as an important religious hub where the legendary Scottish knight Sir William Wallace was educated.

Famous as the town’s most popular and finest tourist attraction, the church is truly a sight to behold. It has inspiring architecture comprising royal tombs, stained glass windows, the Great Medieval Drain relics, the stone Gargoyles, and stunning wood carvings, speaking its incredible history silently. The church hosts many concerts and cultural events as part of the town’s annual Spree festival all around the year.

Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church

Also known by the name the Baptist Cathedral of Europe, located at the end of Paisley High Street, it has been a prominent part of the Paisley skyline for over 100 years. The church is a spiritual home to worship, prayer, and the gospel’s preaching.

The church is constructed in red stone in the Gothic Revival style that has a vaulted roof, oak doors, and seating inside for almost 1,000 people. The beauty of the building is expressed through its mosaics, carved marble, alabaster, stencilled decoration, and gargoyles.

Admission is free, and those residing in student accommodation in Paisley can always come here to enjoy the splendour of this architectural gem with an incredible history.

Paisley Museum & Art Galleries

A museum and public art gallery, run by Renfrewshire Council, accommodates one of Scotland’s largest municipal art collections, including more than 800 paintings. Opened in 1871 in a purpose-built building, it also houses Paisley Library and the Coats Observatory designed by Glasgow architect John Honeyman.

Renowned for the art collection that emphasises the works of Scottish artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The contemporary collection comprises works by artists such as the Paisley-born writer and artist John Byrne and Steven Campbell. Not all paintings are on permanent display, as some can only be viewed by appointment.

Fountain Gardens, Paisley

Located on the border of Paisley town centre, Fountain Gardens is Paisley’s oldest public park, originally laid out in 1797.

The Grand Central Fountain–an ornate fountain containing statues of herons, dolphins, and walruses–is located in the park’s centre and is one of Scotland’s three Category A listed fountains.

It consists of recreational parkland and garden areas, which are open to the public and serve as an excellent place for picnics, day outs, and relaxing activities surrounded by a comfortable environment and pleasant scenery.

Coats Observatory

Located in Oakshaw Street West, Coats Observatory serves as Scotland’s oldest and the first purpose-built public astronomical observatory.

Built in 1883, the observatory has a three-storey tower with a height of almost 20 metres roofed by a copper-plated domed ceiling, within which the telescope is placed. The stunning Stone carving work is carried out throughout the building, along with the decorative ironwork making it into a stunning piece of work.

The observatory has been a feature of the Paisley skyline that provides visitors with a rare chance to observe the wonders of the night sky through the powerful Victorian telescopes located in the observatory dome.

University of the West of Scotland

One of the town’s main highlights, the University of the West of Scotland Paisley, is both a dynamic learning centre for international students and a stunning piece of contemporary architecture.

Although a new university, it holds a reputation for vocational undergraduate and postgraduate courses in subjects like business, creative industries, education, computing, engineering, health, life sciences, physical and chemical sciences, social sciences and sports.

Students staying in the UWS accommodation in Paisley campus get the chance to experience the vibrant and diverse history inherited from the various institutions that preceded it.


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Author: Harshita A (Content Writer at AmberStudent)