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Six Places to Explore Scottish Wilderness Around Paisley

Many visitors to Scotland are familiar with the famous cities, such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as more well-known tourist destinations like Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. However, some of the best sights in Scotland are those that are less popular but still no less beautiful.

Paisley is a great base for your Scottish holiday, located just outside Glasgow and within easy access of many great destinations. So if you want to venture away from the crowds of tourists, try visiting one of these six places to explore more wilderness around Paisley!

1. Loch Lomond

Set just west of Glasgow, Loch Lomond is a stunning expanse of water. If you’re looking for a good hike, then head to nearby Rowardennan and follow your feet through some beautiful forested glens. It only takes around 40 minutes from Paisley, so it’s well worth visiting – just watch out for midges in the summertime!

Loch Lomond is situated in the Trossachs National Park, and visitors are permitted to freely roam around it. The loch itself offers a great opportunity for sightseeing, fishing, and boating. If you’re lucky enough to be there during one of its famous sunsets, then you won’t be disappointed.

2. Stirling

Stirling is a gem of a city. It’s home to several big attractions, including Stirling Castle and Bannockburn. If you’re into hiking or cycling, you can head out on trails right from town or follow one of Scotland’s many beautiful rivers, the Forth.

Another plus? The nearby whisky distilleries! You don’t have to be mad about scotch to enjoy a tour; if you want some history or scenery along with your tour, it makes for an excellent day trip.

3. Isle of Arran

It has its own unique ecosystem, so it’s a natural magnet for wildlife enthusiasts. The ferry ride over is worth it just for a chance to try and spot dolphins or whales from the ship.

Once you arrive on Arran, you can visit the island’s highest peak, Goatfell. It has plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking as well as being a great place for bird-watching. If that isn’t enough, Arran is also home to some truly spectacular beaches (in particular, Machrie Bay). Keep an eye out for basking sharks and seals on your travels around Arran!

4. Oban

Oban is a fishing town on Scotland’s west coast, known for scenic sunsets and sandy beaches. When you’re ready to explore, head out of town, where you can find impressive mountain views and several leisure activities that don’t require much in terms of hiking ability or energy expenditure.

If you have time on your trip, consider driving around Loch Etive from Oban and stopping at Ben Starav (elevation 1078m) for breathtaking views across Loch Etive and even over to Loch Awe on a clear day.

5. Glencoe

Glencoe is a region in western Scotland and also one of its most famous and beautiful. The glen has always been known for its natural beauty, but Glencoe is especially popular among outdoor enthusiasts due to its many hiking trails.

A trip here will certainly bring you in touch with nature and offer breathtaking views of Scotland’s highest peaks, such as Ben Nevis, which stands at just over 1300 meters. It is well worth visiting if you have time while in Paisley.

You can take a train directly from Glasgow to Fort William or drive there – a considerable part of your journey will be through the beautiful Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

6. Ayrshire Coast

Whether you’re looking for an afternoon walk along beaches or just a place to soak up some sun, the Ayrshire coast has a good deal of spots that fit both bills. You’ll find no shortage of beautiful scenery to explore in Ayrshire, and it’s only around an hour from Paisley by car. 

Scotland is an area with many historically significant structures, and you’ll find those historic gems scattered throughout the Ayrshire coast. For example, Culzean Castle and Robert Burns’ birthplace.

If you want to skip across Scotland a bit faster than walking speed, check out ScotRail’s timetable for train services to your chosen destination. Alternatively, consider hiring a car to pack more into your trip – some more remote locations take a while to get to by train and require several changes.