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Pocket Guide: Paisley

Hotels @ Paisley

Paisley is a friendly, welcoming town just outside of Glasgow. Renowned for textiles — the iconic Paisley shawl — and a number of historic religious sites including the 12th century Paisley Abbey this Scottish location has plenty of character. With good transport links to the rest of the UK, travellers will have no problem getting here and there are a number of hotels in the area to match your taste and budget.

The town and its surrounding area have been at the centre of Scottish history for hundreds of years. Originally a farming community serving the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, during the 18th and 19th century Paisley grew into a thriving centre of textile manufacture. Although the swirling Persian arabesques of the famous Paisley Pattern didn’t originate in Greater Glasgow, ‘Paisley’ became the generic term for the design due to the high concentration of specialist weavers in the area. It could take up to two weeks to weave a Paisley shawl.

Historic Paisley

Paisley has a rich architectural history with buildings that date back to medieval times. Paisley Abbey is a prominent 12th Century church with connections to Scottish royalty. King Robert II, the first of the Stewart monarchs, was born here in 1316 — an ancestor of the present Royal Family. Braveheart fans will be pleased to hear that William Wallace was educated at the Abbey.

If you’re interested in fashion pay a visit to Paisley Museum and Art Gallery, which houses a collection of Paisley Shawls. Learn about the history and development of weaving techniques and the social dynamics of this closely united community.

Parks and recreation

You won’t be far from nature on a trip to Paisley, with many pretty parks in the town and easy access to a number of beautiful parks. Gleniffer Braes Country Park lies to the south of the town and is approximately 480 acres in area. Cattle are used in the park to graze the vegetation and encourage biodiversity — cue some great photo opportunities.

Scotland’s largest regional park, Clyde Muirshiel, lies just to the west of Paisley and is the scene of some excellent activities. Cycle along offroad trails or quiet country lanes and experience rare wildlife like the Hen Harrier. Fancy getting out on the water? Travellers can give sailing a go at Castle Semple Loch — take things up a notch on a powerboat course.

Dish of the day

Paisley boasts many fine places to sample fresh Scottish produce from lively pubs to elegant restaurants. Grab a bite to eat and watch some live music at Hamishes Hoose or enjoy a candlelit meal at La Dolce Vita. Had a busy day? Grab some fish and chips at Alan’s chip shop and maybe a pickled onion or two.

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