Car Hire Paisley Canal Railway, United Kingdom
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First time going to Paisley? We want you to make the most out of your car rental Paisley experience. For that reason, we've enlisted the assistance of a local travel expert to help get you on your way. Follow these important travel tips and enjoy the finest that Paisley is offering...
See: Perhaps the town's most impressive building and historic attraction is Paisley Abbey, which dates back to the 12th century. A certain William Wallace got his schooling as a young man a century or so later, commemorated by Memorial window in the nave today, along with the more recent, even more impressive James D Shaw memorial window. The ravages of wars and fires over the centuries means it's been rebuilt and restored several times but it retains a distinctive presence today, with its sharp angles and grey stone.
Paisley Museum is another of the town's more striking structures. Funded by the Coats textile family in the 19th century, its collection reflects the town's strong ties with the textiles industry, which took Indian cloth patterns and swiftly made the name Paisley synonymous with them worldwide.
You'll find plenty of examples of it in the museum’s Paisley Shawl Collection, alongside other treasures, from Ancient Egyptian artefacts to reminders of the town's industrial past, plus the Arbuthnott Missal, a very rare surviving, and beautifully illustrated, Scottish prayer book from the 15th century.
And for a different perspective, take to the stars with a visit to the Coats Observatory, (Scotland's oldest) which is open to the public until 9pm on winter nights.
Shop: With its proximity to Glasgow, it's fair to say that Paisley is not known for being a hardcore shopping Mecca. There's a smattering of decent independent shops in the town though, including one of the few remaining branches of Missing, an excellent, old school records shop; shop stocking DVDs for a quid, plenty of alternative CDs and even genuine vinyl records.
Summits is always a good option for snowboarding kit and outdoorsy clothing at pocket pleasing prices, while the town's range of Shelter and other charity shops are worth a foraging in.
For the best local and organic food stuffs, there's a Farmers' Market every other Saturday on County Square, near the main train station.
The Paisley Centre has seen better days, so if big brand names are your bag, you might do better at the nearby Braehead Shopping Centre and Retail Park on the Clyde waterfront, which has over 100 stores to lose yourself in.
Eat: If it's traditional Italian fare like what mama used to make, then you can't go far wrong Cardosi's.
Cardosi's is a family friendly Italian place, serving up generous pizzas, pasta, grills and seafood. The Cardosi family have been in the restaurant trade here since the 1920s and the latest generation take obvious pride in their work, including accommodating diners with coeliac intolerance.
The historic Watermill Hotel is perhaps the ideal place in town to treat yourself to a leisurely Sunday afternoon roast. Their Sunday Carvery is served on antique carving trolleys and offers three course meal for just £11.99.
Other independent eateries worth sampling include Canal Station and Koh-I-Nor, with a top value Indian buffet.
Drink: While part of the Wetherspoon's chain, the Last Post is still a reliable place to grab a cheap pint, bite to eat and a good old blether with pals in the music free environment. It's set in a remarkably elegant Victorian building which used to be the town's main post office.
If it's something reassuringly Scottish that you're after then check out Kilty Kilty. As the name suggests it's a pleasingly traditional Scotch boozer and yes, you guessed it, the staff are indeed fully kilted up! Their Over 23s policy also helps encourage a more civilised atmosphere.
Paisley’s oldest pub is also one of its firm favourites. The Bull Inn is the sort of place which feels hard to leave, largely due to the four cosy, 'snug bars', each with their own roaring fires, which can be hired for private shindigs, otherwise grab them quick on a match day!
The excellently named Wee Howff is another of the town's higher quality traditional establishments. A good range of Real Ales, well kept, has earned its listing in the Good Beer Guide.
Stay: Aside from the numerous chain hotels built to serve travellers overnighting at Glasgow Airport, there options are a little thin on the ground. Your best bet may be Ashtree House Hotel, a charming, listed Georgian town house hotel in the Oakshaw Conservation Area, with lashings of character and easy access to all the town centre's amenities.
Walk: The 55 acres of Barshaw Park make for a very pleasant afternoon stroll. You can walk up the hill for the best views over Paisley, and the entire Lower Clyde valley, taking in the Campsies and Kilpatrick Hills, Dumbarton and Ben Lomond on a clear day.
It also makes a good sledging run when the snow falls. Families with young children in particular will enjoy the small fish pond, playground, crazy golf course - and best of all - a mini petting zoo with chickens, pigs and a miniature railway which goes all the way around it.
Get out: Some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery is on hand, with Loch Lomond, the Arrochar Alps and Ayrshire's excellent golf courses all within striking distance. Glasgow itself is a bus ride away and even closer is Glasgow International Airport and the many tempting destinations reached through it.
Listen: Paisley's musical luminaries include traditional players the Tannahill Weavers, Scots Italian crooner Paolo Nutini and the late Gerry Rafferty, who was a popular fixture of the 60s and 70s Paisley Folk Scene, along with Danny Kyle and the young Billy Connolly.
There's a whole less folking going on these days, but Paisley's a growing student town so there are still a handful of music venues, with weekly gigs from touring acts at Paisley Arts Centre and the Student Union and smaller, local bands playing in pubs such as the Swan Inn, Fiddler's Green and the Beer Cellar.
Avoid: Paisley's West End has become increasingly derelict in recent years, harbouring a shady – and sometimes violent - drug scene.