Walk 2 : Paisley to Lochwinnoch : 10 miles
Starting at Paisley Abbey, originally a foundation for monks of the order of Cluny, you can enjoy the sturdy sandstone buildings of Paisley, whose wealth grew with spinning and weaving industries. Don’t forget to see the Barochan Cross, dating from 900-1100 AD, before leaving the Abbey. Nearby St Mirin’s Cathedral was built in the 20th Century, named after a 6th Century Saint; the local the football club is also St Mirren’s. Rapidly you leave the bustle of the city centre, along National Cycle Route 7 track, which skirts Johnstone and on to Kilbarchan, where you can visit a typical weaver’s cottage. The cycle track follows the old railway line through countryside, where you can see Barr Castle, a folly and, as you reach Castle Semple Loch, some rich wildlife. Castle Semple Collegiate Church, on the edge of the woodlands, is worth a visit as an unaltered example of a family church, complete with monument to Lord Semple who died at the Battle of Flodden. The route ends by passing through the woodland towards the visitor centre on the Loch.
This section of route is largely flat, in open countryside and beside a loch, suitable for cycling and wheelchairs. Refreshments available in Paisley and at Castle Semple Visitor Centre. There are railway stations at Paisley Gilmour Street and at Lochwinnoch.
Illustrative maps courtesy of David Langworth, Cartographer
Detailed walking instructions can be purchased from www.whithornway.org