Renfrew is the former county town of the historic county of Renfrewshire, situated 3 miles northeast of Paisley and 5 miles west of Glasgow.
The town has a long and distinguished pedigree dating back to the 12th century, still evident in the remains of its Royal Stewart castle, the parish church with its 15th-century effigies and the impressive 19th-century town hall. The halls' turretted tower rises to more than 100 feet, a symbol of the civic pride evident in Renfrew during its industrial heyday.
Because of its very close proximity to the south bank of the River Clyde, a ferry has operated between Renfrew and Yoker on the opposite bank for more than 300 years. The last car ferry was retired in 1984 and has since become a popular floating music venue at its berth at Anderston Quay in Glasgow city centre. A popular passenger-only ferry still plies the route.
In 1999, the massive Braehead shopping complex opened not far from the town centre and was followed a few years' later by Xscape, a family entertainment centre combining 'real' snow slopes, bars and restaurants, cinema, family attractions and extreme activities, all under one roof.