Renfrewshire - The Gateway to All of Scotland
Renfrewshire, (from the Gaelic Siorrachd Rinn Friù) is one of the 32 council areas that constitute the Scottish country. It is also the county that gave its name to the whole region, which is comprised of Inverclyde to the west and East Renfrewshire to the east as well. Together they form the widely known Greater Renfrewshire. Interestingly, the main town of the county is not the town of Renfrew to which it owes its name, but the town of Paisley, which is the area’s main settlement.
Renfrewshire is also one of the smallest independent units of Scotland, yet it has some of the most active transit and commerce areas of the country. This prosperity is due mainly thanks to its important neighbors.
Pertaining to its borders, the region is bounded by North Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire. However, its most important neighbor by far is Glasgow on its northeastern side, which has greatly influenced not just the economy, but the overall situation of the region as well.
In the past, the county of Renfrewshire occupied a much larger area, even taking up the entire Greater Renfrewshire region itself. And even though this is no longer the case, the region still exists as a lieutenancy and registration county. Now a curious fact is that even though nowadays the county’s main town is Paisley, the county is named after the burgh of Renfrew. This happened because in earlier years the economic centre of it was the Royal Burgh of Renfrew, and so the county took its name.
At the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the extremely difficult economic situation drove much of the Renfrewshire population out of the country, which in turn caused even more difficulties in the trading and commerce fronts. The impact was felt on all fronts, with not only jobless people emigrating from Renfrewshire and Scotland, but also young enterprise and educational talent as well. This was followed by the emigration of old-time traders and political refugees, who all went in search of a better future on other countries.
Nowadays, Renfrewshire encompasses a wide array of options both for the visitors looking for calm and entertainment alike. Also, its proximity to cities like Glasgow, Scotland's largest city and world renowned capital, to Edinburgh, famous for its historic monuments and to Stirling, which serves as a gateway to the famous Scottish Highlands, have made of Renfrewshire one of the most (if not the most) interesting county in Scotland.
And if anything, all the variety offered by this county deserves at least a place among the best alternatives to Glasgow, and has earned this it special consideration among those who like those kind of cities that make you feel at home no matter where you are.
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