Have you ever walked past a beautiful mural on your daily commute or stumbled by one when heading down a city centre lane and wondered about its meaning? Well now is the time to stop, take notice and discover your own city. The Founders of Walking Tours in Glasgow, Jenny and Liv, are delighted to welcome back individuals and groups on their three tours - City Centre Tour, West End Tour and Street Art Tour.
There are numerous murals in the city centre of Glasgow ranging from portraits of the Big Yin to a floating Glasgow Taxi to Glasgow's very own panda. Some are located in prominent places whilst others are found off-the-beaten-track. Jenny and Liv have put their heads together to come up with their top five favourite murals on the tour, with some interesting teaser info on each.
This beautiful piece painted by Smug is on Ingram Street in the Merchant City. It shows the variety of wildlife that can be found in Glasgow, including birds, deer, foxes, squirrels and our very favourite - the Highland cow! It's a great reminder of all the wonderful creatures and wildlife that make their home in the green spaces and parks of the city. This is the final stop on our Street Art tour because we like to finish with a banger (and a badger!).
We couldn't talk about Glasgow's murals without mentioning at least one of the Billy Connolly ones! Three murals were created around the city to celebrate the Big Yin's 75th birthday and to recognise his impact on Glasgow and the comedy world. We've chosen the one on Osborne Street, designed by famous artist John Byrne and created by street artist Rogue. It has a few hidden messages linking to some of his most famous jokes - see which ones you know and come on a tour to have a laugh as we reveal the full jokes. What a tribute to a Glasgow hero!
Another piece by Smug (sorry he's just amazing!) is this beautiful mural showing a mother cradling her baby. You might have worked out from the title, St Enoch and Child, that this mural is directly linked to Glasgow's own birth story. It is a modern-day imagining of St Enoch with her baby St Mungo (Glasgow's founder and Patron Saint).
It is found on George Street on the opposite end of a tenement row from Smug's most famous street art of St Mungo himself. However, this one is a particular favourite of ours as it puts St Mungo's mother centre stage.
These versions of such important figures in Glasgow's history and story are very popular with visitors. Not just because of the link to Glasgow but because of the tenderness in the designs.
During Covid-19 and lockdown, a number of new murals have appeared in the city, as creatives continued to be busy at work. In fact, you don't have to go very far to find new pieces of art that have popped-up and given us all a boost during these times. The Rebel Bear created Kiss in the west of the city on Bank Street right at the beginning of lockdown and looked ahead to a time when connections could be remade. We particularly like this piece because it offers a glimmer of hope and also represents how we all adjusted to being in quarantine.
We both love this mural not only because it's a beautiful piece but also because it represents Scotland's efforts in using clean energy sources. It was painted by Rogue and Art Pistol, as part of the Open Doors Day festival in 2014. It is found on Mitchell Street, very close-by to another famous piece, Honey... I Shrunk The Kids - both lovely additions to a busy city centre street.
Sign up for a Walking Tour in Glasgow on your own or with a group to see more of these stunning murals and find out fascinating insights into each. Their public City Centre and Street Art Tours are running twice daily (10.30am and 2pm) at a cost of £10 per person and kids go free, whilst private tours can be booked for both these tours, plus for their West End Tour. Check out Walking Tours in Glasgow on Facebook.