Walking Tours in Glasgow are a perfect way to discover more about the city, with an insightful expert guide. Their popular street art tour takes in the huge murals found on the sides of the city's buildings.
In Glasgow you'll come across plenty of beautiful murals, but what do you know about their meaning? Founders Jenny and Liv of Walking Tours in Glasgow, can fill you in. They welcome you on three tours - City Centre Tour, West End Tour and Street Art Tour.
In the city centre you'll find street art ranging from portraits of 'The Big Yin' to a floating Glasgow Taxi. Some are in prominent places whilst others are off-the-beaten-track. Jenny and Liv have come up with their top five favourite murals on their Street Art tour, with some interesting facts on each.
1. Fellow Glasgow Residents
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!).
2. Billy Connolly
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!
3. St Enoch and Child
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 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 popped-up and gave us all a boost. The Rebel Bear created Kiss in the west end 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.
5. Wind Power
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 and hear more about these stunning murals. Their public City Centre and Street Art Tours run twice daily (10.30am and 2pm) at a cost of £10 per person, kids go free. Private tours can be booked for both these tours, as well as for their West End Tour.