Exploring the Glasgow Mural Trail

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On my last trip to Glasgow I was so impressed by the murals I saw that I wanted to go back and do the City Centre Mural Trail – a path that visits 19 murals. So, even though the weather forecast didn’t fill us with hope, myself and two friends decided to get on the train to Glasgow last Sunday.

Ever since 2008 Glasgow’s vacant sites and buildings and tired streets and lanes have been given new life in the form of the most stunning murals by very talented artists, such as Smug, Art Pistol, Rogue-One and Ejek. I think the murals is a fantastic way of making grey, boring walls and abandoned buildings more appealing – and it’s quite exciting to follow the trail, looking for these public artworks!

See the Glasgow City Centre Mural Trail here.


The first one we saw after stepping out of Queen Street train station was the Hip Hop Marionettes that I already shared in a previous blog. How cool/cute aren’t these?!


We kept walking along George Street and soon came to Strathclyde University and this very appropriate mural of  a lecture.


There were quite a few murals on the walls of the University buildings.


Such as this wandering student.


I looked behind me and saw this building – to me it’s just the kind of building I would expect to find in Glasgow and quite interesting in all its monotony.


“Wonderwall” is an almost 200 metre long wall (also part of the Uni murals) that celebrates the people of Strathclyde University and their achievements.


Not sure if that’s supposed to be Frankenstein?


This huge equatorial telescope was once used to teach nautical astronomy. We look like little ants next to it 🙂 (Photo by Sheryl.)


And finally at the other end of the Wonderwall you’ll find this piece.


Although not part of the trail we still wanted to see one of the best murals (in my opinion) once again.


And since we weren’t far from Glasgow Cathedral Olli suggested a wee detour to go and see it.


It was a good idea as this majestic cathedral is stunning both on the outside and the inside! It was a bit too dark inside for my camera though, so most of my photos were blurry – but you get the picture!


When we got out of the cathedral it had started raining, so we put our hoods up and took our brollies out and continued the walk! The next mural (and only number 3!) was called ‘Fellow Glasgow Residents’ and located in the heart of Merchant City. It stretches over a car park and shows what other creatures apart from humans live in Glasgow.


This is one of those pieces where you keep discovering new things the longer you look at it.


As I’ve said before, this really brightened up that gloomy car park!


Around a couple of corners was this badminton mural that depicts Kieran Merrilees, one of Scotland’s best players.


This colourful piece down New Wynd lane is simply called ‘Spaceman’. I like the colours but wasn’t overly impressed with this one.


Next to the Spaceman you’ll find the adorable Mrs Mitchell’s Sweetie Shop. We had more murals to trace so didn’t have time go inside!


We couldn’t find the 7th mural called ‘View of the Clyde’ so we went straight to ‘Big Birds’. There was more to this one, but there were cars in front of it so didn’t get a good photo. My fingers were freezing by now so didn’t manage to put much effort into taking photos – plus I was juggling a brolly and my camera that I was trying not to get wet…The weather could’ve been better in other words!


‘Glasgow’s Tiger’ was a another favourite. There used to be another tiger there before this one. There’s a photo of it in the map – I prefer this one though!


‘The Five Faces’ were tucked in under some train tracks and have seen better days. Such a shame!


Another favourite was ‘The World’s Most Economical Taxi’. If you look closely you might see that the brick wall isn’t actually real, but painted as part of the mural.


This masterpiece is by Smug (see necklace) and called ‘Honey I shrunk the kids’. It really injects colour into what would’ve otherwise been a dull concrete wall.


I really like the idea behind this mural called ‘Wind Power’ that celebrates the diversity of sustainable energy production.


Right next to the Lighthouse (Scotland’s Centre for Design & Architecture) you’ll find ‘Glasgow’s Panda’. I visited the Lighthouse on my last visit but wanted to go back so I could…


…climb this gorgeous helical staircase.


It was pretty windy at the top but the 360 views were great! That’s the Lighthouse building by Mackintosh on the right hand side.


Glasgow & moi.


According to Sheryl’s activity tracker we had walked more than 10,000 steps, so we decided we should undo all that walking by having a massive pizza haha!


The place was called ‘Paesano Pizza’ and the pizzas were so good – and prized between £6 and £9! No wonder the place was buzzing.


After a very filling late lunch we decided to still go and see the 15th mural and leave the four remaining ones as they were too far away.


This one was called ‘Argyle Street Cafe’ – another animal-themed mural. The original mural was a lot more realistic as the clientele were ‘boring’ humans. (See the trail map to see the original.)


Next to the cafe was a barber shop, which on closer inspection turned out to be another piece by Smug. This guy has really kept himself busy!

It was starting to get dark so we headed back to the train station and got on a train that was just about to leave. It really is so easy to travel between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Next time you’re in Glasgow make sure you keep an eye out for these public artworks!

x Nina x