Find details of an eight-mile run (or walk) to visit some of the brilliant murals around Glasgow. There are many variations on this route and many more murals to see, but this gives a great overview.
A decade ago, a project was launched to “rejuvenate the streets and revitalise buildings” in Glasgow. Today, there are dozens of colourful murals across the wider city that have become a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike.
Artists are encouraged to get involved in this Glasgow City Council initiative by applying to a city centre Mural Fund.
Some artists have designed and painted multiple murals, including graffiti art legends Smug and Rogue-One.
While murals continue to be added to the walls of the city, there are plenty that can be visited as part of a walking or running route.
A Mural Trail of Glasgow, supported by the city council, has a suggested walk of around five miles to 24 murals.
Another route detailed on the website, Walk Highlands, outlines a 5.75-mile trail starting at Buchanan Street.
Many running groups are also creating their own routes to see the murals.
Recently, I joined friends at my Glasgow Triathlon Club to run eight miles to see more than 20 murals.
Eight-mile Glasgow murals run
See “GTC run – Glasgow mural trail” on Strava for the route.
This running route links Cowcaddens to Partick in the city. Use the subways stops and the train stations to access the start and end points.
1 Shadow Hand Puppets
Rogue-one, a graffiti artist from Glasgow, got together with the gallery, Art Pistol, to create the mural that has revamp the underpass at Cowcaddens.
The Shadow Hands create a striking image the length of the underpass to the subway station.
2 Hip Hop Marionettes Mural
Where: John Street
The Marionettes by Rogue-One is just one of his many murals dotted about Glasgow.
Taking inspiration from the cover of an album by the hip-hop band, the Beastie Boys, and a Run DMC picture, the marionettes were born.
Rogue described his inspiration: “I thought that an interesting concept would be to have body-poppers or break-dancers in puppet form.”
3 Four Seasons Mural
Where: Ingram Street.
This huge mural created by Smug (Sam Bates) depicts all types of animals found in Glasgow’s parks and green spaces. They seem to appear out of holes in the wall of the building.
4 University of Strathclyde Wonderwall
Where: Starts at North Portland Street.
The Wonderwall murals, including the Dansken equatorial telescope, are part of an artwork on a University of Strathclyde building.
The “Wonderwall” celebrates the people of the University of Strathclyde and their many significant achievements.
Almost 200 metres long and incorporating three seven-storey gables the project was completed by Art Pistol with Rogue-One and Ejek.
5 St Enoch and Child mural
Where: High Street.
Australian artist Smug is behind another impressive mural, which is said to “complement the mature image of a modern day St Mungo”.
Kentigern, known as Mungo, was an apostle of the Scottish Kingdom of Strathclyde in the late sixth century, and the founder and patron saint of the city of Glasgow.
The mural is a contemporary interpretation of the city’s founding story with St Thenue/Enoch cradling her beloved St Kentigern/Mungo.
6 St Mungo mural
Where: High Street
Another mural by Smug depicts Glasgow’s patron saint, St Mungo, in modern-day clothes.
7 Wellpark Brewery murals
Where: Duke Street.
Smug has been at work again, this time to create a series of murals at the home of Tennent’s lager. The wall showcases the brand’s history, from its old school marketing through to modern-day Glaswegian banter.
8 St Luke’s & the Winged Ox
Where: Bain Street.
The Smug artwork is found on the building of pub and events space, St Luke’s & the Winged Ox.
9 Barrowlands murals
Where: The Barras.
There are a number of murals in the Barrowlands area, include the beautiful Barras Pirate by Rogue-One, located on Ross Street.
Look out for the Teddy Tunnock, King of the Barras mural, too.
10 Big Yin by Rachel Maclean
There are three murals in Glasgow that were created in honour of 75th birthday of the Scottish comedian, Billy Connolly.
BBC Scotland commissioned three portraits, which have been turned into murals.
The Big Yin is based on a digital print by Rachel Maclean.
11 Billy Connolly mural
Where: Old Wynd, off Osbourne Street.
The artist John Byrne painted the original, which was then turned into a mural by Rogue-one and Art Pistol.
12 Study of a woman in Black mural
A James Klinge mural shows a portrait of an anonymous subject dressed in black. This is a companion piece to his work in Bridgegate Path.
13 The Gorbals Vampire mural
Where: St Luke’s Place.
The mural remembers the mysterious story from six decades ago of the “Case of the Gorbals Vampire”.
It is the culmination of a project by Ella Bryson, a 16-year-old winner of a ScottishPower Foundation competition with the Citizens Theatre, and Art Pistol.
14 The Clutha murals
Rogue-one, Art Pistol and Ejek worked together to create a mural on the walls of the Clutha Vaults, a pub on the north bank of the River Clyde.
The artworks pay homage to the history of the area, as well as celebrating a variety of personalities who visited this iconic location, famous for its atmosphere and live music.
Tragically, in November 2013, 10 people died when a police helicopter crashed into the Clutha.
15 Glasgow’s Tiger mural
Where: River Clyde north side, adjacent to South Portland Suspension Bridge.
James Klinge, formerly known as Klingatron, collaborated with Art Pistol to re-imagine the original tiger design previously installed at this location.
16 Dr Connolly, I Presume mural
Where: Osbourne Street.
Another mural by Rogue-One and one of the commemorative Billy Connolly murals. It is a reproduction of the Jack Vettriano painting.
17 The Swimmer mural
Where: Broomielaw, under the Kingston Bridge
One of the first murals to have been painted by Smug, this installation celebrates Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games.
18 The Glasgow Girls
The mural painted by @inkiegraffiti as part of the #Yardworks2018 event.
- This article appeared in my Sunday Mail outdoors column. See the pdf.