For this 5km trail, I started again by taking the #4 bus from home to Woodlands Road. Woodlands road is quite easy to find within the city, it’s about 2km from George Square, but it is easier to catch a #15 bus from there or pick up a #4 from Hope Street at Central Station.
An interactive map is available here, which will allow you to see exactly where each piece is located.
A copy of the map is shown below to highlight the route I followed.
On leaving the bus, I headed to the little park at the corner of Lyndoch Street where I was looking for some work by, some may say, Glasgow’s answer to Banksy, The Pink Bear, whose work is quite political and normally disappears quickly, the piece in the park is partially hidden by trees, depicts eight refugee children, stenciled onto a thick white wooden board used to cover up a window in the derelict building, while the presumably related work alongside that features a bird drinking from a barrel of oil with the words ‘After all, it is a little bit exiting (exciting)…breaking the rules’ in pink lettering.
Leaving the park, turning left, and carrying along Woodlands Road, you come across a statue of one of Glasgow’s hero’s, Bud Neill’s Lobey Dosser astride his faithful two-legged steed, El Fidelio, before carrying on to the corner of Willowbank Crescent for another of the Pink Bear’s work on the side wall of the Dram Public House.
This fairly recent piece is thought by many to depict a very positive message, reach for the stars, though many have drawn analogies to Brexit, given the blue background and yellow stars. Could the star being pulled down be the star of the UK as it leaves the EU?
I then carried on up Woodlands Road to Park Road to take me on to Great Western Road and Kelvinbridge Subway Station. Located underneath the stairwell down to the subway station, is a piece from Smug showing a squirrel poised on a skull.
Leaving the station area and strolling through the park leads to another of Smug’s works, stretching the length of the wall from the station to Gibson Street, a 90-metre long mural, created in 2009, with Smug designs by children at three nearby schools. The amazing work represents the history of Scottish transport, from the past to the present. Due to its age, this piece is starting to fade and looks a bit tired now.
Leaving the park onto Kelvin Way leads to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, where I stopped for a coffee on the way through. Once on Argyle Street I turned into Church Street to take a photograph of the mural on the side wall of Bar Gallup’s, another piece of EJEK’s work, I didn’t have the time to go into the bar to find the story behind it or out when it was painted, something for another day perhaps.
Carrying on up Church Street takes you to Byre Road, Glasgow’s student central with its vibrant lane culture, I went down Ashton Lane to take some photographs at the Ubiquitous Chip before returning to Byres Road and Hillhead Underground Station for Alisdair Gray’s famous Mural on the back wall of the station concourse.
I left Byres Road to along Great George Street heading to the corner of Hillhead Street and Gibson Street to try and find ‘Free Palestine’ another piece by the Pink Bear, unfortunately, this piece had been removed by the time I reached it, I then returned to Byres Road slightly deflated. I have included an image by Ashleigh Hanna taken earlier.
I made a little shopping stop in the Fopp shop before cutting down the lane to the back wall of the Western Baths for a large mural by an artist called Leo, there has been a bit of tagging on the mural and some crumbling of the lower wall, but the mural is still impressive. The mural is what I have used as a header for this page.
Returning to Byres Road I decided that I’d had enough walking for the day and headed into Òran Mór, which is Gaelic for ‘great melody of life’ or ‘big song’, for a rest and a nice pint before crossing Great Western Road for a #6 bus home.