Glasgow’s City Centre Regeneration Team maintains a Mural Trail, a route around Glasgow taking in some of the finest large-scale murals and street art in the city. The trail makes a great run for anyone looking to cram in some colourful culture as they pound the pavement.
This route takes you through the centre of Glasgow, so it’s one to do early in the morning when the streets are quiet, though wait for the sun to come up or you’ll miss all the art.
Start at the corner of West Nile Street and Renfrew Street, just outside Holiday Inn Glasgow – City Ctr Theatreland. Run south down West Nile towards the river. The road turns into Mitchell Street where it crosses Gordon Street. Up ahead on the right, painted on the side of a multi-storey carpark, you’ll see the mural “Wind Power” by Rogue-One and Art Pistol. Created as part of the Doors Open Day event in 2014. It celebrates the diversity of sustainable energy production in Scotland.
Take a quick detour up Gordon Lane to the left to check out Klingatron’s “Panda”, before continuing on south down Mitchell Street, where you’ll soon pass the giant sight of “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” – you’ll pass it on the right so look out over your shoulder. The vast, photorealistic mural is by artist Smug (Sam Bates), and depicts a girl studying the street below through a magnifying glass.
A few hundred metres further on, also on the right, you’ll see one of the most iconic murals in the city, “The World’s Most Economical Taxi”, also by Rogue-One. It shows a black cab being lifted up by balloons and drifting down the street. That will take you into Argyle Street, where you should dogleg right then immediately left onto Jamaica Street and head down towards the river.
When you reach the Clyde, turn right and run underneath the railway bridge, passing “Five Easy Faces”, hugely detailed spray paint portraits, which adorn the pillars under the bridge. Continue west along the river all the way to the Kingston Bridge, where you’ll find another huge mural – “The Swimmer” – painted by street artist Smug to celebrate the Commonwealth Games, which took place in Glasgow in 2014.
Now double back down Clyde Street with the river on your right. Run back past “Five Easy Faces” to Custom House Quay, by the South Portland Suspension Bridge. There find “Glasgow’s Tiger”, a photorealistic animal piece by Art Pistol and Klingatron, on the pedestrianised Clyde Walkway by the river. This is the second Tiger in this spot – the original was a prancing beast made out of flames that graced the walls here for many years before this reimagining.
Continue east down Clyde Street and hang a left into Dunlop Street to discover “Big Birds” – a hugely creative mural of a bird escaping its cage under the watchful eye of a hungry moggy.
Follow the mural right into Howard Street, then turn left and head north up Stockwell Street. Take a left into the pedestrianised section of Argyle and you’ll soon see more fabulous wildlife, this time at the Argyle Café, where Smug has painted a number of huge creatures kicking back.
Turn up Miller Street at the site of the cafe, run up to George Square and then turn left into St. Vincent’s Place, which will lead you back to West Nile Street, where you can turn right and head back up to the door of Holiday Inn Glasgow – City Ctr Theatreland.
There’s plenty more street art in Glasgow. Due to the nature of the art’s canvas, some of these will change or be painted over in time, but there’s always more to see. For info about the Mural Trail, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJjQt3ENmEM
You can search for running routes from Holiday Inn hotels in Glasgow and other local Holiday Inn destinations here: http://restandrun.holidayinn.com/route-search/