Exploring Glasgow through Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail

We can never resist a sculpture trail and when we started spotting a couple of the Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail sculptures on our #JoGLEforJessica journey, we knew that we had found our activity for our day off in Glasgow.


Thomas and Sophie with the 'Take a Ride' Oor Wullie sculpture with Sophie copying the pose


Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail is a Scotland-wide trail to raise funds for children in hospital. There are 200 Oor Wullie sculptures to find – 60 in Edinburgh, 58 in Glasgow, 36 in Dundee, 36 in Aberdeen and 10 in Inverness – plus 308 Wee Oor Wullies. That’s a lot of sculptures and a big area if you are planning on trying to find them all! Hubby spotted the first one – ‘Time to Shine’ – at Edinburgh Waverley station as we were rushing to get our connection. We spotted two more Oor Wullies in Inverness – ‘Well Here We Are’ inside the station and ‘Nessie Wullie’ outside.


Sophie with the 'Nessie Wullie' Oor Wullie sculpture in Inverness


In Glasgow, we downloaded the Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail app, entered the codes from our three previously spotted Oor Wullies and began our Oor Wullie hunt in earnest. There were quite a lot of Oor Wullies and Wee Oor Wullies within reasonable walking distance and hubby had soon worked out a route to try and take in as many as possible.


Sophie with three Wee Oor Wullies in Princes Square- Patch, Our Wullie and K C Potter


The trail app was similar to the ones we used for the Shaun in the City and Gromit Unleashed 2 trails. You could look up Oor Wullies by trail and filter by whether you’d collected them or not plus there were rewards to pick up along the way too. It wasn’t as well designed as the Aardman trail apps though. I couldn’t centre the map on our location (even with location services on) and found it frustrating that the map tended to zoom back out whenever I exited the app. We ended up flicking between the map on the app and Google maps to try and work out where we were at various points on the route.


Sophie sitting next to the 'Scott's Snashters' Oor Wullie sculpture and copying the pose


The rewards were unlocked automatically at various points but unless we looked at the rewards page, we had no idea whether we’d collected one or not. As some of them included discount codes, it would have been useful to have had notifications about them.


Sophie with the 'Second hand isn't second-best Wullie' Wee Oor Wullie sculpture at the People's Palace


Minor app irritations aside, we enjoyed our hunt for the Oor Wullies. I love the way that trails like this take you around parts of a city that you’d probably not explore as a tourist. They also make a walk a lot more fun for a child – according to my FitBit we walked 11km on our travels around the city and other than a couple of grumbles at the very start, Sophie walked the whole distance without complaint.


Sophie with the 'Oor Bucket List' Oor Wullie sculpture


We started off at the Glasgow Caledonian University Campus on Cowcaddens Road where we found our first Glaswegian Oor Wullie – Oor Bucket List. Our first Wee Oor Wullie – Life and Earth – was next at Buchanan St bus station. This one was on its own unlike the other Wee Oor Wullies we found later on, which were in groups. The app code covers the whole group so you ended up ticking several Wee Oor Wullies off the list in one go!


Sophie with the 'Life and Earth' Wee Oor Wullie sculpture


Sophie with the 'Oor Woody' Wee Oor Wullie sculpture


Our route then took us along Cathedral Street to the University of Strathclyde where we ticked off a couple more Oor Wullies before heading south towards Trongate and Glasgow Green. Along the way, we spotted lots of Painted Lady butterflies on buddleia bushes which made us think of the butterflies we released last year in memory of Jessica. We also spotted a hockey player sculpture from the 2014 Commonwealth Games.


A mural on the side of a building showing a man in a woolly hat holding a robin with another robin on his shoulder


Sophie with the metal hockey player sculpture from the 2014 Commonwealth Games


Glasgow Green was a lovely green space to explore and somewhere we could have happily spent a couple of hours or more. We took a break from our hunt at the playground which had the biggest slides I’ve ever seen in a playground. Sophie had a wonderful time climbing up all the pyramid structures and sliding down the slides while Thomas had a nap in his buggy.


Thomas and Sophie with the 'Oor Wee Pal' Oor Wullie sculpture

The playground in Glasgow Green

Sophie at the top of the pyramid climbing frame about to go down one of the tunnel slides


The eight Wee Oor Wullies at the People’s Palace were dotted around inside and got us looking around a bit more at the exhibitions inside. It’s a good way to encourage people inside a museum and had we not been so keen to find as many Oor Wullies as we could, we would have spent longer in the People’s Palace too.


Hubby, Sophie and Thomas with the 'Oor Wullie Reflects' Oor Wullie sculpture outside the People's Palace with Sophie copying the Oor Wullie pose


From Glasgow Green, we continued towards Merchant City, passing a police box along the way. “Look Sophie, it’s a TARDIS!” I said, but Sophie has yet to become a fan of Doctor Who and wasn’t quite as interested in it as Mummy was! We spotted a couple more police boxes on our walk around Glasgow – two blue ones and a red one near “the moon” where we were staying.


Sophie standing outside a blue police box


Sophie standing in front of the Mercat Cross in Glasgow Cross


The rest of the Oor Wullies on our list were less spread out as we worked out way back towards Buchanan Galleries. I was glad we’d gone for the more spread out ones first as the short distances between the remaining Oor Wullies were much better for tired feet! I loved how Sophie copied the pose in her photos with a lot of the Oor Wullies.


Sophie with the 'Wonder Wullie' Oor Wullie sculpture and copying the pose

Thomas standing on Daddy's lap holding on to the handle of the buggy

Sophie with the 'Oor Wullie's World' Wee Oor Wullie sculpture in the GOMA library


We finished off with a cluster of Oor Wullies at Buchanan Galleries – Oor Wullington who was next to a group of eight Wee Oor Wullies. Our final total for the day – 24 Oor Wullies and 43 Wee Oor Wullies making 67 in all. Not bad for one day! We’d pretty much found all the ones within reasonable walking distance – the others on the map would have required more time and probably a bus or subway ride to get to them.


Hubby, Sophie and Thomas with the 'Charles Rennie' Oor Wullie sculpture in St Enoch subway  Me, Sophie and Thomas with the 'Oor Scotty' Oor Wullie sculpture

Sophie with the 'Oor Wullington' Oor Wullie sculpture and copying the pose

Sophie certainly enjoyed our hunt and was a little disappointed that we weren’t going to continue and find them all. While we tend to be quite determined to finish these kinds of trails, this one is just too big and too far away! We had managed to find more Oor Wullies than the average stated on the app though and that is good enough for me!


Me, Sophie (copying the pose) and Thomas with the 'Oor Rod' Oor Wullie sculpture


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