Women’s Heritage Walks

Glasgow Women’s Library’s Women Make History group launched Glasgow’s first Women’s Heritage Walk in June 2007 as part of the West End Festival programme. Since then, we have continued to lead out walks in the West End during the spring and summer months and have expanded our range of guided walks for the general public to include trails in the city centre, walks on specific themes and for specific groups and a walk in the East of the city at the Glasgow Necropolis in partnership with Friends of the Glasgow Necropolis.

Throughout the summer, we’re offering fortnightly heritage walks. Take a look at our upcoming walks and book your place now, as spaces are limited and the walks book up quickly!

GWL learners, volunteers, sessional staff and members of the Learning Team are involved in the development of these walks and we are always looking for more content and information, whether you want to contact us through the website or input your ideas during or after a walk. There are lots of ways to get involved in the Women Make History project.

“I LOVED the whole thing, especially the warm, informal, inviting and entertaining approach the guides took to delivering any information.”

The walks are designed to be enhance life, health and learning. They have been developed with grown-ups in mind but we have had good feedback from young people and children too.

West End Women’s Heritage Walk

This pioneering women’s heritage walk reveals a hidden history of the West End of Glasgow: pipe-smoking forewomen, revolting schoolmistresses, and the unique car made by and for women. A unique and inspiring insight into the hitherto unsung women who made the West End.

At the Suffrage Oak for the West End Women's Heritage Walk

At the Suffrage Oak for the West End Women’s Heritage Walk

“On Sunday, I joined the GWL West End walking tour and am now a signed up fan! What an inspiring and enlightening evening. Really fascinating. The guides were wonderful and made it so interesting and entertaining. Have been telling all my friends to go since.”

The Audio Tour

Following the huge success of our West End Women’s Heritage Walk and Map the Women Make History team has made history again in developing the first audio version of a women’s heritage walk in Glasgow, available to download for just £3. The audio tour is also available in German and we are working on translating into French and Spanish.

The West End Women’s Heritage Walk Map

The West End Women’s Heritage Walk is also available as a map, so you can now enjoy the highlights of the tour in your own time. The map is free to pick up from GWL and can be posted* out for you or your group to enjoy. Depending on your pace the walk should take around an hour and half to complete and is quite a gentle wander.

Download: GWL West End Women’s Heritage Walk Map (PDF)

Women of the Merchant City

“I enjoyed hearing about the remarkable women who lived and worked in the area [and] the enthusiasm and knowledge of the guide.”

Women of the Merchant City Walk (Launch 2009)

Kirsty Hood leads the launch of the Women of the Merchant City Walk in 2009

The Merchant City’s hidden history is uncovered during this walk around Glasgow’s cosmopolitan hub, revealing the female stars that stud the fabric of this famous quarter. Scandal, vice, radicalism, regeneration and revival are topics highlighted by this original tour.

The Merchant City Women’s Heritage Walk Map

The Merchant City Women’s Heritage Walk is now available as a map, so you can now enjoy the highlights of the tour in your own time. The map is free to pick up from GWL and can be posted* out for you or your group to enjoy. Depending on your pace the walk should take around an hour to complete and is quite a gentle wander.

Download: GWL Merchant City Women’s Heritage Walk Map (PDF)

Garnethill Women’s Heritage Walk

Garnethill is at the heart of Glasgow’s city centre but remains an unknown quarter for many. This walk takes in its grand tenements, painted gables, miniature park, synagogue and world acclaimed architectural triumphs. These and other fascinating landmarks help us to tell the stories of some of the most remarkable achievements of women in Glasgow history.

Hidden Gems of Garnethill Walk in April 2012

Within Garnethill’s confined boundaries we spotlight the women who pioneered European art movements, designed the banners for suffragette processions, created the first women’s Library in Scotland and made Garnethill into the most exciting cultural and multicultural hotspot in Glasgow.

“The tour was much appreciated. Very interesting and entertaining. I will certainly return with my wife.”

The Garnethill Women’s Heritage Walk Walk Map

The Garnethill Women’s Heritage Walk is now available as a map, so you can now enjoy the highlights of the tour in your own time. The map is free to pick up from GWL and can be posted* out for you or your group to enjoy, or download the map below.

Download: GWL Garnethill Women’s Heritage Walk Map (PDF)

Women and the Abolition Movement

A walking tour round Glasgow City, where you learn the hidden history about the presence and contributions of local women and families in the abolition movement and find out the history behind some of the buildings that we all know and love.

Glasgow’s Women and the Necropolis

This walk based in the Glasgow Necropolis looks at the stories of both the notorious and the forgotten women who are buried in these atmospheric and ethereal surroundings, one of Glasgow’s most fascinating Victorian garden cemeteries adjacent to Glasgow Cathedral.

Clare Balding recording 'Ramblings' radio programme with GWL at the Necropolis

Clare Balding recording ‘Ramblings’ radio programme with GWL at the Necropolis

Women Make History’s Digging Detectives were featured on Clare Balding’s Ramblings radio programme discussing their research into the women of the Necropolis in 2010.

The Necropolis Women’s Heritage Walk Map

The Necropolis Women’s Heritage Walk is now available as a map, so you can now enjoy the highlights of the tour in your own time. The map is free to pick up from GWL and can be posted* out for you or your group to enjoy.

Download: GWL Glasgow Necropolis Women’s Heritage Walk Map (PDF)

East End Women’s Heritage Walk

The women of Glasgow’s East End have always had to be industrious and resourceful simply to survive. This walk focuses on some of their achievements and struggles, and the radical nature of the area which gave birth to them.

“Thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon, what a variety of areas this tour covered. Good old Glasgow, around every corner is a surprise. Many thanks to all for the walk and time you have given to this, it’s greatly appreciated.”

The East End Women’s Heritage Walk Map

The East End Women’s Heritage Walk is now available as a map, so you can now enjoy the highlights of the tour in your own time. The map is free to pick up from GWL and can be posted* out for you or your group to enjoy. Depending on your pace the walk should take around two hours to complete and is quite a gentle wander.

Download: GWL East End Women’s Heritage Walk Map (PDF)

The East End Audio Tour

Following the huge success of our East End Women’s Heritage Walk and Map our Women Make History team has developed this into an audio version of this women’s heritage walk in Glasgow.

This audio tour has been developed with support from Glasgow International in 2014 and has been developed in English, French (Francais), Polish (Polski) and German (Deutsch). We also received support from the Goethe Institute to produce the German translation of this audio tour.

Booking a Walk

We run each walk several times each year – take a look at our upcoming walks, or sign up to our mailing list to receive updates. Places on these walks always book out quickly, so if you’re part of a larger group you may wish to consider booking a custom walk.

Glasgow Women’s Library has a group of trained tour guides who are experienced in taking out varied groups on our specialized Women’s Heritage walks. Tours can be undertaken and adapted for specific groups and organizations (for example, for groups with a common interest or groups visiting Glasgow for the first time). Some of the groups we have delivered tailored tours to include: Paths for All annual conference delegates, Civicus conference delegates, Edinburgh International Women’s Group, Marseilles Women’s History Group and other local, national and international organizations.

“My sister and I have been on all the GWL Heritage Walks and find them fascinating and enjoyable. We hope there will be more – thank you to guides and researchers. We all need to keep uncovering women’s hidden histories!”

Our tours offer an exciting, informative and informal learning opportunity for groups giving a unique and fascinating (re-)introduction to Glasgow’s landmarks and history. The tours are appreciated by all ages, genders and backgrounds and can be an inspiring starting point for a group hoping to undertake their own women’s or local history project. We also offer workshops in researching women’s history and developing your own women’s history walk – see our Inspiring Resources for more information.

If you would like to discuss our rates and availability please contact us.

*We require postage and packaging which is dependent on the number of maps requested.

To guarantee delivery for Christmas, please place your order before Tuesday, 20th December.
The Library is open until Wednesday, 21st December, so you can still pop in to pick up a gift!