Community Learning


Mackintosh At The Willow currently remains open for creative learning opportunities and we are very fortunate the building has lots of space for everyone to move safely around in. However we understand the challenges 2020 presents to teachers and organisers faced with changing guidelines in the face of Covid19. We therefore have a few different opportunities to ensure your groups can still be inspired by Mackintosh and Miss Cranston, so decide which one best suits you and give our Creative Learning Manager a call 0141 3759574 or email:


All our workshops are currently free! We ask for a contribution to cover travel costs if you are booking an outreach visit. Discounted tea and shortbread available as we know from past experience kids love having their ‘afternoon tea!’



We’ll come to you! One person will visit your school and deliver a fun workshop investigating tea, Miss Cranston’s amazing Willow Tea Rooms and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s design. The workshop includes opportunities for pupils to dress up as characters and be hot-seated by the rest of the class. This is a very popular workshop! If you have ideas for a different focus let us know and we can sort something out for you.



Coming soon! You can hire our handling box, which is a wonderful supplement to any Victorian topics.



We have lots of space at Mackintosh At The Willow and are still able to give specialist tours, stencilling workshops, sketching tours and vocational sessions for older students studying hospitality or tourism etc (see below for more details.) We also have an exhibition over two floors full of activities and information about Miss Cranston, Mackintosh and the restoration of the building.


Group sizes: currently education groups are exempt from the two-households rule and can still visit attractions. However, we have Covid19 practices in place similar to other public buildings (masks, hand sanitiser, social distancing etc.) Feel free to request our amended risk assessment document before you visit.



We are currently suspending our popular outreach talk due to restrictions on groups meeting together. However, as soon as this changes get in touch and book a visit.



You can still come visit us as we are running tours and stencilling workshops but give us a call to discuss how we manage numbers in line with Covid19 guidelines.  We also offer special discounted prices for community groups to eat here!



We love it when the wee ones visit! Come and do a stencilling workshop or decorate a cupcake with our chef. Dress up in the exhibition and sit in the fancy Salon de Luxe and learn all about what tea is and how to make a proper cup. Don’t forget to use the strainer!

icing 2
Salon de Luxe tea 2


  • Mackintosh Sketching tour

DURATION: 45 mins.

In this lovely activity pupils get to explore the whole building with a professional artist, who’ll help everyone focus on all the marvellous shapes and textures hidden in plain sight. Pupils will learn how to use soft and hard pencils, add shade and colour to images and replicate Mackintosh’s iconic designs. Ladderback chairs, stained glass, chandeliers…there’s so much to inspire!


  • Mackintosh Stencilling Workshop

DURATION:45 mins.

This is our always popular painting workshop, suitable for ages 5+. Using stencils inspired by the building, its time to put on aprons, dab dab dab that stencilling brush and marvel at the crisp, beautiful artworks that emerge.


CLASS SIZES: Schools often split into two groups and do two workshops, swapping over so everyone gets a chance to do everything. Give us a call to discuss how we can make things work for your class.


  1. Storm In A Tea Cup Drama Workshop

DURATION: 45mins

Time to step into someone else’s shoes for our fun drama workshop, led by a theatre professional in Mackintosh’s iconic Billiard Room. Become Miss Cranston, Charles Rennie Mackintosh or just a lowly waitress rushed off her feet in the Willow Tea Rooms, then learn about how to create your own scenes with a partner. Let your students surprise you with their creative imaginations!


  • Visit to the EXHIBITION

DURATION: 30 mins.

Time for some dressing up! Our interactive exhibition over two floors explores Victorian/Edwardian Glasgow, the history of tea and the tearooms, Mackintosh’s wonderful eye for design and the recent complete restoration of the original Willow Tea Rooms building. Excellent for project work or just a fun activity after all those workshops!

St Aloysius plates long
St Rochs dress up
St Roch's P3 3


  • Vocational Skills

DURATION 45 mins.

Mackintosh At The Willow is a unique business in that it is really 5 businesses under one roof: hospitality, tourism, community and education provision and corporate and retail. If you have students studying one of these subjects we are more than happy to arrange a visit and practical workshop for them, all led by friendly, practicing professionals.


  • Art and design

DURATION 45mins-1hour.

  • Enjoy our artist-led sketching tour of the building, carefully capturing Mackintosh’s use of geometric and Art Nouveau forms to bring astounding artistic sensibilities into the building. Alternatively round off a visit with a fun, easy stencilling workshop- suitable for all ages!
  • Brand new workshop for 2020-2021: gesso! Be inspired by Margaret Macdonald’s incredible gesso panel ‘Willowwood’ and try your hand at this fascinating medium. (£3 per student to cover materials.)


  1. Theatre/ Creative Writing

DURATION: 1 hour

Led by a professional playwright this workshop enables students to learn how to create conflict in drama, script two-handers or step back in time and fill the impressive shoes of strong characters such as Miss Cranston and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Ideal for performance or writing students.

We also have a Shakespeare workshop available- led by one of Scotland’s leading experts!


  • Guided tour and visit to the exhibition.

DURATION: 1 hour

An informative tour of the building covering Glasgow’s history, Miss Cranston’s business excellence and Mackintosh designs, followed by the interactive exhibition over two floors: ample opportunity for students to enjoy the informative artefacts, games, films and of course dressing up!

Billiard Room Fireplace Details 2 Rachel Keenan Photography
kitchen workshop 1
St Roch's 2


  1. Art and design/furniture/business/theatre students

Students of various disciplines are welcome to visit for a specialist guided tour which can be combined with a tailored workshop and/or visit to the exhibition.  If you have a particular curriculum focus in mind give us a bell and we can work something out for you.

Amsterdam Uni Oct 2019
Aachen 4
Erasmus 7


Under normal circumstances, out of lockdown restrictions, we welcome community groups in for a guided tours, talks, fun stencilling workshops and specially discounted lunch packages. Parking nearby on Cambridge Street is a minute’s walk away, and there is a drop-off point for coaches just round the corner. The building is fully accessible, with hearing loops in the exhibition and retail store.


We also offer a very popular outreach talk, so if you have a projector we can come to you. We ask for a donation to cover costs.


During restrictions we can still can welcome your group in under the following circumstances:

  • Guided tours are limited to 6 people and you will be asked to maintain appropriate distance between each other (the tearooms have ample space for this to be possible.) We can run 3 tours at the same time, effectively allowing groups of 18 to visit.
  • If you would like to have lunch in the tearooms each table seats a maximum of 6, from 2 households. Again, it is possible to spread folk out over the restaurant.


The best thing to do is to give our Creative Learning Manager a call or email to chat about how to facilitate visits so everyone feels safe and guidelines are adhered to.

Ask for Jodie 0141 3759574 or email

Utrecht Arts Group
Castlemilk Star 1
Sirling U3A group dec 3rd 2019