Creative Learning & Education

Community & Regeneration

We are now taking bookings for Community Group visits for Autumn/Winter 2024/25.


Are you a member of a community group that likes to go on days out?

We offer very popular, community group visits on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These visits are priced at a low-cost sliding scale, detailed below. This enables us to provide free days out for those who may not be able to access our heritage site in other circumstances – while remaining affordable for all.

Each visit includes a guided tour around the original Willow Tea Rooms building, a Mackintosh themed stencilling workshop, a serving of tea and cakes in our historic back saloon and self-led entrance to our onsite exhibition. The entire experience lasts approximately 3 hours but can be tailored to your groups needs.


Costs for 2024/25:


Community Groups with no membership fee: Free

Community Groups with membership fee in SIMD 1-3 postcodes: Free

Community Groups with membership fee in SIMD 4-6 postcodes: £3.50 per person

Community Groups with membership fee in SIMD 7-10 postcodes: £6.00 per person


Our community group visits are bookable below.


The very essence of our Tea Rooms is community. A place to come together and be together, no matter who you are. Our Tea Rooms, Visitor Centre and Exhibition, Learning Suite and Gift Shop are a vital beacon of the regeneration of Sauchiehall Street, and communities across Glasgow.


Mackintosh at the Willow has already had a positive impact on the local community. We continue to build strong community relationships with a wide range of multicultural groups as well as our retail and business neighbours. Our presence provides a permanent, international, heritage tourist attraction boosting footfall to the area.


Our collaboration with partners offer opportunities to all, and our building enables wider access to cultural heritage for organisations including LGBT+, Elders group, Scottish Dementia Network, AMINA – the Muslim Women’s Friendship Group, Empower Women for Change and Deafblind Scotland.


The positive outcome from every partnership shows us how we can change the lives of all those we work with.


Thanks to all the lovely community groups that have previously visited us:

1st Torrance Girls Brigade12th Clydebank Brownies178th Beaver ScoutsAce Cultural ToursAction For ChildrenActive SeniorsAfrican Women’s NetworkAlbatross Arts/Police Scotland – Alloa Library Talk Wellbeing Café – Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre Friendship GroupAxis Volunteers – Befriend – Bothwell Community Group – Bridging The GapBritish Deaf AssociationCare4carersCarr GommCastlemilk Star GDACeltic ConnectionsCentral West Integration Network – Clydebank Stroke Club – Come & Sing Dementia Choir Lenzie – Community Info Source – Cornerstone – Crammond House Outreach – Cross Reach – Diversity Friendship Group – Discover GlasgowDixon Community CarersDoors Open DayDress For The Weather – Eaglesham History Group – Eastwood Arts Club – Empower Dalmuir – Empower East – Empower Glasgow – Empower West – Empower Women For Change – EnableEnable GlasgowEnable Fortune WorksEnglish4You NetherlandsErasmus ExchangeEric Liddell CommunityExhale QTIPOC+ GroupGarnethill Community Centre: Healthy Living GroupGarnethill ESOL GroupFARE Scotland – Food School Scotland – Forth Community Resource Centre – Forth Valley Friendship Group – Galgael Community Project – Garnetbank Art Club – Garnethill Community CentreGlasgow Association of Mental Health – Glasgow City Council Family Play – Glasgow City MissionGlasgow Disability AllianceGlasgow Eco TrustGlasgow Film Theatre Movie Memories GroupGlasgow Walking ToursGlasgow Women’s AidGlasgow Woodworking ClubGlasgow’s Golden Generatation: Nan Mckay HallGlendale Women’s Café – Go Ahead Club – Gorbalites 50+Grey Matters – Guess – Healthy Pathways – Heart In Mind – Hub InternationalHidayahHidden Gardens Community VolunteersHomestart Glasgow – Interrupted Learners – Jean’s Bothy Community Group – Kairos Women+ GroupKelvin Probus – Killermont Parish Church Stroke Group – Laurieston Elderly Group – LGBT Health & Wellbeing: Age GroupLGBT Health & Wellbeing: Refugee Group – LGBTQ Sober Socials – Livingston Arts AssociationLomond ArtsLost GlasgowMacmillanMarvellous InitiativeMaryhill Integration NetworkMILK Women’s GroupMoat Brae Group – Mòd Family Workshop  – Motherwell Outreach – Move OnMurieston Arts GroupNo. 1 Befriending Agency – NHS Design In Healthcare Partick Annexe: Circle Dancing GroupPartick Annexe: Partick PluckersPiping Scot Tours QEST ScholarsQuarriers – Raven’s Craig Moot – Respitality – Rowena Ladies Group – Sakina Women’s Group – Scottish Women’s Institute: Bathgate Belles – Scottish Women’s Institute: BlacknessScottish Women’s Institute: Corstorphine – Scottish Women’s Institute: Croftamie – Scottish Women’s Institute: Edinburgh – Scottish Women’s Institute: Jackton Rural – Scottish Women’s Institute: Millig – Scottish Women’s Institute: Westfield West Lothian –  SEAL Community Health ProjectSharpen Her: African Woman’s NetworkTea In The Pot – The Warriors – The Well Multicultural Resource CentreTurning PointU3A: Art AppreciationU3A: East RenfrewshireU3A: Local HistoryU3A: PaisleyU3A: Stirling Forth ValleyU3A: Tarpoley  – Utrecht Arts Group – Vale Of Leven Arts – Vista Arts Community Group – West Lothian 50+ – Winterfest – Women Of Faith And CommunityWomen’s Integration NetworkWomen’s Support ProjectWorld Strides Travel StudentsYouth Commmunity Support Agency

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Mackintosh at the Willow offers school trips and workshops suitable for all levels of learning. Our workshops offer practical experience of Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture and design, the story of late Victorian/early Edwardian Glasgow, the history of women’s suffrage and liberation, the history of food and drink. Pupils will gain access to the historical tea rooms and the onsite interactive exhibition, through an active and engaged guided tour. Pupils will sit in our back saloon for homemade cakes, tea or juice, and will make and take away a Mackintosh style stencil or an Edwardian toy. For a list of available workshops or to enquire about bespoke learning please enquire below.

Click here to view our Formal Learning Offers overview

Some believe heritage is only for those of privilege but we see the potential for creative engagement in every corner, space and object at Mackintosh at the Willow. That is how our accessible CLE programme brings history and heritage to life for everyone, no matter who they are.


We have already engaged with thousands of learners of all ages and abilities from around the world, delivering activities, tours and workshops in the building, and all for free.


Our work tackles social isolation, raises community aspiration, improves wellbeing and creates life changing opportunities. Our community outreach goes further, delivering a museum ‘handling box’ to schools who are unable to travel, and offering free online resources to support teaching at all levels of education.


We have a unique and urgent opportunity to create positive impact for people and communities through engagement and learning. With your help, we can reach further, supporting others to greater aspirations.


Thanks to all the lovely school groups that have previously visited us:


Aachen UniversityAbercorn Secondary SchoolAll Saints SecondaryAmsterdam UniversityAyrshire College –  Chryston Primary – City Of Glasgow CollegeColquhoun Park PrimaryDalmarnock Primary – Firpark Secondary – Garnetbank Primary SchoolGlasgow AcademyGlasgow Acting AcademyGlasgow CaledonianGlasgow School of Art: Fine Art – Glasgow School of Art: Product Design – Govan High SchoolHillhead PrimaryHollybrook Secondary – Holy Cross High School – Kingspark Secondary School – Newton Primary School – Notre Dame High School – Parkhill SecondaryPurdue UniversityRiverbank Primary – Shawlands Academy – St Aloysius SchoolSt Andrews University: Art HistorySt Ninian’s Primary – St Roch’s Deaf School – St Roch’s Primary School –St Roch’s Secondary SchoolStrathclyde Uni: ArchitectureUniversity Of Glasgow: International StudentsWest College Scotland – Wallace Summer School – Westercraigs Nursery – Whitehill Secondary School – Williamwood High School – York Steiner School

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School Holiday Programme

Mackintosh at the Willow offers a programme of Family Holiday Activities suitable for children aged 5-12 years old, but all are welcome. Additionally, we offer visits for out of school care groups.


Upcoming Family Holiday Activities will be advertised on this page. Places are limited and booking is essential. All children must be accompanied by an adult.


Our out of school care group visits are offered in the mornings and include access to the historical tea rooms and the onsite interactive exhibition, through an active and engaged guided tour. Pupils will sit in our back saloon for homemade cakes, tea or juice, and will make and take away a Mackintosh style stencil or an Edwardian toy.


Enquire about booking your out of school care group below.


Summer Holiday Family Activities: The Glasgow Style for Kids


(Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in July 2024 – workshops begin at 2:00pm, ticket price is £6 per child)


Throughout July, come and learn techniques inspired by the Glasgow Style, at a child-friendly level. Each workshop will end with an object to take home and use in everyday life.


Tuesday 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd – make a Hand Bound Journal

Wednesday 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th – Make a Mirror Mosaic

Thursday 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th – Make an Embroidered Bookmark


Workshops are suitable for children 5-12 years old, but all are welcome. Places are limited and booking is essential. All children must be accompanied by an adult. All children and any adults wishing to make an object must have a booked paid place, but adults solely accompanying a child do not need to book paid places.


We love family holiday activities that involve making something useful or something you’ll actually want to take home.


Previous workshops have included:


Make a Willow Pattern Plate – Make a Willow Lightcatcher – Make a Stained Glass Window Hanger – Make a Gesso Panel Bedroom Door Sign – Make an Embossed Copper Pencil Case – Make a Mini Billiard Table


Thanks to all the lovely out-of-school-care groups that have previously visited us:

Ark Rutherglen Out Of School Care – Buddies OSC – Calderwood Out Of School Care – Chatterbox Out Of School Care – Connect2 Bridgeton OSC – Jam OSC – Meiklewood Nursery OSC – Mini Adventures OSC – Monkeypuzzle OSC – Pollok OSC – St Roch’s OSC – Tasc OSC – Task Gorbals OSCTic Tacs OSC

COMING SOON in 2024: Enchanted Tea Room Adventures: A Magical Journey into Mystical History


Back by popular demand! Step into the Enchanted Tea Room Adventures for a mesmerizing children’s afternoon event! Join us on a magical journey filled with mysticism, mind-boggling fortune-telling, and exciting historical tales, all brought to life by the enigmatic Cara Hamilton’s captivating psychic powers. Plus, get ready for an interactive workshop in the ancient art of tessomancy, led by the renowned practitioner Avi Lago.


Tickets available soon!


Adult Workshops & Activities

Mackintosh at the Willow offers a programme of workshops and activities for adults.


Upcoming workshops and activities for adults will be advertised on this page. Places are limited and booking is essential.


Often participants in workshops and activities will gain access to the historical tea rooms and the onsite interactive exhibition. The ticket price for some workshops will also include food and beverages served in our historic tea rooms.

The Glasgow Style: Saturday Art Workshops for Adults in 2024


Back by popular demand! Learn techniques associated with the iconic Glasgow Style in our workshops for adults. All workshops run from 10.30am to 4pm, and include a guided tour of the original Willow Tea Rooms building, professional tuition, and refreshments in our historic tea rooms.

Saturday 11th May 2024: Make a Gesso Panel with Alison McIntosh Prentice


Saturday 8th June 2024: Make Stained Glass with Matthew Donnelly


Saturday 6th July 2024: Make Batik Fabric with members of The Batik Guild


Saturday 10th August 2024: Make a Watercolour with Kayleigh McCallum


Saturday 21st September 2024: Make a Beaded Silver Brooch with Laura Murray


Saturday 26th October 2024: Make a Hand Bound Book with Toben Lewis


The Dug Out: Sunday Afternoon Talks for the Public in 2024


Dig deeper into the inspirations and history surrounding the original Willow Tea Rooms building with our series of talks for the public. All talks are led by an expert in their field and include a chance to ask questions, and a serving of tea/coffee and home-baked shortbread in one of our historical tea rooms.


PLEASE NOTE: Guests with full price tickets are eligible to take advantage of a special 20% discount on food and drink. Discount available for a la carte and afternoon tea, excludes alcoholic drinks, tea rooms only, must be prebooked. Venue reserves the right to limit discount use at any given time. Valid only for the day of the talk. Quote DUGOUT24 when booking and present ticket at table to take advantage of this offer.
A Talk about Scotland’s Victorian Kitchen with Peter Gilchrist


Sunday 4th August, 1:00pm – 2:30pm, Ticket price £12.50 per person

All proceeds are in support of the charitable activities of National Trust for Scotland.


In this talk, Peter Gilchrist of Tenement Kitchen will present his ideas on the evolution of the Scottish Kitchen through the Victorian era, including insights into the gadgets, implements and layout of kitchens as well as the recipes for delicious bakes of the time. Starting in the 1830’s, Peter’s talk will lay the groundwork for why Tea Rooms would become such a major cultural movement in Scotland.
Peter Gilchrist is a Scottish food historian, writing under the name of Tenement Kitchen. He is an ambassador for Scotland Food & Drink, contributor to BBC Radio Scotland and has been named as one of 2024’s best newcomers by the Guild of Food Writers. As a co-director of the Scottish Food Heritage Symposium, Peter works with chefs, historians and folklorists to preserve the nation’s food stories.


A Talk about the Temperance Movement in Scotland with Dr. Elspeth King


Sunday 6th October, 1:00pm – 2:30pm, Ticket price £12.50 per person

All proceeds are in support of the charitable activities of National Trust for Scotland.


In this talk, Elspeth King will trace the history of the temperance movement from its foundation in October 1829 through its various stages, when licenced premises were banned from Glasgow Corporation properties in 1890 and the city became ‘a very Tokyo for Tea Rooms’ in a broad sweep to the present day.
Elspeth King is a retired museum curator who previously worked at the People’s Palace, Glasgow (where she wrote the first history of Scottish temperance) then Abbot House, Dunfermline and the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.


Previous Talks include: A Talk About Mackintosh’s Willow Tea Room Design with Alison Brown and A Talk about The Making of Blythswood with Graeme Smith

COMING SOON IN 2024: Spirits of the Tea Rooms


Back by popular demand! Step into the enchanting world of “Spirits of the Tea Rooms,” (one of The Times’ Top Ten Events to See in Scotland). Cara Hamilton presents an evening experience of Spiritualism, fortune-telling, historical artifacts, body snatchers, and uncanny powers. Witness what Miss Cranston and Charles Rennie Mackintosh saw when the lights dimmed.


Tickets available soon!

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Skills Development

Mackintosh at the Willow offers skills development in hospitality and business for students and young people outside of education. This can include formal work experience placements and workshops on afternoon tea design, barista skills and the history of hospitality. To enquire about skills development for your young people click below.


Employment training offers hope, particularly in regions with limited social mobility.


We are proud to be working with the Prince’s Trust, Action for Children, Hub International, Developing the Young Workforce and Career Ready, providing essential, practical training for marginalised young people in Glasgow. We are thrilled that 10 of our young trainees are working towards their Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ).


To ensure positive employment experiences, we put the wellbeing of all our staff front and centre, prioritising mental health support, and providing mental health first aid training for all of our training mentors.


Without our building, we cannot offer training, support and career progression. It is essential we continue as a champion of young people, no matter their background. Together we can inspire the next generation to believe in themselves and a better future.

FREE USAGE  Specially trained waitresses make final preparations at the opening of Mackintosh at the Willow in Glasgow Sauchiehall Street following a £10m restoration of the original Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed building. June 7, 2018. The 200 seat restaurant and tearooms, known as ÔMackintosh at The WillowÕ will have a phased opening during the summer of 2018, with the official opening of "Mackintosh at the Willow" in September 2018.


While we always recommend that learning activities are best experienced within the tea rooms, we know this isn’t possible for everyone. Whether you are from a school, college, university, community group or care home, if you want to learn but can’t make it to town, we can come to you.


For offsite/outreach learning we offer the following:


  • A self-led handling box of historical objects, complete with a suite of learning plans tailored to the content.
  • A visit from one of our education team to help your learners engage with the handling box contents.
  • A 60 minute illustrated talk from one of our education team, covering the history of the original Willow Tea Rooms building, the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the business of Kate Cranston.
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If you would like to learn more from home, or share your learning with a group, please feel welcome to make use of these free digital resources, that include the following:


  • A slide presentation on the history of the original Willow Tea Rooms building, the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the business of Kate Cranston.
  • A video presentation on innovation in the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh
  • A recorded discussion on the history of Afternoon Tea and it’s return to popularity

Powerpoint: Guide to Mackintosh at the Willow

Click here for A Guide to Mackintosh at the Willow

Video: Innovation at Work

Video: Discovering Afternoon Tea



Through visits to us and our outreach programmes, we have provided educational experiences for early learners, young adults and adults.

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Founded in 2015, MILK is a social enterprise set up to support women from a migrant background, including refugees and asylum seekers. Check out their blog post detailing their visit to Mackintosh at the Willow here.


There’s lots of ways to engage with the building; formal and informal workshops, the interactive exhibition, guided tours and of course a visit to the tearoom.

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Active Seniors encourage anyone over 50 years of age living in North West Glasgow to be more socially active. To learn more, click here


We want everyone to be able to engage with their local heritage and are here to provide whatever support you need.

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GDA strives to empower disabled people to become leaders in our own lives, communities and wider society. To learn, click here