Creative Learning & Education

Community & Regeneration

Are you a member of a community group that likes to go on days out? We offer very popular, free community group visits on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 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. Our community group visits are bookable below.

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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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Education

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 click here or to *enquire* about bespoke learning please enquire below.

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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

Click here to view our formal learning offers overview
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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.

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Upcoming Workshop: Spring Holiday Family Activity: Make a Willow Pattern Plate

Celebrate the brighter days and add some luxury to your dining table, come along to decorate a real ceramic plate with your own design, inspired by Kate Cranston’s favourite crockery – the Willow Pattern.

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 a willow pattern plate must have a booked paid place, but adults solely accompanying a child do not need to book paid places.

Tuesday 2nd & 9th, Wednesday 3rd & 10th, Thursday 4th & 11th April 2024

Workshops begin at 2.00pm. Ticket price £6 per child

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

 

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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 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

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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!

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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 24th February2024: Make an Embossed Copper Box with Bryony Knox

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Saturday 9th March 2024: Make a Stencilled Fabric Panel with Astrid Weigel

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Saturday 13th April 2024: Make an Embroidery with Lucy Freeman

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

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

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

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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.

A Talk about Mackintosh’s Willow Tea Room Designs with Alison Brown

 

Sunday 7th April, 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 Alison Brown will present her theory on how to decode Mackintosh’s luxurious 1903 designs for the Willow Tea Rooms at 217 Sauchiehall Street, putting her interpretation into context with his other designs for Kate Cranston’s tea rooms.

 

Alison Brown is Curator for European Decorative Art & Design from 1800 to Present at Glasgow Museums. Alison curated the exhibitions Charles Rennie Mackintosh – Making the Glasgow Style (2018-2019) for Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and its four-venue tour around North America as Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh & the Glasgow Style (2019-2022). She was curator for the conservation and restoration of Mackintosh’s 1907 Oak Room interior (2015-2018), now on long term loan to V&A Dundee.

 

Part of 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.

 

BOOK HERE

A Talk about The Making of Blythswood with Graeme Smith

 

Sunday 2nd June, 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 Graeme Smith will illustrate the making of Glasgow’s ‘New Town of Blythswood’ in the early 1800s with a special focus on its prime developers William Harley and Jane Laird, who were also responsible for building townhouses that would become the site of the original Willow Tea Rooms building.

 

Graeme Smith is an author and campaigner, who has helped to save several historic buildings and encourage new uses. Before retirement he worked in economic development, the building of New Towns and in Urban Renewal for the Scottish Development Agency. He has published five books on Scottish history, including ‘The Theatre Royal: Entertaining a Nation’ (2008), ‘Alhambra Glasgow’ (2011), ‘Newton Mearns Through Time’ (2014), ‘The University of Glasgow Library: Friendly Shelves’ (2016), with his most recent being ‘Glasgow’s Blythswood’ (2021).

 

Part of 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.

 

BOOK HERE

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.

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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.
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Outreach

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

Impact

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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.

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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

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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