Where Glasgow Used to Shop and Dine: Walk 1 Charing Cross to Buchanan Street

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Originally initiated and produced for Glasgow’s Doors Open Days’ Festival, this walk has been expanded to cover recent developments and changes.

For many years, Sauchiehall Street was considered to be Glasgow’s most vibrant thoroughfare, with its large department and fashion stores; jewellers, art dealers and galleries; tea and coffee shops and restaurants; theatres and cinemas. These could be found from its junction with Buchanan Street, through to Charing Cross. Changes in society, and shopping tastes and habits, along with the construction of the M8 motorway; high running costs; and the construction of large retail malls across the city, led to the demise of many businesses.

This walk visits the sites of some of Glasgow’s most famous names in shopping, leisure and entertainment, and provides an opportunity to discover how this famous thoroughfare evolved, and also to share memories of its past and lost glory. From Charing Cross to Buchanan Street, customers were presented with a wide range of shops large and small.

Many of the larger buildings have been demolished, but others have been adapted for other uses.


Names such as Elder’s, Minty, Lyon’s, Jamils, Dalys, Jean’s Tea-Rooms, and ‘Ma Brown’s’ are all-but-forgotten today, but this walk will pass by the buildings and locations where many of them were situated. The route will continue along Sauchiehall Street, to its junction with Buchanan Street, and then down this famous thoroughfare, where Rowans, Wylie Hill, Fraser Sons, and McDonald’s provided a memorable retail experience for generations of shoppers. Illustrations of surviving ephemera from a range of shops, restaurants and tea-rooms, will be available for viewing during the walk.

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For further information, please contact: glasgow_walking_tours@btinternet.com

This walk will be available from April 2020.