Charles Rennie Mackintosh was one of the world's most remarkable and influential architects, leaving behind a remarkable design legacy that endures to this day. 

Celebrated today as a leading pioneer of modernism, his design work encompassed architecture, interior design, furniture and metalwork. 

Such is his architectural legacy in Glasgow, it is said that no visit to the city - the only one in the world where you can view a concentration of his renowned work - is complete without discovering some of Mackintosh's best-known buildings. 

That mantra seems to have been adopted by the thousands who now follow in the footsteps of Scotland’s most famous architect and designer by taking part in Mackintosh-themed walking tours around Glasgow city centre. 

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The tours - the first of their kind in Glasgow - are organised by Walking Tours in the UK, a business set up in early 2017 "to fill a niche in the tourism market" for Scotland’s biggest city. 

Done in collaboration with Mackintosh At The Willow, the summer tours take a deeper look at his life, marriage to Margaret Macdonald, influences and expertise by visiting some of his most famous works in Glasgow, as well as his lesser-known treasures.

Walking Tours in the UK co-founder Jenny Benson said the idea of hosting a Mackintosh-themed walking tour in Glasgow had been with the business since its inception. 

The Dunfermline native told The Herald: “Mackintosh was always an idea for a tour right from the get go, considering his importance to Glasgow. He usually gets mentioned on all four of our public tours. 

The Herald: Two participants on the Mackintosh-themed walking tour of Glasgow standing next to Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh's beautiful gesso panel 'The White Rose and the Red Rose' at the Hunterian Art GalleryTwo participants on the Mackintosh-themed walking tour of Glasgow standing next to Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh's beautiful gesso panel 'The White Rose and the Red Rose' at the Hunterian Art Gallery (Image: Tommy Clarke/Walking Tours in Glasgow)

“Experience Glasgow got in touch with us about funding the creation of a Mackintosh tour in 2022 so it was the perfect time to do it. It was such a fun project to work on and piecing together a story of Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald through the city’s buildings.” 

“We quickly realised Mackintosh’s first flat we could see from our wee office,” Ms Benson added, in reference to 120 Mains Street, the property in Glasgow city centre where Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald set up home following their marriage in 1900.

Furnished entirely by pieces of Mackintosh's design - including the large bookcase and fireplace -  120 Mains Street represented the first significant interior project to display his mature interior style.

The tours consist of weekly two-hour public tours, which operate on Saturdays from May to September, and private half-day tours and full-day tours, which operate all year round. 

The full-day tours, which last six hours, include a visit to Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum - home to a fantastic collection of Mackintosh objects and furniture - and lunch at the A-listed Mackintosh At The Willow, the only surviving tea room designed entirely by the Scottish architect.

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“The public tours fluctuate but in the height of summer we sell out most Saturdays,” Ms Benson said. “For private tours, we get an array of requests all year round and do a couple a month, with a few extra in busy months.” 

Despite Mackintosh and his architectural legacy being a key driver of culture and tourism for Glasgow - with National Geographic going as far as to name his work the city’s “biggest artistic drawcard”, the popularity of the tours has taken Walking Tours in the UK by surprise. 

Ms Benson said: “We were surprised by how busy the public tours can get, and also how disappointed people are when they’re full or not taking place on days when they are visiting the city. 

“It’s great to offer something just that little bit different, and with the Mackintosh at the Willow exhibition included, it’s a really value for money way to learn more about our local hero.

“We tend to find the Mackintosh fanatics are North American, but we have locals and people from pretty much all the continents on the tours. From young to old too.”

To find out more about Walking Tours in Glasgow's Mackintosh walking tours, visit