Why are there Oor Wullie statues all over Scotland?

Here’s a great idea for holidaymakers travelling to Scotland for a campervan or motorhome holiday: follow a trail, on foot or by bike, in various Scottish cities to see a fabulous display of colourful sculptures.

This summer, a fun and poignant fundraising campaign is taking place across Scottish cities, with a Scottish newspaper cartoon character at its heart.

Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail

Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail is the first nationwide public art trail and continues until August 30, 2019.

Spot this Oor Wullie in Edinburgh. But where? Credit: Chris Scott Photography

There are 200 giant sculptures of Oor Wullie to see – and to take your photo with.

The aim of the campaign, which is supported by DC Thomson Media, custodians of Oor Wullie, is to raise awareness and funds to support children’s hospital charities, including Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, and The Archie Foundation.

A street Oor Wullie. Credit: Chris Scott Photography
Ooor Wullie at home in Dundee. Credit: Chris Scott Photography

The Oor Wullie story

Oor Wullie first appeared in the Sunday Post more than 80 years ago and he is still much loved today. He’s the iconic Scottish laddie from the fictional town of Auchenshoogle.

Wullie is Scots for an affectionate version of William.

The character wears dungarees and has a spiky hairdo. He is usually accompanied by his upturned bucket.

The cartoon strips depict him as a fun-loving character who is always getting up to cheeky pranks.

The character is so loved by the Scots that in 2004 a survey voted him “Scotland’s Favourite Son”, which meant he beat William Wallace, Sean Connery, and Rabbie Burns.

Metal Oor Wullie. Credit: Chris Scott Photography
Prince Wullie. Credit: Chris Scott Photography
Dundee Oor Wullie. Credit: Chris Scott Photography
Do you know which city? And where? Credit: Chris Scott Photography

The host cities for Oor Wullie statues

The colourful statues are located in five cities, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. There will be some making an appearance in locations across Perth and Stirling, too. This spread of statues would make any Scottish road trip even more interesting. It’s the perfect time to hire one of Open Road Scotland’s motorhomes and see a little more of the country – whether you live in Scotland or you’re planning a visit.

You could spot the Perth and Stirling Oor Wullies if you decide to follow the new Heart 200 route.

The nationwide trail comprises of 200 life-sized, bespoke designed Oor Wullie sculptures across 700 miles.

Each life-sized Oor Wullie sculpture is unique, reflecting many aspects of Scotland’s cultural identity, and has been individually designed by 200 commissioned artists.

In every city, there is a free trail map and a digital app made available to help you to find all of the sculptures hidden across Scotland.

You can share your photos on social media using #OWBBT.

In September, when the trail ends, all sculptures will be brought together in their respective cities and exhibited for three days as part of a Farewell Weekend.  The culmination of the campaign will be a series of regional auctions to raise significant funds for each of the charities involved.

To find out more see Oor Wullie BIG Bucket Trail.

Book a campervan

Open Road Scotland has a range of campervans to hire in Scotland and motorhomes (linked above) and it is conveniently located close to Glasgow Airport in Central Scotland. It is a great location to start a trip to visit Scotland’s cities and see some of the Oor Wullie statues before they disappear!