Forfar Murals Trail

Walk around the Forfar Murals Trail to find about the town’s history, birdlife and surroundings, while getting some good exercise.

How the Forfar Murals Trail came about

Over recent years, a concerted effort has been made to brighten up unsightly walls around Forfar. The projects started with Forfar in Flower painting the wall in the garden at the entrance to the Country Park.

A year later, Forfar Community Council held a competition to find a photo of Forfar for the wall of the Thistle Bar and it paid for the winner – Haybales at Sunset by Ian Bain – to be printed on a banner and mounted on the wall. The council then used funding from the NHS Innovation Fund and an online competition to commission three more murals – Bird Street Names, Balmashanner and Forfar Routes – Murton to the Glens.

Next, a Scottish Government Town Centre Regeneration grant funded graffiti artists to paint the windows of the remaining wall of what was the St James Works (now Asda) as an important reminder of Forfar’s history as a flax mill town in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Then, in the summer of 2021, Forfar Action Network (FAN) held another competition for five murals sites around the town, with funding from EventScotland, as part of its Gala Art event. The artists chosen gave real thought to the history and essence of the town and produced the beautiful Birds of the Loch, The Accused, The Tale of a Guide Dog and Restenneth Priory, Golden Eagle  and Benzil Harvest.

Youth project Angus Youth Expressive Arts also worked with 250 young people and some of them produced the vibrant, colourful boards from the brief Lockdown and Me. They are displayed on the West End FC Club wall.

There are more walls which could be improved, and funding will be sought in the months and years to come to transform them too.

Forfar Murals Trail

The Tale of a Guide Dog

Location: Queenswell Road

By Skye Rose Collaborations.

Sponsored by EventScotland and Forfar Action Network (FAN).

Forfar is home to Scotland’s Guide Dog training centre and this mural tells the story of a guide dog’s life – from its puppy walking and extensive training to working years and finally its retirement.

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - The Tale of a Guide Dog

Bird Street Names of Forfar

Location: Queenswell Road

By Neil Paterson.

Sponsored by NHS Innovation Fund.

Completed after the first UK lockdown in 2020, this mural features thistles (for Scotland) and strawberries (for Strathmore).

From left to right we see four birds representing four streets in Forfar named after birds: Swallow for Swallowcroft, Song Thrush for Mavisbank; Sparrow for Sparrowcroft and Lapwing for Teuchatcroft. In the middle is a medieval-style depiction of the Queen’s Well, where the mural is located.

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - Bird Street Names of Forfar

Birds of the Loch

Location: Ranger’s Centre, Forfar Loch Country Park

By Skye Rose Collaborations.

Sponsored by EventScotland and Forfar Action Network (FAN).

To brighten up the fence, 28 species of birds were illustrated thanks to the beautiful photographs by local photographer Ian Bain.

It is an interactive learning experience with names of birds and a fact about each.

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - Birds of the Loch

Lockdown and Me

Location: By Forfar West End Club

Created by young people from across Angus in workshops designed and delivered by Victoria Wylie.

Funded by The Scottish Government (via Angus Council).

This mural features artworks created by young people from across Angus during a series of workshops designed to support those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

They were given a platform to express their thoughts and feelings around their experiences of the pandemic and its lockdowns.

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - Lockdown and Me

Farmland in Town

Location: Garden Wall of Forfar Garden, at entrance to Forfar Loch Country Park

By Forfar in Flower.

This was an ugly wall behind the apple trees of the Community Garden, so artist Hilary Hart was asked to outline Angus farmland, and six Forfar in Flower volunteers completed the colouring-in.

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - Farmland in town

Balmashanner

Location: Opposite Strathmore Water on West High Street

By Douglas Roulston.

Sponsored by NHS Innovation Fund.

Forfar is instantly recognisable by its beautiful war memorial at the top of Balmashanner Hill. As it can be hard to access, the idea of this mural was to bring the monument into the town so the soldiers who fell in the 1914-18 war could be remembered by all.

The colours are bold and ethereal to give the mural a dreamlike feeling, with the aim of projecting warmth and joy to the town.

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - Balmashanner

The Accused

Location: Behind Forfar Library in The Myre Car Park

By Skye Rose Collaborations.

Sponsored by EventScotland and Forfar Action Network (FAN).

This is a sombre piece depicting the women accused of witchcraft during the 1600s in Forfar, showing likely characters who suffered horrifically due to prevailing ignorance and fear.

Judith Langlands-Scott provided many stories of those accused of ridiculous crimes.

The 54 stars in the sky are to remember those tortured and murdered.

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - The Accussed

Forfar Routes – Murton to the Glens

Location: Colin M. Smith, Castle Street

By Victoria Wylie.

Sponsored by NHS Innovation Fund.

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - Forfar Routes

Restenneth Priory and Golden Eagle

Location: Beside Tanning Studio, East High Street

By Skye Rose Collaborations.

Sponsored by EventScotland and Forfar Action Network (FAN).

Restenneth Priory’s links to the Picts and Pictish stones are an important part of the history of Forfar and surrounds. Therefore the Glamis and Aberlemno stones have been incorporated.

The Golden Eagle’s golden flecks catch the eye of passers-by.

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - Restenneth Priory

Haybales at Sunset

Location: Thistle Bar, North Street

By Ian Bain.

Sponsored by Forfar Community Council.

“When I saw this shot first time, I didn’t have my camera with me and the sky was cloudless – which isn’t so effective in photography. However, the following night the conditions were perfect and I rushed back.

“The signpost and path were great focal points and golden hour (about an hour before actual sunset) was just glorious – giving the field and hay bales a warm glow, with the clouds adding to the overall photo.” – Ian Bain.

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - Haybales at Sunset

The Benzil Harvest

Location: Thistle Bar, North Street

By Victoria Wylie.

Sponsored by EventScotland and Forfar Action Network (FAN).

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - The Benzil Harvest

The History of Forfar Weaving

Location: South Wall, Asda, St James Road

By Ryze and Fitlike.

Sponsored by the Scottish Government Town Centre Regeneration Fund.

The mural on the remaining wall of the former Don and Low textile mill depicts workers from the mill which once stood on the site of what is now the ASDA supermarket and some of the tools and words they used.

Photo: Ian Bain.

Forfar Murals Trail - The History of Forfar Weaving

The 2.2 mile trail can take between 46 minutes and 1 hour to complete if walking.

See the list of the murals in Google Maps.

Forfar Murals Trail Map

Image Gallery