The Oor Wullie Bucket Trail

Sudger Wullie - Oor Wullie Bucket Trail Aberdeen
Sudger Wullie by Lesley D McKenzie

Do you remember when the Wild Dolphins came to town a couple of years ago? A collection of uniquely decorated dolphin statues, they spent the summer scattered across the city of Aberdeen waiting to be tracked down by kids - or just big kids like me - before being auctioned off in aid of the ARCHIE Foundation and Whale and Dolphin Conservation for some £531,000!

Well, this year Dundee has followed suit and developed an interactive statue trail of its own!

GG Shelagh Swanson - Oor Wullie Bucket Trail Aberdeen
GG by Aberdeen's own Shelagh Swanson

Taking inspiration from Scotland's much loved DC Thomson character - currently celebrating his 80th year - the Bucket Trail is made up of 55 5ft tall sculptures of Oor Wullie sat on his bucket; each one individually decorated by its own designer or artist. 

The statues are dotted around the city of Dundee just waiting to be discovered, with a handy trail map or phone app available to help track them down and score them off your "bucket list" (boom boom!). 

Night on the Toon - Oor Wullie Bucket Trail Aberdeen
Night on the Toon by John Carr

Cowboy and Minecraft - Oor Wullie Bucket Trail Aberdeen
Wullie the Cowboy by Deven Bhurke and Minecraft by 4J Studios

In addition to these, 10 Oor Wullies have packed up their bags and set out on a little summer tour around Scotland. Currently vacationing at Marischal College in Aberdeen, the statues will stop off at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth and Stirling before returning home to join the rest of the gang in Dundee.

Scotspirit and Strawberry Thief - Oor Wullie Bucket Trail Aberdeen
Scotspirit Wullie by Vanessa Gibson and Strawberry Thief by Ellen Brown

Boozy Cow and Wullamyn - Oor Wullie Bucket Trail Aberdeen
Boozy Cow Graffiti by Lynsey Henderson and Wullamyn by Sally Adam

I popped down to Marischal College with a friend to visit the Tour Wullies in a very sunny courtyard earlier this week. The place was bustling with young families posing for pictures on the empty bucket ..and while it might have made us the oldest visitors there (without kids in tow), it was lovely to see so many people engaging with these pieces of art. 

From a soldier to a cowboy; Wullie Wallace to another Scottish icon - the Tunnocks tea cake; each one is cleverly crafted in its own unique way. Besides just being a lot of fun, they're well worth visiting to appreciate the artistry and read the ideas and background story behind each one!

Wullie Wallace - Oor Wullie Bucket Trail Aberdeen
Wullie Wallace by Mandii Pope

You best be quick if you fancy seeing them in Aberdeen as tomorrow is the final day of their visit.

The other 55, however, are in residency throughout Dundee until August 27th. Perhaps it could make for a nice little day trip and a good way to occupy the kids!

All of the sculptures will be reunited at the end of the summer, ready to be auctioned off on September 13th, once again in aid of the Archie Foundation, specifically towards their appeal for a new operating theatre at Tayside Children's Hospital.

The app is free to download and there's no charge to engage with the trail, but donations to the charity can be made at some locations and through their text service, details of which are available on their site.

Have you managed to score any off your bucket list yet? 

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