Sometime in 2019, a Californian-based graffiti artist called Jules Muck returned to her birthplace of Stoke-on-Trent and left several murals behind. We decided to brighten up a dreary, foggy weekend walk by taking Elsa & Buffy to Newcastle-under-Lyme (one of our favourite dog friendly towns), pawsing to admire a few of the iconic 'Muck Rock' originals.
The Muck Rock murals have been the talk of the town for months and it was easy to see why! It's hard to miss these quirky, colourful designs.
We started our walk just outside of the town centre where we found this watchful rose painted on the side of Natalie's Florist.
This one is just a stone's throw away from Paws & Co Staffordshire Ltd, a local dog groomer where Elsa met her BFF Piglet many moons ago. There is also a dog friendly watering hole called The Cask Bar in this area too. If you are a fan of gin, they have a particularly fabulous selection to choose from!
Our next stop was right in the centre of Newcastle-under-Lyme. I was actually hoping to capture an image of the girls with the mural that Muck Rock painted at Mellards Bar (I hear that this place is also dog friendly) but sadly the courtyard gate was locked because it wasn't open yet. Luckily we didn't have to go far because there are two murals in the alley opposite! Sadly, one was boxed in with a bin and I didn't want to terrify the girls by trying to shift it for a photo.
The Prince mural is my favourite so far... it's stunning and really showcases the talent and versatility of this artist.
We can't go to Newcastle-under-Lyme without paying Hounds a visit! Based on Fogg Street, this independent dog shop stocks wholesome dog food and treats made from the highest quality ingredients. They also sell a range of collars and leads, coats, toys, beds, bowls and other bits & pieces for dogs and dog-lovers alike. Next door, The Cakery never fails to satisfy my sweet tooth, this delightful dog friendly coffee shop always offers a warm welcome to its canine visitors. If you fancy a stiffer drink then we can also recommend stopping at the dog friendly Ten Green Bottles for a little tipple. Or why not visit all three? Who says you can't wash down your cake with a gin while you paws and relax? Check out this blog post published by our friends at Hounds for more details of other dog friendly places in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Our final stop was Jollies Arts Ltd where we found a gigantic MuckRocktopus painted on the wall that faces the car park. I've since learned that there are several more Muck Rock murals (and at least one ''Muckmobile') that have been painted in the surrounding areas including Longton and Hanley. Some of them can be found on the official Muck Rock Instagram page, and others are featured on the Willfield Camera Club website.
These Muck Rock murals inspired us to veer away from the beaten path and look at places differently, and I especially enjoyed taking these photographs of the girls together. A huge thank you to Jules Muck for adding a splash of colour and California-cool to this little dog friendly market town in Staffordshire!