Home Destinations Self-Guided Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol: Where to See 10 Original Banksy Art

Self-Guided Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol: Where to See 10 Original Banksy Art

by Michele
2 comments
Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol - You don’t need planning permission to build castles in the sky - Lower Lamb St
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From the “Well-hung Lover” to “The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum”, this Banksy walking tour in Bristol takes you to all surviving Banksy art in his hometown.

As the hometown of world-famous street artist Banksy, no trip to Bristol would be complete without seeing some of his original work. Born in Bristol in 1974 and known for his thought-provoking street art, Banksy perfected his art and style on these streets. Luckily, you can still see some of his very early works scattered around the city.

I love the experience of exploring a city on foot and hunting for around for street art. This is something I’m used since I grew up in Melbourne which has loads of street art. While for most people this street art and Bristol history tour is enough to see a few of his more centrepieces, my self-guided Banksy walking tour will take you to all of his surviving pieces in the city. A must-see for all Banksy enthusiasts. While I do recommend joining popular this tour I still suggest you use this guide to see more of Banksy’s work. This Banksy itinerary not only takes you to his more famous pieces, you’ll also see Banksy’s earlier and rare pieces which really highlight his development as an artist.

Here are 10 original Banksy artworks you can see around Bristol.

Map of self-guided Banksy walking tour in Bristol

Want to know where you’ll be going? Take a look at the detailed map below.

Tip: For a larger view of the map, click on the icon in the top right corner. 

Click on this interactive map and see where this itinerary will take you. I’ve created this map using Google Maps which you can save and use as you visit Bristol. Click on any pin for more information.


1. Well-hung Lover – Frogmore St

Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol - Well-hung Lover Frogmore Street BristolOne of his more daring pieces, Banksy painted the Well-hung Lover in June 2006 in broad daylight and in direct view of the councillors and officers in the Bristol City Hall located opposite. At the time they were trying to have him locked up.

In order to create this piece, Banksy arranged for enclosed scaffolding to be placed up against the wall so he could work without being seen. A few days later, he ordered the scaffolding company to remove the scaffolding to reveal this remarkable piece.

What’s also impressive is the attention to detail. Notice how the window is in the same style and size as those on surrounding buildings. Bravo, Banksy. Bravo!

Address

Located directly opposite Bristol City Council on Frogmore St, Bristol BS1, UK, United Kingdom.

2. You don’t need planning permission to build castles in the sky – Lower Lamb St

Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol - You don’t need planning permission to build castles in the sky - Lower Lamb StLocated on a small road near Bristol Cathedral and behind the Central Library is this 2011 Banksy mural reads “You don’t need planning permission to build castles in the sky’. Banksy cleverly integrates the openings in the wall to create a smile.

Address

99 Lower Lamb St, Bristol BS1 5TL, United Kingdom

3. Paint Pot Angel – Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol - Paint Pot Angel Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Image source: Flickr

In 2009, Banksy held a hugely successful homecoming when under complete confidentiality, he took over Bristol Museum and Art Gallery for an exhibition called “Banksy versus Bristol”.

Banksy paid Bristol City Council £1 to hire the museum for his event which generated tens of millions of pounds for the local economy.  Record numbers turned out and queued for hours to see his work. One of those pieces was the Paint Pot Angel, which is now on permanent exhibition here. Although, when I visited, it was on loan in Denmark.

The statue depicts an angel with a pot of bright pink paint dripping down over the head of a traditional-looking sandstone angel.

Opening times

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday 10am- 5pm. Closed Monday.

Address

Located in the foyer of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery on Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RL, United Kingdom.

Admission

Free

4. The Mild, Mild West – The Canteen, Stokes Croft

Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol - The Mild Mild West Stokes CroftBanksy Walking Tour in Bristol - The Mild Mild West Stokes CroftStokes Croft is Bristol’s cultural quarter and where you find loads of incredible street art and colourful graffiti that continually transforms the area. An absolute must for street-art fans.  Banksy’s mural entitled The Mild, Mild West depicts a stylised teddy bear throwing a petrol bomb at three riot police.

Address

Located in the Stokes Croft neighbourhood at Hamilton House in the smoking area next to The Canteen. Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY, United Kingdom

5. Take the Money and Run…and get the beers in! – Montpelier Health Centre

Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol - Take the money and run Montpelier Health CentreTake the Money and Run is one of Banksy’s earliest pieces and longest surviving. This was a collaboration with street art contemporaries Inkie and Mobz. The mural depicts the silhouettes of three thieves surrounded by a colourful backdrop.

Address

Located just off of Cheltenham Road in the car park of Montpelier Health Centre in Montpelier. 35 Bath Buildings, Bristol BS6 5PT, United Kingdom

6 and 7. Grim Reaper and Tesco Petrol Bomb – M Shed

Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol - Grim Reaper M ShedLocated inside the M Shed Museum are two of Banksy’s works.  Banksy’s Grim Reaper in a rowboat was painted onto the starboard hull of the moored HMS Thekla in Bristol harbour – once a popular nightclub. The position of the artwork looked like this deathly figure was actually paddling the water!

With exposure to the elements, the artwork became increasingly damaged and his tag completely disappeared. A decision was made to cut out the Grim Reaper and place it on display at M Shed where it is on long-term loan.

Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol - Tesco Petrol Bomb M ShedAnother, but lesser-known piece, is Banksy’s Tesco Petrol Bomb. After Tesco had won planning permission to open a store in the Stokes Croft district, a peaceful demonstration turned into a riot on its opening day. A second riot took place the following week.

To commemorate the riots, Banksy created a commemorative souvenir poster for £5. The proceeds from each sale going to a social enterprise, the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC).

Opening times

M Shed is open Tuesday-Sunday 10am – 5pm. Closed Monday.

Address

The Grim Reaper is located on the first floor in M Shed above the cafe.

With the Grim Reaper behind you, head into the exhibition area. The Tesco Petrol Bomb poster can be found in a glass cabinet in the protest area to your right.

M Shed is located at Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN

Admission

Free

8. The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum – Hanover Place

Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol - The Girl With The Pierced EardrumPerhaps my favourite of Banky’s work in Bristol, this is his rendition of Vermeer’s famous painting Girl with a Pearl Earring. Painted in October 2014, Banksy replaces the girl’s earring with an outdoor security alarm making it The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum.

Address

Located at the end of an alley just off Hanover Pl, Bristol BS1 6UT.

9. Rose Rat Trap – Thomas Street North

Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol - Rose Rat Trap Thomas Street NorthProtected by Perspex by locals in the area, this image of a flower in a rat trap is a familiar Banksy motif as he often shows contrasting images together. It also hints at the animals he often uses in his work such as rates and monkeys – animals used in laboratory experiments.

Address

Located on Thomas Street North next to a blue gate behind the address 26 Fremantle Square, Bristol BS6 5TN, United Kingdom.

10. Blowpop Records – Cave St, Portland Square

Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol - Blowpop Records Cave StreetThis faded Banksy stencil is located near the entrance of a derelict building two doors down from Cosies, a famous Bristol bar and stopping ground of reggae DJs and graffiti artists. The stencil shows the title “Blowpop Records” above a matador waving his cape at a car with horns.

Blowpop was a very cool club night and record label which was formed by Bristol DJ John Stapleton (aka Dr Jam). Banksy hand-stencilled the matador image onto the covers of the first 100 copies of a limited edition Blowpop release.

Address

Located behind security fencing on Cave St, Portland Square, Bristol BS2 8RG, United Kingdom.

That’s it! Originally there were more Banksy pieces around the city, but all of them survived vandalism. If you visit Bristol and notice that one of these pieces is no longer in good condition, please let me know so that I can update this guide for others. For more tips about visiting Bristol, don’t miss my Bristol city guide.

For more information, visit the official Bristol tourism board website.

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Banksy Walking Tour in Bristol


Over to you!

Do you have a question about visiting Bristol? Have you seen any of Banksy original art before? Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

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2 comments

Cas August 26, 2021 - 19:16

Hey love!
Thanks for sharing this experience! About how long does this take?

Thanks again!

Reply
Michele October 5, 2021 - 15:46

My pleasure! I would allow a full day 🙂

Reply

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