A hub for UK street art, Bristol’s reputation has spread worldwide. Renowned street artists from across the globe have now made their mark on the colourful streets. Banksy, Cosmo Sarson, Pixel Pancho, Nick Walker, and Aryz have claimed their space; so, with new pieces popping up all the time, every corner could lead to a new discovery.
Capturing every urban masterpiece in the city would be a never-ending task, as events such as Upfest see the artwork refreshed and reinvented every year.
Our street art walking tour focuses on the highlights and showcases the immense variety of talent that has painted the Bristolian canvas.
The tour itself can be walked in under three hours, but take your time, stop off at our recommended Refuel Points, and enjoy the visual journey.
A Clifton-born artist known for his blend of styles and inspiration, including Mayan Architecture, William Morris, and Islamic Geometry
A follower of the stencil movement started in the 80’s by Robert Del Naja
One of Bristol’s earliest street artists, who includes his trademark bee in all his works
Known for his characters and now his cosmic nebula paintings
Creator of unmissable breath-taking figures
Most journeys into Bristol begin at Temple Meads Station. Take your time to appreciate the area before you move on, as it’s quickly becoming a new favourite with street artists. Just beside the station, a collaboration between Copyright and Paul Monsters takes a bold, geometric form. Works by Voyder, Loch Ness, SP Zero, Kid Crayon, and Lokey are dotted around.
Head towards the Bristol Harbourside next, crossing over onto Spike Island to see Banksy’s Grim Reaper in the M Shed Museum, which was first painted onto the side of the Thekla boat. Girl with a Pierced Eardrum appears by the Harbourside Walk.
Continue south into Bedminster and see the artwork produced as part of Upfest, the largest Street Art festival in Europe, start to crop up. The mesmerising colours of Dan Kitchener’s rainy street scene can be found at The Pantile off West Street.
Walk up North Street, the centre of Upfest, taking in the artwork as you go, and turn off for The Nursery. Here, a towering portrait by Jody Thomas takes over the wall. Further up the street, The Bristol Beer Factory is home to a piece by Cheo, one of the early Bristol street artists, who attended the Barton Hill Youth Club with Banksy, Inkie, and Jody. Opposite the Factory is a sign of Bristol’s international appeal: Kobra, a Brazilian artist who specialises in colourful portraits of iconic figures, painted John Lennon here at Upfest 2017. Spot works by artists such as PichiAvo and Findac nearby.
Head on to Ashton Gate, opposite the Greville Smyth Park, to see works by the likes of Mr Council and Inkie, another Bristol legend who emerged in the 80s.
Carry on towards the heart of the city.
Refuel Point: Spike Island
This artists’ workspace is also home to a café-bar, cinema, and events venue that lets you take a break in the heart of the action.
Head back over Spike Island towards Cabot Tower and Bristol Cathedral, to St George’s Road. A relatively new piece by Nick Walker adorns a shop shutter, if you’re lucky enough to see it down.
Park Street might well be Bristol’s best-known address; at the top, Inkie and Cheba have confirmed its fame with a colourful sign opposite the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, where Banksy held his 2009 gallery event. He famously paid just £1 to hire the venue, and Paint-Pot Angel still remains inside.
Head onto Frogmore Street to see Banksy’s Well-Hung Lover. This street is home to eye-catching pieces by JPS, a stencil artist from Weston Super-Mare who takes his inspiration from Banksy. Spartacus stands next door to The Queenshilling nightclub.
Skirt just south of Nelson Street onto All Saints’ Street, where the Italian artist Pixel Pancho has turned the NCP into a work of art with his mechanical mythical beast.
Nelson Street itself is home to a host of unique pieces by international as well as local artists. The See No Evil Festival saw pieces by El Mac and the Spanish artist Aryz arise. Nick Walker’s The Vandal and one of Stik’s signature simplistic characters can be found here too.
Head north for around 10 minutes, past The Bearpit, until you come to Hillgrove Street. Here you can see an ongoing turf war between the artist Phlegm and the MM13 Crew. Today, the MM13 Crew’s colourful wave covers Phlegm’s original work, but featuring a character that Phlegm later added.
Stokes Croft is the climactic end to this tour, known for the constant battle waged here between its artists and the authorities. The artistic scene here is always changing, always colourful, and often challenging. On the side of Hamilton House, Cosmo Sarson’s sadly obscured, but once-stunning Breakdancing Jesus stands opposite a piece by Banksy. We Are Europe’s controversial image of Trump and Boris Johnson cropped up here in response to the EU referendum. A vast portrait by Stinkfish, added to by Deamze, was painted in 2012, and one of Cheba’s nebulous star-scapes coats the Full Moon Hostel and attic bar. From the Jamaica Street Junction, you catch the best view of Banksy’s Mild, Mild West, voted one of Bristol’s most iconic sights.
Refuel Point: The Canteen or Moon Hostel
Right beside Cosmo Sarson’s Breakdancing Jesus, stop at The Canteen for local food and live music.
Later in the evening, you might swap in The Canteen for a drink in the Full Moon Hostel’s attic bar.
- You can choose to end this tour with a short further walk north to Montpelier Station, from where you can get a train back to Temple Meads. Countless artworks by artist Silent Hobo, in his distinctive cartoon style, cover this building.
- No visit to Bristol is complete without a visit to Easton. As the neighbourhood in which Banksy reputedly grew up, it’s home to many of his oldest remaining works, including the Cat and Dog mural on Foster Street, and Masked Gorilla. There is no better place than Easton and its back streets to see how Banksy’s work is influencing up-and-coming graffiti artists. Further East is Redfield, where you will find Banksy’s latest work on Marsh Lane, produced in time for Valentine’s Day 2020.
- Stick around late into the evening to visit the Thekla boat, where Inkie has decorated the spot that was once home to Banksy’s The Grim Reaper.