Shrouded in mystery and considered an English national treasure, Banksy is by far one of the leading graffiti artists in the world. Discover all of his creative works of art in Bristol and throughout England.

While a fair share of Banksy’s artworks is either painted over, removed, or faded, quite a few are still up for viewing.

Discovering Banksy in Bristol through a self-guided walking tour is like a DIY Amazing Race – fun, exciting, and quite educational as you get to know the city.

Most tourists end up visiting Bristol to explore the extraordinary culture and history. There are countless art galleries and contemporary spaces, and museums that will add to your exciting adventures.

Whether you’re curating a two-day Bristol itinerary and looking for something fun to do or just looking for a quick tour of the best Banksy artwork Bristol has on offer, this guide is for you.

Keep reading as you learn about where to find the current prominent Banksy artworks.

Banksy – Bristol

Banksy has long been a figure of mystery and thought-provoking artwork. While not much is known about the artist itself, many scientists and journalists have had assumptions on who it may be.

Scientists used geographic profiling to figure out who Banksy is, and thus, we’re left with the name of Robin Gunningham.

Journalists have since explored the idea and developed their speculations and stories based on this name. As the story goes, Robin Gunningham was expelled from school at 14 years old but was discovered to be a freehand graffiti artist somewhere around 1993.

People have pictured him as a silver chain wearing, scruffy-bearded caucasian guy that may have even spent some time in prison. If Banksy is Robin Gunningham, he was born in Bristol, and thus Bristol and Banksy have strong ties.

Regarding the history of Banksy’s art, Bristol was considered one of the first places for his artworks to become famous. It is also suggested that Banksy lived in Bristol until the 2000s, before moving to London.

Since nothing else has been confirmed (as anonymity is crucial), not much else is known about this mysterious anti-authoritarian artist.

While we remain on a quest to discover who the real Banksy is, many other theories have been proposed.

Some people suggest that he could be Massive Attack’s artist Robert Del Naja or Neil Buchanan. Unfortunately for the conspiracy theorists, these allegations have been cleared up, so the mystery continues.

Where to Find Banksy’s Art – Bristol

As they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat – similarly, there are just as many ways to view your chosen Banksy masterpieces.

It depends on which artworks you wish to see as well as how much time you have. There are a couple of routes to choose from and some exciting detours on the Bristol Banksy map. 

The best place to start is along the River Avon. Since most of the paintings are spread out, you may consider breaking up your viewings into different parts of the day or on different days altogether.

Some of the paintings are around five minutes apart, whereas the other murals can take around 30 minutes if you’re walking.

If you don’t mind and your healthy heart can handle it, this walk is the perfect way to explore and de-stress (kind of). And no one will judge you if you need to call a cab to help you the rest of the way.

It’s best to start in Hanover Street on Spike Island as it will guarantee you a day full of adventure, lots of learning, and, of course, as many Banksy pieces as possible.

Self-Guided Banksy Tour, Bristol

While a tour of the best Bristol attractions may be well worth the money, a stroll through the area to see some of Banksy’s creations is a unique way to get to know the region and is mostly free. But be sure to save some cash for snacks.

A couple of paid tours will take the hassle out of where to go and what to see, but what’s so wrong about a bit of brainwork to go with leg work? If you’re unsure which pieces you can discover or which treats you can get along the way, we’ve put together a quick guide to a Banksy walking tour in Bristol.

Learn about where to go, what to see, and some insider tips on what to do (or eat) from one Banksy location to another.

The Girl With The Pierced Eardrum

You’ve probably seen Vermeer’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring? Well, this is one of Banksy’s more popular pieces and an interesting representation of that exact piece. Instead of an earring, however, you’ll see an ADT security alarm.

In October 2014, this piece was discovered and can be found close to the Bristol Marina. You can use the clock tower nearby as a landmark, but once you’re in the Albion Dockyard in Hanover Place, you’re all set. 

While you’re in the area, you may as well catch a quick burger to eat at a nearby burger van or grab a drink at the Orchard Inn just a minute away.

Location: Hanover PI, Bristol

The Grim Reaper

While some of Banksy’s paintings can still be seen where they were initially painted, sometimes the Banksy trail in Bristol leads off to more secure places (for the painting, that is).

This specific one was first found on the Thekla Social boat in Bristol harbour. The painting was moved to the M Shed in order to protect it.

Since the M Shed is by far one of the best resources for you to learn all about Bristol’s history, culture, and significance, it’s definitely a good detour for any kind of tour. Luckily for us, they’ve also got a great Banksy addition in their midst.

Location: Bristol’s M Shed

How to get there: From The Girl with The Pierced Eardrum, you can take a 10-minute walk along the river to get to the M Shed. Head toward Gas Ferry Road and then onto Caledonian Road. You’ll have to take the second left to get onto Museum Street. Follow this road until you find M Shed. If you’ve reached the Olive Shed Restaurant, then you’ve gone too far.

You Don’t Need Planning Permission to Build Castles in the Sky

The description of this piece is in the name. You can find this gem hidden in an unassuming walkway in an industrial area.

It is one of the earliest Banksy creations and has since undergone some minor facelifts. A loading bay was built in the middle of the wording, but the piece remains somewhat intact.

If you’re curious enough to see the mural, you may want to get here as early on in the day as possible. It is in a relatively scary area and may be uncomfortable for non-locals, especially in the nighttime.

The Bristol Central Library is right around the corner, as well as some cool locations to spot along the way from M Shed.

If you’re looking to explore Bristol and not just Banksy, you can head into the Aquarium, the Rainbow Casino, or catch a bite to eat at Za Za Bazaar.

Location: 99 Lower Lamb St, Bristol

How to get there: Between the Grim Reaper and You Don’t Need Planning Permission to Build Castles in the Sky, lie around 1.1km (0.7 miles). This walk could take you anywhere between 13 to 15 minutes.

From M Shed, you’ll have to walk northeast toward Wapping Road. Then cross the bridge into Prince Street and then turn right after Shakespeare Tavern. Follow the path onto Anchor Road and hit a right onto Lower Lamb street.

Well-Hung Lover

This Banksy artwork is also sometimes called “naked man hanging from window” because it depicts, well, a naked man hanging from a window.

The naked man, concealing his genitalia, hangs from the window while his lover and her partner are standing “inside”. It’s quite an exciting and deliberate commentary on sexual health as well as promiscuity.

You can find this piece along the wall of a sexual health clinic. The commentary and irony are worth quite a chuckle.

The piece is also the first legal street art piece in the Banksy collection. While it was somewhat protected by the government, vandals went along and fired blue paint directly onto the mural.

To see this intriguing artwork, you can head over to Park Street, right down to the bottom of the bridge, for the best views. The stencilled graffiti is close to the Vestibules art space and the Bristol Hippodrome.

Location: 1 Unity Street, Bristol

How to get there: The scenic route is around 0.3km (0.2 miles) from the previous mural. You’ll find that you’re in the city centre, so you may want to stop for water, a pint or even a light snack at one of the surrounding restaurants. Follow Deanery Road until you’ve reached the end. You’ll then follow the pathway next to the water before going to Unity Street, and voila! You’ve made it!

Paint Pot Angel

The Paint Pot Angel can be found in the sculpture hall of the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. In 2009, the museum was overtaken with Banksy Art for an exhibition. The Banksy versus Bristol exhibition was a huge success and featured a multitude of fresh artwork.

Most of the art had never been seen before, and it displayed the usual style and symbolism that Banksy tends to use in his murals.

The Paint Pot Angel was left behind as a symbol of good faith and as a gift to the museum.

The Paint Pot Angel is one of the only Banksy statues left in Bristol. It depicts an angel with a paint pot over her head and pinkish-red paint running down her leg. While the symbolism isn’t as deep as some of his other murals, the sculpture is a treasured symbol of Banksy’s Bristol beginnings.

Location: Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Queens Road

How to get there: The walk from Unity Street should take around seven minutes. After the Well-hung Lover, you’ll walk straight down the A4018. Be sure to take a right turn toward the OMG Bristol Club, and you’ll see the museum after around 500m (0.3 miles). 

Rose on a Mousetrap

The Rose on a Mousetrap piece is said to be the best-preserved piece out of all of Banksy’s gifts to the public. The residents in the area banded together to frame the piece so that it wouldn’t get vandalised or fade away due to the weather.

The piece was found on the side of someone’s home in Thomas Street North. The image depicts a rose trapped in a mousetrap – as you may have imagined from the name.

It is also one of Banksy’s earlier works and displays a large kinship between Banksy and the residents of Bristol.

While the piece (or rather the glass cover) gets vandalised every now and again, the residents continue to reframe the Rose on a Mousetrap with donations from their own pockets.

Luckily, the piece is also next to a pub, so, drinks anyone? The Hare on the Hill has got you covered.

Location: Thomas Street North, Bristol

How to get there: This piece is a good starting point for day two (if you’re not keen on walking too much in one day). Since the walk is around 20 minutes from the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, you may even want to catch a cab.

You can take University Road and walk past the University of Bristol. From there, you can turn right on Myrtle Road or through the campus down Tyndall Avenue.

Either route you take, you’ll eventually head into Montague PI. Turn right down Kingsdown Parade and follow the road until Fremantle Square. Turn down Thomas Street North, and voila! You’re there. 

Take The Money And Run

This is another one of Banksy’s earlier pieces, best known as a collaborative piece with other street artists. It definitely looks a lot different than most of the other artworks you’ll see around Bristol.

This piece is not to be confused with the so-called work from a Danish artist for an exhibition that was supposed to run from September 2021 to January 2022.

The artist was paid around $84 000 USD and supplied the museum with two blank canvases.

Instead, you can expect to see bright colours and a traditional style of graffiti.

This piece was done by freehand instead of the regular stencil that we’ve come to associate with Banksy’s work. The mural was also buffed after being vandalised a few times.

Location: 33 Bath Buildings, Bristol

How to get there: This is a quick and easy walk as well. You can choose to stroll along the A38 or take the more “scenic” route along Picton Street. Walking down the A38 will take you past a couple of restaurants like The Social Bar and Cafe At The Well.

You can turn into Bath Buildings and turn the corner before St. Andrews Street. Around the big tree, you’ll see the mural known as Take the Money and Run.

Cat and Dog

This is one of the older pieces that was done by Banksy. The Cat and Dog mural is along a line of many other interesting graffiti artworks.

While the colourful background seems somewhat out of character for Banksy, it is one of the more unique pieces within his collection.

It is not that easy to get to, though, as you may have to drive there or wade through a couple of vehicles and trucks just to catch a glimpse of it. This is a good place for a walk if you’re a fan of street art in general.

While you’re in the vicinity, you can check out the Kebele Community Co-op. It offers a great breakfast and a wonderfully cosy feeling. If you’re looking to get off the Banksy tour now, you could head straight to the A432 for a stroll down the main road in search of restaurants, bars, or supermarkets.

Location: Corner of Robertson Road and Foster Street

How to get there: This mural lies on the outskirts of the region of Bristol’s Banksy pieces. You can expect to cover around 2.4km (1.4 miles) from Take the Money and Run. This walk will take approximately 30 minutes as the mural is on the other side of the M32. Along the way, you’ll pass Fox Park, Mina Road Park and Albany Green.

From Bath Buildings, head down York Road toward Cheltenham PI. Follow Upper Cheltenham until Brook Hill and go left onto Lower Cheltenham. From there, you’ll have to follow a zig-zag pattern from Ashely Hill to Sevier Street and Mina Road.

Then you’ll have to take the stairs up and over the M32 towards Fox Road. Head left on the A432 and then right onto Robertson Road. 

Valentine’s Banksy

A day before Valentine’s Day in 2020, residents awoke to some beautiful Banksy art in Bristol suited to the occasion. The image displays a young girl catapulting hearts up into the sky. The hearts are artistically captured in 3D by Ivy painted red. This is why residents had named it Valentine’s Banksy.

A couple of days later, the piece was vandalised to include pink spray paint, which Banksy mentioned (via Instagram) that he is kind of glad about. You can catch a glimpse of this beautiful piece in Barton Hill alongside someone’s home in Barton Hill, Bristol.

The piece is just a road away from Netham Park, in Marsh Lane. Head across the street to Hamblin’s for some fish and chips after.

Location: Marsh Lane, Bristol

How to get there:  Banksy’s Valentine’s Day is about 2km (1.3 miles) away from Cat and Dog. If you’re walking, it will take around 30 minutes to get there. Luckily, the Plough Inn is about halfway through the journey. So, you can always stop mid-way for a quick sip of water or a pint of beer.

From Robertson Road, you’ll have to go left onto Chester Road, and another left on St. Marks Street. You’ll follow St Marks all the way to High Street, turn right onto Albion Street and take another right onto Chelsea Road.

You’ll see Albion Green on one side, and even further down Chelsea Road, you’ll see Owen Square.

Walk through the square to get to Bristol and Bath Railway Path and continue toward Russell Town Avenue.

From here, you’re nearly there. Take a right onto Jane Street, head straight onto Cobden Street, and Tichborne Street. Once you see Mildred Street, you’ll turn right, and this will lead you to Marsh Lane.

Blow Pop Records

As we’re nearing the end of our tour, you may want to pop into Cave Street to catch a glimpse of the fading Blow Pop Records mural. It’s said that this piece was designed as an album cover and painted circa 1999.

You can hope to see the matador shaking a cape in front of a muscle car with horns somewhere hidden in Cave Street.

If not, this is one of the prints that seem to have been mass-produced and can be found virtually anywhere online. Just be sure to check the seller and authenticate your purchase beforehand.

Location: Cave Street, Bristol

How to get there: This part of the journey is the final major distance in this self-guided tour of Banksy in Bristol. While this section covers around 2.5km (1.5 miles), it’s an easy walk along the A420. You can follow this path until you get to Pritchard Street or Glouchester Street. If you’d like an easier alternative, there are buses from Lawrence Hill Station every 15 minutes.

The good news is that Cosies is right on the corner across from Portland Square. Have a seat and sip on your favourite drink, or get something to munch on before jetting off to the last and best-known Banksy artwork in Bristol.

The Mild Mild West

This Banksy artwork in Bristol is located on No. 80 Stokes Croft but is best viewed from Jamaica street. Much of Banksy’s work involves the concept of corrupting innocence somehow. As is evident in most of his artwork, Banksy adds child-like elements and some mature elements.

In this case, the mural shows riot police on one side with a teddy bear holding a molotov cocktail on the other side. This piece was finished in 1998 and was painted in response to a recent news story circulating at the time.

As with many graffiti pieces, this one was also vandalised with some red paint – luckily, volunteers banded together to fix the damage. It has since been decided that the mural will be protected by glass next to a new building of flats.

Location: Jamaica St, St Paul’s, Bristol

How to get there: If you’re feeling up to a lovely stroll throughout the city of Bristol, the view from Jamaica Street is well worth it. You’re a quick five-minute walk from Cave street, so this last and final piece should be easier to get to than most.

After a couple of sips of water from Cosies, you’ll want to head straight to Wilder Street, turn left and then your first right into Brunswick Street. This will take you straight to City Road. Then you’ve got a right turn onto the A38, a quick hop, step, or skip, and you’ll be on Jamaica Street.

Keep an eye out for places like Pocos Tapas Bar on the corner of Jamaica and Thomas street, as well as Nadu or the Take Five Cafe. These are all good indications that you’re somewhere along the right path!

Other Banksy Paintings

Were you thinking of another mural in Bristol that doesn’t seem to appear here? Well, here’s a quick peek at some of Banksy’s best work. These have been moved or whitewashed and restored somehow.

Elephant Missile

First Location: 4 Balmoral Road

The Elephant Missile is another artwork that has been somewhat mass-produced as well as reinvented over the years. The mixed media version was on sale up until 2020 in numerous formats. From cups to T-shirts, Banksy merch is just about everywhere.

The mural, however, was painted under a St Andrew Road sign along the side of someone’s house. The image of an elephant carrying a missile on its back has since been painted over and can no longer be found in Balmoral Road.

Sneezing Woman

First Location: Vale Street

This painting, also entitled “Aachoo!!” was painted in December of 2020. In May of 2021, this painting was removed and sold off. This was one of the Banksy paintings that created quite a stir in the neighbourhood.

Gorilla in a Pink Mask

First Location: 157 Fishponds Road

This is one of the Banksy artworks that was accidentally removed by the new owner of the social club in Eastville. The Gorilla With a Pink Mask was whitewashed and then later restored (somewhat) but has recently closed for good.

Burning Tyre

First Location: Bridge Farm Primary School

In January 2016, Banksy doodled a school child with a burning tyre on the wall of an elementary school. This Banksy painting was a gift to the children of the Bridge Farm Primary School, thanking them for honouring him at their school.

Banksy Bristol Map Detours:

As previously mentioned, some of Banksy’s pieces are really close together, while others are quite a distance apart. In this tour, I’ve tried to include as many of my favourite murals as possible. Here’s a quick breakdown:

From the Girl with the Pierced Eardrum to the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, the tour should be relatively straightforward. You could opt to make a detour at this point and put off pieces like Cat and Dog or Valentine’s Banksy.

You could even choose to bypass some of the paintings altogether and simply head straight to the more popular ones like The Mild Mild West.  

Your starting point will most likely determine just how far you’ll have to walk and which paintings you’re going to see.

While Hanover PI will help you get the most paintings out of the way early in the day, starting in Marsh Lane could prove to get the longest distances out of the way.

Whatever you choose, it’s best to layout the locations and select the pieces you’d like to see; know when you’ll need to call a cab and be sure to grab your most comfortable shoes and a water bottle.

Route One:

  • The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum – Hanover PI
  • The Grim Reaper – M Shed
  • You Don’t Need Planning Permission to Build Castles in the Sky – Lower Lamb Street
  • Well-Hung Lover – Unity Street
  • Paint Pot Angel – Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
  • The Mild Mild West – Jamaica Street
  • Rose on a Mousetrap – Thomas Street North
  • Take the Money and Run – Bath Buildings

Route Two:

  • Banksy’s Valentine’s Day – Marsh Lane
  • Banksy’s Cat and Dog – Robertson Road and Foster Street
  • Take the Money and Run – Bath Buildings
  • Rose on a Mousetrap – Thomas Street North
  • The Mild Mild West – Jamaica Street
  • Paint Pot Angel – Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
  • Well-Hung Lover – Unity Street
  • You Don’t Need Planning Permission to Build Castles in the Sky – Lower Lamb Street
  • The Grim Reaper – M Shed
  • The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum – Hanover PI

Final Say on Bristol’s Banksy Tours

Banksy has made a name for himself with a load of beautiful and provocative art pieces around the world.

While most of them are found in London and dotted around England, this Banksy art in Bristol map has been curated to ease your way into a fun and exciting walking self-guided tour.

Don’t forget to see your favourites and stop at some of the best brunch spots in Bristol while you’re at it.

And be sure to check out some more of the brilliant street art at museums and art centres like the Hidden Gallery or Clifton Fine Art.

Once you’ve conquered Bristol, why not head over to Shoreditch to experience some of the fantastic street art walking tours.

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