>  Travel   >  Europe   >  Bristol: walk in search of Banksy’s murals
mild mild west
When I moved to Bristol I found several masterpieces of street art scattered around the streets of the city, and after I inquired properly, I became aware that Bristol is the city that gave birth to Bansky, one of the most important exponents of street art, whose true identity is still shrouded in mystery. His works, made with the stencil technique, have a satirical background and touch on topics such as politics, culture and ethics and have appeared on streets, bridges and walls around the world. But Bristol is the place where Banksy took her first steps and where even today you can admire some of her murals. So on a sunny Sunday morning, I went around looking for his masterpieces.
I started my journey in the Harbourside area with:


THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING, 2014 (BS1 6UU Hanover place and Sydney Row) This is a real satirical reinterpretation of “The girl with the pearl earring” by Jan Vermeer where instead of the earring makes its appearance on the wall the anti-theft box ADT and just for this desecrating act, Banksy renamed the play “The Girl with the Perforated Eardrum.” This mural appeared in October 2014 with the aim of refuting the false news released by the “National Report” (American satirical website), according to which Banksy had been arrested and consequently his secret identity had also been revealed. Although immediately after her appearance some black paint was sprayed around the girl’s face, the work remains wonderful. In the night between 21 and 22 April of 2020, in full emergency Coronavirus, on the face of the girl appeared a gigantic blue mask, a symbol of the great discomfort of the times that we are living

la ragazza con l'orecchino


From here I continued my pleasant walk along the Wapping Wharf, a redeveloped area of the city between beautiful clubs and kiosks, and arrived at the Mshed Museum, a free museum in which you can not only retrace the history of Bristol in different eras, but also admire one of the graffiti of Bansky, exposed on the second floor of the building: THE GRIM REAPER, 2003 (BS1 4RN). It was made with the graffito technique in 2003, on the side of the Thekla Social Boat, anchored at the port of Bristol, from where it was removed in August 2014 because it was deteriorating due to turbid water and atmospheric agents. Which is good for all museum visitors who can now admire this dark-colored work, where the Death seems intent on sucking all the elements of the Earth, in the first place the water, as it was originally when the work was on the waterline of the ship. I see an ecological message and it reminds us what would happen if we continue to exploit our planet on the bone.
the grim reaper


After leaving the museum, I turned right, passed the Prince Street Bridge and arrived in the city center from where I continued towards College Green until I reached Bristol Cathedral. Nearby, hidden in a city parking lot, there is printed the phrase “YOU DON’T NEED PLANNING PERMISSION TO BUILD CASTLES IN THE SKY”2011 (41 Lower Lamb Street BS1 5QR). This 2.5-meter-long piece of textual street art has the shape of a smile, with two air vents where the eyes should be.
you don't need a planning permission to build castle in the skyg permission


Returning to the main street and I found myself in front of WELL HUNG LOVER, 2006 (7 Park Street BS1 5HR). Banksy painted on a building that was a sexual health clinic, this provocative scene depicting a naked man hanging from his lover’s window as he escapes the sight of her husband unexpectedly returning. When the City Council purchased the building, it asked the Bristol citizen, through an online survey, whether the mural should be maintained or not. The 97% of citizens voted in favour of the presence of Banksy’s work because, according to them, it had given prestige to the area! It was a landslide victory over the council policy, which at the time wanted graffiti removed from the Bristol walls; Well Hung Lover was the first mural of Street Art in Britain to be recognized as legal. Unfortunately, the mural was damaged a couple of times, first with paint stains in 2009 and 2018 with offensive phrases.
well hung lover


Continuing to walk towards Park Street, I finally arrived at the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery (BS8 1 RL) where the memorable “THE PAINT POT ANGEL” is preserved in memory of the very successful exhibition “Banksy Versus Bristol”, held in 2009 at this museum. From here, to find more of his work, you have to move to Stokes Croft. You can do it on foot in about half an hour or by bus first taking the 1/2/8 towards the center and then the 73/75/76 towards Stokes Croft.
paint pot angel


I, as a good walker, decided to walk to see one of his most famous works: MILD MILD WEST 1999 (80 Stokes Croft BS1 3QY). This mural refers to a street riot that took place at Stokes Croft and depicts a teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at three riot police. Bristolian people likes this work of the artist because it reflects their open and friendly spirit.
mild mild west


In a small side street not far from the main street you will find the work ROSE ON A MOUSETRAP of early 2000 (Thomas Street North BS2 8LX). This is the only work of Banksy to have been framed in Bristol and depicts a rose captured by a mousetrap. It is placed under a shrine by the will of about twenty residents, in love with this trapped rose to such an extent that they have decided to protect it from vandalism.
rose in a mousetrap


Returning to the main road continue straight to the traffic light where you have to turn right and walking straight until you get to St Andrew’s Road (BS6 5EH) you will find TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN, handmade by Banksy in the early nineties along with Inkie and Mode2 and that makes this one of his oldest pieces survived Bristol.
take the money and run


To see Bansky’s latest works, you have to move to Easton, where Bansky supposedly lived, which is a half-hour walk or a convenient bus ride away. Once you arrive in Easton, you must reach 18 Robertson Road (BS5 6JY) where you will find CAT AND DOG, painted by the artist when he was part of the DryBreadZ Crew. The mural depicts a cat with a spray can and two guard dogs approaching menacingly, on the right side you can read “There are Crimes that become innocent or even glorious through their splendour, number, and excess.”
cat and dog


A short distance from this work is the last graffiti of my visit: MASKED GORILLA, located at 157 Fishponds Road (BS5 6PR). This black and white gorilla with a bright pink mask appeared on the wall of the Eastville Muslim cultural center. In 2011, the new owner of the building, who knew neither Banksy nor the value of his work, had the wall whitened. Following apologies from the owner for the damage and subsequent restoration, the gorilla is now partially visible.
masked gozila


On the eve of Valentine’s Day 2020 on a wall in the area of Barton Hill BS5 9SD. It depicts a female cupid holding a slingshot and about to hit a bouquet of flowers. To date the cupid is covered with plywood, so it is not visible, but the bouquet of flowers is still on display.
st valentine of Banksy


Banksy was a pretty busy artist during the pandemic. His latest work in fact appeared again between the walls of a semi-detached house at Vale Street in Bristol(BS4 3BT). It’s known to be the steepest residential street in England. The work of the artistit depicts an old woman with a veil as she sneezes, a sneeze so intense that she loses her denture, purse and stick. Aachoo!! For fear of vandalism, in this case, the masterpiece was covered and put safe.

aachoo banksy murales
banksy murales aachoo


START: I started with the girl with the BS1 6UU pearl earring, in an area not far from the city center but you can also choose to start from another work.

END: I finally left the Easton area, a bit outside the city center. You can decide to move on foot or by bus. The last piece I saw was the masked gorilla.


WHEN TO GO: It is a path that you can do all year long both on foot and using public transport.

TIME: Much of the day to see all of Banksy’s works and various stops.


  • Comfortable clothing and shoes, don’t forget a rain jacket
  • Bring water, along the way you will find various points where you can eat and drink
  • If you want to spend just a few hours I suggest you keep in the Stokes Croft area where there are various works not only by Banksy.
  • If you want to learn more about the history of Banksy’s works there is the opportunity to participate in walking tours with a guide, I recommend Blackbeard

post a comment