If you are a budding artist, or just enjoy wandering blissfully around art galleries, Bath and the neighbouring cities are the perfect places to visit.
When staying at The Bird, Bath for a short break in Bath, we recommend you visit The Holburne Museum, which is within walking distance from the property. The gallery was the city's first public art gallery, the Grade I listed building, is home to fine and decorative arts built around the collection of Sir William Holburne. The gallery is open daily until 5pm and is home to a wide variety of traditional events and exhibitions.
If street art is more your thing, you can’t holiday in Bath without visiting the birthplace of famous spray paint artist Banksy. Born in Bristol in 1974, Banksy was involved in the wave of street art that took Bristol by storm in the 1980s. Many of his earliest works are hidden in the bank streets of his home town and still to this day the world is unsure who the man behind the paint really is!
At The Bird, Bath, we offer free car parking facilities, and Bristol is approximately a 45 minute drive from us, depending on the level of traffic. We recommend you park in the heart of the city and take a wander through the Cabot Circus shopping centre, which includes a mixture of highstreets brands, expensive boutiques and local shops. If you prefer to leave your car at the hotel, you can get a 15 minute direct train from Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads everyday. There are two ways to explore Bristol’s Banksy art, you can do this by yourself, or participating in the Banksy Walking Tour. If you would prefer to take a guided walk around the city of Bath, please click here. The walk is available all year round, unless any of the works are suddenly painted over!
The Visit Bristol website has put together a plan of works you may encounter when walking the artistic streets of Bath. If you happen to come across any of Banksy’s pieces we would LOVE to see the photos, please post them on our Facebook Page.
Central Bristol: Grim Reaper
One of the most infamous of Banksy's works was originally painted on the side of the Thekla Social boat moored in Bristol harbour. the decision was taken in August 2014 to remove the work to protect it from damage and wear and it is now on display in Bristol's M Shed (on long term long)
Central Bristol: The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum
From the M Shed, head along the Harbourside, admiring some of the best views of Bristol, Brunel's ss Great Britain, Aardman headquarters and looking over to see the coloured houses of Cliftonwood. The newest of Banky's Bristol works, this first appeared on the side of a building in Albion Docks in Hanover Place, in Bristol's Harbourside in October 2014. You can find it near to Bristol Marina, look out for the clock tower and the nearby burger van.
Central Bristol: Frogmore Street, Well Hung Lover
Start on Park Street, one of Bristol’s most famous streets. Banksy's Frogmore Street artwork is actually on the side of a sexual health clinic, with the best views being had from the small bridge at the bottom of Park Street that crosses Frogmore Street. From here, head up the hill, browsing the great selection of trendy clothing shops, record stores and quirky fashion shops on the way.
Central Bristol: Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Paint-Pot Angel
Head up to the top of Park Street and cross over to the right hand side. Next door to the tower of Bristol University's Will Memorial Building is the entrance to the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, here you will be able to see Banksy's Paint-Pot Angel, which is a reminder of the hugely successful 'Banksy versus Bristol' Museum exhibition held in 2009.
Stokes Croft: The Canteen, Mild, Mild West
Head to the heart of Bristol’s cultural quarter, Stokes Croft. Banksy’s Mild Mild West artwork is located next to The Canteen and the best views are from the Jamaica Street Junction. The whole area resembles an outdoor gallery with colourful graffiti that continually transforms its walls and buildings, and is a must for street-art fans.
Clic Clack Boom, Easton
A short bus or car ride from Stokes Croft is Easton. This area is slightly further out of the way but contains some of Banky's oldest works and is a mecca for street-art fans. Clic Clack Boom is a very early, (and sadly now largely covered) Banksy, just set back from the buzzing high street on Stanley Park.
Cat and Dog, Easton
Just around the corner, on Foster Street, is another very early Banksy that again is set within a collection of fantastic street-art. It's well worth a visit just to take in some of the other amazing work that lines the streets there.
Masked Gorilla, Easton
Heading out of Easton along Fishponds Road brings you to an early Banksy of a gorilla in a pink mask. This was accidentally painted over in 2011, but has since been restored and is now a ghostly version of the original.
(Photo credit: Alex Breeds & Eve Lister)