Bristol Street Art with Kids
Bristol is a perfect weekend destination and one weekend will not be enough to explore everything that the city has to offer. There is a maritime history, a student city, Clifton village and walls and walls of the world famous street art.
We visited just as the pandemic restrictions were easing. Some of the museums were still closed or operating limited capacity bookings. The weather has been kind and we decided to spend majority of our time in Bristol outside enjoying the street art and fascinating history.
While a guided Street Art tour may appeal to many travelers, we decided to go for a more relaxed option of a self-guided tour with Where the Wall.
This was a great choice, as I was worried that during a guided tour, the kids might get bored or will not have enough patience to listen to the guide for more than 2 hours. Where the Wall came up with a brilliant idea of a self-guided tour at the time of the pandemic, which allowed people to see part of the Bristolian contemporary art in a safe way.
All you need to do is download the app on your phone with a walking tour covering major street art pieces with a fantastic commentary. The tour mostly focuses on famous Banksy artworks, but also covers less known artists and plenty of historical information on how a particular piece has been created or changed through the years.
I did not realise it, but some street art gets destroyed by alternative groups or as a sign of protest. This means that the landscape is constantly changing and something that was there yesterday might not be here today.
This is exactly what happened when we went to look for Dancing Jesus artwork , which was painted opposite Banksy Mild Mild West. To our surprise the Dancing Jesus was damaged 3 weeks before our visit and a new art work was already in place.
The app gives you access to the tour for 24 hours in case you do not manage to see everything in one day. This happened to us and we simply did the second part of the tour the next day, as with kids we made frequent stops and did not want to cram everything into one day.
The tour is also a brilliant opportunity to see Bristol off the beaten track. The location of pieces and the route will certainly take you places, which you might not have visited as a tourist. This was definitely an added bonus for me.
I always try to see non-central places to get a real feel for the place. Interestingly, some of the most well known Banksy artworks are located in places, where there are hardly any people. It is easy to take as many pictures as you want or get up close and personal to the real Banksy. My kids were totally mesmerised by the fact that Banksy identity is not known and they were eager to learn about different tricks that Banksy had to do to paint his artworks in certain places.
I personally loved the commentary as you get around 5-6 minutes for each piece , where a lot of details about a certain street art are revealed. For example, we discovered different techniques or specific locations where pieces were painted, which added to our appreciation of the city.
I would recommend Where the Wall tour for families or if you want to see Bristol from a different angle and do not have the time to join a walking tour. As things are improving day by day, Where the Wall will be introducing more street art related activitites.
For example, kids can try spray painting (here) and be a street artist for a day. We will definitely try that when we are visiting Bristol next time!
This post was written in collaboration with Where the Wall, but all opinions are my own.