Fancy sniffing out some great graffiti pieces from the world-renowned Banksy? We took a self-guided Banksy walking tour with our dogs while visiting Bristol and we’re sharing it with you. The photo opportunities from Banksy and other great artists along the way are enough to have those tail-wagging Instagram radars blinking.
Who is Banksy?
The one-million pounds question – nobody knows! Banksy is a world-renowned, anonymous street artist, who came from humble beginnings in the city of Bristol.
Banksy’s work is well-known for delivering political messages such as homelessness, pollution, war, capitalism and anything that may be relevant at the time.
Although his thought-provoking and political pieces found in places such as London, Los Angeles and New York City – Bristol is home to some of his earlier work.
Walking Tour With The Dog
We had such a great time during our self-guided Banksy Walking tour (or Barksy in dog-speak) that we wanted to equip you with the knowledge you need to em-bark on your own adventure (for free). We’ve also included some of the dog friendly places we enjoyed in between.
The full length of our walk was around 4.5 miles, so you can either choose to follow our pawprints or sniff out the places you want to visit to create your own whistle-stop walk.
Always the question on everyones lips – where to park? We parked up in IKEA Bristol. It’s free parking all-day provided you purchase something inside. This meant we could get the full set of Banksy pieces in. If you’re looking to make it shorter, check out Parkopedia for the closest car-parks to some of the pieces.
Ready for our dog friendly Banksy walking tour? We thought you might be!
139 Fishponds Rd, BS5 6PR
The first stop on our Banksy walking tour is just a 10-minute walk from the IKEA car-park – it’s the Masked Gorilla. Looking at photos of this early Banksy piece, we were excited to see it IRL. But what we came face-to-face with was a ghostly version of the Gorilla in a pink mask. This is because it was accidentally painted over in 2011. It was restored but it’s nowhere near as vibrant as it used to be.
You can find this piece just under the signage for Julalabad Islamic Church to the right-hand side.
BS5 6SU Stapleton Road, Eastville, Bristol
Next, we walked just three minutes down the road to search for Banksy’s Eastville piece. Sadly, we couldn’t locate it as it’s been heavily graffitied over, but we did find some incredible graffiti pieces along the way. Worth it if you want to find some pawfect pieces like this.
Cat and Dog
Robertson Rd, Easton, Bristol BS5 6JE
Just a 7 minute short walk from the Gorilla, is the Cat and Dog! This is a very early Banksy (early 90’s) that is often missed due to its location. You can find this in the neighbourhood where he supposedly lived and hung out, Easton.
It depicts a cat with a spray-can and two guard-dogs approaching menacingly. The quote reads “There are crimes that become innocent or even glorious through their splendour, number, and excess.”
Mild Mild West
80 Stokes Croft, BS1 3QY
If you want to make your Banksy walking tour considerably shorter, we would recommend starting from here. If not, it’s around a 30-minute walk from Robertson Road but you’ll continue to see some great street art along the way. From here, you’ll start to find some of the more famous pieces, including the Mild Mild West.
This one depicts a teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at three riot police and is located right next to The Canteen bar, on the side of the wall.
This place is the perfect pit-stop during your walk or indeed to set your belly up with breakfast or brunch if you’re starting here. Dogs are allowed inside The Canteen bar during the day so you could pop in for a pint and some grub while viewing. Alternatively, Stokes Croft is home to many other dog friendly places including the original Boston Tea Party, Cafe Kino, Pieminster and the Bristolian.
Thomas St N Cotham, Bristol BS6
Just a five-minute hilly walk from Stokes Croft will take you to one of Bristol’s most cherished Banksy pieces, the Rose Trap.
This early Banksy piece shows a rose lying in a mouse trap. It is loved in the community who all pulled together to give it extra protection with plexiglass and a frame. It’s quite a small piece but still worth visiting.
Well Hung Lover
Arclight House, 3 Unity St, BS1 5HH
Well-Hung Lover is around a 20-minute walk from the Rose Trap. This is also known as Naked Man. This one is actually known to be the first legal piece of street art in the UK after Bristol Council granted it protection after purchasing the building. Like many of Banksy’s pieces, this one has also been vandalised by a paintball gun, but it doesn’t take too much away from the overall piece.
The scenario portrayed is that the suited man is the woman’s husband, and, suspecting her of having an affair with the naked man. He’s looking out of the window to search for him! Charlie loved it anyway.
Opposite is a big open green park next to the beautiful Bristol Cathedral. Dogs are welcome inside the Cathedral should you want to see something else en-route.
99 Lower Lamb St, BS1
A pretty 6-minute walk past the cathedral will take you to the next stop on our Banksy walking tour, Planning Permission. This little quote is tucked away in a parking lot and quotes “You don’t need planning permission to build castles in the sky“. It’s 2.5-meters long and shaped like a smile, with two air vents where the eyes should be.
You’ll sometimes find building work or bins blocking the piece, but it kind of adds to the overall theme.
The Girl with the Piercing
Albion Dockside, Hanover Pl, BS1 6XT
If you want to extend your walk, this one can be found a 23-minute walk around the harbour. Please note, that the SS Brunel boats that your Maps will lead you towards are not dog friendly, so you’ll need to walk around.
The Girl with the Piercing is a satirical parody of Vermeer’s “Girl with a pearl earring”, and it uses the alarm box on the wall as the girl’s earring. The piece is gorgeous and the dripping paint which someone used to vandalise the piece actually gives it charm. Updated just this year to include a face-mask. It is unknown whether this was Banksy, but it sends a great message all the same.
There are plenty of other Banksy pieces you can see in Bristol, including;
Take The Money And Run. One of his earliest known works in collaboration with Inky and Mobz. Located at 33 Bath Buildings, BS6 5PT. It has sadly been graffitied over but awaiting restoration.
Valentine’s Day. This is Banky’s latest piece in Bristol and located on 1 Marsh Ln, Redfield area. It was boarded up due to vandalism so we gave this one a miss for the time being.
Blowpop Records. This is a stencil mural originally designed as album artwork. Located at Cave St, BS2 8RU It’s a little difficult to see and is currently behind some security fencing due to building works.
Share Your Adventures
So there we have it, our virtual Barksy tour! Let us know in the comments below if you’ve visited any of these pieces or have any other favourite graffiti spots. For more dog friendly places in Bristol, click here.