I was invited on a day trip to Bristol by Visit England as part of their #MyMicroGap campaign. A microgap means the chance to explore and discover the world closer to home either on a day trip or a weekend away. It is a good way to unwind, learn a new skill or pick up a hobby and return re-energised.
Bristol is one of the UK’s cultural hotspots. I first enjoyed a graffiti tour with Where The Wall where I created my own piece of art in a spray-paint workshop. After that I ate the lunch at a local sustainably-sourced restaurant called Canteen. Last I tried my hand with a spirit-making masterclass in Milk Thistle Bristol, located on Colston Avenue.
Banksy is from Bristol. Born in 1974, Banksy was involved in the wave of street art that took Bristol by storm in the 1980s. Bristol has more artworks signed by Banksy than anywhere else in the world. Take a walk around Bristol and admire some of his protected street art. Starting from Harbourside, Banksy’s works are to be found in Wapping Wharf, Albion Dockyard, behind the Bristol central library on Lower Lamb Street, then up Park Street to Stokes Croft.
Stokes Croft is also an area where you can see Bristol’s Street art scene and is around 5 minutes away from the Nelson Street murals. It’s worth taking a street art tour with Where The Wall who will take you past the amazing street art murals that you may not find as a visitor and tell you the stories of each picture and the creator behind them.
Click through to their website Where The Wall.
In Nelson Street you’ll find quite a few amazing street art murals that were created as part of the See No Evil Street Art Festival that took place in 2011 and 2012. The festival was a celebration of Bristol’s street-art culture and was later replaced by Upfest, the Urban Arts festival that takes place in July in the Bedminster neighbourhood of the city.
Bristol is a hub for street artists, with huge murals and eye-catching designs at every corner.
Have you heard of street artist known as Stik? Stik’s art began as 100% personal expression (“I felt invisible and it was my way of showing I’m here”) but developed into “a small-p political” commentary on the changing face of London. Whereas Banksy’s stencils represent Banksy’s worldview, Stik’s figures are meant to express the community.
The Canteen opened in 2009 to serve people in and around Hamilton House and Stokes Croft, Bristol. With Crumbs magazine award nominations and citywide recognition, The Canteen is a place to meet, eat, drink, and listen to some of Bristol’s best live music.
A range of independent retailers can be found at St Nicholas Market, inside the historical building of ‘The Exchange’ in the Old Town. The Glass Arcade is a mixture of outlets, florists and textiles sellers.
I started my Bristol trip with a cup of coffee in a Mongolian Yurt Lush. This was the perfect first stop after I left the train station. Yurt Lush is in Clock Tower Yard.
A spirit-making masterclass in Milk Thistle Bristol, located on Colston Avenue. Milk Thistle is hidden in one the finest historic buildings in the old city, with a reputation as one of Bristol’s best kept secrets. I did some gin testing and enjoyed a masterclass in the history of gin. That is where I finished my Bristol trip before taking a taxi back to the train station.
Have you been to Bristol? If not try visiting on a microgap.