Bristol: Spots of colour

It’s just a day trip. Getting away for a little while, see something else. After a month in the country side, it is nice to do something different. Since Bristol is under an hour away and will be packed with exciting street art, that is my destination.

We have written about Banksy before. Last London trip was dedicated to the anonymous artist, whose pieces are everywhere there. It is, however, Bristol that is his birthplace. Naturally there are traces of him around here in town as well, but also of many other artists. Bristol has a long tradition of graffiti, and today you will find an amazing variety of interesting street art that is constantly changing. In other words, it should be a colorful day.


Sun is beaming down from a bright blue sky when I get off the train at Bristol Temple Meads. First stop the tourist office where I pick up a city map, while looking at the pink version of Gromit there.
All over Bristol and surroundings (including Cheddar), are 80 Gromit models in fiber glass on display. So far today, I’ve seen three of them and I’ll stumble across more during the day.


I head for Park Street. Across the bridge is a Banksy piece and I’ve seen pictures of this one before. My stomach growls as I snap a few photos. A little further up the street is the lovely Boston Tea Party, a popular cafe in Bristol. I find my escape from the beaming sun in their small backyard. Enjoying pancakes with berries and Greek yogurt for a late breakfast. Yummy! Think it will last me for a while too.

Then I trudge the streets. Looking for more street art, small details throughout the town, enjoying the view when I go up hill. Smile at the strange little There and Back Again Lane (yes, there is a small street actually called that).


Later I find myself far up in Stokes Croft Road. Everywhere I see exciting and colorful walls. Think local, boycott Tesco, I read upon a wall, when I sit down at The Arts House and order a cider. It is a relaxed mood here, a perfect place to just sit down and watch people walk or cycle by. If I’d had more time in Bristol I’d do just that. Perhaps move to the cafe next door to hear Harry and the Potters play.



Instead, the streets call to me again. I make a stop at the shopping complex in Broadmead, admiring the giant sandbox they have made here so that people can get a hint of the beach. Down around the canals, at Broad Key, it’s packed with kids and adults frolicking in and around the fountains. I keep on walking. Find colors, ideas, fun details…



Later, when the sun is lower, the canals are packed with people enjoying cold drinks and snacks. England has had a good summer this year. I take off my shoes and sit down by the canal for a short while myself. Wishing I had a glass of beer, but I have to catch a train.

I rushed through Bristol by train last year, on the way from Glastonbury to the northwest. I did not have time to look at the city then. It was worth making the trip back. Besides a dose of street art, all variations of Gromit, a cold cider and waving my toes down by the canals, it was wonderful to see that some neighborhoods have spiced up the surroundings by painting their houses in bright colours. Colours for the people – more cities should follow!



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