The In Colourful Company colour walks around different cities in the UK are unable to happen this year, so here's a virtual walk around my little bit of Bristol.
Bristol is well know for it's street art. In particular, the area around North Street in Bedminster (which is where I live) is full to the brim with colourful murals to brighten our days! Upfest gallery hosts a nearly annual street art festival, bringing artists from all around the world, so the walls and shop shutters are a constantly changing canvas. I've tried to add as many of the artists names as I could find.
I'm going to take you on a short walk of my area, showing you some of my favourite colourful spots, street art and other stuff. And there will be some tip off's of nice shops, cafes and bars to dip into along the way.
I've also made a little map of the route for you to download and print at home! So if you're ever visiting Bristol after the whole lockdown extravaganza is over, this could be a nice place to start.
My walk starts in a random place, at this underpass. It's not the most colourful bit of graffiti, but it makes me smile. And it's a short walk from a bus stop where you can get dropped off from the centre of Bristol.
Keep walking, and you'll pass this row of cute little colourful houses. Fondant Fancies might be a good walking snack at this point.
Then, we'll head into Greville Smyth park. There are a few bits of graffiti to spot in here if you wander around, but I like this big shipping container. It's constantly changing as people add different paintings and colours to it.
We're going to go all the way through the park to Riverside Garden Centre. It's a great place to have a look around if plants are your thing. But also, if you go outside, there's a really nice view over the river of the rows of colourful houses in Hotwells, and a bank of wild flowers, bird feeders and bee hives below.
Then you can pop inside to check out the amazing selection of house plants and colourful planters. There's also a cafe selling homemade food, that's dog friendly and has a little outdoor play area for kids.
Next, we're heading back through the other side of the park to continue our North Street journey. See if you can spot more graffiti, stop at the Bowls club, or just admire the flowers on your way through. These rainbow social distancing circles mysteriously popped up during lockdown too, spaced at 2m for people to stand and chat. Or have a little snooze if you're like my dog!
There are so many murals scattered around the streets, that I just can't include them all, so keep your eyes peeled for more. I'm just going to highlight some of my favourites. The colours in this landscape one by Squirl Art are so beautiful. And I'm a big seagull fan, so this one peering round the side of the bookbinders brings me joy every time I walk past it. Painted by Irony and Placee Boe.
Slightly further along is the perfect wall for boomerangs and selfies by Paul Monsters!
Then you'll end up here. Pop into Marks Bread for the best sourdough around (if you're there on a Saturday there will be fresh doughnuts filled with homemade jam too!!!), or Bristol Beer Factory for a Southville Hop. On a brewing day, the air is filled with the delicious smell of hops mixed with the bread baking next door.
This one is pretty hard to miss, and is unmissable too. Just make sure you don't get run over by cars turning into Aldi as you're gawping at Greta Thunberg, painted by JODY.
Around the other side of The Tobacco Factory, there's a market every Sunday (as well as this giraffe by Chinagirl Tile). It's full of street food, and indie businesses selling all sorts of beautiful, colourful things.
While you're walking, don't forget to look up occasionally in case the hot air balloons are flying past! It's a regular occurrence in Bristol whenever there's some nice weather, and they usually take off near here. I get so excited when I hear the whooshing sound of the flames.
As you carry on along North Street, spot more murals (and at the moment, lots of rainbows too). And browse the independent shops. Casper sells work by lots of different artists, and has a vintage clothes section at the back if you need a sparkly new outfit for the rest of your photos! There are usually plenty of sequins and gem sweaters to get dressed up in.
Make a short detour next to The Spotted Cow pub and look for these 2. The bunnies by Lucas Antics are a bit faded now, but they're still one of my favourites. And there are a few of these little mosaics along the walk if you can spot them.
Back onto North Street, you can admire these 2 beauties, by Zoe Power (left) and Gemma Compton (right).
Drop into Zara's Chocolates below for handmade treats. The hazelnut latte chocolate bar is my personal favourite, but they sell ice cream, hot chocolate and cookies too!
Emotional Waterfall Art (left) has been gradually filling Bristol with patterns, and I love them all!
And this bird painting is a little harder to find. Go through the iron gate between the shops into the little community garden to find it, and sit on one of the benches for a while.
Another one that's very hard to miss is this underwater painting by Louis Masai. There's so much detail and colour in this, and has an important message about plastic waste.
Time for another vintage pit stop at Rhubarb Jumble, as you admire the huge orange hat sign hanging outside, and more murals.
And stop for a coffee in the extremely instagrammable Albatross Cafe before you carry on. The neon lights and plants in the window will draw you in!
A little further up the road is this pink, colour lovers dream by Penfold, perfect for some more photos.
And make sure to have a look in Trylla Shop at the collection of vintage toys, trolls, curiosities and handmade goodies. You can even sign up for clay club if you fancy getting crafty!
We've reached the end of our walk! But I'm finishing it on a high with these 2 beauties by Nick Harvey. I hadn't seen this cat painting on Toyville's shutters before, and I absolutely love it! And don't worry if the shutters are open when you go, as they have a great range of toys and board games to look at instead.
There are so many amazing shops, cafes, bars etc to visit in this area that I just can't mention them all here. So I'll be writing some more specific blog posts with the best ones in future.
I hope you enjoyed your virtual walk!