Art & Design School Trips to Bristol

Bristol is well known for its rich heritage and artistic streak. Home to Banksy and a community of artists including Inkie, Tuco, Andy Council and Gemma Compton, it has some excellent galleries and host of street art which is the focus of Upfest, Europe’s largest free festival of urban art. It is the perfect location for your next Art & Design tour.

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Enjoy a Street Art tour of Bristol which will give you a chance to see works by Banksy and many of the other artists involved in Bristol’s unique and internationally-known creative culture and provide insights into their working lives. Then “get your hands on the cans” and enjoy a stencil spray art session. Not only will you get an introduction to stencil art from the very beginnings of recorded-human history up to the modern day, you even get to take home some self-sprayed artwork.

Visit the M Shed museum located in a 1950s' dockside transit shed a Princes Wharf to: see amazing film and photographs; listen to moving personal stories; encounter rare and quirky objects

Take a trip to nearby Portishead and explore the work of more than twenty outstanding visual artists who have contributed to the Portishead Public Art Trail with works, which reflect the town’s rich history and heritage, integrated into the landscape.

Whether you want a 1 or 2-day trip to Bristol if you request a quote we can start building your bespoke itinerary today.

Itinerary

Day trip

Tour Day 1

Morning
Depart school for mid-morning arrival in Bristol. Enjoy the Bristol Street Art Experience which includes: Bristol Street Art Tour Stencil Spray Art Session
Afternoon
After your Stencil Art Spray Session, why not enjoy some free time in the city Centre
Evening
Evening return to school.

2 day tour

Tour Day 1

Morning
Depart school for late-morning arrival in Bristol.
Afternoon
Enjoy the Bristol Street Art Experience which includes: Bristol Street Art Tour Stencil Spray Art Session
Evening
Check in to your accommodation. Evening meal and free time.

Tour Day 2

Morning
Visit the M Shed to: see amazing film and photographs; listen to moving personal stories; encounter rare and quirky objects
Afternoon
Free time to explore Bristol’s shopping quarter the head off to Portishead and follow the Portishead Art Trail
Evening
Depart for your return journey to school

Accommodation

Accommodation in this area ranges from YHA centres to chain hotels such as the Premier Inn.

Study Visits

Bristol Street Art tour

This is the first street art tour set up in Bristol, and the tour that was created to support and promote the artists, whilst providing insights into the working life of Banksy and many of the other artists involved in Bristol’s unique and internationally-known creative culture. Being supported by the Bristol street art community, you get the insiders view of the scene.

Stencil Art Spray Session

These sessions are for everyone who is looking for a new experience: someone’s who possibly never ever shaken a spray can before! We introduce stencil art from the very beginnings of recorded-human history, to the modern day with Banksy art. Just what did inspire him to become so impressive at stencil art in a world of graffiti art in Bristol? These sessions are a great way to spray street art “get your hands on the cans” and take home some self-sprayed artwork

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery contains stunning paintings and one of the best collections of Chinese glass outside of  Asia

Upfest

Upfest is Europe’s largest free festival of urban art. Centred around the North Street area of Bedminster, it features murals by a range of local, national and international artists. The festival was due to take place at the end of August 2021 but has been rescheduled to May/June 2022.

Royal West of England Academy

Please note although the RWA is currently closed owing to building renovations it is likely to reopen March / April 2022

RWA offers many different creative workshops and classes. Catering for all levels and abilities, the school provides a supportive and inspiring environment in which to explore the possibilities of drawing, printing, painting and photography, amongst many other creative activities.

The school offers a wide range of courses and workshops, with something to suit every skill level. Students benefit from full access to the RWA’s facilities, including free entrance to exhibitions during courses and workshops – a fantastic space to be inspired.

Portishead Art Trail

Roughly 30 minutes outside Bristol is the town of Portishead which began to develop as a seaside resort early in the 19th century, as well as a retreat for Bristol businessmen. Centred around The Marina, extending in to the Port Marine and Village Quarter housing developments, more than twenty outstanding visual artists have contributed to the Portishead Public Art Trail. Their works, which reflect the town’s rich history and heritage, are integrated into the landscape.

M Shed

 This museum explores the history of Bristol. Visitors can discover more about the people, the places and life in this historic city through film and photographs, moving personal stories and working exhibits on the harbourside. This is an ideal place to start your trip to Bristol, giving you a great overview of the city.

 

Cultural Visits

Guided Walking Tour

Led by local historians Mark Steeds or Eugene Brooks this 2.5 – 3 hour walking tour will focus on migration topics such as Migration from 11th Century to present day, the impact of the Industrial Revolution, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the Abolition movement, 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott and 1980 St Pauls, riot or uprising. Key locations in Bristol will include Queen Square, Seven Stars Pub, Castle Park & the Old City, Colston Statue site, Great George Street and College Green.

SS Great Britain

The SS Great Britain is a living and breathing, atmospheric experience which allows you to experience the sights, sounds and smells of life on board just as passengers would have back in 1843. You’ll see the historic ship, Dockyard Museum and the beneath the sea Dry Dock. Throughout your visit you will discover the true stories of the passengers and crew.

Bristol Ferry Boat Cruise  - Abolition Afloat

During a boat journey around historic sights, students will learn about transatlantic slavery and abolition through stories from a Bristol ship’s boy and 11-year old Olaudah Equiano’s experience of kidnap and enslavement. They will also explore some legacies of this history and celebrate those who fought for abolition. The trip includes interactive commentary, audio recordings and classroom resources.

The Matthew of Bristol

Explore this replica of the 15th-century caravel that John Cabot sailed from Bristol to Newfoundland in 1497. In 1997 she sailed across the Atlantic once more to mark the 500th anniversary of the historic voyage.

St Mary Redcliffe Church

Explore Bristol’s maritime history in an interactive workshop and meet the city’s explorers and merchants. In this workshop you will be introduced to the wealthy 15th century shipowner and Lord Mayor of Bristol William Canynges MP, explorer John Cabot who sailed to North America in 1497 and the controversial merchant Edward Colston.

The New Room

The New Room is the oldest Methodist building in the world, built in 1739 by John and Charles Wesley. A keen abolitionist John Wesley denounced slavery as "the sum of all villainies," and published a pamphlet titled ‘Thoughts Upon Slavery’. Explore the chapel and the museum to learn more about how Wesley took a stand against slavery.

Underfall Yard

Since the creation of the Floating Harbour in 1809, Underfall Yard has been crucial to its operation and maintenance. Led by their enthusiastic guides these 1 hour tours take in the Pump Room, Workshops and Sluice Room.

The Georgian House Museum

Discover what a Bristol sugar plantation and slave owner’s home might have looked like around 1790. Eleven rooms spread over four floors reveal what life was like above and below stairs, from the kitchen in the basement where servants prepared meals to the elegant formal rooms above.

Bristol Cathedral

This popular tour invites students to explore memorials and objects in the cathedral linked with transatlantic slavery and to consider its impact. The hands-on workshop focuses on the historical, local and ethical implications of Bristol’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade and reflects on the issues of slavery today.

Aerospace Bristol

Beginning in the earliest days of powered flight, a school trip to Aerospace Bristol takes visitors on a fascinating journey through aviation history. It’s a journey through two World Wars, the Space Race, the Cold War and on to the modern day, where visitors discover the latest technologies of today’s aerospace industry. Workshop highlights include KS3 focus on the development of aircraft in WW1 and KS4 looks art the physics behind rockets and space travel.  

Stonehenge

A 90 minute journey from Bristol is this unforgettable World Heritage Site - an essential stop if you have the time.

The onsite exhibition will help you discover how the Stonehenge builders worked, while Stonehenge school tours can walk amongst the Neolithic houses to experience how they lived. It’s a unique opportunity, whatever your area of study, for your class to explore the most outstanding prehistoric monument in the British Isles.

Longleat Safari Park

Longleat is the UK's No.1 safari park, where lions roam, tigers stalk, and monkeys swing. With over 100 different species and diverse ways to interact and engage with them, the learning opportunities on a school trip to Longleat are hugely varied. From self-guided trails to prebooked handling sessions with the keepers, the park offers a range of animal-related sessions, based around topics such as rainforests, habitats and predators. 

You can also opt to book your own Safari Tour Guide. They will hop aboard your coach with a selection of props to deliver an interactive educational tour.

Bristol Shopping Quarter

Home to a mixture of high street and boutique shops, cafe's, restaurants and cinema, this is an ideal place for some downtime. 

Bath 

Bristol is close to the city of Bath, which means you may wish to add an extra day on to your school trip to discover the sights of this historic city. Popular choices include:

The Roman Baths 

A school trip to Roman Baths is a favourite for those studying the Romans and Roman Britain. A 60 minute activity session covers general aspects of Roman life. Handle Roman objects choosing from bathing, building and technology or cooking and food. Educational tours at Bath can also choose to add on extra activities, such as Togas and Tunics, Write on or Marvellous Mosaics.

The American Museum in Britain

A school trip to The American Museum takes you on a journey through the history of America, from its early settlers to the twentieth century. The only museum of Americana outside the United States, it was founded to bring American history and cultures to the people of Britain and Europe. Bring your class for a uniquely American, interactive and hands-on educational tour of this museum. Education sessions include:

  • Native Americans –History, Diversity, Culture and Legacy
  • English Colonists And The New World
  • American West
  • Inspirational African Americans

The Jane Austen Centre

The Jane Austen Centre in Bath focuses on the life and works of Jane Austen, as well as the Regency period in which she lived. A constantly evolving attraction, a school tour of the Jane Austen Centre will inform and entertain visitors of all ages. Actor guides dressed in Regency costume, period decoration throughout, and fascinating exhibits bring visitors closer to Jane Austen, and this interactive, immersive experience is ideal for school English trips.

Cheddar Gorge

Less than 30 miles from Bath is one of Britain's most spectacular natural landmarks. From its awe-inspiring cliffs to its extraordinary subterranean stalactite show caves. Cheddar Gorge & Caves holds many fascinating secrets about our prehistoric ancestors. Attractions include:

  • Gough’s Cave: The largest of the showcaves is ideal for Geography school trips, with numerous chambers and a range of incredible rock formations.
  • Jacob’s Ladder and the Lookout Tower: Panoramic views allow appreciation of the natural landscape and geological features.
  • Museum of Prehistory: This attraction gives Cheddar Gorge school trips the chance to learn about the lives of our ancestors.
  • Cliff-top Walk: A three mile walk that leads you through a Site of Special Scientific Interest (shorter routes are available)
  • Beyond the View: A cinematic journey through the gorge, this virtual tour on a 270° screen brings the landscape and its history to life.
  • ‘Dreamhunters’ at Cox’s Cave: A multimedia experience following the adventures of early man

Bath Abbey

There is nowhere else quite like Bath Abbey. Magnificent stained-glass windows, columns of honey-gold stone and some of the finest fan vaulting in the world, create an extraordinary experience of light and space. A beautiful stop for any Bath school tour.

Book your enrichment school trip to Bath and Bristol now.