Why visit Bristol?
Bristol is famous for its exciting art scene, making it an excellent location for an art class to visit. With its rich artistic heritage, there’s plenty of art history to be discovered here. But Bristol’s also a great choice for art groups interested in contemporary art and digital culture.
Certainly, if you’re looking for a trip that’s going to leave your students feeling inspired, Bristol is incredibly hard to beat. After all, this is the city that gave us Banksy and Aardman Animations! And your students will love exploring the many galleries and exhibition spaces dotted around the city.
The Royal West of England Academy is the city’s oldest art gallery and has a fantastic collection of both historic and contemporary art. And nearby, the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery has a wonderful collection including examples of the work of the Old Masters, the French School and the Bristol School.
For a completely different but no less inspiring experience, make sure you include the street art walking tour in your itinerary. Bristol is famous for its street art and your students will find out how this has developed over the past 30 years. And they will, of course, be able to see some works by Bristol’s own Banksy. You can even choose to upgrade the experience to give your students the opportunity to try their hand at creating their own street art!
Explore a historic port
Bristol is a vibrant harbour city that has a long and fascinating history and is one of the most important trading ports in the UK. In 1497, it was from Bristol that John Cabot set sail to become the first European to set foot on mainland America.
Bristol was also instrumental in transatlantic trade, including the slave trade. It’s estimated that around half a million African slaves were traded by Bristolian merchants. Many of these slaves were eventually transported to the Americas and the Caribbean.
This is the darker side to Bristol’s history that the city is starting to confront. As you walk around Bristol, you’ll notice that many of the street names and public buildings have names that are linked to the slave trade – many buildings, for example, are named after Edward Colston, the slave trader whose statue was famously thrown into Bristol Harbour by protestors.
However, several of these have already been renamed and more can be expected to follow. All this makes a school trip to Bristol a fantastic opportunity to discuss the slave trade and Britain’s role in it with your students.
Book with Halsbury
Take a look at our range of Bristol school trips below, and then get in touch with one of our tour advisers to discuss your requirements.