If you’re a fan of internationally renowned street artist Banksy, you may remember hearing that he spent the summer of 2021 whizzing around the East Coast of England on a ‘Great British Spraycation’.
As you would expect, Banksy’s artwork in Norfolk and Suffolk became a huge talking point and people flooded in to see it.
If you want to see the murals firsthand, this guide will tell you where they were created and whether they are still there. I’ll also provide you with a map of Banksy locations on the Norfolk and Suffolk coast, so you can tour them all at your leisure.
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Banksy Murals: Norfolk and Suffolk Map
Find a map of all of the Banksy artwork in Norfolk and Suffolk below. Artworks marked in red are sadly no longer possible to view.
Where to Find Banksy Art in Norfolk and Suffolk
During Banksy’s Great British Spraycation, he created 10 murals along the coast in Norfolk and Suffolk. Of these, seven are still available to view.
Banksy Norfolk Locations
- Where: Guanock Place, King’s Lynn
- Accessibility: No longer in place
The statue of King’s Lynn mayor and steam engineer Frederick Savage has been standing in Guanock Place for over 100 years. During his spraycation, Banksy added a tongue and ice cream to the sculpture.
Preservation: Unfortunately, this Banksy is no longer there. Although the statue remains there were a number of complaints before Banksy claimed the artwork and the local council removed the additions. There has been discussion as to how the council can redisplay the work, however, they have said that its original location is a dangerous place for people to stop and therefore, the additions are unlikely to be put back onto the statue.
How to get there: Trains run from London to King’s Lynn and you can also travel via train from Norwich, however, there is no direct line. Driving is the easiest way to get there.
- Where: Sea wall in Cromer, Norfolk
- Accessibility: Wheelchair users will need to book a beach wheelchair from the council to see this mural
To go along with my local pub, I now have a local Banksy! Perhaps my favourite of all the murals from Banksy’s Great Spraycation is the artwork on one of the sea walls at Cromer. If you have read my guide on things to do in Cromer, you’ll already know that this seaside town is famous for its crabs.
Banksy decided to use hermit crabs for this artwork which sees a group of crabs looking on at empty shells. The crab guarding the empty shells is holding a sign that states ‘Luxury rentals only’.
According to the EDP, there are 4,476 second homes and 2,221 furnished holiday lets in North Norfolk alone. There is no doubt that the amount of second homes is making it more difficult for locals to find somewhere to live in the places that they grew up. This is part of a larger national housing problem which also incorporates issues of homelessness, the expense of the rental market and housing of displaced people.
It is a very important message and one that many locals are glad has finally been addressed by someone of Banksy’s reach and influence. In fact, Banksy’s mural in Cromer even won the ‘Moment of the Year‘ award in North Norfolk!
Preservation: When the artwork first appeared, North Norfolk District Council said that they would leave it for everyone to enjoy until it naturally washed away. However, after Banksy claimed responsibility for the piece, the council varnished it to ensure it survives as long as possible.
How to get there: Cromer is easy to reach by train or bus. There is a direct rail connection to Norwich and various other towns in the region. To find this Banksy mural, walk along the east promenade and look for the sea wall closest to the beach huts.
- Where: Merrivale Model Village, Great Yarmouth
- Accessibility: Sold to a private collector and no longer available to view
Perhaps the biggest achievement by Banksy on his spraycation was entering Merrivale Model Village in broad daylight to install a little artwork of his own.
A thatched miniature stable appeared one morning and stood unnoticed for at least two days. It is tagged with Banksy’s name and the message ‘Go big or go home,’ a nice nod to the artwork’s positioning in the model village.
On one side of the stable, there is a cartwheel propped against the wall, with one of Banksy’s famous rats standing on top. There is also a girl who appears to have dropped her apples in shock after seeing the graffitied house.
Preservation: The Merrivale Model Village originally placed the Banksy stable and girl in a protective box. The art was displayed every day before being taken off the premises at night. The ‘Banksy Effect’ meant that the owners had to employ security staff to guard the model. Due to the ongoing costs that came with protecting the Banksy, the owners of the model village decided to sell, generating £1 million in revenue. The stable now belongs to a private collector.
How to get there: Merrivale Model Village is located in Great Yarmouth which is easy to reach by train. For drivers, there is abundant parking available along the seafront and in the nearby car parks.
- Where: Admiralty Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
- Accessibility: Accessible for all
Banksy’s creative genius strikes again as he incorporates the bus stop on Admiralty Road into his mural. A couple dance atop the bus shelter with another playing the accordion at the side.
Preservation: Since Banksy announced that this was one of his pieces, Great Yarmouth Borough Council installed a perspex cover to protect the work. Initially, barriers were also placed around the bus stop and security guards were drafted in to protect the site.
The council, who couldn’t have wished for a better time for Bansky artwork to start popping up over their town (they currently have a City of Culture bid in), have thanked the artist for “all the wonderful artwork” and have even suggested that Banksy is endorsing their bid by choosing Great Yarmouth as a location.
How to get there: Head towards the large circular structure on Admiralty Road. The bus stop is next to it.
- Where: Gorleston Seafront, Norfolk
- Accessibility: Accessible for all
If you have ever been to a Norfolk seaside town on holiday, chances are you already know that the arcades are a top source of entertainment for all ages. In keeping with that theme, the artwork installed along Gorleston seafront features an arcade-style grabber situated above a bench.
A few days after it appeared, local street artist Emo Raphiel Astoria added some teddy bears to the piece alongside the words ‘Banksy Collaboration Emo’. The artist claimed he reached out to Banksy back in 2017 about a collaboration but it is unknown if Banksy replied. The council decided to paint over the teddy bears to restore the mural to its ‘original concept’ in September 2021.
Preservation: The local council has installed a perspex covering over the Banksy. There was an attempt to damage the mural in early in 2022 but luckily, the vandalism was on the plastic protective sheet. It has since been removed.
How to get there: Buses run regularly to Gorleston from Great Yarmouth and other locations along the Norfolk Coast. You can also drive there. To see this Banksy, head along the esplanade and past the car park till you see the undercover bench.
- Where: Gorleston Model Boat Pond
- Accessibility: No longer in place at original location. This mural has been moved to Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth.
This mural was painted over by Great Yarmouth Borough Council as it was deemed insensitive following the death of Ava-May Littleboy on Gorleston Beach in 2018. It depicted two children in a dinghy being flung into the air. The dinghy is being pumped up by a man who is preoccupied with his drink.
Preservation: This mural was painted over owing to its contentious subject matter and location. In early 2022, the decision was made to recover the mural and move it to Great Yarmouth Time and Tide Museum. Once it has completed its stay in the museum, the council have said that it will be moved to a permanent home within the area for the locals to enjoy.
How to get there: Gorleston is easily accessible using local bus services or by car.
Banksy Suffolk Locations
- Where: Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad, Suffolk
- Accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible
This Banksy mural depicts three children in a boat with the tagline ‘we’re all in the same boat’. One of the children is scooping water out of the boat with a bucket. There was previously a metal structure incorporated into the artwork, however, this was moved by the council as it was blocking a drain and they were concerned about flooding. A spokeswoman for Oulton Broad Parish Council has said it will be returned.
Banksy has been very outspoken in regard to how the UK treats refugees and previously funded a boat to pick up displaced people trying to cross the English Channel. This mural could be another nod to the escalating refugee crisis or the growing inequality in the UK.
Professor Paul Gough from the Arts University Bournemouth has theorised that the use of the corrugated metal sheet for the boat in the artwork, sends a powerful message about the environment, with the children trying to jump off the sinking ship.
Preservation: A clear screen has been put up to help prevent fading and protect the art from being defaced.
How to get there: Nicholas Everitt Park is located in Oulton Broad which is best reached by car. There is a railway station in Oulton Broad too, around a 10-minute walk from the entrance to Nicholas Everitt Park. To see the Banksy, enter via the car park off Bridge Road and follow the main path. When you come to the bridge over the stream, divert to the lower level to see the mural.
- Where: London Road North, Lowestoft
- Accessibility: No longer available to view – sold to a private collector
Located on London Road North, this mural featured a child with a crowbar making a sandcastle. The paving slabs were smashed up around the pile of sand, an act done by Banksy (or one of the team) personally.
Preservation: Plastered on the side of Lowestoft Electrical shop, this business was for sale at the time of the artwork creation. However, since Banksy announced responsibility for the work, the owners decided to take it off the market to consider their options in light of its added value. The mural was ripped from the wall and sold to a private collector for an estimated £2 million pounds. Although the original is no longer available to view, the building’s owners commissioned a local artist to replicate the mural which you can still see in the same place. There is also a new tribute to the work on the High Street, nicknamed the Banksy vending machine.
How to get there: Lowestoft is served well by public transport and this mural is located at number 127 London Road North.
- Where: Katwijk Way, Lowestoft
- Accessibility: Accessible for all
If you have visited any seaside destination in the past, you’ll understand the struggle of trying to keep your chips safe from dive-bombing seagulls. From this artwork, it is also clear to see that Banksy has experience of this too!
Sprayed onto the side of a residential property is a huge seagull mural. It sits atop a metal skip filled with insulation material that has been designed to look like chips. Many were initially sceptical about this artwork belonging to Banksy, claiming it is furthest from his normal style.
Preservation: Security was employed to secure the Banksy until a waterproof screen was installed. It is now one of three in Lowestoft that East Suffolk Council has committed to protect. Despite this, there have been reports that some of the ‘chips’ have been stolen from the skip.
How to get there: This mural is located just a five-minute walk from Lowestoft train station. It appears on the side of the house where Katwijk Way and Denmark Street meet.
Where: Bottom of Links Hill, North Beach, Lowestoft
Accessibility: Not accessible for wheelchair users
Banksy has used rats in much of his work, particularly during the pandemic. You may remember seeing the mural in which the rodents took over a tube carriage in 2020. This rat appears to be enjoying a staycation of his own, leaning back in a deckchair with a cheeky cocktail.
The rodent has been carefully positioned under a drain. This is presumably so that once the wastewater drips out, the glass is perfectly located to catch the liquid.
Preservation: The local council was in the process of making plans to protect this artwork when it was sadly defaced with white paint. There are hopes that specialists will be able to restore the artwork but until this time, the mural remains covered to prevent any further vandalism.
How to get there: Those who have travelled to Lowestoft using public transport will have to make their way to North Beach on foot. If you have travelled by car, you can drive down Links Road, however, you’ll need to walk along the beach. This means that sadly those using mobility scooters and wheelchairs won’t be able to see this mural without specialist equipment.
Banksy’s Great British Spraycation: A Mixed Response
Compared to other locations across the UK, Norfolk and Suffolk don’t have much of a street art scene. So you can imagine the mixed response when edgy murals began to pop up across the East Coast of England!
Some of the locals dubbed the graffiti as ‘mindless vandalism’ whereas others were very excited to see the artwork, speculating that it could be from famous street artist and political activist Banksy.
After the murals first began to appear, some had surmised that it was linked to the City of Culture 2025 bid submitted by Great Yarmouth and East Suffolk councils. As the radio silence from Banksy continued, experts waded in to give their opinions on the murals. One collector and Banksy expert said that some of the works were certainly by Banksy but he had doubts about the others. Cleary not as much of an expert as he thought…
It was around a week before a video appeared on Banksy’s Instagram claiming the artwork in Norfolk and Suffolk. Suddenly, after its announcement, there was a mad scramble to protect the murals by the relevant local councils.
Over the coming months, some of the Banksy murals were auctioned off to private sellers. While I can understand why the owners decided to sell, I am sad that the artwork hasn’t been left for everybody to enjoy. Despite this, there are still plenty of Banksy murals in Norfolk and Suffolk to view. Go and see them now before more disappear!
Have you seen any of the Banky’s in Norfolk and Suffolk yet?