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The M Shed

Home > Bristol > Cafes | Day Trips | Exhibitions | Family | Museums
by Time to walk about (subscribe)
We travel full-time as a family and I've just started blogging and freelance writing with no set place to call home, I'm now sharing my family's adventures online. Please visit my blog at www.timetowalkabout.com
Published January 6th 2020
Take a stroll down memory lane Bristol style
On a visit to the historic English city of Bristol, there is so much to see and do. For people interested in learning about the history of the city or who want something free to occupy their time, there is no better place to start than a visit to the M Shed.

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M Shed Bristol


The museum is centrally located down in the old dockland area of the city and can provide an entertaining outing for the whole family.

The main areas of the museum are all free and are relatively large; you could easily spend many hours walking around reading and interacting with all the different displays. They have divided them into three areas.

Bristol Places: - This area takes a look at how the city has changed over time, far back to prehistoric times but mostly covers the recent history covering housing transport and industry.

Bristol People: - Explore what makes the people of this city the way they are from industry and technology to art and the local music scene. Learn of the city's history in the slave trade

Bristol Life: - Delve into the social life of the locals and find out why and how they came to be there and what everyday life is like for them


With so many interesting and interactive exhibits that are suitable for all ages, this is an excellent place to get a feel for what makes this city tick without breaking the bank.




In addition to the main areas of the museum, they also have a special exhibition area at the top of the building, which changes exhibits regularly. There is a small charge to enter this area with tickets costing £6 for adults. However, it's free for under 16s though they still have to get a ticket, they include a £1 voluntary donation to Bristol Museums Development Trust in the price.

While up on the top floor, you can take a walk on the roof terrace, which is open weather permitting and gives a beautiful view of the old docks area and city.

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Early Man exhibition


On the day that we visited, they had an interactive Ardman animation display with props from their hit movie Early Man. This was an interesting exhibit that showed the many different stages involved in the production of the film. Our kids were excited to look around everything, and they let you see how it was put together and how they created many of the models. It was set up so that both adults and kids could enjoy it.




Throughout the year they also host talks, tours and workshops in the evenings on a wide range of subjects from war to wildlife photography, cinema and the NHS, these are also free to attend with details of upcoming events available on their website



For an extra treat, you can pay for a ride on the steam train that goes up and down the dock or take a boat ride on the river these are open at limited times and subject to having enough volunteers take a look at the working exhibits section of their website for operating times



Feeling hungry there is a café on the ground floor that sells a range of hot and cold food supporting Fairtrade and organic produce including a Meat-free Tuesday with a variety of homemade vegetarian dishes.

The gift shop stocks different Bristol related items with many souvenirs and books available.

It's in an easy to access location on the old docks with parking nearby and public transport around, the surrounding area also has many different places to eat. You can easily explore other parts of the city once you've finished exploring the museum taking in the local culture all around you.
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Why? Step back in time in Bristol
When: 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday
Phone: 0117 352 6600
Where: Princes Wharf Wapping Rd Bristol BS1 4RN
Cost: Free for main museum, extra for special exhibitions
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