Bristol Rocks

M Shed

Places to Visit

Free entry! See amazing film and photographs, listen to moving personal stories, encounter rare and quirky objects and add your own memories of Bristol through the interactive displays. From prehistoric times to the present day, M Shed tells the story of the city and its unique place in the world through rich displays of objects, art and archives.

Housed within a 1950s dockside transit shed, M Shed is a free museum telling the story of Bristol. M Shed’s largest exhibits - the cranes, trains and boats - can be ridden most weekends between Feb-Oct. An exciting programme of temporary exhibitions take place throughout the year. Find out why Bristol looks the way it does, why Bristol people have made and traded the things they have and how Bristol people have lived and worked over the centuries.

See Bristol’s very own dinosaur, discover how Bristol people prepared for and endured the Second World War, see Bristol’s discoveries and inventions and uncover how people have socialised, celebrated and challenged over time. From Brunel to Banksy - discover Bristol’s unique place in the world! M Shed is a place where stories of the past spark discussions about the future- where YOU can contribute to the changing story of the city.

What’s at M Shed

  • Bristol Places: The Bristol Places gallery focuses on the physical and dynamic city – the ways that people have shaped and experienced it and continue to do so.
  • Bristol People: The Bristol People gallery explores activities past and present that make Bristol what it is – creating, trading, challenging and celebrating.
  • Bristol Life: The Bristol Life gallery explores people’s shared experiences in the city, from the momentous to the everyday – see, hear and share stories.
  • The Working Exhibits: Click to read about some of our biggest exhibits which are outside M Shed and can be seen even when the museum is closed.
  • Treasures in Store: L Shed, adjoining M Shed, contains thousands of items from the industrial, maritime and social history collections.


Visiting with the family? There’s plenty of fun for the whole family all year round! Come rain or shine, there’s lots to see and do every day: enjoy interactive displays in the galleries or discover the museum afresh with a Family Explorer Kit. Find out what’s on for families at Bristol Museums.

Ride the working exhibits: Keep an eye on what’s on to find out when the next trips are – there’s trains, boats and of course the famous cranes to ride! A fabulous way to spend a day with the family.

Free Family Explorer Kits: Can you find the things in the photo trail? Pretend to be an explorer on an expedition and see how different things look through the binoculars or magnifying glass. Suitable for under sevens and their adults.

M Shed is autism-friendly: Visiting a museum with an autistic child can be a stressful experience. Here at M Shed we’re doing everything we can to make the experience fun, engaging and stress-free. We’ve worked with Bristol Autism Support to develop things to make your visit everything it should be:

  • You can borrow a free ‘Little Bag of Calm’ from reception. These contain ear-defenders, fiddle-toys and visual prompts.
  • Our staff have been trained in autism awareness. We understand the difficulties you may face and are there to support you.
  • You can download our free visual guide to M Shed (PDF), to help you and your child plan your visit in advance.

M Café: Located on the ground floor of M Shed, with lovely views across the harbour and city. We offer a delicious range of fresh, Fairtrade and organic hot and cold food and drinks including a selection of homemade cakes, sandwiches and specials from our deli range.

Relax and enjoy lunch, a light snack or a tea-time treat while taking in the views of the harbourside. Come and experience our new bar serving our very own brewed ale by Mad Dog. In the warmer weather we open up the glass walls and offer outdoor seating in Museum Square – the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by whilst enjoying a pale ale. For younger visitors, we have ‘kids bites’ offering a range of hot and cold food. Highchairs are available.

M Cafe opening times:

  • Tuesday - Thursday: 10am - 5:00pm
  • Friday - Saturday: 10am - 6:00pm
  • Sunday: 10am - 5:00pm

M Shed admission: Free

M Shed opening times:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday - Sunday: 10am - 5pm

For updated information visit:

Opening Hours

Tuesday10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday10:00 - 17:00
Thursday10:00 - 17:00
Friday10:00 - 17:00
Saturday10:00 - 17:00
Sunday10:00 - 17:00

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