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M Shed, Bristol

4.0
#2 of 17 in Museums in Bristol
Specialty Museum Museum
Located on the docks beside the floating harbor, M Shed tells the story of the historic city of Bristol. Situated in a converted transit shed, the museum reveals the city's character through a combination of media in three different galleries. The museum's exhibits combine video, photography, interactive features, and displays of over 3,000 artifacts. With exhibits ranging from the prehistoric era to the city's involvement in slave trading to modern-day Bristol, you get a genuine feel for this important port city. For an unobstructed view of the rivers and canals, head to the top floor and enjoy the vista. Make M Shed a centerpiece of your Bristol vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Bristol vacation builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,196 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • We called in expecting to stay a few minutes and stayed for a couple of hours. Wonderfully curated, you can just glance at the exhibits (grouped in themes about way of life or people) or find out more...  more »
  • We were visiting friends in Bristol and they took us to the M Shed. What a brilliant experience. We really enjoyed it. It's a great place to visit!  more »
  • Well displayed illustrated stories about Bristolians plus currently a wonderful special collection of ancient skeletons from London & the environs of Bristol. Well stocked shop and really informative ...  more »
Google
  • M Shed is a fantastic, slightly random museum full of stuff about Bristol. It covers the origins of the city, its development, current status, and potential future. There's lots to see for kids and adults alike, and it's free! There is usually an exhibition at the top floor that works on a "pay what you think" policy, and that is usually worth going to. There are many bathrooms and they are clean and hygienic. The only downside is perhaps the exhibitions are put together by theme rather than chronological order which creates a disjointed feeling.
  • The museum is always interesting, however the cafe represents one enormous rip off regarding price and quality. How on earth can a mark up of over 600% on a 15 gm pack of Pom Bears be justified. A packet of PomBears cost approximately 17 pence in supermarkets (retail price) but on Saturday the cafe was charging £1.20. A latte coffee at £2.70 is close to motorway service prices and way above a far more decent latte at Costa. Absolutely disgraceful !!!!!! Do they really want customers?
  • Interesting promised but failed to deliver. Visiting friends in Bristol for the first time on a bank holiday weekend and was being shown round the regeneration work. The History of Bristol exhibition has some great content as it gallops through the city's long history. The displays were jumbled up but there was a good range of topics. The experience was sullied by the disappointed kids and adults faced with the laminated 'This interactive is currently out of order....' signs on most of the fun bits.
  • Great museum telling the story of Bristol. And it's free. Make a donation if you think you enjoyed it.
  • The Bristol Industrial Museum was formerly one of the finest museums in the city; it contained a vast and highly informative collection of vintage vehicles, models, and dioramas which testified directly to the storied and contentious history of the City and Port of Bristol: in particular, Bristol's roles in the maritime, aeronautic and transatlantic slave trades were deeply explored. The Bristol M Shed is a pale and disappointing successor to this mueum. In place of the huge exhibition shed is a huge atrium and giftshop, a motley patchwork arrangement of randomly positioned objects with minimal contextual information; worst of all, at least 70% of what was in the industrial museum (trains, model ships, boats, cars, engines, helicopters, interior of Concorde) has vanished completely ... the M Shed website informs us that most of the highlights of the previous museum were flogged, returned to their owners, or placed in storage. A real loss for the city, a terrible waste.

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Where to stay in Bristol

Providing a convenient base from which to explore the West Country, Bristol offers relatively inexpensive lodging options, including boutique hotels, small B&Bs, and trendy self-catering apartments. Consider staying in the old town center, conveniently located close to Bristol's main road and rail networks. Options here range from modern hotels to vintage guesthouses, often featuring sunny courtyards.
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