Learn all about Bristol’s vibrant history with M Shed’s walking tours

Learn all about Bristol’s vibrant history with M Shed’s walking tours

Posted on: 24 May 2024

Discover jaw dropping local tales of dramatic riots, Bristol’s role in the abolition movement, pirates, and secrets of the Old City – all on foot!


All walks begin at M Shed before embarking on a specially chosen route, along which participants will be guided by a local history expert. These volunteer guides will meet you between 5 and 10 minutes before the walk is due and there will be breaks along the way at sights of particular significance.


Read on for a rundown of all the exciting walks on offer. Please book your walk in advance by calling 0117 352 6600 – the suggested donation is £5.



Historical Walk: 1831 Riots will explore the battlegrounds and teach participants about the causes and consequences of the infamous citywide riots of 1831 which left the city in tatters, countless protestors either dead or dying, and multiple buildings in flames. Browse upcoming tour dates here.


Discover the names and places associated with Bristol’s thousand-year fight to end the city’s associations with slavery, from the Saxons to the 19th century, with the Bristol Abolition Historical Walk. Led by Bristol Radical History Group, this two-hour tour will take you from M Shed to the Colston Plinth. Browse upcoming dates here.


The Old City Historical Walk will allow participants the opportunity to discover a millennium of history on this invigorating walk around the beautiful old city. Led by a knowledgeable guide, discover some of the events, people and places that earned the city a place in national history. Browse upcoming dates here.

Historical Walk: Pirates and Prejudice covers the Bristol dockside haunts of smugglers, slavers, pirates and privateers. From Bristol Radical History Group and Long John Silver Trust, this will shatter some myths around Bristol’s literary and piratical past by exploring real-life figures such as Blackbeard and William Dampier. Browse upcoming dates here.


Led by Jagun Akinshegun, Black Radical History Walk will begin at St Paul’s Learning Centre Green and end at M Shed, charting the quest of identity, equality and justice both globally with references to St Paul’s Apartheid-Free Zone Campaign (1985), the Rastafari movement and the St Paul’s Uprisings. Browse the limited dates here.


Split into two walks, Unlocking Bristol’s Stories will take in buildings, statues and memorials, delving into some of the intriguing narratives associated with them and unlocking the city’s varied, colourful and often controversial histories. Find out more on the M Shed website.

Browse the full list of what’s coming up at M Shed from the museum’s website.

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Article by:

Stanley Gray

Stan is a born and bred Bristolian, recently graduated from studying English Literature in Sheffield. His passions are music and literature and he spends the majority of his time in venues all over the city, immersing himself in Bristol’s alternative music scene. A lifelong Bristol City fan, Stan’s Saturdays are spent watching his team both home and away.