4 July—4 October 2015

John King trips

Take a trip on the harbour on the John King – a 1935 diesel tug built to tow cargo ships from Bristol City Docks to the mouth of the River Avon.


  • Saturday 4 – Sunday 5 July
  • Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 July
  • Saturday 8 – Sunday 9 August
  • Saturday 19 – Sunday 20 September
  • Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 October

Built by the last major Bristol shipbuilder, John King spent 35 years towing on the river. She also had special duties, which included supplying drinking water to ships in dry dock, assisting at ship launchings and putting vessels into dry dock and occasionally pulling grounded vessels back into deep water.

But as trade to the Bristol docks declined and motor ships became less reliant on tugs, John King’s workload gradually disappeared. Eventually she was bought by Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives and fully restored to her former glory.

Read more about John King over on the Working Exhibits section.

Find out running times for Pyronaut
Find out running times for Mayflower

Find out running times for the Cranes
Find out running times for the Harbour Railway 


Image credit: Neil Phillips