4 April—5 April 2020

John King trips

Statement regarding coronavirus (COVID-19):

Due to these uncertain times, trips on the John King have been postponed and M Shed is closed. To stay informed about all future and rescheduled events, please consider joining our mailing list. Thank you for your continued support and understanding.


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.

Dates for 2020

  • Saturday 4 – Sunday 5 April
  • Saturday 16 – Sunday 17 May
  • Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 June
  • Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 July
  • Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 August
  • Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 September

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 and fully restored to her former glory.

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

Image credit: Neil Phillips

More rides on the Working Exhibits