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Brunel's SS Great Britain, Bristol

4.7
#1 of 276 in Things to do in Bristol
Specialty Museum Museum
Discover what it was like to travel aboard the world’s first great ocean liner, Brunel's SS Great Britain, launched in 1843 as the longest and largest vessel of its time. The ship was designed for service between Bristol and New York, and was the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic. Today, this historic ship serves as a museum and an award-winning tourist attraction, with over 150,000 visitors every year. Stroll the decks, peep inside the luxury cabins of first-class passengers, walk through the busy kitchens, and go beneath the waterline to see the world’s oldest iron hull. Be sure to visit the Dockyard Museum to learn about the ship’s service as luxury liner, emigrant steam clipper, and sailing ship transporting coal to San Francisco. Make Brunel's SS Great Britain part of your personalized Bristol itinerary using our Bristol trip itinerary builder.
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5,378 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I last visited the ship soon after it had been brought back from the Falklands. I am impressed by the way that it has been restored and the methods used to maintain its condition. Well worth anyone in...  more »
  • This was a visit for 30 Apothecaries. We had an excellent knowledgeable, yet humerous guide 'Cornish' Martin & a second excellent guide Ian to help with a disabled member. We had two interesting prese...  more »
  • This superbly restored ship is a must visit for anyone interested in British history, especially maritime history. Brunel's ship transports you back through time showing how different classes of passe...  more »
Google
  • Brilliantly restored historic ship. The interior has been restored to reflect the conditions nineteenth century passengers endured, with additional displays in the museum alongside. For those who are interested in such things, the ship has an exact replica of her original engine installed. There is an opportunity for fit visitors to climb the mast. For disabled visitors there are lifts providing access to all parts of the ship as well as the dry dock. A thoroughly interesting day out.
  • A fascinating visit. What a remarkable achievement in bringing this old lady back to life. I last visited in about 1978, when she was just a hull with walkways. Now it's like a step back in time with the insides recreated so carefully. Also I love the way the ticket bought yesterday at a standard sort of price for this type of visit, actually remains valid to be used again at any time in the next year. Fantastic.
  • It is a fantastic family day out. This is absolutely the go-to-place for anyone visiting Bristol. The SS Great Britain is a breath taking majestic grandeur of engineering, style, and class. The ship has been faithfully restored, and the hull has been preserved. The drydock area is simply amazing and a must see!! It puts everything into scale and perspective when you see the size of the dock, ship hull, and propeller/rudder. The view from the deck is very nice on a sunny day, would recommend you explore the deck fully. Don't forget to visit the engine room below to meet the guide who will explain why this great ship is the "great great great grand father" of all modern ship designs. Also you (hopefully) will see the engine pistols turn which is a amazing site to see it working. Would recommend you arrive a hour earlier before it opens to visit the dockyard cafe next door for breakfast. Then enter as soon as it opens to avoid queues. If you are arriving by car, you absolutely need to arrive early as the car park fills up quickly. You will also get a voucher from the parking ticket machine for ss Great Britain (but not absolutely sure what it offers as it does not present any details) . But the current prices are very good value for money, tickets last for one year, unlimited entry.
  • It's really a fantastic museum. The ship itself is set up beautifully and it's full of stories and very interactive. Great place to take kids of all ages to. They also organise special workshops for kids. A must see!
  • Really good place to visit for all ages. Lots to look at and highly educational. Access for disabled to and from the exibit is excellent refreshments on site with a small cafe. Reasonably priced with a year round pass included in the entry fee a must see for all.

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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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