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SS Great Britain, Bristol

Brunnel’s  SS Great Britain, “the ship that changed the world“, is a passenger ship, now a museum ship  and an award-winning visitor attraction in Bristol Harbour which attracts 150,000 – 170,000 visitors every year. She was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Great Western Steamship Company’s transatlantic service between Bristol and New York, and was the world’s longest passenger ship from 1845-1854.  She was the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic, which she did in 1845, in the time of 14 days. When launched in 1843, Great Britain was by far the largest vessel afloat. However, her protracted construction and high cost had left her owners in a difficult financial position, and they were forced out of business in 1846 after the ship was stranded by a navigational error.

Today you can experience the sights, sounds and smells of life on board  the SS Great Britain in her heyday, take a stroll along the decks and experience the general bustle of the ship getting set to sail. Look down onto the dockside where the cargo is ready for loading. Below decks take a peek at the luxury of the first class cabins and listen in to the conversations recounting stories from passengers aboard.  The tour also takes you below the water-line to take a “fish-eyes” view of the world’s oldest iron hull.

Official Website : www.ssgreatbritain.org

The Dockyard Museum tells the ss Great Britain’s remarkable story, from her launch in 1843 through a long career as luxury liner, emigrant steam clipper to a super-sized sailing ship carrying coal to San Francisco. You will discover the story of her rescue from the bottom of the South Atlantic and her final triumphant return to Bristol.

Alongside the ship is the Brunel Institute and David MacGregor Library. This world-class maritime library and archive houses thousands of books, documents, plans and objects. Passengers’ original diaries and letters, scale models, and drawings made by Brunel himself are all here. The Institute is open to researchers and members of the public and curators regularly meet visitors to share their favourite items and stories.

Where is she?

In 1970 the ss Great Britain returned to the original Great Western Dockyard where she had been built. It is here you will find her, sitting in the heart of a multi award-winning attraction in Bristol’s historic harbour.

Opening Times

Open every day, except 24 and 25 Dec.

Open: 10:00am to 5:30pm
Last entry: 4:30pm (one hour before closing)

Autumn and Winter
Open: 10:00am to 4:30pm

Be Inspired

Castles

Castles were first built in England during the Norman Conquest in the 11th century as fortifications. There are many hundreds of castles throughout England some in good repair whilst others have all but completely disappeared other than a few stones to mark the spot.

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Lakes

England has many lakes spread out over the whole of the country but the most famous must be the Lake District which draws around 16 million visitors each year to admire the beauty of the countryside around the lakesides. Lake Windermere is England’s largest lake.

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National Parks

The National Parks of England are quite diverse but all have in common one thing and that is their beauty. From the windswept reaches of Dartmoor and Exmoor to the mountains and lakes of the Lake District or the ancient, peaceful tranquility of the New Forest all are worthy of a visit.

National Parks

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