This week a flat plastic picture of SS Great Britain.This post is the forth in the ‘Surprising Bristol’ series of blog posts. This attraction was renovated in 2005, after it was discovered that the vessel would corrode away due to rust in a couple of decades . This attraction has won multiple awards for it’s access for all policy, and rightfully so.
The website suggests two hours should be long enough to see the ship and harbour museum. There is a surprising amount to see in a small area of land. The exhibits are beautifully presented, with helpful staff on hand to answer any questions.
The ship is dry docked in the centre of Bristol. We walked from Millennium Square, but it is just as easy to follow the signposts from Bristol Cathedral along Cathedral Way, if preferred. Or there is parking adjacent, get there early if you can.
A quick ferry ride via the Cross-harbour ferry, takes you straight to the SS Great Britain entrance.
There are other ferries that arrive at the ship from all over Bristol in Summer. These services can get very crowded in high Summer.
The website has a download of the information leaflet handed out to visitors.
The guy checking tickets to let you in suggested seeing the Dockyard Museum first, to get an idea of the history of the ship. Good advice, as the museum is informative and leads to the ship entrance anyway. At various points are ink stamps for the leaflet, good idea to keep kids interested. As are the interactive exhibitions.
An ‘old’ rudder
From the Dockyard Museum is a stairway/ lift to the connecting bridge which links to SS GB’s fore-deck. It can also be used to access the dry dock, which was our choice. The museum has been really innovative in it’s installation of a fake sea surface. It cleverly hides the dry dock when viewed above the waterline. From the dry dock can be seen the formerly rusting hull, with quite a few holes in it. There is a ramp on one side for wheelchair access via the lift.
A walk around the whole vessel is possible with care. (not wheelchair accessible) You can get close to the propeller and rudder whilst walking around.
Now it was time to go out on deck, via the lift again. This was a treat, as the deck was spotless and spacious enough to let everyone get some photo’s, without the usual ‘photobombers’ ruining the shot. we will let the images below do the ‘talking’.
From the footbridge.
Various views on deck, we were surprised the wheel was not roped off.
After strolling around the deck area there are a few entry points to go below deck. This provides access to the main lounge and also to see the sleeping accommodation of the different classes of passengers. The engine is also on show.
We then took a walk around the exterior of the ship and took some photo’s from a mock quayside.
The SS Great Britain is a must see attraction in Bristol, in our opinion. We enjoyed our time at the museum a lot, but then we have enjoyed sightseeing in Bristol a lot too. And as the title of the first blog of the series implied, Bristol really has surprised us.
Other post in the ‘Surprising Bristol’ series;
Thanks for reading.