A Seafaring Adventure for Kids aboard Brunel’s ss Great Britain, Bristol!

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My little boy recently learned about Bristol’s Isambard Kingdom Brunel at primary school and has been fascinated ever since.

Since my children and I had already journeyed across Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, we felt that a trip to one of his other designs was in order so decided to visit Brunel’s ss Great Britain.


Brunel’s ss Great Britain is a former passenger steamship first launched in 1843. In recent years she has been restored to all her former glory and was “re-launched” in 2005.

Exploring the ss Great Britain is great fun as life on board all those years ago has been vividly re-created in all its sights and sounds.

There are cabins for the crew which you can explore and the models are really life-like!

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My daughter’s expression in the photo below shows how life-like the figures are!

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No attention to detail had been spared in re-creating seafaring life end this extends to the kitchen below deck. If you are sharp-eyed enough when you visit, you may even get a fleeting glance of the resident kitchen rat!

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Feeling peckish anyone?!

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In the First Class Dining Saloon, we had a glimpse into the social life of passengers on board the ss Great Britain. There are “passengers” gambling, dinner plates on the tables waiting to be cleared and instruments ready to be played, for example.

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Having a gossip over lunch…

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You can also wander down to the engine room on the ss Great Britain. My son was fascinated with the ship’s huge turning engine…

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Here he is exploring the deck…



Of course, it wouldn’t have just been humans on board the ss Great Britain and so there are “animals” on deck, mooing and braying.


A wander down to the dockside shows the passengers cases and cargo about to be loaded onto the ship and even a crew member ready to board!

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The ss Great Britain offers a fantastic day out for both adults and children. Life at sea all those years ago is vividly brought to life and there is much to discover and learn.

Tickets to the ss Great Britain include free unlimited return visits for a year so you will certainly get your money’s worth.

A trip to Brunel’s ss Great Britain will not disappoint!

Brunel’s ss Great Britain
Great Western Dockyard
United Kingdom

0117 926 0680


Visit the ss Great Britain website.