Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog

02/07/2016

Exploring the SS Great Britain


Father and son


A few weeks back we were kindly invited to attend a blogging event on the SS Great Britain in Bristol. Needing very little excuse to explore one of our favourite cities which is only an hour away from us we were looking forward to a mini day trip across the border.

Having studied in Bristol it's a place I love going back too and there is still so much I want to see and discover about the city as I always had to commute back to Cardiff after each seminar and therefore was always left wanting more. Spike Island and the harbour has been a place I have visited briefly before having gone to an event at the MShed last year and it's a real hub of creativity with a fantastic atmosphere and loads of places to see, eat and enjoy.

Our first stop for the day was Brunel's SS Great Britain, which stands impressively in a dry dock next to the harbour and immediately captures your imagination, especially those of children. You are handed a Passenger ticket which allows you return visits to the ship free for a year. The ticket also has a fun little section to collect stamps as your learn about the history of the ship inside the Dockside Museum.

Brunel

Brunel


Before going "aboard" you can descend below the glass "sea" and learn about how they are preserving the ships hull. You also get to check out the huge propeller, as well as take in how big the worlds first great ocean liner is.

After getting up close and personal with the underside of the ship we headed back to ground level and   headed into the Dockside museum which offers a lot of interactive displays and a dressing up section which my eldest loved.


Dressing up



Once you leave the Museum you get to walk the plank - well not really it's actually a bridge that connects you to the SS Great Britain, but my son found this very exciting as he was very keen to get "on board". On the main deck there are mops ad brushes for kids can have a go at sweeping the deck and being a deckhand as well as lots of animals to spot such as chickens and cows. 

If you have a good head for heights you can also try out the "aloft" experience where you climb the rigging for what is probably one of the best views across the harbour. I plan to do this when we visit again but both John and I had our hands full with little G who did pause for a moment and enjoyed running around exploring every nook and cranny. 


Mother and son

SS Great Britain


We then headed down below deck which is where things really start to get interesting and gives you a real insight to how people travelled 150 years ago. The first thing that caught my eye was the size of the cabins and beds, they were tiny and I just don't know how people managed to sleep or change clothes in such small spaces, even in first class. It's made me realise how far things have come and how much space we have on modern boats. Saying that the first class dining room was very impressive and luxurious especially in comparison to the extremely cramped staff quarters. 


SS Great Britain
The First Class Cabins on the SS Great Britain 

We loved the interactive aspect of it, you can even smell the freshly baked bread (and vomit!) and get a real idea of what life at sea was like. There was even a barber who doubled up as a poet as well as the onboard doctor with all different types of herbal tonics. You could easily spend half a day here and with such a fantastic location there is tons more to explore within a few minutes walking distance. There is also a very nice cafe on the premises which serves up some nice daily specials, soups, panini and good coffee with riverside views. We will certainly be coming back at some point over the summer.



13 comments:

  1. It looks like your kids had fun exploring the ss Great Britain she is a magnificent vessel. I would have liked to sail in a 1st class cabin though didn't like the look of steerage

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an amazing chance to explore this iconic ship.The interactive aspect sounds brilliant too - not sure about the smell of vomit though, much prefer the smell of baking bread! A brilliant way to explore history

    ReplyDelete
  3. It looks like a great day out. The SS Great Britain looks like lots of fun to explore xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. SO cool. I reckon Levi would have LOVED this! I also love Bristol, such a cool city. x

    ReplyDelete
  5. It looks amazing! You have so many cool things to explore nearby in Bristol. I think I saw this about a year ago on Eleanor's blog as well? No big ships in Milton Keynes unfortunately!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. ah it looks great. We ran out of time for a visit here last time we were in Bristol. Need to come back soon!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I still can't believe I've never been, it looks great. It's now on our list of places to go x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Do they still have that recorded voice that comes out of one of the fake toilets?! That freaked Belle out so much a few years ago that she won't go back! She is VERY easily scared though :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. My husband is from Bristol and we keep saying we need to take the kids here. He loved visiting it as a child. I love that whole area with the aquarium, @Bristol, MShed museum etc. So much to do there for families. x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Aw wow I didn't even know it was there! Defiantly on our to do list over the summer hols xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great photos Laura, looks like an incredible place to visit! x

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a great day out. Looks like you all had a wonderful time - and what a beautiful ship.

    ReplyDelete
  13. ah it's a great place for kids isn't it! x

    ReplyDelete

Lovely comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...