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The West Country Sights

SS Great Britain

  • Gas Ferry Rd. Map It
  • Bristol
  • Nautical Site/Lighthouse
  • Fodor's Choice

Fodor's Review

On view in the harbor is the first iron ship to cross the Atlantic. Built by the great English engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1843, it remained in service until 1970, first as a transatlantic liner and ultimately as a coal storage hulk. Everything from the bakery to the officers' quarters comes complete with sounds and smells of the time, and there are even shadowy glimpses of rats in the galley. You can climb the ship's rigging, try on typical garments of the time, and descend into the ship's dry dock for a view of the hull and propeller. Your ticket also admits you to an absorbing exhibit on the ship's history. A replica of the Matthew, the tiny craft that carried John Cabot to North America in 1497, is occasionally moored alongside (when it's not sailing on the high seas).

Sight Information


Great Western Dockyard, Gas Ferry Rd., Bristol, BS1 6TY, England

Map It



Sight Details:

  • £14
  • Mar.–Oct., daily 10–5:30; Nov.–Feb., daily 10–4:30; last entry 1 hr before closing.


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