Notes from Sunday

Luke and I spent the weekend just gone at my Dad's flat as 'rest days' because we were both exhausted, and I was mentally a little fragile after a testing few weeks. Our plans didn't expand further than 'go for a walk', 'watch the rugby' and 'go to Aldi' but somehow on Sunday morning we ended up aboard the ss Great Britain.

We were supposed to be walking along the harbour but Luke mentioned he'd never seen it properly and I felt able to manage my anxiety so after a quick browse of the gift shop I sprung the idea onto him and, although surprised, he happily indulged me. Honestly, my motivation came from wanting to feel more in control of my panic and from wanting Luke to experience something. But it also came from wanting the £10 notebook I promised myself I could buy if I made it all the way around the ship.

And so here begins a little photo diary of our time spent in 1867 aboard the incredible ss Great Britain.

Admittedly we didn't linger much in the museum other than to gawk at the sheer amount of information and interactive displays available. It was quite crowded in there and, honestly, looking around the entire exhibit and ship was my main priority so after a quick browse we climbed aboard the ship's deck. As a single ticket grants you a year's access, I'm sure I'll be back soon to take in the details and the history more thoroughly.

The Dry Dock.

The first place we explored was the Dry Dock, which is beneath the ship itself and enclosed by rough stone walls. As it's beneath a glass panel covered in water and down several flights of steps (although a lift is available) I was worried I'd feel a little claustrophobic but it was light and fresh and airy. The floor is a little uneven and slippery so keep that in mind if you have a wheelchair/push chair/find it difficult to maintain your balance. There were plenty of informative panels dotted around the place so that you could grasp the history and technical details of the place and the ship without needing a tour guide or booklet.
 As you can see, Luke was incredibly happy to be there.

The Deck.
It was a beautifully clear, cold day which I think added to the enjoyment. It was certainly good weather for photos. The view from the ship was beautiful and we lingered for a few minutes, chatting random nonsense and watching smaller boats drift past. Once I'd re-gathered my courage, we headed down the narrow steps into the belly of the ship. Again, lifts make the ship accessible and smaller wheelchairs are available for use as some of the cabins are too small for regular chairs to squeeze into. For more information on the accessibility of the entire ship and dockyard, check out the ss Great Britain website.

Aboard the Ship.

Although I appear quite content to be beside these terrifying wax figures, I had to get Luke to check every single cabin and room for others before I'd step in. They are so lifelike I expect them to move.
The kitchens were my favourite section of the ship. The detail of everything is extraordinary and I happily spent several minutes examining each of the jars and crates and boxes and fruits. The scent of freshly baked bread was blasted into the bakery, rats squeaked in the cupboards of the kitchen and a glorious (fake) coal fire blistered beneath the cooking pots.

The attention to detail and interactive exhibits and noises all around the ship were incredible and really added to the whole experience. I felt quite uneasy in steerage as the sounds of the waves and close walls made me feel quite dizzy and unstable so I didn't spend much time down there but even the holding decks and engine rooms were beautiful. It was quite a surreal and unexpected way to spend a Sunday morning, for sure.


  1. I lived in Bristol for 20 years and never went aboard the SS Great Britain - can you believe it? In fact, I only went for the first time last year, or the year before, with my husband. It's a great experience! x x

  2. The SS Great Britian looks amazing and like such a good day out, it must have been an amazing experience :) xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal

  3. Oh that's so cool! I didn't know you could actually get on a ship like this. Would be really good to see everything inside. And I actually thought those mannequins were really for a moment!


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