Brunel's SS Great Britain, Bristol
Photo by Adam Gasson

Brunel's SS Great Britain

Climb aboard the historic steamship and discover the ingenuity of one of Bristol’s most famous Victorian residents

  • Heritage
  • Museums

The SS Great Britain was built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, one of the greatest figures of the industrial revolution. One of the most important historic ships in the world, she was the first propeller-driven iron ship to cross the Atlantic, and the largest vessel of her time.

Today, having been lovingly restored, Brunel's SS Great Britain offers a fascinating insight  into what life would have been like for her Victorian passengers - complete with sounds and smells! Visitors can see up-close the decadence of the first class panelled dining room, cramped confines of second class steerage, food being whipped up in the kitchen and even have a go at climbing the rigging with Go Aloft!

Alongside the magnificent ship is the Being Brunel museum, which celebrates the extraordinary life of the engineering genius and gives a special glimpse into one of Britain’s greatest minds. See inside the Dock Office where he worked, see inside the 'brain' of Brunel and discover his impressive portfolio.

The onsite shop is packed with souvenirs, books and toys, and the museum’s Dockyard Cafe serves delicious coffees, cakes and snacks against a Harbourside backdrop.

Being Brunel museum Bristol

Did you know?

Brunel smoked 40 cigars a day! The brand new musuem, Being Brunel, has acquired all kinds of personal objects including his personalised penknife and his cigar case, containing his very last half smoked cigar.



  • Accessible to wheelchair users
  • Guide dogs permitted
  • Wheelchairs for use
  • Discounted/ Complimentary entry for carers
  • Facilities for visually impaired
  • Facilities for deaf and hard of hearing people
  • Toilets for disabled visitors
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