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Bristol and the Brunel Legacy

2 nights starting from
£499

  • Gala dinner on board the SS Great Britain in the First Class Dining Saloon and brand new ‘Being Brunel’ exhibition

  • Private boat cruise through the original Bristol Docks and floating harbour

  • Talk by Brunel expert Tim Bryan

In 1859, the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel died at just 53, but in that lifetime he completely revolutionised transport in Britain and beyond, and his engineering achievements are still recognised across the developed world. This wonderful UK short break explores the many aspects of his remarkable talents as an engineer, designer and entrepreneur. His ship, the SS Great Britain, is proudly located in Bristol, in dry docks, where she was built in 1843 as the first screw driven purpose built passenger liner. It is here in the First Class dining saloon, where you will dine on Friday evening.

 

Available Departures

From

12 - September - 2019 £ 499.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive independently at the Doubletree by Hilton Bristol City Centre from 15.00. This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and an introductory talk by Tim Bryan, author and former General Manager of STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway, who will outline the life and achievements of the great Brunel.

Day 2: SS Great Britain visit, Clifton Suspension Bridge and dinner on board the SS Great Britain.
This morning we visit the SS Great Britain and museum, that describes in detail the story of this remarkable passenger ship. New for 2018 is the 'Being Brunel' exhibition, where Brunel’s inventive genius will be celebrated with never before seen personal possessions, documents and artefacts. We then head to Bristol’s most beautiful neighbourhood, Clifton, for a guided tour of the magnificent Suspension Bridge, designed by Brunel, but not completed until after his death. Whilst here we will have a guided tour and a look round the interpretation centre. This evening is the highlight of this special event tour - a private evening on board the SS Great Britain, with a drinks reception and gala dinner with wine in the ship's First Class Dining Saloon. During dinner we will also enjoy a recreation of the lives of passengers and crew by actress Kim Hicks, based on surviving records and diaries.

Day 3: M Shed Museum and harbour cruise with lunch. 
This morning we will visit the harbourside M Shed Museum which tells the unique history of the city of Bristol. We will then embark on a private boat cruise to see the famous landmarks and sights around the floating harbour and sail upstream onto the upper stretches of the rural river Avon. You will be given an informing and entertaining commentary, with the Midshipman's buffet lunch served onboard. Return to Bristol mid-afternoon with free time for personal exploration – the Georgian House, Red Lodge Museums offer fascinating insights into Bristol’s history, whilst the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is also worth a visit.  Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30


NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement.

Please note: Due to the size of the group, the group will be split into two coaches and therefore the order of the itinerary will vary slightly.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 96 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Two nights' bed and breakfast at the four-star Doubletree by Hilton Bristol City Centre Hotel, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception
  • First night private evening dinner with wine
  • Second night gala dinner on board the SS Great Britain
  • Buffet lunch on board the boat cruise
  • All talks, guided tours, entrance fees and escorted coach transfers 
  • Tour manager throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Transport to the hotel is not included
  • Single room supplement 
  • Extra nights on bed and breakfast basis
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTELS

Doubletree by Hilton Bristol City Centre
Located in the city centre and only 400 meters away from Bristol Temple Meads railway station, the modern and recently renovated four-star Doubletree by Hilton Bristol City Centre Hotel offers a bar, restaurant, fitness centre and comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, air-conditioning, TV and telephone. Car parking is available at the hotel costing £13 per night, payable directly to the hotel. 

Doubletree by Hilton Bristol City Centre Website

MORE INFO - Please click here to see full details of this tour

Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.  

You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day. 

For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation. 

The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date. 

We love to receive feedback from our customers. Their views help us to keep improving the ours we offer. If you have been on this tour and would like to submit a review, please log in to our client area here and fill in the short form.

Recent Reviews

 

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Review by who travelled 13-September-2018


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The evening on board SS Great Britain was most enjoyable although the food was a bit stodgy

Review by Gough who travelled 13-September-2018


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We had a lovely couple of days, with interesting talks & tours. Although the sound system on a boat trip was not working, the crew were charming & did their best to tell yes about the area.

Review by Mason who travelled 13-September-2018


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Lovely to be able to dine aboard SS Great Britain. Dining experience on Floating Harbour cruise less enjoyable . Very cramped conditions when attempting to obtain food and eat..

Review by Crowley who travelled 13-September-2018


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Review by who travelled 13-September-2018

Travel Editions feedback:

Galloway


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Review by who travelled 13-September-2018


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A really good experience. The pace was just right, so often we have arrived home exhausted. The gentle boat trip, with excellent lunch, was just right to round off a very enjoyable few days.

Review by Mrs Betty Allsworth who travelled 08-September-2016


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The organisation and tour guides in Bristol were 1ST class. A very enjoyable short break; Colin & Sue Storton

Review by Mr Colin Storton who travelled 08-September-2016


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We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and would recommend it to anyone. As usual it was the hotel whose choice of food for our evening dinner was unusual to say the least and whose attitude towards providing lactose free food was a little carefree. I expect you have heard abuot the fish from others. All being well, it will be Portsmouth next year!! Have you thought of the 'Tricomalee' in Hartlepool as part of a tour as you do specialise in ships!! There is also the Discovery in Dundee...

Review by Mr Peter Donaldson who travelled 08-September-2016


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Review by who travelled 08-September-2016


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Review by who travelled 08-September-2016


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Nice to meet up again with the same tour manager as on our Welsh railway trip in 2015.

Review by Mr Robert Penicud who travelled 08-September-2016


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Review by Mr Philip Worsley who travelled 08-September-2016


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Review by who travelled 08-September-2016


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A very enjoyable and informative experience with like minded travellers. We have recommended your tours to friends, some of whom have already travelled with you.

Review by Mr & Mrs AB Baker who travelled 08-September-2016


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We felt 21/2 hours in the shed the 2nd day was too much. The rest of the tour was good. May be you could include a trip to bath on the second day!

Review by Mrs Ann Coombe who travelled 08-September-2016


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Excellent tour but I would like to make a couple of comments. Suggest that information such as meeting times and places should be printed out for easy reference . The evening dinners were both disappointing . I realise you are not able to control these but some feedback could be offered. A special mention must be made of the river trip which was first class. Commentary was excellent , clear, informative and not scripted. Food was the best we had anywhere , simple but fresh and delicious . The visits and free time made available worked very well and the speakers on the SS Great Britain and elsewhere were excellent and their enthusiasm infectious. Finally a big thank you to the tour managers who were efficient friendly and unobtrusive.

Review by Ms Christine Popeck who travelled 08-September-2016


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Review by who travelled 08-September-2016


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The only bad point was the guide for the Clifton Suspension bridge could not be heard all the time, due to background traffic noise. Also he tended to start the chat at each point before the whole group had arrived. Otherwise superb weekend, particularly the meal on board the SS GB - excellent meal and superb entertainment.

Review by Mr John Benton who travelled 08-September-2016


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Review by who travelled 08-September-2016


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Both of our Tour Guides were very good with lots of local knowledge. They were very attentive and made our trip better than we anticipated. Thank them very much from us both. Barbara & John Bateman

Review by Mr John Bateman who travelled 03-September-2015


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The only problem we found was with your directions as to how to get to the hotel to start with and we got lost within Bristol and one way systems. Your directions should say "As you pass Temple Meads Station get into the outside lane for the roundabout....."

Review by Mr Anthony Biddle who travelled 27-August-2015


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Excellent trip enjoyed by all of us. Well done and thank you

Review by Mrs Lynne Hutton who travelled 03-September-2015


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Review by who travelled 03-September-2015


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Thanks for a full and informative time - with good company. The party being the size it was meant that for some people it was rather over too large and not the opportunity to get to know others.

Review by Mr David Pamphilon who travelled 03-September-2015


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Excellent weekend-very large group but tour managers managed to look after us all.

Review by Mrs Judith Hurst who travelled 03-September-2015


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We had 3 top guides with Brunel knowledge - an excellent & enlightening tour.

Review by Mr David Haward who travelled 03-September-2015


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It was an excellent tour. I expected to be bored by the Steam Museum (boys toys'), and found it really interesting. The tour of the railway village was unexpected and also fascinating. The SS Great Britain and particularly the dinner were really good, informative, with a wonderful atmosphere. The weakest part of the tour was unfortunately the first lecture which was uninspired. I felt it needed an enthusiastic engineer rather than a museum man who used too many 'incredibles'. The Jordanian engineer who led our tour of the Clifton suspension bridge (G. Hussein) I felt could have done a good job.

Review by Mrs Adrienne Finch who travelled 03-September-2015


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Tour at Clifton Bridge . Tour guide talked too long bearing in mind most pople were having struggle to stand . The tour round the village at Swindon was excellent as we walked and only stopped for short times.

Review by Mrs J Skinner who travelled 03-September-2015


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Review by who travelled 03-September-2015


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Review by Mrs Janet Rogerson who travelled 03-September-2015


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Excellent tour.

Review by Mr John Allan who travelled 03-September-2015


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The visit to the Suspension Bridge was particularly well done and informative.

Review by Mr Ian Bullock who travelled 03-September-2015


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The air conditioning in the coach was inadequate. The bridge tour covered the same ground as the previous evening's lecture.

Review by Mrs Cynthia Terry who travelled 03-September-2015


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Really enjoyed the visit which passed all too quickly.

Review by Mr & Mrs R Humphrey who travelled 03-September-2015


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Review by Mrs Susan Whibley who travelled 03-September-2015


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Very enjoyable and informative trip. Plenty of time was allowed to see what we wanted to see. The dinner on the SS Great Britain was the highlight of the tour and a good hotel and excellent and helpful tour/coach managers all helped to make it a very good weekend.

Review by Miss Annabel Casey who travelled 03-September-2015


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The opening night's dinner was pretty poor but after that it got steadily better. Good hotel, good trips and excellent personable tour guides. Time on the ss Great Britain was insufficient.

Review by Mr John Deverson who travelled 03-September-2015


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Review by Mrs Jean Weatherby who travelled 27-August-2015


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Review by who travelled 03-September-2015


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Very enjoyable trip

Review by Mr Terry Cantle who travelled 03-September-2015


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Review by Mr Michael Delaney who travelled 27-August-2015


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The pace of the weekend was perhaps a little too leisurely. We felt that rather more could have been fitted into the available time. The guided tour off the Swindon Railway Village was informative and welcome.

Review by Mr Christopher Wright who travelled 27-August-2015


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Review by Mrs Susan Liles who travelled 27-August-2015


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A very bi thank you to Mike for a memorable experience.

Review by Mrs Morag Law who travelled 27-August-2015


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This was a splendid holiday in my former home city of Bristol. The guides and the talks were very interesting and the tours of the Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain informative and instructive whilst the meal was certainly First Class. The only disappointing aspect was to miss the trips on the last day as we had to get back to Cheltenham to celebrate a special birthday the following day ! Fortunately the rail strike didnt affect our return journey. Thanks to everyone involved especially our leader (and his wife) who did a great job yet again. Hope to join another holiday next year

Review by Mr Anthony Ireland who travelled 27-August-2015


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Excellent trip - food & accommodation first class. Tour guides knew their subject(s) and it was money well spent. Thanks for the opportunity to experience a fantastic few days.

Review by Mr B Thomson who travelled 27-August-2015


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Far outweighed our expectations. Wonderful time from start to finish

Review by Mrs Patricia Gulvin who travelled 27-August-2015


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Rather too much the first day, and too little the next. Having said that, I'm not clear how this could be altered!

Review by Dr Harold Hughes who travelled 27-August-2015


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We have taken, in the past, many tours with Great Rail Journeys, and this must rate as one of the very best. All credit goes to Mike, who's knowledge and great sense of humour, together with his helpful and charming wife, made the entire experience one in which will live with us for a long time. All credit to everyone involved in organising this trip.

Review by Mr David Le Clercq who travelled 27-August-2015


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Mike Stone was a fabulous tour guide. The evening on the S.S. Great Britain was memorable.Just amazing. Bought as a birthday present for my husband who is keen to do the Mary Rose next year.

Review by Mrs Dorothy Cooke who travelled 11-September-2014


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Review by Mr John Townend who travelled 11-September-2014


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1st night speaker, too many 'err umm err err', needs a bit of a polish. 1st day excursions/ guides excellent, meal and speaker very good 2nd day visit to steam museum - not really a full days worth Tour guide; excellent really knows his stuff

Review by Mr Paul Whitehead who travelled 11-September-2014


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This trip really suited me and I found it most informative. I learned a lot about Brunel and bristol.

Review by Mr John Hitchon who travelled 11-September-2014


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