A Victorian Christmas at the SS Great Britain in Bristol!

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol

A Victorian Christmas at the SS Great Britain in Bristol!

We’ve lived near Bristol for over ten years and have never been to visit the SS Great Britain. I guess I always thought B was a bit young to appreciate the full experience. When we were invited along to the Victorian Christmas this weekend, we were super excited. B loves boats and couldn’t wait to climb aboard! He also knows a bit about Brunel because his cousin studied him at school. And we pass the Clifton Suspension Bridge most times we drive to Bristol!

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol

Today on the blog we step back in time and share with you some of our photos from a fab day out. The SS Great Britain dockyard was transformed into a Victorian winter scene, complete with snow and all the characters.

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol snow

And I think this is as much snow as we’re going to see in the South West. Much to everyone’s disappointment!

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol

The Ragged Victorians

The whole dockyard looked like and felt like a busy and bustling 19th century dockyard. There were Victorians selling goods and telling stories.

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol

B got into conversation with a lady making a fishing net. He asked her why her teeth were yellow. No filter ey! It was nice to use that as a way to reinforce the importance of brushing our teeth!

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol victorians

The costumes were amazing and they really had gone to a lot of effort to set the mood.

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol

It really was freezing cold when we visited and we warmed up with some roasted chestnuts. These were b’s first and he was convinced they were conkers.

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol victorian costumes

Step Aboard

To get on to the ship, you first go through the museum. There is so much to look at and read and with the little man, we didn’t get enough time to really appreciate it. I really had no idea that the ship had been stranded down in the Falkland Islands for so long. It was rescued back in the 1970s and pretty much towed back to Bristol. B literally just wanted to get on the ship though!

Here are a couple of pics taken inside though.

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol museumGet little ones to stamp their ticket as they travel round the museum, visiting each zone.

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol sinde the museum

Let’s Set Sail!

The ship was awesome. When it says experience the sights, sounds and smells on the marketing leaflets, it really is true! The steerage area of the ship stank! And what with the Victorians wandering the ship, it felt like you really were on board back in the 1900s.

This dank, dark photo from the steerage area captures the mood well. There were people sleeping in the beds – as in real people – and I kind of felt like we were imposing – peeking in on a life from years gone by.

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol

The Galley was another highlight – complete with rats and a screeching cat. It was done really well and both mr D and I commented on how authentic it felt.

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol kitchen galleyIt was pretty dark in some of the areas of the ship and B was scared. There really was nothing to be frightened of though.

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol quarantine

Beautiful SS Great Britain

These pictures don’t really do the ship justice but you can get an idea of how majestic she looks. I’ve only ever seen the flags from the harbour side so it was nice to step aboard.

victorian christmas ss great britain bristolI don’t know if I’d trust this little one to steer!

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol

Victorian Christmas Card Making

As part of the Victorian weekend, they had lots of festive activities on, from carol singing to Victorian Christmas card making. B actually wanted to do this and we sat and warmed up for ten minutes while he coloured.

They’d gone to a lot of effort and provided colouring pens and pencils, festive paper and glue. It was a really nice activity for little ones and older ones!

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol christmas card making

If you have a look at actual Victorian Christmas cards, you can see they are pretty dark and disturbing! Look how bizarre they are!

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol

Have you been on Brunel’s SS Great Britain? We had a wonderful day and it really got us in the Christmas mood!

victorian christmas ss great britain bristol

Disclaimer: We were invited on board the SS Great Britain as part of the Victorian Christmas weekend. All views and opinions are our own. We genuinely had a brilliant day!

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