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!
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.
And I think this is as much snow as we’re going to see in the South West. Much to everyone’s disappointment!
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.
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!
The costumes were amazing and they really had gone to a lot of effort to set the mood.
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.
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.
Get little ones to stamp their ticket as they travel round the museum, visiting each zone.
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.
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.
It was pretty dark in some of the areas of the ship and B was scared. There really was nothing to be frightened of though.
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.
I don’t know if I’d trust this little one to steer!
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!
If you have a look at actual Victorian Christmas cards, you can see they are pretty dark and disturbing! Look how bizarre they are!
Have you been on Brunel’s SS Great Britain? We had a wonderful day and it really got us in the Christmas mood!
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!