Brunel’s SS Great Britain

SS Great Britain

The SS Great Britain

Brunel’s SS Great Britain is one of the most important historic ships in the world. When she was launched in 1843 she was called ‘the greatest experiment since the Creation’. She was part of a plan to convey passengers from London to New York by Brunel’s Great Western Railway to Bristol and then onward aboard the Great Britain.

The SS Great Britain returned to the place she was built on 19 Jul 1970. In the 127 years following her launch she had a rich and varied working life. At first as a luxury liner, then carrying 15,000  emigrants to Australia, then being converted to sail as a cargo ship and finally acting a floating warehouse.

 The Restoration of Brunel’s SS Great Britain

During your visit you will find out about her recovery from the Falkland Islands and subsequent restoration. The ship has been painstakingly restored to recreate life on the world’s first great luxury liner and you will go aboard the ship to see the passenger accommodation, galleys, holds and engine room. You can also go into the dry dock beneath the “glass sea” which protects the ship.

Being Brunel

Being Brunel is an exciting new national museum. Visitors will be invited to step into the mind of Isambard Kingdom Brunel as he is brought vividly to life with never-before-seen personal possessions, documents and artefacts. The new museum is a place to immerse yourself in the iconic engineer’s life and times, learn about his mistakes and celebrate his successes; compare your own skills to his, and relate his achievements to the modern world.

New for 2018, Being Brunel explores the life and legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It brings together for the first time the world’s most significant collection of one of engineering’s greatest minds.

Entry to Being Brunel is included in the admission price for Brunel’s SS Great Britain which gives free unlimited return visits for a year.


Open every day, except 24 and 25 Dec and the second Monday in January (14 January 2019)


30 October 2017 – March 2018: Open: 10:00am to 4:30pm. Last entry: 3:30pm (one hour before closing)


March 2018 – October 2018: Open: 10:00am to 6:00pm. Last entry: 5:00pm (one hour before closing)