A Great Afternoon

What a difference seven-days can make, when it concerns the British weather… Last weekend was glorious, if a little windy on the Saturday. Waking up today, it’s like it has been for the last few; wet and windy and it looks as though it’s set to last a little while.

Brunel’s S.S. Great Britain – Bristol

I have plenty to do in the workshop this afternoon but I’d like to first share with you a little outing from last Saturday afternoon. I’m not sure why I haven’t blogged about this sooner… Time has been a bit of a issue and I’ve wasted a couple of evenings this week in trying to upload a new video, only for the program to tell me, after hours of editing, that several video files are corrupted!!

It started off with a post-lunchtime rendezvous with a friend just outside the Arnolfini. From there, we basically climbed up through Clifton and towards the Downs, where we found a place to sit overlooking both the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge. It wasn’t as windy as we’d expected up there but, having been to these places before, I decided not to take any photos… Which is kind of daft, really, looking at the stark change in the weather today.

As we made our way back down towards the harbourside, we were looking for a place to sit and enjoy a cup of tea. We decided to pass on our first intended stop (the Grain Barge) as it looked very busy, with the roof-top seating already occupied. Further down the road, we bumped in to a fellow walker from the group we’re both members of. His mother was visiting for the day and he told us how they’d just been to the SS Great Britain on the other side of the docks. He suggested we should go as neither of us had been before and so, we made our way around and across to the other side.

I’ve lived near Bristol for my entire life and I imagine it’s hard for some people to contemplate the fact that I’d not previously visited one of the city’s major attractions. I’d always thought it would be quite short and boring; you get on the boat, you get off.

An adult ticket costs £12.95 but what they may not tell you elsewhere is that your ticket is that valid to be reused several times within the next twelve months! That, to me, represents great value for money – it’s the kind of idea that I wish many more would employ…

It starts off with a walk around the outside of the ship and, this may sound weird but, there’s a set of stairs that then descend to lead you to a space where you can walk around beneath the ship! Returning to the surface, your next stop is a museum, which didn’t honestly do a lot for me but from there, you can access the deck, which is where the feeling of ‘adventure’ starts to come alive. I do wish I’d at least taken some photos from up here.

At this point, I felt as though we were nearing the end of our tour and that we’d next have to make our way down and out through the shop. But no… I noticed signs on several doors indicating that you could head downstairs and I only assumed that these would somehow lead you back down in to the museum… Oh, how wrong I was!! You actually get to walk around and explore the floors INSIDE as well!!

You’ll have to take my word for it without any photographs to share but this, for me, was the main highlight of the day and it’s one reason I will almost certainly return before my ticket expires on the 4th of May 2014. Being able to see the tiny sleeping areas, the grand dining area (which was being prepared to host a wedding reception, as we passed) and even the toilets(!); this is what made the experience worth every penny for me. However large that ship looks in my photographs, I promise you; it goes much deeper once you step inside!

That’s all I have to share right now because, if you’re ever in the area yourself, I hope that you do take the time to visit the ship for yourself. You could even then offer the remaining signature spaces on your ticket for friends and family to use. My friend did take a few photos of her own – I kind of hope that the photo of me wearing a top hat never appears on Facebook!! 😉

Thanks for reading.

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