Access For All

Brunel’s SS Great Britain is committed to giving the best experience possible to its visitors.

The Great Western Dockyard Companion gives detailed plans of the ship to help you plan your visit.

Due to the nature of the site some areas may be difficult to reach, or may involve cobblestones, so where possible alternative access points are provided.

We recommend you allow two to five hours to enjoy your visit. Please ask staff if you need any assistance.

Companions and assistants are given free entry when accompanying a paying visitor who is disabled.

Download the Great Western Dockyard Companion



The Dry Dock, Dockyard Museum, Brunel Institute and the ship are fully accessible for wheel chair users. Both levels of Being Brunel have wheelchair and step-free access following an alternative route. Please be aware that the Dock Office (part of Being Brunel) is a historic building with narrow corridors and doorways.

To avoid the uneven cobblestones through the main gate we have an alternative entrance by the Harbourside Kitchen.

As some cabins are too narrow for standard wheelchairs we have special wheelchairs available for visitors to use free of charge.



We have a tactile model of the SS Great Britain and some Braille and large print resources. If you would like to access any of these, just ask at the Visitor Centre when you arrive.

Guide and assistance dogs are welcome. We also recommend a sighted assistant join you when you visit. They will receive free entry.



The Visual Story and Sensory Information Guides are designed to help children prepare for their visit to Brunel’s SS Great Britain. The guides contain pictures and information about some of the things you can expect to see and do on site. The guides can be downloaded below in PDF or adaptable PowerPoint format (PPT).

Family Visual Story –  PDF  //  PowerPoint

Family Visual TimetablePDF // PowerPoint

Family Sensory Information – PDF  //  PowerPoint

Sounds and Smells – PDF // PowerPoint

Mannequin Map – PDF // Powerpoint

Calm Sensory Sessions

These Calm Sensory Sessions have been designed a series of events for children who benefit from visiting at a time when there is a calmer background sensory environment (for example, some autistic children and neurodiverse families).

These sessions will vary throughout the year with some happening before we open, and others during quieter times on site. The best way to keep up to date with these events is either through our website or via Facebook.

Calm Sensory Sessions

Quieter hours

If you would like to visit us during quieter periods, we recommend weekday afternoons during school term times when there tend to be fewer visitors on site.

Calm Sensory Sessions



Lifts are available in the Dry Dock, the Dockyard Museum, Being Brunel, on board the ship and in the Brunel Institute.



Toilets can be found in the Harbourside Kitchen, the Visitor Centre (ticket office and shop), the Brunel Institute, on the ground floor in the Dockyard Museum, both levels of Being Brunel and on the Saloon Deck on board ship, next to the First Class Dining Saloon. All accessible toilets will remain available across the site, although you may need to ask a staff member to open accessible toilets in the Visitor Centre and Being Brunel.

Brunel’s SS Great Britain received the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain award for ‘Best Heritage Venue’. It has also been recognised by the Access Association for its commitment to giving the best experience possible to its visitors.