Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 FAQs

What have you done to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19?

The safety of our visitors and staff is paramount, along with ensuring a warm welcome and a great visit, so we have made some changes and improvements to how we operate:

  • Hygiene screens have been added to counters and till points
  • New hand sanitiser points have been installed around the site
  • In line with government advice we ask that visitors who are able to wear a face covering while inside the site’s indoor spaces, including our two museums, the ship, the dry dock and our shop.
  • Where required, one way systems have been introduced on site. If you are likely to need to use the lifts on site please can you inform a member of staff on arrival so we can help you navigate through the ship in the best way possible.
  • Touch points have been reduced on site and some parts of the experience will be supervised to ensure they are enjoyed safely
  • An enhanced cleaning regime has been introduced throughout the site, including toilet facilities
  • Where appropriate staff will wear PPE such as face masks or gloves
  • Social distancing markers are in place where needed, and signage has been updated to remind visitors and staff to wash their hands
  • Pre-booking has been introduced with half hourly timed admission windows to limit on-site capacity and ensure the site does not become overcrowded
  • Contactless or card payments only will be accepted
  • Access to indoor spaces has been carefully assessed and we have adjusted entry to some areas
  • Our cafe, The Harbourside Kitchen, is fully open, with tables provided on a walk-up basis.
  • All of our staff and volunteers welcoming visitors have been trained to ensure visitor safety. We are following UK Government advice and may be amending these measures should the guidelines change

Do I need to wear a face covering?

In line with government advice, we strongly encourage visitors who are able to wear a face covering to do so while inside the site’s indoor spaces, including our two museums, the ship, the dry dock and our shop.

What if I don’t feel well?

If you or any member of your party is feeling unwell it is important that you remain at home to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all visitors and staff. If you have been in recent contact with someone with Covid 19 symptoms, we would also request that you follow the advice for self isolation and wait to visit.

If we believe that you are displaying symptoms of COVID 19 on site you will be required to leave, and we will help you to rearrange your visit.

FAQs

What Is There To See?

Brunel’s SS Great Britain is more than just a ship! Your ticket will give you one year’s unlimited access to the Dry Dock, where the ship was originally built, the Dockyard Museum, the new Being Brunel museum, and the ship itself.

How long should I spend here?

We recommend that our visitors spend around 3-4 hours on site, there is a lot to see and do! But don’t forget, your tickets are valid for the entire year, so if you don’t see everything you can book a timed slot and come back as many times as you like.

Your visit is self-guided, so you can spend as much or as little time as you like.

What are your opening times?

You can find our opening times here.

How to find us

You can reach Brunel’s SS Great Britain by road, train, or even boat! Travel information can be found here.

Can I park nearby?

There is a council run car park next to the museum. Further information can be found here.

Is there an audio guide?

We supply audio guides for foreign language visitors, including; French, Spanish, German and Mandarin. A thorough cleaning, quarantining and rotation system of the guides will ensure these are safe to use.

How accessible is the site?

At Brunel’s SS Great Britain, we have endeavoured to make the site enjoyable for everyone. All the museums, including the Ship and the Dry Dock, are fitted with lifts so all areas are fully accessible.

Will my Companion get in for free?

We provide all companions with complimentary day entry, if they are assisting someone with accessibility issues with a paid ticket.

How do I use my unlimited entry?

All our general admission tickets are valid for the entire year with unlimited entry. You will need to bring proof of ID to prove the ticket is yours, and book a timed slot to visit.

I have lost my ticket – can I still visit?

While we would prefer it if you kept your ticket close, we know things get misplaced! If you have misplaced your ticket you can still get access to the ship. Show our Front of House team some ID or proof of purchase and we will check our records. If your ticket is valid, we can print off a new one for you.

 

How long is a ticket valid for?

All our general admission tickets are valid for the entire year with unlimited entry. If you buy a ticket online it can be claimed any time within that year, and the ticket will then be valid from the date of your first visit.

Can I buy a ticket as a Gift?

Yes! Gift tickets are the perfect present for the Brunel fan in your life! You can purchase Gift tickets here

The ticket must be redeemed from our Visitor Centre within a year, and it is from valid from the date of redemption.

Can I Cancel My Timeslot?

If you are unable to make your allotted time, please let us know in advance so we can reallocate your space to someone else.

Use this form to let us know the details of the booking.

Do you have a café?

There are two cafes on site – the Harbourside Kitchen and the Dockyard Café. We work in partnership with Elior UK Ltd to deliver our award-winning catering from our two cafes and our seasonal ice cream parlour. You can purchase hot or cold snacks, hot and cold drinks, children’s meals, cakes and ice cream. We have vegetarian options and cater for several different dietary requirements.

Do I have to queue for entry to the site?

It depends on when you come to visit. During weekends and school holidays we can get busy which results in some queuing. However, our Front of House team will do their best to get you onto site as soon as possible.

Due to the current measures to ensure all visitors have a safe experience, please be aware that there may be more queuing than usual, and we would be very grateful for your patience.

Is my ticket valid for events?

Some events are included in the ticket price. This is largely restricted to daytime events during school holidays. If you are coming to an event outside of opening hours, then it is most likely a ticketed event and you will have to pay to attend. Our What’s On page will list all our upcoming events and give pricing information.

How do I keep in contact and find out about the latest events?

You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Purchasing your ticket online automatically entitles you to become ‘One of the Crew’, and receive priority notification of events and an E newsletter. You can opt-out at any time.

 

Can I bring food and drink?

You are more than welcome to bring food and drink with you for your visit, but we do ask you that you eat only in designated ares, and to be respectful of our site and our other visitors. Please ensure you clean up after yourselves and take all rubbish with you. Alternatively, we have two cafés which serve a range of hot and cold food and drinks.

Please be aware we do not allow the consumption of alcohol anywhere in the dockyard or museums. Any alcohol purchased in the café area cannot be brought onto site.

Can I smoke?

Smoking and vaping are prohibited anywhere in the dockyard and museums. If you wish to smoke or vape you must leave the premises through the Gift Shop. You will be granted re-entry with your annual ticket.

How do I become a member?

Our membership programme offers several delightful extras for you and your family. Further information on memberships can be found here.

How do I find out more about jobs/volunteering?

Our latest jobs are posted here, you can find out more about volunteering here.

Do you accept Blue Peter badges?

Yes, Blue Peter badge holders will be able to visit us for free. To gain free entry, badge holders with a valid badge card must be accompanied by a full paying or concessionary adult. Badge holders aged 14 or over may enter for free without an adult. You will still need to book a free time slot to visit (during Covid), more information on booking time slots and buying tickets online here.

Visit the Blue Peter website for more information.

 

Why does the SS Great Britain fly the white ensign?

Find out why the SS Great Britain flies a white ensign here

Do you allow dogs on site?

As we are a museum with historic objects/areas needing to be preserved, we can only allow trained assistance dogs onto our main site.

Is Go Aloft open?

Go Aloft is closed for 2021. There will be more information and further updates in 2022.

Can I talk to someone about my visit?

We hope that the information on our website gives useful information about what to expect on your visit, but if you have a query that isn’t covered by our online information do email admin@ssgreatbritain.org and someone will come back to you as soon as possible.

Go Aloft! FAQs

How much does the Go Aloft experience cost?

Prices are £10 per participant regardless of age. This is in addition to our general admission prices which must be purchased in order to gain access to the Go Aloft experience.

What happens if the weather is bad?

Climbs will take place in all conditions unless the weather is considered to pose a health and safety risk to participants – generally strong winds (consistently above 20mph and/or gusts above 30mph)  and/or lightning. The weather is constantly monitored and we will inform you beforehand if we feel the weather may mean we can’t open Go Aloft.

We will endeavour to reschedule your booking to the next available date that is suitable to you. If an alternative date cannot be found we will refund the value of the Go Aloft tickets purchased to the original method of payment, or you can choose to donate the value of the climb to us instead – read more about our charitable goals here.

Any contact will be in the form of an email so you are advised to check your in-box before visiting to avoid any potential unnecessary travel.

What is Young Bristol?

Young Bristol is a youth-driven charity that works to offer a choice of opportunities and experiences for all young people. Its free outdoor employment programme trains young people who lack direction to become outdoor activity instructors in a variety of activities in conjunction with partner organisations such as Brunel’s SS Great Britain.

What does the Go Aloft experience involve?

Go Aloft allows participants to understand what life was like for Victorian sailors who would have had to climb the rigging. The rig is as authentic as possible whilst conforming to required health and safety requirements. Participants climb up the rigging to the platform 20 metres above the ship’s weather deck. They can then choose to traverse the mainyard before descending once more via the rigging.

Do I need to book in advance?

We strongly recommend you book in advance to avoid disappointment as there are a limited number of climbs available each day. Bookings can be made either when purchasing you admission ticket here, or if you already have an admission ticket you can add it on when booking your return visit here.

At the moment you can book slots between Wednesday and Friday, with weekends being sold on a walk-up basis.

I’ve already purchased an SS Great Britain admission ticket. How do I book Go Aloft!?

If you already have an admission ticket, you can book Go Aloft! when booking your return visit here.

Are there any restrictions?

No climbing experience is required but you need to be physically and medically fit. Please see our terms and conditions for more information.

Participants must be at least 10 years old. Children under 18 years old require the consent of a supervising adult via a disclaimer form to take part in the activity. The supervising adult is responsible for them at all times and must ensure they can physically see them for the duration of the activity.

There is no upper age limit as long as you are fit and healthy.

The experience is not suitable for people with certain medical conditions eg pregnancy, heart conditions or spinal injuries. You must not be suffering from any medical condition that may be aggravated or exacerbated by participation in Go Aloft or that may put your health and safety, or that of others at risk.

Please note supervising adults will still need to pay for admission to Brunel’s SS Great Britain.

Participants must be at least 1.4metres /4’5’’ tall due to the length of reach needed in some areas of the course, and less than 114/18 stone in weight.

Participants must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Participants must complete and sign a disclaimer form prior to taking part.

All tickets are non-transferrable and non-refundable so please familiarise yourself with our full terms and conditions before you make your purchase.

Is the rig climb accessible for disabled visitors?

Go Aloft actively supports participation for children and adults of varying abilities. If you have any special access requirements these should be notified to us as soon as possible so we can ensure we have our most experienced instructors available to assist.

Unfortunately there will be cases where

Why can’t more than 2 people climb at the same time?

Due to the technical nature of the activity only two people can participate at the same time.

What are the opening times?

Go Aloft is planned to open from May 18th to August 28th Wednesdays to Sundays with the first timeslot at 10.15am and last timeslot at 4.15pm.

Please remember you must be in receipt of a valid entry ticket to Brunel’s SS Great Britain, which is open from 10am to 6pm. Please plan your day with us around the time of your climb which we will be unable to move. Average visit time is around three hours.

What time should I arrive?

Please arrive at Brunel’s SS Great Britain at least fifteen minutes before your Go Aloft slot to allow time to travel from the main entrance to the ship’s weather deck where a member of our crew will meet you.

Arriving after your scheduled start time may mean that you will not be able to climb and will not be entitled to a refund.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

Please bring an electronic or printed copy of your booking confirmation.

What if I haven’t received my tickets?

Please check your spam box as the ticket confirmation may have been sent there. If they still haven’t been received contact us at tickets@ssgreatbritain.org

Can I change my booking or change my mind about the rig climb?

Once booked tickets are non-transferrable and are unable to be rescheduled, refunded or cancelled.

How long does the Go Aloft! experience last?

Please arrive at Brunel’s SS Great Britain at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled Go Aloft! climb to allow time to reach the Weather deck where a member of our crew will meet you. You’ll be given a short safety briefing and learn more about what it was like to actually live and work aboard the SS Great Britain.

The experience itself will depend on the speed of each individual, but 20-30 minutes is typical. This will include the fitting of safety equipment and the climb itself.

You will be asked to empty your pockets; storage will be provided for personal possessions.

Participants agree to follow the direction and decisions of our instructors. If you do not you absolve yourself of our responsibility.

What should I wear?

Sensible clothing should be worn. Your shoulders, midriff and upper legs should be covered. You will be open to the elements so please check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. SS Great Britain will not be liable for any damage to clothing.

You must wear closed toe shoes, trainers or boots that will not fall off. Open toe shoes, sandals, flip flops or high heels are not permitted.

Long hair must be tied back.

Skirts or dresses are not appropriate.

Jewellery and scarves must be removed.

Gloves are not provided but wearing well-fitting gloves is permitted and encouraged, particularly in cold weather.

Loose items (including mobile phones) are not permitted when taking part in Go Aloft!

Are cameras, bags and personal items allowed?

Not during the climb. Limited storage will be provided for personal belongings.

Is there somewhere to keep my belongings?

Limited storage will be provided but personal belongings are stored at your own risk. Please only bring with you what you need on the day.

Can I carry my medication while participating?

If medication is essential it can be left with a staff member on the weather deck. Under no circumstances can we allow medication to be carried by participants

Can I wear my hearing aid or glasses?

Yes, if they are well fitting and not liable to fall off.

How high is the rig climb?

The platform is 20 metres above the weather deck and 25 metres above ground level.