Magical Victorian Christmas Weekends

02 November 2023


02 November 2023


Unleash your festive spirit this December at Brunel’s SS Great Britain’s magical Victorian Christmas Weekends. 

Unleash your festive spirit this December at Brunel’s SS Great Britain’s Victorian Christmas Weekends. 

For two weekends the award-winning attraction will transform into a magical Dickensian winter scene inhabited by 19th century characters including Old Father Christmas in his traditional green robes and guaranteed falling snow. 


2-3 December & 9-10 December  

Gather family and friends to enjoy festive sights, sounds and smells transporting you into the heart of a Victorian Christmas.  

Meet Old Father Christmas in his traditional green robes to find out if you are on the Good List – he may even give you a chocolate coin. 

Hear choirs sing your favourite Christmas carols and fill the air with festive cheer.  

Feast on delicious mince pies, drink warming mulled wine and experience our historic dockyard transformed into a winter wonderland with beautiful greenery and guaranteed snow. 

New for 2023 on 9-10 December visitors can go on a magical journey as objects hidden within the mysterious Spicebox bring a Victorian Christmas story to life. Timed performances are set throughout the second weekend.  

The Ragged Victorians. Credit: Jon Rowley

Travel back in time at our enchanting Victorian Christmas Weekends. 


  • The festivities will take place over two weekends: 2-3 & 9-10 December. 
  • Interact with 19th-century costumed characters to unlock their stories of Christmases past on land and sea. Including Old Father Christmas in his traditional green robes and a festively clad Mr Brunel.  
  • Brunel’s SS Great Britain promise falling snow in the historic dockyard decked in holly, ivy and mistletoe.  
  • An immersive soundscape will ring out throughout the ship, creating the atmosphere of a bustling voyage at Christmas time and featuring the voices of passengers from different countries. 
  • Traditional hand-made Victorian decorations will deck the halls and cabins, depicting how the different classes would have been decorated at the time.  
  • Discover the festive smells wafting throughout the ship, as if an authentic Christmas banquet has just been served.   
  • Feast on delicious mince pies, mulled wine and warming beverages from our Victorian street vendor.
  • Listen to local community choirs singing traditional carols and spreading Christmas cheer throughout the dockyard. 
  • Meet characters from the past and hear their tales about living on the edge of Victorian society as we see the return of award-winning living history group, The Ragged Victorians – The Great Unwashed. (2-3 December) 
  • Watch as the mysterious objects hidden within Spicebox bring a Victorian Christmas story to life. Brought to the dockyard by Bristol-based Puppet Place, the stories are based on the collections at the SS Great Britain; expect songs, interactive games and puppets! (9-10 December)
  • Be the first to see our costumed performers dressed in new, bespoke Victorian outfits from Bristol Costume Services. Offering a sneak peek into the future as we prepare to be “fully dressed” with more live costumed interpretation coming in 2024 – in partnership with Bristol Improv Theatre and BIPA. (9-10 December) 
Old Father Christmas and Mr Brunel in the dock yard. Credit: Adam Gasson
SpiceBox in the dock yard of the ss Great Britain. Credit: Adam Gasson

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