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Southmead Welcome Weekend

Brunel's SS Great Britain

Southmead Welcome Weekend

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Saturday 12 -  Sunday 13 October 2019

10am - 6pm 

FREE for families who have a valid flyer

As part of our communities programme, our fun, family-friendly Southmead Welcome Weekend is a chance for families and community groups to discover Brunel’s SS Great Britain, for free!

All ages are invited to set sail on the most extraordinary time machine, where you can:

  • Go underneath the glass sea to see the ship’s hull in her dry dock where she was built.
  • Discover the real people who worked and travelled on the ship and step into their shoes with an interactive passenger boarding card.
  • Pick up a Brunel’s Apprentice satchel, filled with all the tools you’ll need to explore the SS Great Britain, solve problems and learn the many skills that make a great engineer.
  • Venture below deck to experience the sights, sounds and even smells of the ship.
  • Visit the Being Brunel museum and explore the life and legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.


To qualify for free entry*, visitors must bring a completed Southmead Welcome Weekend flyer, which have been distributed through local community groups and primary schools. Ask your local community group, library or primary school for a flyer, fill it out and bring it along on 12 or 13 October to get a free day visit to Brunel’s SS Great Britain.

*Please be aware that Brunel’s SS Great Britain reserves the right to restrict entry if the venue reaches capacity.


  • Visitors with a valid Welcome Weekend ticket can leave and re-enter the site throughout the day during your visit
  • Covered picnic area available – feel free to bring your own food
  • Fully accessible site (see here)
  • Baby-changing facilities available
  • Prayer room available on request
  • Pay and display car park**

**Please note the pay and display car park at Brunel's SS Great Britain is run by Bristol City Council. Visitors to Brunel's SS Great Britain receive reduced rates. We recommend visitors pay for the maximum stay possible and redeem their voucher in the Visitor Centre. With the refund, parking will cost £2 for a car or £3.50 for a coach. More information and how to claim can be found here:

About Welcome Weekends

Welcome Weekends are part of Brunel’s SS Great Britain’s communities programme, which this year is running in Southmead, Hartcliffe and Lawrence Hill. As a charity, our mission is “to preserve the ship, SS Great Britain, and her building dock for all time for the public benefit of all”.

Having this year been awarded the Portimão Museum Prize for Europe’s Most Welcoming Museum 2019, the Trust are keen to extend that welcome to visitors who may not usually have the chance to visit the ship. 

Southmead Welcome Weekend (12th-13th October) is just the first of a number of such events. In the following month, residents of both Lawrence Hill and Hartcliffe will be invited to enjoy a free day out on the weekends of 9th-10th and 23rd-24th November respectively. 

Welcome Weekends form part of the SS Great Britain Trust’s wider relationship with Bristol communities and schools. The Trust’s Golden Ticket scheme provides schools in areas of Bristol experiencing educational deprivation with a free class visit; every pupil on the visit also gets a Golden Ticket so they can bring their families back for free. The Future Brunels programme inspires and encourages secondary school students to get more involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) through extra-curricular activities and experiences. 

If you have any questions about our Welcome Weekends, please email