Pubs Near SS Great Britain, Bristol

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Pubs & Inns Near SS Great Britain

Stop by one of our pubs with beer gardens in and around Bristol that serve refreshing, award-winning Butcombe real ales, local ciders, and delicious classic pub meals. With many of them within walking distance of the SS Great Britain, they are the perfect place to stop and recharge.


Bristol Harbourside’s Ostrich pub brings a whole new meaning to the word ‘watering hole’, with beautful waterside views, plenty of outdoor seating, first floor Top Deck bar and an impressive array of Butcombe beers with a dedicated rum menu – a nod to its nautical heritage. Stop by after visiting SS Great Britain to sample the food menu, chock-full of mouthwatering modern twists on classic pub dishes, and find out for yourself why The Ostrich was voted Best New Pub in the 2020 Publican Awards.


If you’re exploring the bustling city of Bristol, take a break at The Bowl Inn, situated in the outskirts to the North of the city, in Almondsbury. There’s nothing quite like an award-winning pint of Butcombe beer, but if you’re in the mood for a local South West cider, fine wine, or your favourite tipple, then sit back and enjoy a drink at The Bowl Inn. Feeling peckish? Sample the light bites and pub snacks, or go all-out with a classic pub dish, perfectly paired with your pint – ideal after a long day exploring SS Great Britain.


The Cottage Inn is where all the locals flock in Bristol when the sun is shining. Boasting waterside views, a pleasant terrace, a cracking selection of award-winning Butcombe beers and local ciders behind the bar, it’s easy to see why. On colder days, you can retreat inside to curl up beside the crackling open fire, with your favourite Butcombe beer in hand. Why not indulge with a delicious, locally-sourced pub meal, while you’re there? The perfect pick-me-up after visiting SS Great Britain.


Located in historic Backwell on the outskirts of Bristol and a short drive from Weston-super-Mare, The Rising Sun is a beautiful pub and inn, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We’re passionate about great food and drink, with an all-day food offer focused on seasonal, locally sourced produce and hearty pub classics. Behind the bar you’ll find plenty of award-winning Butcombe beer and cider, and a wide range of wine and cocktails. A haven for families, walkers, cyclists and locals alike, The Rising Sun offers a huge beer garden with children’s play area, and large carpark – the perfect place to stop after a day exploring SS Great Britain.


Catch the latest game on the big screen, soak up the sun in the courtyard beer garden, or simply enjoy a pint with your mates at The Whitmore Tap gastropub in Clifton, the heart of Bristol.
Treat yourself to the comforting menu, full of pub classics, perfectly paired with award-winning Butcombe beers behind the bar, served by the friendliest staff in Bristol. Just a short stroll from SS Great Britain, a visit to The Whitmore Tap is the perfect end to the perfect day.


Designed by the master-engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, SS Great Britain was his second notable ship after the SS Great Western. While the Great Western was a paddle steamer, the Great Britain was the first ship to be built of iron and incorporate a screw propeller.

She was launched in 1843 and, after several delays, finally made her way towards the River Thames for the final fitting out. Two years after being launched, SS Great Britain commenced her maiden voyage, travelling from Liverpool to New York City, becoming the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Her maiden voyage identified a multitude of issues which were addressed at significant cost. In 1846, she ran aground off the coast of Ireland, remaining there for 11 months before being brought back to Liverpool. After remaining there motionless for some time, SS Great Britain was sold and was used to carry emigrants to Australia.

After successfully carrying passengers to Australia for 30 years, SS Great Britain was converted into a cargo ship. In 1886, she was badly damaged in a storm and headed towards the shelter of the Falkland Islands, where she remained until 1970.

Recognised as an important part of the history of the United Kingdom, efforts were made to tow SS Great Britain 8,000 miles back to her rightful home in Bristol, where she was subject to an enormous restoration project to allow visitors to view her as she would have looked for her maiden voyage.


Located on Bristol’s waterfront, SS Great Britain is now a museum ship, restored to her former glory and welcoming visitors aboard to admire her and learn about her history.

A working replica of the original engine can be viewed from the engine room, while the promenade deck and weather deck both appear as they would have during her Atlantic voyages.

The galley and bakery depict how the kitchen workers would have prepared meals for as many as 600 passengers per day, many of whom would have enjoyed their meals in the first class dining saloon.


The Great Western Dockyard is where SS Great Britain was built almost 200 years ago, and where she now takes pride of place, surrounded by the “glass sea”.

Visiting the Great Western Dockyard is like stepping back in time, with cranes, masts and engines all on display as they would have been all those years ago.

Venture beneath the “glass sea” into the temperature-controlled dry dock and enjoy a 360 degree view of the ship and revolutionary screw propeller that was designed by Brunel. You will also learn about the strict conditions that are adhered to in order to preserve this delicate piece of history for as long as possible.


The Dockyard Museum offers visitors to learn all about SS Great Britain and the timeline of her life.

After starting life making trips between the United Kingdom and the United States of America, she eventually enjoyed many years of service transporting emigrant passengers to Australia.

It wasn’t all plain sailing (pun intended) for SS Great Britain though, experiencing her fair share of design flaws, mechanical failures and accidents during her life, culminating in her triumphant return to Bristol in 1970!

As an added bonus, you can also find out which notable passengers travelled on SS Great Britain and which English sports team she took abroad for an international match!


Private tours are only available at certain times of the year, so please check with SS Great Britain in advance to avoid disappointment.

These private guided tours are designed to accommodate groups of up to 6 people and offer a deeper insight into SS Great Britain. With your own personal tour guide on hand to answer any questions that you may have, visitors can gain an in-depth understanding of her history, timeline and struggles.

At the time of writing, private tours cost £30.00 (for up to 6 people) and are subject to availability.


Positioned alongside SS Great Britain is the Harbourside Kitchen – an ideal location for visitors to the famous ship and local passers-by.

Offering a delicious range of light meals, snacks and drinks, you can soak up the harbourside atmosphere before or after spending time learning about the great ship.

The Harbourside Kitchen is open Tuesday-Sunday from 9:30am-6:00pm, with a slightly earlier closing time on Mondays.


Although he was born in Portsmouth and died in Westminster, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had strong links with Bristol, with many referring to him as an “adopted Bristolian”.

In addition to SS Great Britain, Brunel had previously designed SS Great Western (1838) and SS Great Eastern (1859) – all of which were the largest ships in the world at the time of their maiden voyages.

Elsewhere in Bristol, Brunel was responsible for the design of the remarkable Clifton Suspension Bridge, though his untimely death at the age of 53 meant that he never got to see the bridge completed. He was also the mastermind behind the Great Western Railway (which connects Bristol to London) and the city’s iconic Temple Meads train station.