Brunel’s SS Great Britain…The Ship That Changed The World @ssGreatBritain @VisitBristol

 

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Before the Titanic there was the SS Great Britain. SS Great Britain is a former passenger steamship turned award winning visitor attraction located in Bristol’s beautiful harbour.

Over years she was carefully designed specifically for the Great Western Steamship Company’s service from Bristol to New York. Upon launching in 1843, the SS Great Britian was the largest vessel afloat. Adding to her accomplishments she became the first steamer to cross the Atlantic in 1845, a 14 day journey.

During her time in service she was employed to undertake an Australian route which was responsible for carrying hundreds of emigrants from Australia to England.  She suffered many mishaps but during her final run as a coal transporter an onboard fire damaged her beyond repair.

Beautifully restored and boasting over 150,000 visitors per year, the SS Great Britian is a Bristol must see.

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Address: Great Western Dockyard,  Gas Ferry Rd, Bristol BS1 6TY

Weekend in Beautiful Bristol: Family Friendly Travel @mshedbristol @BristolAquarium @BristolZooGdns @AtBristol

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Being a young(ish) family, we like to get out and explore, see new things and have a little fun all with our 19 month old busy body. To save on costs and travel time we often opt for day trips, weekend getaways or staycations exploring different parts of London. Thankfully there are some really fantastic places that we can travel to that are within a two to four hour radius of London. This particular weekend we decided to head to Bristol.

Nestled in South West England, Bristol is a city that is built around a historic and beautiful harbour. It’s bustling, it’s culture rich and ultra trendy with the perfect balance of history. It is indeeed a happy marriage of traditional and modern architecture that is apparent upon first entry into the city.

Weeks before our trip I literally immersed myself in the visitBristol website which gives all of the information needed for a trip to the city. It’s tourist friendly AND what makes it really nice is that you can plan your itinerary online so that you can have a clearly laid out trip. We didn’t do that. It is a little difficult to stick with a schedule in between naps, tantrums and feeding times….and that’s just “P” and I, NuNu has her own agenda that she keeps to!

On the two hour drive from London several thoughts came to mind. How will we get on in a trendy city with a baby? No doubt the hubs and I could hit all of the hot spots if we had a babysitter but will Bristol be enjoyable for a toddler? Thanks to the nice peeople at visitBristol for facilitating portions of our trip we had more than my half prepared list of “must visit” places to guide us through the city.

Novotel City Centre Bristol

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First stop, hotel check in. We opted for Novotel Bristol Centre which was one of the family friendly accommodations listed on the visitBristol website. The location was prime, the hotel has available parking and is within walking distance of all of the sites.

We found our Superior Room with queen bed and convertible sofa to be more than enough room for the three of us. Even with a spacious work area, mini bar and tea and coffee console, the room still had space for our little NuNu to comfortably and safely run about. Extra plus was the small refrigerator that we used to store milk and juices. In addition to the perks of the room, in the lobby area there is an Xbox with games for older kids (or adults) to play. It was certainly a hit because it was in constant use with kids watching on as they wait their turn.

Novotel Bristol Centre was not a let down for us parents either. It is equipped with a full fitness suite with a lovely sauna and steam room. We included breakfast with our booking which I will say was top notch. It included all of the staples of hot and cold breakfast items served buffet style. I was even able to special order vegetarian sausages.  The staff were extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the surrounding area.  We would without a doubt recommend Novotel Bristol Centre.

Address : Victoria St, Bristol BS1 6HY www.novotel.com

Bristol Aquarium

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On our first day we decided to head out to Bristol Aquarium.  The aquarium boasts over 4,000 aquatic creatures and various forms of plant life. Visiting the aquarium makes for a great outing for the entire family. It’s like a maze of one exciting exhibit after another with sharks, octopus, and seahorses to name a few. You can tell when you are getting close to the clownfish display by the tiny voices echoing through the corridor yelling “Nemo!” 

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Address: Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5TT www.bristolaquarium.co.uk

At-Bristol

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You don’t have to be a science buff to thoroughly enjoy this state of the art interactive science centre. With over 300 hands on science exhibits the centre lives up to its motto of making science accessible to everyone. In addition to the many exhibits, there are live science shows as well as a planetarium. Though most of the exhibits were well over NuNu’s level of comprehension, many of the exhibits provided a high level of sensory stimulation. If visiting with kids I suggest dedicating an entire afternoon to partake in all that the centre has to offer.

Address : Anchor Rd, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5DB www.at-bristol.org.uk

M Shed

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City museums are typically small and rarely showcase the history of the people up to present day but this free museum does so in a very notable manner. From the first step into the museum visitors experience the struggles, trials and triumphs of Bristol’s past and present. I originally approached the M Shed with one mission and that was to caste my eyes on artwork by Bristol’s own, the infamous Banksy. That I did. It was a rather small piece but I also discovered that Bristol has a rich history in the labor movement, women’s rights, trade industry as well as the arts. Atop the M Shed is one of the most amazing views of the Harbour via its fully accessible roof top terrace.

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Address : Prince’s Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN www.mshed.org

Clifton Suspension Bridge

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If you are looking for the most stunning views in the city, Clifton Suspension Bridge is the place. Soon to celebrate 150 years, the bridge is long standing, spanning Avon Gorge and the River Avon. I will admit that out of my fear of bridges I didn’t dare to take any of these photos. I did however enjoy the views from the lookout point which in itself was breathtaking enough. This spectacle takes sightseeing to extremely new heights.

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 www.cliftonbridge.org.uk

Bristol Zoo Gardens

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Since I was a kid I loved a day out at the zoo so I had to take this opportunity to give NuNu her first experience. She absolutely loves animals and having been on several safari excursions in Zimbabwe the child now thinks that a lion is as cuddly as a kitten! The Bristol Zoo is a fantastic 12 acres housing over 400 species. There are also cafes and exhibits which ensures that there isn’t a shortage of animals to see and things to do. Allow yourself 2-3 hours to take it all in especially if you are interested in the many attractions such as ZooRopia (high ropes obstacle course) or Zooniversal Studios (an intractive acting experience).

Address : Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HA www.bristolzoo.org.uk

The Verdict

Bristol is a city with everything for everyone and scores high marks for being very family friendly. It is a place that can be enjoyed by those with an affinity for the arts, music, nature, architecture or those that can appreciate a beautiful, rather chilled out scene. Bristol is a place that we will be returning to as well as recommending!

Eat Fresh, Eat Poco…Bristol @TomsFeast

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There isn’t anything that I enjoy more than a good meal aside from a good meal in an atmosphere that leaves you to believe that everyone that you are around appreciates the same thing. Poco in Bristol has that. Situated on Jamaica Street, this hidden oasis of seasonal goodness is nestled on a corner plot of a graffiti lined street. Some may call it small or cramped but I call it cozy and intimate.

Everything has the taste of garden to kitchen, fresh and refreshing. The founders of Poco doesn’t just talk the talk of the environmentally conscious, eco-friendly types. The menu reflects its purpose. 90 percent of the ingredients used are sourced in the UK using local suppliers. The fish that is served is sustainably acquired. The menu changes monthly to mirror what is available seasonally which gives diners something new to look forward to. Dinner is made up of a tasty tapas selection serving up small delicious plates. I typically wouldn’t go for tapas because the American in me loves to see lots of food on my plate but the portions were more than enough. “P” and I ordered several dishes and left completely satisfied.

Caerphilly, spinach and nettle tart

Caerphilly, spinach and nettle tart

Rosemary Chips

Rosemary Chips

Lamb, watercress with har

Lamb, watercress with harissa

Moroccan spiced lentil so

Moroccan spiced lentil soup

Poco's own Elderflower Cordial

Poco’s Very Own Elderflower Cordial

**For those parents that are visiting with baby in tow I do recommend leaving behind the pram if possible as space is limited. High chairs are available for the little ones.

For an updated menu visit www.eatpoco.com

Poco

45 Jamaica Street

Bristol

BS2 8JP