Private dinner on board the SS Great Britain, located in historic Bristol Docks
Special Event highlights:
In 1859, the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel died at just 53, but in that lifetime he completely revolutionised transport in Britain and beyond, and his engineering achievements are still recognised across the developed world. This wonderful UK short break explores the many aspects of his remarkable talents as an engineer, designer and entrepreneur.
His ship, the SS Great Britain, is proudly located in Bristol, in dry docks, where she was built in 1843 as the first screw driven purpose built passenger liner. It is here in the First Class dining saloon, where you will dine on Friday evening.
Clifton Suspension Bridge
The Clifton Suspension Bridge is the symbol of the city of Bristol and spans across the picturesque Avon Gorge. It is a Grade I listed structure and has attacted visitors for the past 150 years. Isambard Kingdom Brunel was appointed the project engineer at the age of 24 and it was his first major commission. Work began on the bridge in 1831 but the project was troubled with political and financial difficulties and by 1843 the project was abandoned with only the towers being completed. After the death of Brunel in 1859 (aged 53) the bridge was completed as a memorial and was finally opened in 1864.
SS Great Britain
The SS Great Britain was a world first when she was launched in Bristol in 1843, and at the time of her launch was by far the largest ship in the world, over 100 feet longer than her rivals and the first screw propelled, ocen-going, wrought iron ship. Designed initially for the transatlantic luxury passenger trade, she could carry 252 first and second class passengers and 130 crew. While her first few voyages successfully demonstrated her potential there were far fewer passengers than anticipated and her career as a passenger liner was cut short when she ran aground on the sands of Dundrum Bay in Northern Ireland in 1846. After this she went under the control of new owners Gibbs Bright & Co. from the years 1852 - 1876 where she went under a lot of renovation and became a fast and luxurious emigrant carrier where she frequented Australia and even carried the first ever English cricket team to tour there. Through the years she has been chartered by the British Government to carry troops to and from the Crimean War and further trooping voyages carrying the 17th Lancers and 8th Hussars to the Indian Mutiny. By the 1870's the SS Great Britain was barely recognisable as the same vessel that was launced in 1843, she transported Welsh coal to San Francisco around Cape Horn until she ran into trouble around the Cape and was forced to run for shelter in Port Stanley, in the Falkland Islands. She remained here through the First World War with coal from her hold helping to replenish the battle cruisers HMS Inflexible and HMS Invincible. By 1937 the SS Great Britain's hull was no longer watertight, and after being towed a short distance from Port Stanley she was beached. Holes were driven in her sides and she was abandoned to the elements. Finally, in 1970, an epic salvage effort re-floated the ship and she was towed back home across the Atlantic to Britol where she still stands today.
Full details included in the itinerary of this UK short break
Click here to go to the detailed itinerary
Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.
You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day.
For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation.
The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.
On the final day, return to the hotel is usually at about 4-5 pm. It is difficult to advise accurate timings as this can vary from one day to another due to traffic conditions, the size and mobility of the group or other factors. But we normally aim to finish no later than 5pm to allow clients a reasonable amount of time to get home.
If you have a problem with your room please alert your tour manager and/or hotel management as soon as possible to either rectify the problem or change your room. It is often possible to resolve a problem very quickly if we are made aware of it - impossible to do so after the event.
PLEASE NOTE: transport to and from the hotel venue is NOT included
LUGGAGE TO YOUR HOTEL
Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890
On departure, please ensure that you have paid for any extras such as drinks, telephone calls etc
Doubletree by Hilton Bristol City Centre, Bristol
Located in the city centre and only 400 meters away from Bristol Temple Meads railway station, the modern and recently renovated four-star Doubletree by Hilton Bristol City Centre Hotel offers a bar, restaurant, fitness centre and comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, air-conditioning, TV and telephone. Car parking is available at the hotel costing £13 per night, payable directly to the hotel.
Doubletree by Hilton Bristol City Centre Website
Day 1: Arrive independently at the Doubletree by Hilton Bristol City Centre from 15.00. This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and an introductory talk by Tim Bryan, author and former General Manager of STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway, who will outline the life and achievements of the great Brunel.
Day 2: This morning we visit the SS Great Britain and her museum, including an audio guide that will describe in more detail this remarkable passenger ship. In 2018, the SS Great Britain’s new museum ‘Being Brunel’ will open on site which is a dedicated place where Brunel’s inventive genius will be celebrated with never before seen personal possessions, documents and artefacts. We then head to Bristol's most beautiful neighbourhood, Clifton, to visit the magnificent Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Brunel but not completed until after his death. Whilst here we will have a guided tour and a look round the interpretation centre. This evening is the highlight of the tour – a private evening on board the SS Great Britain, with a drinks reception and gala dinner with wine in the ship’s First Class dining saloon. During dinner we will also enjoy a recreation of the lives of passengers and crew by actress Kim Hicks, based on surviving records and diaries.
Day 3: This morning we will visit the harbourside M Shed Museum which tells the story of the city of Bristol, and its unique place in the world. We will then embark on a private boat cruise to see the famous landmarks and sights around the floating harbour and sail upstream onto the upper stretches of the rural river Avon. You will be given an informing and entertaining commentary, with the Midshipman's buffet lunch served onboard. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note: Extra nights are available at a supplement, please click here or on the availability tab above to select your date of travel and extra night rates.
Please note: Due to the size of the group, the group will be split into two coaches and therefore the order of the itinerary will vary slightly.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 96 passengers.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Offering a wide range of extended tours and cultural short breaks for the discerning traveller, Travel Editions was established in 1994 and is now one of the leading specialist independent escorted tour operators in the UK. The company started with the idea of creating itineraries that were not readily available on the high street, and the team still remains focused on offering escorted tours that appeal to travellers rather than tourists.
Over the years, Travel Editions has developed and diversified its range of escorted tours to include rail tours, air tours, history tours, Christmas tours and even specialist interest tours that have specific appeal for walkers, foodies, art lovers, music addicts and flower enthusiasts. From enjoying wonderful walks and tasty local cuisine in Crete to visiting the art nouveau buildings of Milan and exploring the architectural gems of the Netherlands, Travel Editions creates amazing tours to suit every budget and interest.
As rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel, the company has carefully developed nearly 30 exciting escorted rail tours that include trips to France, Spain, Brussels, Arnhem, Luxembourg and the Italian Riviera. Travel Editions believes that the journey becomes part of the holiday, and is why this specialist tour operator also offers a range of tours by air, such as Delphi and Mount Pelion in Greece, the beautiful Italian city of Florence, and Paphos, Nicosia and the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Whatever the escorted tour or the destination, Travel Editions provides holidays that are packed full of cultural and historic treasures, as well as plenty of free time to relax and soak up the local atmosphere and the regional food and wine.
One of the best things about Travel Editions is that the team can tailor-make all tours to your group’s budget and specification, be it shopping till you drop in New York or tasting the most delicious gastronomic delights of Sicily. Not only can the activities be tailored to meet your requirements but so can the travel options, hotel selection (three, four or five-star hotel) and the whole itinerary. Alternatively, you can simply pick one of the many carefully curated escorted tours listed on the Travel Editions website.
In almost all cases, daily excursions are included in the price of a trip, and all excursions are taken by private coach. The size of the group varies depending on the escorted tour, and Travel Editions limits some holidays to lower numbers to suit the nature of the specific holiday. Walking, culinary and special interest tours are limited to approximately 20-30 passengers, and the Europe by Rail and Europe by Air holidays are limited to a maximum of 35 passengers. Then there’s the UK British Heritage Tours with a maximum capacity of 49, however, some are much less than this. No matter which tours you choose, you will never feel as though you are in a big group.
Travel Editions is passionate about delivering a personal service every step of the way, and its team of experts will arrange your holiday with minimum fuss and maximum effort. Customer service and attention to detail are at the heart of everything they do, plus you will always be treated as an individual and get the benefit of affordable prices by travelling as a group. Another bonus is that Travel Editions is ABTA and ATOL protected, which means your money and your holiday will be protected from the moment you book.
In addition to offering extended tours and cultural short breaks, Travel Editions offers a large range of special events in the UK that bring the culture and history of the United Kingdom to life. These events can be found in the Art & History Abroad programme and include expert speakers, entertaining concerts and impressive dinners in historic locations.