Bristol (Bath), England, United Kingdom
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Approximately 4½ Hours
Meals not included
In 1497, John Cabot sailed from Bristol on his historic voyage to North America. Bristol, located at the mouth of the River Avon, became the main British port for Transatlantic trade, pioneering the era of the ocean-going steam liner with the construction of the SS Great Britain. The city flourished as a major trading center, growing rich on the distribution of wine, tobacco and, in the 17th century, slaves. Travel the short distance from the port of Avonmouth for a leisurely exploration of Bristol city and its environs.
You'll see The Downs -- the 400 acres of grassland stretching from the cliffs of the Avon Gorge to the edges of the Victorian-built suburbs. It's no wonder the locals call this Bristol's green lung.
Snap a photo of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. This iconic, world-famous bridge was designed by the great Victorian architect Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Construction began in 1831, but the project was dogged with political and financial difficulties, and was abandoned in 1843. Brunel died in 1859 at the age of 53. He never lived to see his creation, which was finished in 1864 -- completed as his memorial.
In the center of Bristol, take panoramic sightseeing drive past the major points of interest, including the old dock areas at the very heart of Bristol, the Norman cathedral, Georgian terraces and great Victorian public buildings.
Another example of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's engineering genius is found in the SS Great Britain. You'll visit this great maritime masterpiece that was world's first oceangoing, propeller-driven iron ship, built and launched in Bristol in 1843. After a life as a luxury liner, troop ship, cargo vessel and floating warehouse, Brunel's SS Great Britain was abandoned in the Falkland Islands in 1937. She was salvaged in 1970, towed back to Bristol, and has now been fully restored to her former glory. The historic vessel is being restored in the very dockyard where she was built. Step aboard to experience the glimpse of the life enjoyed by her Victorian passengers and crew, including a visit to the three-story-tall moving engine.
Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes.