Bristol audio tour: Brunel: The Boat and the Bridge

Brunel: The Boat and the Bridge

Walking Tour

60 mins

About the Tour

A look at the life of Bristol's most famous son, master engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, through two of his iconic constructions. Our walk will take us past the world's first transatlantic steam ship, the SS Great Britain, as well as the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the world's longest bridge at the time it was built. Both take pride of place today in the centre of modern Bristol, which is exactly where we'll start.

Stepping over 200 years into the past, we'll learn about the world Brunel lived in and understand the way he changed the world we live in today. We'll wind our way along the river Avon, on a route that's almost entirely pedestrianised, and end at the Clifton's Suspension Bridge's official viewpoint.

Tour Producer


Ste Russell

An experienced walking tour guide, passionate about storytelling and local history.

Major Landmarks

  • Brunel's SS Great Britain

  • The Clifton Suspension Bridge

  • Old Clifton Rocks Railway

Directions to Starting Point

Hanover Quay is in the centre of Bristol, a short walk from the tourist information centre at the Watershed. Buses 8 or 9 run from Bristol Temple Meads station; at the College Green stop, walk down the left side of Bristol Cathedral and through the tunnel at the side of the At-Bristol Science Centre.

Millennium Square car park is a safe and secure 24 hour car park adjacent to At-Bristol Science Centre, open 24 hours a day with on-site security.

At the end of the tour, follow the hill up & turn right on Gloucester Row to Clifton Down Road for the 8 or 9 bus back to the city centre and Temple Meads station.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Restaurants; Spitfire Barbecue (burgers and ribs), Spoke & Stringer (brunch, sandwiches, tapas), Siam Harbourside (Thai).
Cafes; Cafe Gusto (coffee and sandwiches), The Galley (cafe with tapas).
Pub; The Pump House, The White Lion, The Portcullis (all with food menus).

Best time of day

Midday hours are best, with the sun overhead (so you can see things properly), either right before or right after lunch!


There are few roads to cross but do be aware that some parts later in the route as working dock areas, so be wary of the heavy industrial machinery. Please be wary of the water's edge throughout, for adults and children alike.


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Brunel: The Boat and the Bridge