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museum

Europe, Travel, UK

Being Brunel – Bristol’s Newest Attraction

April 7, 2018

If you’re local to Bristol, you would have heard about the new Being Brunel museum that has recently opened next to the SS Great Britain. I was lucky enough to visit the day after it opened and had a chance to explore with a group of bloggers and their families. Being a proud Bristolian (without the accent though haha), I was so excited to visit. I went to the SS Great Britain on a primary school trip years ago and my only memory is of low ceilings and scary wax work people.

The new museum is a great mix of interactive displays and personal artefacts from Brunel and his family and work colleagues. There were plenty of families with young children visiting and with actors dressed up and a moving train carriage, they’ll definitely be entertained. I loved that there were so many artefacts hidden away in drawers that you were encouraged to open. You can see why your ticket price includes unlimited revisits for a year because there is so much to see!

The huge Brunel in the main room houses a gateway into Brunel’s ‘mind’ so you can experience life in the 1800s. You can also explore Brunel’s office which has been fully restored so you can see where he designed the SS Great Britain.

I was so surprised at just how much I learnt about Brunel. I didn’t even know that the Clifton Suspension Bridge was finished after Brunel died! The team at the SS Great Britain Trust have done a great job and I’m sure Being Brunel will soon become one of Bristol’s biggest attractions.

After walking around the Being Brunel museum, we decided to explore the SS Great Britain for the first time in years. I don’t remember being able to walk under the ship before so that was quite cool but the ship itself is still full of the scary wax work people. In fact, now that they’re 15 years older, they’re probably even scarier!

When we left (about 3 hours after we arrived) there was a queue to get in so I hope the opening weekend was a success. It’s an ideal way to spend a few hours learning more about the man who shaped Bristol.

Have you visited the SS Great Britain or the Being Brunel museum yet? What did you think?

I received 2 free tickets for the Being Brunel museum in exchange for a review. Adult tickets are usually £16.50 and provide unlimited revisits for 12 months. 

UK

The Natural History Museum, London.

October 21, 2016

A couple of weekends ago, Stu and I went to London for the day. It wasn’t for a special occasion or anything, I just had a voucher for Vapiano which we wanted to use! As much as we love the food there, we knew we couldn’t spend the whole day eating Italian food and it was due to rain most of the day. We wanted to plan a few things to do because there’s nothing worse than being stuck outside in the rain, without any idea where to go. Our grand planning session resulted in me suggesting the Natural History Museum. Neither of us had been there for years, it’s easy to get to and no ticket necessary!

natural-history-museum-entrance

We probably got to the Natural History museum about an hour after it opened. There was a bit of a queue to get in but it wasn’t raining and there were a couple of PokeStops nearby so we didn’t mind waiting. After about 15 minutes or so, we were in the doors and completely overwhelmed as to which way to go and what to see first. We decided to wing it and ignore the maps and just have a wander around.

london-museum-dippy

The museum is HUGE. There are so many different sections to it and you could easily spend hours there. Some parts get a bit crowded so avoid going on a Saturday if get a bit claustrophobic. My advice would be to take a break. It gets tiring walking around, you’ll definitely need some snacks!

natural-history-musuem-globe

Like all museums, there are bound to be parts that you enjoy more than others. I loved the dinosaur exhibition but get a bit creeped out by all the taxidermy. I seem to be in the minority with this opinion as the main crowds are around the big stuffed animals.

london-dinosaur

Being a big tourist attraction for families, there’s lots of interactive exhibitions and these are by far the best bits. There’s one game where you have to try and keep a human alive for as long as possible. Let’s just say that Stu and I won’t offer to babysit anyone for a little while…

Have you been to the Natural History Museum recently? What did you think?

 

Europe, Travel, UK

Easter Weekend in London

April 13, 2016

Easter may seem like forever ago but I’ve been a bad blogger and haven’t got round to writing about my trip to London with my family. So now you can sit back and remember how nice having a 4 day weekend at Easter was and look forward to our next bank holiday in May! Not that I’m counting or anything…

Anyway back to London! Over the Easter weekend, I went to London with my Dad and Stepmum. Thinking about it now, it’s probably the first time that we’ve ever done something just the three of us as there are usually other family members in tow. I’m really glad we got to spend that time together. Travelling definitely made me realise how important it is to see your friends and family as much as possible.

We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn hotel which is right next to the Hatton Cross tube station. It’s about a 40 minute journey into Central London but you get a bigger and much nicer room than most inner city hotels which is a big plus for me! We stayed for two nights and I thought it was a lovely hotel. It’s full of lots of people going on holiday as it’s near Heathrow airport which made me extremely jealous! I also loved the breakfast buffet – purely because it had a toast conveyor belt and those little glasses of juice you get on holiday. It made the trip feel even more like a holiday for me (I know I’m weird…).

Now obviously there’s tons to do in London and this post isn’t going to tell you how to see all the typical tourist sights in one weekend. What I will do is share with you some of the highlights of our weekend. We seemed to do loads and I enjoyed myself so much. So in no particular order, here’s what we got up to!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Both Sarah and I had read the book by Mark Haddon, which is fantastic, so we were really looking forward to seeing how it translated into a play. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but you definitely won’t be disappointed. It’s a very clever set with talented actors who draw the audience in to the story. One of my pet peeves is when a play or film deviates too far from the original story so I was relieved when the play did stay true to Mark Haddon’s book.

The London Dungeons

Now I had no idea what to expect from the London Dungeons. Friends had told me that it was really scary and I’ve been around the Saw Maze at Thorpe Park before which has actors and that seriously freaked me out. However this was a lot more family orientated. All of the actors were good and stayed in character the whole time but I only jumped a couple of times and that was probably due to my Dad trying to scare me! It’s more of a fun thing to do and not scary but you do learn some of London’s history which can only be a good thing.

The Imperial War Museum


Now if you really want to learn some history then I suggest you visit the Imperial War Museum. This is a fantastic place to go if you like your military history. I had quite a few modules in my degree about the different wars in the 20th Century so I found it particulary interesting. I don’t think you have to be a history nerd like me to appreciate the IWM though as it covers such a broad timescale that there is bound to be something that interests you, whether that be Hitler or 9/11. One of the best exhibitions is the floor dedicated to the Holocaust. It’s a harrowing exhibition which might make some people feel uncomfortable but it’s a subject that everyone should learn about to ensure it doesn’t happen again. If you’re after something a little different to do in London, you should definitely visit here!

Camden Markets


Last on my list is Camden Markets. Incredibly, I’ve never actually been to Camden before. Seeing all the different stalls selling such an array of items and food reminded me of Glastonbury festival. I love wandering about markets and seeing all the different shops and smelling all the food – even if I rarely actually buy anything! We walked through the Stable Market with all the horse statues and then saw the Amy Winehouse statue on the way out. I’d like to visit the markets again soon and see what hidden treasures I can find.

So that was our weekend in London! It was good to be a tourist in my capital city and explore some different parts of London. Thanks to my Dad and Sarah for a such a good weekend!

 

Next time I’m in London will be in just over a weeks time for the London Marathon. Wish me luck and please sponsor me if you can – details here.