Activities

The castle is conveniently located for enjoying a range of attractions, from historic ships and buildings to exotic gardens.

Brunel's SS Great Britain

Step back in time as you board Brunel’s famous SS Great Britain: the ‘ship that changed the world’.

Discover the true stories behind the ship and experience the sights, sounds and smells that awaited Victorian passengers and crew. Descend underwater, below the glass ‘sea’, to experience a fish-eye view of the world’s first great ocean liner.

Clifton Observatory

A natural cave with viewing platforms, unparalleled views over the local scenery, and the only formal camera obscura in England.

A former snuff mill, the building was first transformed into an observatory in the mid-19th century by the artist William West. In 1892, West replaced his telescope with a camera obscura, which created panoramic views with a lens and sloping mirror. His device is still in place today, offering a unique view of the Clifton suspension bridge and surrounding landscape.

Bristol Aquarium

This indoor aquarium on Bristol’s harbourside has over 40 displays and 7,000 animals to see.

Spot sharks, rays, clownfish, seahorses, fearsome piranhas, jellyfish and many more. View the shipwreck and underwater viewing tunnel, or visit the fantastic IMAX 3D Cinema to feel as though you’re swimming with whales and dolphins!

In addition to underwater exhibits, the aquarium also has the Urban Jungle botanical house, containing exotic plants from around the world.

Bristol Zoo Gardens

A visit to Bristol Zoo Gardens is an adventure into an exciting animal kingdom, all set within 12 acres of beautiful grounds and award-winning gardens.

Dating back to 1836, the zoo provides a safe home for species including gorillas, lions, red pandas and penguins. Learn more about the animals through daily talks and feeds, which run throughout the year.

Tump Green Equestrian Centre

A friendly and professional family-run riding centre, with various activities ranging from lessons and hacks to special fun days.

Learn to ride, or improve your technique, with lessons from qualified tutors. Explore the local area on a gentle hack, with special picnic rides and evening rides during the summer months.

Slimbridge Wetland Centre

See, feed and learn about the world’s largest collection of exotic, rare and endangered ducks, geese and swans.

A nature reserve packed with wildlife, the WWT Slimland Wetland Centre is home to otters, beavers, water voles and shrews, and is also the only place in Europe to house all six species of flamingo.

Buy a bag of grain at reception and head out to feed the birds or, if you’re feeling active, take a drip down the 1km canoe trail. Youngsters will love playing in the outdoor wet playground, Welly Boot Land.

Berkley Castle

Over 24 generations of the Berkeley family have transformed a savage Norman fortress into a truly stately home, full of treasures.

Come and learn about murder, intrigue and mysterious events at the castle. Visit the King’s Gallery, where King Edward II met a grisly fate, and walk among furniture owned by famous explorer, Sir Francis Drake.

Set within the old kitchen garden is a tropical butterfly house, where every stage of the butterfly life cycle can be seen.

"The staff were excellent...very friendly, couldn't do enough for us...really enjoyed my stay at Thornbury Castle and would certainly stay there again."

Jim Moloney, St Albans, UK