South West – Bristol and Somerset

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Top 100 places to visit in south west england

3. The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, Bristol

Top 10 ten places to visit in South West England – Bristol and Somerset

British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, Bristol

The award winning British Empire & Commonwealth Museum is the first major institution in the United Kingdom to present the 500-year history and legacy of Britain’s overseas empire.

It is housed inside Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s 19th century railway station at Temple Meads, Bristol, the world’s first purpose-built passenger railway terminus and an integral link using Brunel’s railway and ships to connect the heart of the empire, London, with Britain’s overseas colonies and America.

The Museum is based in Bristol, not only because of Brunel’s splendid building, but also because of the city’s historic connection with empire through voyages of exploration, trade (including in slaves), piracy, shipbuilding and the railways. Bristol today is a culturally diverse community, symbolically reflective of Britain’s colonial past.

As well as sixteen permanent galleries, the Museum offers a changing series of special exhibitions, events for families, lectures and seminars. There is a full education programme, suitable for all ages and key stages from pre-school to adult learners. A rapidly growing commercial archive uniquely illustrates Britain’s colonial past through film, photographs, objects, documents and sound recordings.

The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum Address:   
Station Approach
Temple Meads
England, UK

The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum Opening Times:
Daily, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, last admission 4.30 pm. Closed 22nd December to 1st January, re-opening on 2nd January. Please check the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum website for updates on possiible gallery closures during the winter period.

A tour of the permanent galleries will take approximately 2 hours. Please allow additional time for special exhibitions and events.

The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum Admission:
A FREE ANNUAL PASS is now available to all visitors paying the admission prices below. This allows unlimited re-entry to Museum exhibitions and events for 12 months, from the date of issue. To apply, simply ask for your pass on arrival.

Adults £7.95
Children (5 – 15 years) £3.95
Children under 5 years Free
Senior Citizens / Concessions £6.95
Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) £19.95

Discounts available for rail travellers. View special offers here. Large groups and school parties welcome. Generous discounts for ten or more persons.

T  +44 (0)117 925 4980

F  +44 (0)117 925 4983

W  The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum 

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