My Britain: Interview with Nick Booth, SS Great Britain’s Head of Collections

    Credit: Gareth Iwan Jones
    As part of our ongoing interview series, we spoke to Nick Booth, Head of Collections at Brunel’s SS Great Britain in Bristol. He gave us his insider tips on eating out in Bristol and Britain’s most eccentric events

    Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Britain was built in 1843. It was the first iron-hold transatlantic steamer designed to cross the Atlantic. To be responsible for it is very exciting. We’ve just been awarded the prize for Europe’s most welcoming museum.

    Britain has a great history as a maritime nation. The Mary Rose in Portsmouth is a pretty amazing place. The snapshot of life in Tudor times it provides is just unbelievable. I’d also recommend the HMS Caroline, a First World War ship in Northern Ireland, and the Newport Medieval Ship in Wales.

    I grew up in Topsham, Exeter where Sir Walter Raleigh is from. It’s beautiful, rural and great for walking. There are lots of coaching inns with log fires and local beers. East Devon as a whole has lots of sandy and cobbled beaches, historical towns and fishing villages.

    I love the Clifton Suspension Bridge, another Brunel project in Bristol. The view over the Avon Gorge is stunning. Clifton is beautiful too with really gorgeous Georgian architecture, but also lots of good restaurants and some really nice pubs.

    I proposed to my wife at Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. It holds candlelit openings and you wander around this Georgian architect’s house with all these statues and amazing treasures. It’s pretty special.

    My favourite place to eat in Bristol is the Brunel Raj. I’m not just saying that because of where I work. I did go there because of the name, but I keep going back because it’s the best that I’ve found so far.

    Britain is a good place for eccentric events. There’s the cheese rolling in Gloucester and the tar barrels
    in Ottery St Mary. I once came first in a relay at The Man vs Horse Race in Llanwrtyd Wells. It’s a 22-mile race, which started as an argument in a pub!


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