Key stages 1 and 2:
  Curriculum based
  history tours

We offer six carefully crafted tours that fulfil the key stage 1 and 2 criteria for history by covering ‘...the way of life of people in the more distant past who lived in the local area...’ and ‘...the lives of significant men, women and children drawn from the history of Britain…(for example engineers, explorers, inventors)...’  and '...a study over time tracing how several aspects of national history are reflected in the locality...'

These highly popular 2 hour trips are delivered by experienced guides, with a focus on interaction between guide and students. Prices include pick-up and drop off from your school (within greater Bristol boundary. Small charge added for schools outside of Bristol).

Notes and Risk Assessment


Victorian Bristol and the works of
Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Brunel and Victorian Bristol

This educational tour will include Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, ss Great Britain and Temple Meads Railway Station as well as a wealth of other sites associated with the Victorian period.

During the Victorian period Bristol underwent great changes resulting from the technological advances made during the Industrial Revolution.  During the 1800s Bristol’s population grew from 70,000 to 330,000 as people came to find work in factories, many owned by family firms such as Fry’s Chocolate and Will’s Tobacco.  The city also attracted the great Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed some of his finest works here in Bristol.

  • Tour Route:  City Centre, ss Great Britain, Underfall and Floating Harbour (Brunel designed sluices), Wills Bonded Warehouse, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Down, Alderman Proctor’s Fountain, View of Avonmouth from Sea Walls, Victorian Houses at Rockleaze, Bristol Zoo, Clifton College, Christ Church, Victoria Rooms, Queen Victoria statue, Byzantine architecture and Temple Meads station.
  • Supporting Information: Downloadable PDFs of questions, answers and images are available for teachers to use as pre or post-trip classroom aids. Click here to download the PDF (4MGs)
  • Price from: £420 per bus (bus holds 66-70 at full capacity). We recommend either filling the top deck only (approx 40 children), or choosing a halfway point to swap top and bottom decks over.

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Abolition and Slavery - A History of Bristol

For the full educational experience we can offer a FULL DAY itinerary including a 2.5 hour bus tour, 1 hour walking tour, 1.5 hour guided visit to the Cathedral and a 2 hour guided visit to The New Room. Please note that these elements can also be taken independently to suit timescales, group sizes and budgets. We are more than happy to assist you in developing an itinerary - use the contact form at the bottom of this page or ring us on 0117 403 1994 (opt 2)

Bristol has a controversial and often contradictory history in the transactlantic slave trade. This tour takes you on a journey to explore the important sites and people associated with this infamous trade.

  • Open Top Bus Tour – We take your class/group on a fully guided open top (half covered or closed top) bus journey, taking in the important sites of Bristol involved in slavery, the abolition movement and the abolition of slavery.
  • Walking Tour – A fully guided walking tour taking in the important sites of Bristol involved in slavery and the abolition movement and abolition of slavery. .
  • The New Room – During a two-hour visit to the New Room in Broadmead, pupils can learn about John Wesley and his work in Bristol, his stance against the transatlantic slave trade and why this caused a riot! .
  • Bristol Cathedral – The Education Team will enable pupils to unravel the fascinating links between Bristol Cathedral and the transatlantic slave trade on an interactive tour, including some poetic inspiration from Robert Southey.

Prices:
2.5 hour Open Top Bus Tour: from £420 per bus (max 60 recommended). Time includes pick up from your school and drop off to sites below or back to school.
1 hour Walking Tour: £3 per head (max 30 recommended). Can be taken as two groups if in conjunction with the bus tour.
2 hour visit to The New Room: £2 per head, workshop included (max 30 recommended). Toilets available.
1.5 hour visit to Bristol Cathedral: £2 per head, workshop included (max 30 recommended).Toilets and lunch area for groups. Risk assement on The Cathedral website.

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Bristol from the Iron Age to the Normans

Please note that this tour can be taken as one tour, covering all historic topics, or specialised into specific eras (allowing some time to disembark from the bus to explore).

Bristol has a rich and ancient history. This tour takes you on a journey through the Roman, Iron Age, Middle Ages and Norman sites of Bristol  - including an Iron Age Fort, a Roman villa and port, the Anglo Saxon settlement area and a Norman Cathedral. 

  • The Iron Age – 700BC to 50AD: Bristol is concentric with the territory of an iron age tribe known as the Dobunni tribe. The Dobunni developed the ancient Bronze Age forts left by Bronze Age man. We visit an Iron Age Fort on Observatory Hill.
  • The Romans – 50AD to 410: Although Bath was the chosen playground for Romans, Bristol still had an important part to play in the Roman settlement of the South West. We will visit a Roman port in Sea Mills (Portus Abonae) and a Kingsweston Roman villa - the best preserved Roman villa in this area.
  • The Middle Ages 401 to 1066: Bristol was established around 900 AD by an Anglo-Saxon tribe on the boarder of Wessex and Mercia. The original name thought to be given to Bristol was “Brigstowe”, meaning “Place of the Bridge”. We visit Bristol Bridge, Saint Peter’s Church and The Old City.
  • The Normans – 11th and 12th Century: In 1140 Robert Fitzharding, a wealthy landowner, founded a monastery at Bristol - now Bristol Cathedral on College Green. On our way to Bristol Cathedral we will pass by Castle Park - the original site of Bristol Castle. 

Price from: £420 per bus (bus holds 66-70 at full capacity). We recommend either filling the top deck only (approx 40 children), or choosing a halfway point to swap top and bottom decks over. 

 


Where You Live

Where I Live in Bristol

Please note: This tour can be tailored to your specific teaching requirements and could apply to the city of Bristol as a whole or the locality in which your school is situated.

This educational tour will cover how Bristol developed from a small Saxon Port into the busy and vibrant city we see today; exploring the growth during the Victorian era, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s work, the aviation industry, and the harbour’s growth and regeneration.

Bristol was first settled over 1000 years ago by the Saxons.  Bristol harbour’s  40ft (12 metre) tidal range enabled sailing ships to navigate the river to a safe and sheltered harbour.  The city prospered, and up until the Industrial Revolution was second only to London in importance as a port and city.  Bristol played a major part in the Triangular (or Slave Trade) becoming extremely wealthy from the profits. Large companies such as Wills’ tobacco and Fry’s chocolate benefited from the trade.  

During the Victorian period Bristol’s population grew rapidly as a result of industrialisation.  The need for closer links to London resulted in Isambard Kingdom Brunel designing the Great Western railway (his other creations include SS Great Britain and the Clifton Suspension Bridge).

The Industrial Revolution led to the creation of Avonmouth Docks closer to the sea.  Bristol’s docks continued to be used commercially until 1977.  The area has since been regenerated, with new housing, offices and attractions.

The 20th century saw the development of aviation industries culminating Concorde in the 1960s. Bristol currently has 50,000 students studying at the city’s two universities.  It’s accessibility by rail and road networks has also led to the growth of service industries such as banking and insurance.

  • Tour Route: The Centre, The Cathedral, @Bristol, The Floating Harbour and SSGB, Clifton Suspension Bridge,  Football on the Downs, Cabot Tower, Wills’ Memorial Tower, Banksy mural, ‘See No Evil’ street art, Cabot Circus, Concorde, Pero’s Bridge, Temple Meads Station, St Mary Redcliffe.
  • Supporting Information: Downloadable PDFs of questions, answers and images are available for teachers to use as pre or post-trip classroom aids. Click here to download the PDF (2MGs)
  • Price from: £420 per bus (bus holds 66-70 at full capacity). We recommend either filling the top deck only (approx 40 children), or choosing a halfway point to swap top and bottom decks over.

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Bristol during the 1930s and the impact of World War 2

Bristol in World War 2

This educational tour will visit many of the places associated with WW2 and the Bristol Blitz looking at what has been lost forever as well as what still remains.

Bristol, with a population of nearly 400,000, was both an important port and industrial centre during the 1930’s.  To the north of the city, the Bristol Aeroplane Company in Filton built planes and aero-engines, and during the Second World War produced Blenheim and Beaufighter aircraft for the war effort.  Consequently, Bristol became a prime target for the German Luftwaffe, with bombing raids claiming 1,300 lives of people living and working in the city.  The worst period of bombing, the Bristol Blitz, between 24 November 1940 and 11 April 1941, saw six major bombing raids and by the end of the war nearly 100,000 buildings had been damaged, at least 3,000 of them beyond repair.  

  • Tour Route: City Centre, Floating Harbour, The River Avon, The Downs, Clifton College, Roosevelt Cottage, St Andrew’s Church, Clifton, Park Street, The Cenotaph at Quay Head, Broadmead ,  Llandogger Trow, St Nicholas Church, Castle Park , Temple Church, St Mary Redcliffe).
  • Supporting Information: Downloadable PDFs of questions, answers and images are available for teachers to use as pre or post-trip classroom aids. Click here to download the PDF (4MGs)
  • Price from: £420 per bus (bus holds 66-70 at full capacity). We recommend either filling the top deck only (approx 40 children), or choosing a halfway point to swap top and bottom decks over.

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Maritime Bristol

Maritime Bristol

This educational tour will trace the history of Bristol as a maritime city from Saxon times to the present day.  We will learn how Bristol port grew, of voyages of discovery that were made from Bristol, we will hear tales of piracy and about the Triangular (or Slave) Trade.   The Bristol harbour development from Victorian times to the present day will also be explored.

From Bristol’s creation as the port of Brigstowe over 1000 years ago the city has prospered due to its connection with the sea.  A 40ft (12 metre) tidal range made Bristol second only to London in importance as a commercial port up until the Industrial Revolution. Early trade was between local ports, but by the 15th century commodities were being traded from France, Spain and Iceland.

Explorer John Cabot sailed from Bristol in the Matthew and discovered Newfoundland in 1497.  This led to the settlement of the North American continent and development of the Triangular (or Slave) trade.

The pirate Edward Teach (Blackbeard) was born in Redcliffe, and Robert Louis Stevenson is said to have written Treasure Island whilst in the city. Rescued Alexander Selkirk, landed in Bristol told his story to the writer and traveller Daniel Defoe giving him the inspiration to write Robinson Crusoe.

Bristol continued to flourish as a port during the Industrial Revolution until ships became larger and Avonmouth was created.  The Floating Harbour was created in 1804; enabling the port to remain in use until 1977.

Today the harbour area is fully regenerated with new residential development, offices and attractions the highlight of which is Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s iconic SS Great Britain.

  • Tour Route: The Centre, Neptune’s Statue, The Matthew,  The SS Great Britain, Bust of Samuel Plimsol, Old sailing ships, Harbour Festival, Drawbridge pub, Llandogger Trow, Bristol Bridge, Hole in the Wall pub, Cabot’s Statue, Pero’s Bridge.
  • Supporting Information: Downloadable PDFs of questions, answers and images are available for teachers to use as pre or post-trip classroom aids. Click here to download the PDF (2MGs)
  • Price from: £420 per bus (bus holds 66-70 at full capacity). We recommend either filling the top deck only (approx 40 children), or choosing a halfway point to swap top and bottom decks over.

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Want to make a day of it?

NO NEED TO HIRE EXPENSIVE COACHES. Let us pick you up from your school and look after you all day. Have a guided tour with us and then use the bus for the rest of the day as you visit the splendid array of educational sites in Bristol such as the ssGreat Britain, MShed, Clifton Suspension Bridge and many more.... Our bus will be waiting to take you on to your next site, and - at the end of the school day - deliver you safely back to school.

Please contact us and together we can work out an itinerary that suits your learning objective perfectly! Price of £730 includes up to six hours of bus usage and a guide for two hours (guide hours to suit your trip).

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  • Bristol Insight are holders of the LOtC quality badge
  • Please note that there are no toilets on board the bus. It can be easily arranged for the bus to stop at the various public toilets on our route.
  • Please note that we are a bus and, like any other bus in the UK, we do not have seatbelts. Please click here for our "Seat Belt Statement"
  • Please click here for our Risk Assessment. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you also arrange your own risk assessment to suit your needs exactly. Free tour tickets will be given to any teacher or parent wishing to arrange their own risk assessment.
  • Please contact us if you have children with access/mobilty problems and we can make sure any problems are addressed before your trip


The tour was very informative and relevant. The commentary was pitched well and the information was easily accessible for our students

Adam Knight, Head of Year 7,
Oasis Academy Brightstowe