Afternoon Cruise on The Matthew of Bristol

Over Easter, the kids and I, along with our friends, took a trip around Bristol Harbour on the fabulous boat, The Matthew of Bristol. The Matthew is a replica of the Tudor Caravel sailed by the Italian explorer John Cabot, along with his 18 crew, from Bristol to North America in 1497 . This voyage, commissioned by Henry VII, is commonly held to have been the first European exploration of mainland of North America, after the Viking Leif Erikson's visits to Vinland in the eleventh century.


The Wonderful Matthew

The replica Matthew was built in Bristol, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Cabot's voyage, and in 1997 she undertook Cabot's and his crew's original journey to Newfoundland, where it is believed the first expedition landed. The Matthew now lives at a mooring alongside the M Shed in Bristol and is managed by The Matthew of Bristol Trust.


Bow of The Matthew

The Matthew is largely run and maintained by a volunteer crew, and when it is home, visits to it are free (please check their website for when you can visit), The crew also run regular cruises around the harbour, for which there is a charge, the one we booked was their 'Captain Barnacle Pirate Panto', which turned out to be perfect family entertainment.


Captain Barnacle

Captain Barnacle entertained us while we sailed around the harbour for an hour, with his one man pirate panto which included lots of pirate jokes, puppets and a sing song. It was great fun, and he tolerated our two 11 yr old boys, who had decided that heckling him throughout his performance would be highly amusing - don't you just love pre-teen boys!


Captain Barnacle Show

We were lucky with the weather, and it was lovely to see the harbour from the water.


Ship at Bristol Harbour

There are some lovely properties over-looking the harbour.


Sailing around Bristol Harbour

It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon, the boat is wonderful, and it was great to see the harbour from the water. It made me reflect on what an amazing sea-faring heritage we have here in the UK, and we will definitely be visiting some more docks and boats soon.





Monkey and Mouse

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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  • Reply Jenny - Monkey and Mouse

    Such a great history and really interesting to learn more about it on a replica that had actually sailed the same journey. It amazes me that the vessels that used to sail these waters really weren’t as sturdy looking as you thought (although I can imagine that the Vikings boats would be smaller and less stable looking?). Sounds like a great day out, even if the poor pirate was heckled by the boys! Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 xx
    Jenny – Monkey and Mouse recently posted…How To Sunday #29My Profile

    April 25, 2016 at 11:12 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Yeah I guess the Viking ones would have been really exposed – It is unbelievable that they just set off, not even knowing where they were going to end up. I think they were actually aiming for Asia (as they didn’t know America was in between). I’d love to go out on the open sea in one, although not all the way across the Atlantic!

      April 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm
  • Reply Chloe

    This is so cool! What an adventure. I’d love to sail on one of these boats, but to also get entertained too, it sounds perfect. Your pictures are gorgeous. I would love to try this. Thank you so much for sharing this with Whatever The Weather xx
    Chloe recently posted…YUMBOX REVIEW AND GIVEAWAYMy Profile

    April 25, 2016 at 2:26 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It really was a lovely afternoon out Chloe, I bet Evie would love it. Thanks for having us on Whatever the weather x

      April 28, 2016 at 2:38 pm
  • Reply Claire at Tin Box Traveller

    Wow! I can’t believe this ship made it across the Atlantic – it looks so delicate. What a great experience to be able to sail around the harbour. Bristol’s waterfront is full of great things to see. #whatevertheweather
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…MAD Blog Awards – I’m a family travel finalistMy Profile

    April 22, 2016 at 1:39 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It’s amazing isn’t it Claire. Congratulations on being a MAD Blog Award Finalist xx

      April 23, 2016 at 2:08 pm
  • Reply Lauren (The Helpful Hiker)

    What an awesome boat, that looks like so much fun. I’m always a fan of a bit of history and the chance to see things from a different perspective. Definitely something to check out if we’re ever in that part of the world.

    April 21, 2016 at 3:18 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Isn’t it wonderful Lauren. We all love history, and the kids know quite a lot about the Tudors thanks to horrible histories, but to actually go on a boat from that period really bought it to life 🙂

      April 22, 2016 at 11:39 am
  • Reply Helena

    Sounds like you all had a great time. I look forward to hearing where your next adventure takes you. #whatevertheweather

    April 20, 2016 at 5:49 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      We did Helena, it was a lovely, relaxing afternoon – off to check out your blog now x

      April 22, 2016 at 11:36 am
  • Reply Maria (One Tiny Leap)

    Beautiful boat, and what a stunning view of the harbour! We’re going to Bristol soon so will make sure we visit the Matthew 🙂

    April 16, 2016 at 6:45 pm
  • Reply Coombe Mill

    What a fantastic experience for the kids, it must have been brilliant sailing along the docks of Bristol on the Matthew. Captain Barnacle looks like he took his role very seriously, it’s great that he never broke character, even when the boys started heckling him! I look forward to more of you fab trips out in different boats. Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.
    Coombe Mill recently posted…Annual Upcycled Raft RaceMy Profile

    April 16, 2016 at 10:03 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Captain Barnacle was a real pro 🙂 It was a lovely afternoon, I really want to go out on a tall ship now Fiona, that’d be amazing 🙂

      April 17, 2016 at 11:09 pm
  • Reply Emma

    What a fab trip on the boat, although the captain looks a little scary. Would not want to get on the wrong side of him as he might make you walk the plank! :–) #countrykids

    April 16, 2016 at 9:36 am
  • Reply Cheryl | TimeToCraft

    Our office overlooks the harbour and I see the Matthew sailing up and down. Still slightly an unreal sight. We’ve been on board but never taken the cruise. I probably should take my 8 year old before he reaches that age! #CountryKids

    April 16, 2016 at 8:06 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      We would have given you a wave if we had known! It is a lovely little trip – my daughter is 8, and has just got into pirates of the Caribbean – she absolutely loved it 🙂

      April 17, 2016 at 11:12 pm

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