Bristol and the South West of England: its Medical and Maritime History

9 - 11 Sep 2019
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

This tour has been designed as a pre- congress tour for the British Society for the History of Medicine, whose congress is taking part 11 - 14 September 2019. It is, however open to those who are not attending the congress.

This tour of Bristol and the South West will look at the fascinating history of the area including its medical and maritime history.

Bristol straddles the River Avon, a location that has provided it with a long, prosperous maritime history. Trade wealth has sailed into its harbour for centuries, bringing explorers, great thinkers and academics in its wake. Bristol today is a cultural hub attracting artists, musicians and excellent museums. This is a city with a rich history, beautiful architecture and interesting people.

Learn about the explorers who set sail from its harbour to discover North America, the scientists and engineers who lived in and around the city including Edward Jenner and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, visit the historical city of Bath whose thermal waters have attracted people for centuries, to seeing where Blackbeard the pirate drank before setting sail to terrorise the New World.


The Bristol hotel is the preferred hotel by the British Society for the History of Medicine for the pre-conference tour and conference. The hotel is in a brilliant location for exploring Bristol, for restaurants and bars as well as being less than a 10-minute walk from the M-Shed where the conference will take place.

We have negotiated special rates for the duration on their behalf and are holding an allocation of rooms.

To reserve a room please contact the hotel directly on +44 (0) 117 923 0333 or Please quote The British Society for the History of Medicine to access the special rates that have been secured.

On booking you will be asked to provide credit card details to secure the room booking.

Classic rooms are

8th September 2019 - Single Occupancy - £89 per room inc. breakfast Double Occupancy- £104 per room inc. breakfast

9th September 2019- Single Occupancy - £119 per room inc. breakfast Double Occupancy – £134 per room inc. breakfast

10th September 2019 - Single Occupancy - £149 per room inc. breakfast Double Occupancy – £164 per room inc. breakfast

11th September 2019 - Single Occupancy - £149 per room inc. breakfast Double Occupancy – £164 per room inc. breakfast

12th September 2019 - Single Occupancy - £119 per room inc. breakfast Double Occupancy – £134 per room inc. breakfast

13th September 2019 - Single Occupancy - £109 per room inc. breakfast Double Occupancy –£124 per room inc. breakfast

If you would like to upgrade to deluxe bedrooms then there is a supplement of £30 per room per night.

For those who wish to book another hotel we will provide meeting times each day to meet the group at the Bristol hotel for that days activities.

Your tour leader

Need more information?

  • Tel: (Toll Free) 1-8777-398-764
  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

9 Sept (Mon) Bristol: After breakfast meet your guide and explore the history and medical history of Bristol. Visit St. Mary Redcliffe Church which holds many a maritime and historical gem within her walls. Visit the New Room, the oldest Methodist building in the world, where John Wesley dispensed health care to those in need. Continue to Glenside Hospital Museum, which looks at the history of mental health and was also a hospital during World War One. After lunch in Clifton Village at a traditional english pub, drive out into the countryside past the Clifton Suspension Bridge, one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's engineering masterpieces, to the Jenner House Museum. On arrival there will be a talk by Prof Gareth Williams before a tour of the museum. Return to Bristol in the late afternoon.

10 Sept (Tues) Bristol/ Bath/ Bristol: Depart for the historical city of Bath. Enjoy a walking tour of the city taking in its ground breaking Georgian architecture, including the Royal Crescent and the Circus. See the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases. Visit Bath Abbey, with memorials to many notable people including Arthur Phillip, founder of Australia. Tour the Roman Baths, a huge bathing complex, built around natural hot springs dating from 70 AD. After lunch in Bath, depart for Stonehenge. Explore the famous prehistoric stone circle and learn about how and why they may have been built at its modern exhibition centre before returning to Bristol in the early evening.

11 Sept (Wed) Bristol: Today will be a walking tour of Bristol to explore more of its fascinating history. See the Cathedral, the Cary Grant Statue ( the Hollywood star was born and raised in Bristol), Queen Square which was the site of the first US Consulate, and the thought provoking murals created by the artist Banksy. Finish at the regenerated Harbourside which is now home to the Matthew, a replica of the ship John Cabot sailed to North America. End at the SS Great Britain, for a guided tour of Brunel's famous passenger vessel. On the guided tour hear about the life of its onboard doctor and the medical conditions he would have treated on those long voyages. The tour will end at lunch time before the British Society of the History of Medicine Congress itinerary begins

Tour cost

$625.00 per person ground only, not including accommodation in Bristol

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