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“The Matthew Cabots boat.”

The Matthew of Bristol
Ranked #25 of 210 things to do in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: The Matthew is a replica of the Tudor ship sailed by John Cabot from Bristol 'discover' North America in 1497. The ship runs regular public trips and is available for private hire. When the ship is not sailing she is open 10am - 4pm, Tuesday - Sunday. History: After receiving a charter from Henry VII Venetian merchant John Cabot led a crew from Bristol across the Atlantic Ocean - 'the sea of darkness' - to reach the continent of North America, presumably landing at Newfoundland, and claiming the discovery for the king. The Matthew you see today is a replica of the Tudor ship, based on a huge amount of research. The ship was built between 1994 & 1996 and in 1997 it re-enacted Cabot's original journey to Newfoundland to mark the 500th anniversary of Cabot's landmark voyage of discovery.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access
Reviewed November 25, 2013

A view of the discomfort people put up with to explore the world. Only backpackers would put up with this nowadays we are really spoilt but are not aware of the comfort we travel in even if we complain. A short trip on the Matthew would put things into perspective.

Thank Fillipos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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157 - 161 of 201 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2013

I had a great trip up the Avon George and back on a summers evening and thoroughly enjoyed the slower pace of life, seeing the wildlife along the shore and connecting with history. It is so easy for tourists to see the Mathew as some kind of gimmick when in fact it was lovingly built faithfully recreating the original ship and then sailed under canvas to Newfoundland and Canada to celebrate the historic voyage of John Cabot and his crew of brave explorers. Naturally she sailed back home to Bristol where she could very easily have been laid up like the SS Great Britain but oh no here she is still working for her keep supported by a band of loyal volunteers. A short trip brings home just how brave those venturers must have been to go out into the north Atlantic storms looking for a new world in such a tiny ship.

1  Thank shoestring-UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

Well under motor really not sail and the rain poured but it was a wonderful experience and would definitely go again if I had the opportunity

Thank Tigi_Higgins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

the 28th sept was my 50th birthday so I really wanted something unusual to do during the day. my best friend suggested the matthew and, after checking the website and taking to the very helpful suzie in the office, I duly made the booking.

my husband, best friends and I duly arrived and were greeted by some very friendly chaps and after we were all settled in we set sail. admittedly it was around about then that it started to rain but this did not dampen our spirits and lovely big umbrellas were quickly provided,
a nice touch ....thanks.

we enjoyed a smooth trip and enjoyed watching the wildlife etc as we cruised along. the female member of staff announced that tea and coffee would be served shortly. being a 'special' birthday my friend and I decided we would rather have a glass of wine. sadly, when we mentioned this to the woman serving us she became very rude and gruff saying (in no uncertain terms) that she hadn't decided when the bar would be open !
now, I had checked that there was a bar on board as otherwise I intended to take a bottle of bubbly for us to share, so was certainly not expecting this response.
about an hour later my friends husband asked the same question, only to get a similar response from her, which really is not on when asking a perfectly civil question. my friend then asked a pleasant chap about ordering some white wine. however,about 3/4 hour towards the end of the cruise the same pleasant man came back to us saying they'd run out of white wine the previous day and hadn't restocked !
now I know this may make me sound like a dipsomaniac but the fact is that this is a commercial venture. neither our friends or us expected anyone to be rude and feel that running out of white wine when it's the weekend (and presumably their busiest time of the week) is down to poor management.
this poor management coupled by the womans rude attitude was a shame as aside from that I would have been able to give a glowing review to the very helpful and friendly male members of staff / volunteers on board, so 'thank you' to you for your jolly attitudes and big umbrellas.

2  Thank robnhen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

Well once a month we have a family day out with my cousin and her Husband, and we take it in turns to organise where to go and what to do, and this month was our turn. Living in S.E.Wales, Bristol is a short hop over the bridge, and so started looking. Came up with a river cruise up the Avon Gorge in The Matthew, lasting 3 1/2 to 4 hours, and as we are seniors for £20, well just had to book. What an incredible experience. First off I must say don't take too much notice of their website, just book it. I was amazed that we were only one week away and still able to get on as it is only licensed to carry 40 people. We got there a little early, but they started boarding at 9.45 and at 10 o'clock we were all safely aboard and so set off. Travelling through both swing bridges and through the lock out into the gorge and up underneath the Brunel Clifton Suspension bridge. The weather was little over cast with some showers but that really didn't dampen anyone's spirit. Firstly with 40 people on board there is plenty of room, and most people could find somewhere to sit down, the staff are not good, they are fantastic, very helpful, very informative and very knowledgeable. There is Tea, Coffee, biscuits and cakes available to buy, and I could not have enjoyed myself more. We travelled up the gorge to Pill, just under the M5 motorway bridge, then turned and ran back down with the incoming tide helping us to get back, through the lock and the 2 swing bridges and on to our mooring 4 hours later. A really fantastic day out. If you are anywhere near Bristol just book it and go, you will not be disappointed.

2  Thank Colin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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