Elegant, leafy and filled with chic boutiques, cosy cafes, beautiful buildings and iconic attractions, such as Clifton Suspension Bridge and Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton is one of Bristol's most exclusive suburbs and picturesque quarters. Beginning with the Clifton Triangle and reaching into the area affectionately known as Clifton Village, this stunning Georgian area is always hugely popular with visitors.
The thriving hub of Clifton Village features pretty streets lined with boutiques and fine places to eat. For an unusual shopping experience, the Victorian Clifton Arcade houses some of the most unique shops in the city, selling everything from vintage jewellery to home interiors.
Linking Bristol City Centre with The Downs is the lively Whiteladies Road, home to excellent nightlife with many bars and restaurants lining the mile-long road. BBC Bristol is loacted here, offering behind-the-scenes tours.
At the end of Whiteladies Road is Queen's Road and the Triangle, home to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and the Royal West of England Academy, both of which welcome visiting exhibitions alongside their excellent permanent collections.
The area is best known for the Clifton Suspension Bridge, a stunning structure designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel which was completed over 150 years ago. The bridge is free to walk and cycle across (cars charge at £1) and offers magnificent views of the Avon Gorge and surrounding countryside. On the Leigh Woods side is a visitor centre which is open daily and displays the history of the bridge.
The Lido, on Oakfield Place, has been fully restored and offers year-round outdoor swimming, spa treatments and award-winning dining.
Clifton is also home to Bristol Zoo Gardens, one of the world's longest established and well-respected zoos. Explore 12 acres of landscaped gardens and find over 400 species of exotic animals from around the globe including a family of gorillas, Asiatic lions, tropical butterflies, reptiles and penguins. If you're looking for a little more action, ZooRopia gives visitors the chance to swing alongside gibbons, gorillas and lemurs before finishing with a zip wire onto the zoo's main lawn.
A relaxing environment
One of the most popular green spaces in Bristol is The Downs, made up of Clifton Down and Durdham Down. This huge area of protected parkland borders the northern fringes of Clifton and is home to the wonderful University of Bristol Botanic Gardens, which is located on the northern edge. A number of major events take place throughout the year and the area is a relaxing environment for walkers, joggers, cyclists and kite-flyers! It also boats fantastic views of the Avon Gorge from the sea walls.
Just across the Clifton Suspension Bridge is Ashton Court, a beautiful location for walking, jogging, golf, cycling and annual events, including the famous Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. Hot-air balloon companies, such as Bristol Balloons and Bailey Balloons, offer flights from Ashton Court. You can also see the native deer in their large enclosed areas. Nearby Leigh Woods has a range of designated pathways leading you through oak, small leaf lime and ash trees. You can also try some adventuring and abseil or climb the Avon Gorge with Adventurous Activity Company.
Where to eat and drink in Clifton
Brilliant breakfasts, award-winning dinners and a proper taste of the West Country keep Clifton's diners happy from sunup to sundown.
Modern British favourites are the order of the day at The Clifton Sausage and fine dining can be savoured at the AA rosette-awarded No.4 Clifton Village. The Bridge Cafe and White Lion Bar in the Avon Gorge Hotel both feature a huge all-weather terrace boasting the best views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and a real favorite among the locals for a sunny afternoon.
For a taste of the West Country head to the Coronation Tap for a range of ciders including its exclusive press, Exhibition, or treat yourself to a taste of authentic Indian street food at Thali Cafe. The Lido restaurant features daily-changing menus that takes inspiration from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine while the River Cottage Canteen, first started by chef Hugh-Fearnley Whittingstall, is housed in a beautiful 19th-century church on Whiteladies Road. It serves fresh, seasonal and wild food.
Down on the Triangle, call into Friska for a range of fresh dishes made using responsibly sourced ingredients. End the night at Hyde and Co, a speakeasy-style cocktail bar famed for the quality of its drinks.
Clifton is a 15-20 minute stroll up Park Street from the centre, or you can also take the bus to the shops and bars of Clifton Village with a regualr service running every day (except public holidays). Find out more travel options at www.travelwest.info.
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A visit to Bristol Zoo Gardens is an adventure into an exciting animal kingdom, all set within 12 acres of beautiful award-winning gardens. Visitors will come face-to-face with over 400 species of exotic, endangered and adorable animals from the...
Luxury developed flats nestled in Clifton providing the home away from home.
Hidden aware in the beautiful suburb of Clifton the Redgrave Theatre is one of Bristol’s most popular theatres hosting a wide variety of productions including operas, musicals, stand-up comedy, theatre and dance.
Bristol’s most unique spa destination, featuring a pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna, spa, restaurant bar and terrace
Famous hotel that sits right on top of the spectacular Avon Gorge, with views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge
PriceGuide Price From £120.00 to £160.00 Per room (breakfast included)
Come and find out what goes on inside BBC Bristol, the regional television centre for the West of England.
Fascinating camera obscura and subterranean cave system alongside Bristol's beautiful Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge
Luxurious serviced apartments in a classical Georgian terraced house overlooking Victoria Square, in Clifton Village
PriceGuide Price From £85.00 Per unit per night
The Royal West of England Academy (RWA), England’s only regional Royal Academy of Art, is Bristol's finest art gallery. Its magnificent Grade 2* listed building hosts five naturally-lit galleries acclaimed as one of the best exhibition spaces in...
Award winning and eco-friendly Indian restaurants that offer some of the best curries, Tiffin takeaways and cocktails in Bristol. All served in a unique and bright Indian cafe with rustic tables and fairy lights.
Cool café hotel located right in the heart of the Clifton area, close to Park Street’s boutiques
A small friendly bed and breakfast in a large victorian house overlooking Durdham Downs
PriceGuide Price From £55.00 Per person (breakfast included) to £75.00 Per room (breakfast included)
A legendary watering hole in the Clifton area that serves up some great food
Bristol Brunel Serviced Apartments offers one and two-bed apartments and Brunel Rooms with exclusive access to the Brunel Lounge. All the apartments are located in Clifton; which is perfectly located for business and leisure trips.
PriceGuide Price From £55.00 to £150.00 Per unit per night
Critically-acclaimed restaurant overlooking The Lido in the Clifton area
The Washington, situated in the heart of Clifton, combines both comfort and convenience with the most competitive of prices.
Restaurant at the Avon Gorge Hotel offering panoramic views of the Suspension Bridge
Bristol favourite Italian, Bottelinos in the heart of Clifton.
A welcoming British food restaurant that specialises in fresh, local and seasonal dishes
The Cowshed brings the taste of the countryside to the city. For The Cowshed, the most important thing is knowing where and how their food is produced. They focus on the quality of the farming or production methods and the ethics and integrity of...