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...
The Lodge offers luxury accommodation and exotic animals just outside your window. With exclusive access to the Zoo when all is quiet, the real adventure begins when you go behind-the-scenes to meet some of the Zoo’s best loved animals.
PriceGuide Price From £1,050.00 Per unit per night
Restaurant with a private terrace overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge
Restaurant at the Avon Gorge Hotel offering panoramic views of the Suspension Bridge
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...
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)
The Washington, situated in the heart of Clifton, combines both comfort and convenience with the most competitive of prices.
Cool café hotel located right in the heart of the Clifton area, close to Park Street’s boutiques
Merchants Rd Apartment in Clifton comes with two parking spaces, plus close to all amenities.
PriceGuide Price From £75.00 Per unit per night
All day dining restaurant offering an Argentinian inspired menu. Their menu specialised in grass fed beef but they also have small plates, burgers, sandwiches and salads. Their bar has a great range of cocktails, not forgetting CAU's own label wine
Fascinating camera obscura and subterranean cave system alongside Bristol's beautiful Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge
Clifton's new luxury boutique town house - contemporary comfort with gorgeous rooms and incredible views.
PriceGuide Price From £110.00 to £225.00 Per room (breakfast included)
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.
Quality short term serviced apartments for busy professionals. Self-contained properties fully equipped and inclusive of bills. A perfect alternative to hotel accommodation.
PriceGuide Price From £65.00 to £125.00 Per unit per night
Georgian mansion hotel with fantastic restaurant, near the Clifton Suspension Bridge
An elegant 24 bed facility situated in the heart of Clifton, surrounded by the University of Bristol. Free parking and wi-fi for all guests.
PriceGuide Price From £60.00 to £130.00 Per room (breakfast included)
A large, light, newly renovated 5 bedroom house conveniently located in central Bristol. Just a few minutes walk from Clifton Triangle. Attractive, comfortable, spacious accommodation perfect for leisure or business.
This friendly hotel comprises two gracious listed Victorian Houses (circa 1870) situated on the elegant tree lined Victoria Square in the heart of Clifton - in the Bristol university area - less than a mile from Bristol city centre.
The world famous bridge and the iconic symbol of Bristol, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1831 and completed in 1864 after his death