Filled with independent boutique shops, cafés, restaurants, handsome Georgian buildings and star attractions such as the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge and Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton is one of the most picturesque areas of Bristol. We asked the Clifton Hotels group to give us their recommendations on places to go in the Clifton area…

1. Giant’s Cave

Underneath the spectacular Clifton Observatory lies Giant’s Cave – the home of Bristol folklore giants, Goram and Ghyston. The cave takes you on a venture down into the cliffs, so that you emerge to face the breath-taking Clifton Suspension Bridge. The cave gives visitors a unique perspective (not to mention incredible photo opportunities) of Bristol’s most iconic attraction.

Image - view of Clifton Observatory, the Giant's Cave (yellow bars half way down cliff face) and Clifton Suspension Bridge, credit Liz Milne

2. Primrose Café

Located in the heart of Clifton, this local café has one of the best sun traps in the city and offers up a delicious menu to go with it. With its homemade cakes it’s the perfect people-watching spot for brunch or afternoon tea.

3. Goldney Hall grotto

Goldney Hall itself is home to students of the University of Bristol. However, hidden away in the impressive 10-acre gardens is a Grade 1* listed grotto. Elaborately decorated inside with rare shells, rocks and fossils, plus a statue of Neptune surrounded by fountains, the grotto was built as the centerpiece of the beautiful gardens. Goldney Hall is also home to an Orangery and incredible architecture. Visits to the grotto only take place on garden tour days – check the University website for dates.

4. Hyde & Co.

Hyde & Co. is a relaxed, characterful speakeasy cocktail bar located on the edge of Clifton. Popular with locals for its vintage vibe and Prohibition-era style, its classic cocktails are ideal for a classy night. It’s also home to the Hyde & Co. Spirit Society which hosts regular events.

Hyde and Co

5. Berkeley Suites

Minutes from The Berkeley Square Hotel you’ll find its little sister, Berkeley Suites. The Grade II* listed Georgian townhouse houses five apartments, all with fresh, funky décor, a video painting installation and kitchenette, free use of nearby Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Gym and entry to the trendy Square Members Club. Visitors after some extra R&R can opt for an in-room massage, physiotherapy or facial from The Berkeley Centre Health. Located just off Park Street, you’re in a great spot to explore Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, the University of Bristol’s impressive Wills Memorial Building and wander boutique shops, bars and restaurants before returning to your cosy nest.

Berkeley Suites

6. Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Looking for a fun cocktail and a buzzy atmosphere? Look no further than Her Majesty’s Secret Service. With an extensive menu of aesthetically-pleasing drinks and quirky interiors, the attention to detail at HMSS makes this a perfect evening drinks destination. The only problem will be deciding which one to get!

7. The Clifton Arcade

The quirky Victorian Clifton Arcade originally opened in 1878 and today houses some of the most unusual shops in the city. Here you’ll find everything from vintage and hand-crafted clothes to jewellery and stylish bathrooms.  

8. The Rodney Hotel

The Rodney Hotel is named after great British naval hero, Admiral George Rodney who fought in the Napoleonic wars. The hotel is one in a line of grand Georgian buildings and from here it’s just a short walk to Clifton Suspension Bridge. It’s also home to the AA rosette-awarded No.4 restaurant, which serves a smashing afternoon tea – choose from Classic, Hendrick’s or Perrier-Jouët. Clifton Village is on your doorstep. Book here.

Rodney Hotel

9. Alma Tavern and Theatre

An incredible pub-turned-restaurant-turned theatre – is there anything the Alma can’t do? Situated close to Whiteladies Road, the Alma is the oldest pub theatre in the city. With regular performances from an eclectic mix of acts, along with delicious food, it’s popular among locals and is the perfect place for a date night or trip with friends.

10. Clifton Rocks Railway

Within the cliffs of the Avon Gorge lies the Clifton Rocks Railway. Opened in 1893 and closed in 1934, the railway is 500 feet long and travels from the bottom of the Avon Gorge into the middle of Clifton itself. A working railway for many years, from the outside it seems rather unremarkable – it would be easy to drive past it every day and have no idea it’s there.  During World War II it was used as an air raid shelter and by the BBC as a top secret transmitting station. The railway is only open to the public a couple of times a year – the next one is 29 April 2018. Keep an eye on their website for more dates.

11. Birdcage Walk

Take a stroll through Birdcage Walk, a peaceful graveyard in Clifton Village which takes its name from the arches that line the walkway. This is all that remains of St Andrew’s Church - built in the 12th century but destroyed in the Bristol Blitz. Beautiful trees create a spectacular fairytale arch over the path and it’s a tranquil place to while away an afternoon.

Birdcage walk

  • Planning a trip to Bristol and feel inspired to explore the Clifton area? Book yourself a stay in one of these four hotels or luxury suites located in the area.

For updates from the Clifton Hotels group, follow their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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