With its chic boutiques, Bath-stone terraces and leafy garden squares, Clifton is one of Bristol’s most beguiling neighbourhoods.  It’s also home to the city’s most iconic attraction, the Clifton Suspension Bridge. 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. 

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 regular service running every day (except public holidays). Find out more travel options at Travelwest or plan your journey with First West of England

Clifton Village

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.  

Discover the sweeping curve of Royal York Crescent, one of the longest terraces in Europe; spy on the world from a magical camera obscura at the summit of the Clifton Observatory; or gaze at the spectacular Avon Gorge from the dizzying heights of the Clifton Suspension Bridge: a feat of engineering designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and completed in 1864. Walk or cycle across (only drivers pay the toll) to reach the free-to-visit visitor centre at the gateway to Leigh Woods

Enjoy unrivalled views of the bridge and Avon Gorge from the terraces at The White Lion Bar or The Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin, or from the spectacular roof terrace at Clifton Observatory

For a taste of the West Country head to the Coronation Tap (or 'Corrie Tap' as it's known locally) for a range of ciders including its exclusive press, Exhibition, or No.4 Clifton Village for award-winning à la carte and delicious afternoon teas. If you're looking for traditional British food, try The Clifton Sausage for bangers and mash, Fishers for great seafood or Michelin Bib Gourmand-rated The Clifton for contemporary pub grub. 

If you’re in Clifton for the evening, watch a show at The Bristol Improv Theatre or Redgrave Theatre. There is also a regular programme of live music at The Bristol Fringe.

The main shopping area in Clifton Village spans The Mall, Princess Victoria Street and Boyces Avenue, where you can take in the Georgian and Regency architecture in all its glory. 

Clifton Arcade, near Victoria Square, a stunning two storey Victorian arcade has been beautifully restored and houses a wide selection of jewellery, galleries, vintage clothes shops, interior design and furniture stores.  

Visit the Discover Clifton website for more information. 

The Downs

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. Many major events take place throughout the year, and the area is popular with walkers, joggers, cyclists and kite-flyers. It also boasts fantastic views of the Avon Gorge from the sea walls. 

Just across the Clifton Suspension Bridge is Ashton Court Estate, a beautiful location for walking, jogging, golf, cycling and annual events, including the famous Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. A range of hot air balloon companies offer flights from Ashton Court throughout the year.  

Nearby Leigh Woods has a range of designated pathways leading you through oak, small leaf lime and ash trees, as well as mountain biking trails that you can explore with Pedal Progression. You can also try some adventuring and abseil or climb the Avon Gorge with Adventurous Activity Company

Whiteladies Road

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.  

Just off Whiteladies Road, Bristol Lido has been fully restored and offers year-round outdoor swimming, spa treatments and award-winning dining. The Lido restaurant features daily-changing menus that takes inspiration from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. 

For more food options, The Metropolitan serves up exciting small plates in a contemporary setting, The Whitmore Tap is a friendly bar serving grilled meats and pub classics, and The Aqua Grand Cafe is a chic restaurant inspired by the great cafes of Paris. If you’re looking for a lighter bite, Papadeli have a great selection of local produce in their deli counter and on their shelves which you can take away, or stop into Ashwell & Co for a vintage afternoon tea.  

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. 

Cotham and Redland

Tucked in between Clifton and the indie district of Gloucester Road you’ll find these serene neighbourhoods, home to some of Bristol’s top restaurants and bars. Historically these areas were large estates (Cotham Park was demolished in 1915 but you can still see the obelisks which marked the gateway to the estate on Cotham Road, and Redland Court is now Redland High School), and are now grand tree-lined streets with picturesque houses and quiet parks. The easiest way to reach the area is by train to Redland Station, or they are a short walk from both Whiteladies Road and Stokes Croft

Enjoy a stroll around this tranquil area, with notable spots including Chandos Road in Redland, which is packed with fabulous food and drink businesses, including Little Hollows Pasta, Snobby’s wine bar, Picaro tapas bar and craft beer bar The Good Measure. Around the corner you’ll find award-winning gastropub The Kensington Arms. There's also the Cooking It cookery school, which offers public and private classes on everything from pasta making to cooking with children.

Closer to Whiteladies Road and Clifton Down Station is Cotham Hill, a pedestrianised street full of independent shops, cafes and restaurants, including Bravas tapas restaurant, Crying Wolf cocktail bar and Panunzio’s gelateria.

St Michaels Hill and Kingsdown

One of the steepest hills in the city, St Michaels Hill is also home to the University of Bristol and a run of popular pubs and cafes.  

At the top of the hill you can pop into craft beer pub Beerd or get comfy in the wood-pannelled surrounds of the The Highbury Vaults (see if you can spot the toy train set that winds its way through the pub!). From here it’s only a short walk to Cotham Hill to the left, straight on to Chandos Road in Redland, or right towards Gloucester Road

At the bottom of the hill you’ll find even more great local bars and restaurants, including Zerodegrees microbrewery, and the historic shopping area of Christmas Steps, but it’s worth exploring up the hill to find a host of lesser-known Bristol treasures, including Royal Fort Gardens, The Mount Without and the pretty area of Kingsdown, which is lined with Georgian buildings, cobbled streets and fantastic views of the city centre. Some top spots to visit include the colourful Fremantle Square, the independent Cube Cinema and cosy pubs The Hillgrove and Hare on the Hill

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