Clifton Observatory

Clifton Down, Bristol, BS8 3LT

Tel: +44 (0)117 974 1242

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Clifton Observatory and Suspension Bridge


The Clifton Observatory and Caves sits above the Avon Gorge offering superb views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the city of Bristol.

The Observatory houses one of the only camera obscuras still open to the public in the UK. Originally built as a windmill for corn in 1766, the mill was later taken over by William West in 1828 who then converted the building into his own art studio and installed the camera obscura, which is still working today. The camera offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area including the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Avon Gorge & Clifton Downs.

During his time at the Observatory West also cut an underground passage to the Giant's Cave which was originally only accessible via the cliff face. After a short descent into the cave guests can enjoy the spectacular views along the Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Clifton Observatory’s 360 glass cafe offers both indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the City of Bristol and Clifton Suspension bridge

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Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)

* Spring/Summer – from March:
Open 7 days a week from 10:00am – 5:00pm (Last entry 4:45pm)

Autumn/Winter From November:
Open 7 days a week from 10:00am – 4:00pm (Last entry 3:45pm)



TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4 of 5 stars
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    Recent Reviews:

    • FoodReviewMedia
      London, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Quite simply brilliant 👏
      5 of 5 stars
      Wednesday, 27th March 2024
      Fantastic place to visit and exceptional customer service. Visited the Observatory today 27th March 24 and was welcomed by a very nice lady named Lisa on the desk. She was really knowledgeable and a... Read full review
    • Paulinehellin
      Bristol, United Kingdom
      Some improve needed
      3 of 5 stars
      Wednesday, 3rd April 2024
      We had a lovely day but they need to improve the toilets as there was just one toilet which had very long queues and also improve the wait for coffee as you order what you want in the cafe and then... Read full review
    • Andy Y
      Great family activity!
      5 of 5 stars
      Wednesday, 10th April 2024
      Cute and interesting family fun. Lovely Views from the top, then an interesting descent to the viewing platform through the Avon gorge! Views are interesting and it provides a nice insight into early... Read full review

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