Clifton Observatory

Litfield Rd, Bristol

Tel: +44 (0)117 974 1242

Clifton Observatory and Suspension Bridge


The Clifton Observatory has re-opened, subject to Government restrictions. Please check their website and/or social media channels for the latest updates. 

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

Book Tickets

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)

* 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:

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    Recent Reviews:

    • Relax27193032830
      Swindon, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Well worth a visit if you don't mind the steep narrow steps :-)
      5 of 5 stars
      Monday, 4th April 2022
      Well worth a visit if you are in the area. I was here with my three boys (8, 11 and 13) and they loved it. There are many steps and the cave passage is quite steep and narrow in places, so perhaps... Read full review
    • alanw05
      Redditch, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Interesting way to pass an hour
      4 of 5 stars
      Sunday, 10th April 2022
      Steep and narrow steps to get down to the viewing platform, and watch out for the missing section of top rail on the way down on the left!! But on the viewing platform it's an interesting view of... Read full review
    • philipc556
      Bristol, United Kingdom
      The lens in Camera need cleaning
      2 of 5 stars
      Sunday, 15th May 2022
      Due to today heath and softly regulations I gather it is no possible to clean the lens making the Camera Obscura very obscure Read full review

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