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Clifton Observatory

Litfield Rd, Bristol

Tel: +44 (0)117 974 1242

Clifton Observatory


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.

The Observatory is open to visitors 7 days a week from 10am-5pm in Spring/Summer and 10am-4pm in Autumn/Winter with last entry being 15 minutes before closing time.

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)

* Summer: April – Sept, 10:00 – 17:00
Winter: Oct – Mar, 10:00 – 16:00
(Last entry 15 minutes before close)



TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4 of 5 stars
  • Certificate of Excellence 2019
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Recent Reviews:

  • HawaiiSeaDog
    Great views
    5 of 5 stars
    Monday, 16th December 2019
    Climbed the hill to the observatory after visiting the bridge and enjoyed a tea on the roof. Didn't have time to visit the caves but we will certainly return another day to do so. Read full review
  • Cairns5266
    5 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 19th January 2020
    Unique experience, would recommend to anyone somewhat flexible, not sure how it would be on a busy day......... Read full review
  • Ales11m
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    Amazing view
    5 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Amazing view,a little bit fog but honestly I was very impressed.To pass the bridge by car is only 1 pound.Best place to enjoy a little coffee ❤ I recommend ❤ Read full review

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