To provide you with the best experience on this website, cookies are used. By using the site it's assumed that you're happy with our use of cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. More info on cookies.
Allow cookies

Clifton Observatory

Litfield Rd, Bristol

Tel: +44 (0)117 974 1242

Clifton Observatory and Suspension Bridge


*** Please note: Visit Bristol are in the process of updating our pages with the most up to date information, as and when businesses reopen. Please see individual websites and social media for the most up to date information before you plan a visit. ***

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)

The above times should be used as an indicator during the recovery phase from the global pandemic.

Please double-check details by visiting the website via the link above before you visit



TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4 of 5 stars
  • Certificate of Excellence 2020
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Average
  • Poor
  • Terrible

Recent Reviews:

  • TeamWard
    Nottingham, United Kingdom
    Marvellous view from the cave
    5 of 5 stars
    Saturday, 5th September 2020
    Before you leave Clifton visit the Observatory & Caves, the observatory and the equipment is interesting but the caves are the real deal, steep climb on the stairs and spectacular view of the bridge... Read full review
  • Heather B
    United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Really interesting and great views!
    5 of 5 stars
    Monday, 7th September 2020
    On a weekend break to bristol, we wandered up from the city centre, taking our time to stop and look at sights, really lovely shops and cafes especially in the Clifton area. We were so impressed by... Read full review
  • baz653
    London, United Kingdom
    5 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 23rd September 2020
    first time visting bristol so this was a must see got the no 8 bus up from town to there ,little walk to it .well preserved buiding with amazing views of clifton suspension bridge,and the river avon... Read full review

What's Nearby


Road Directions

Find out about the latest on the roads and get travel directions from

Public Transport Directions

For comprehensive information about getting here by public transport, please visit

Downloads & links

Discover More