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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 2019
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Average
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Recent Reviews:

  • Geof H
    Wimborne, United Kingdom
    EDHT Viosit 10th March
    5 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 11th March 2020
    A very intersting visit but sadly the Camera wasn't too clear to see because it was a damp dull day. The Caves is down many steps but the view of the Bridge when you stand out on the platform on the... Read full review
  • halcatra
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    So so
    3 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 18th March 2020
    The best advantage of the place is location - the views are great, the suspension bridge looks beautiful. But my main point is - you do not need to visit observatory to see this view. There is not... Read full review
  • SR1955
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Solo travel
    Lovely Coffee
    3 of 5 stars
    Friday, 19th June 2020
    Just out for a walk avoiding the rain showers ! Repeat visit for a warming coffee, friendly & great service, thoroughly recommended, trying to support local businesses especially during these hard... Read full review

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