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 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)

* 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)

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
  • Travelers Choice 2021
  • Excellent
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Recent Reviews:

  • elainegG9555KC
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    Nice views of the bridge
    4 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 19th September 2021
    I enjoyed my visit here. My biggest criticism would be that we were just left to operate the camera obscura ourselves rather than having a talk from a member of staff like there are at other camera... Read full review
  • vnb84
    Trip Type:
    Enjoyable visit
    5 of 5 stars
    Saturday, 25th September 2021
    Loved the observatory. It’s £5 for both the camera obscura at the top and going down into the caves for a brilliant view. Stairs are quite narrow but worth it to see the views. Staff friendly... Read full review
  • X5112OLhannahc
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    Cafe with no food
    2 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 17th October 2021
    We went to visit the cafe to enjoy the views and some nice food and cake. We got there at 13:20 on a Saturday only to be told that the menu that's online is only available in the summer (which isn't... Read full review

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Friday, 22nd October 2021 - Sunday, 31st October 2021

Half-Term Halloween Trail at Clifton Observatory
Half-Term Halloween Trail at Clifton Observatory
more info

Sunday, 24th October 2021 - Sunday, 24th October 2021

Brews, Boos & Booze: Bottomless Afternoon Tea at Clifton Observatory
Brews, Boos & Booze: Bottomless Afternoon Tea at Clifton Observatory
more info

Friday, 29th October 2021 - Friday, 29th October 2021

Mystic Banquet at Clifton Observatory
Mystic Banquet at Clifton Observatory
more info