The world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge was designed by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, although he never lived to see his creation finished in 1864.
Work actually began in 1831, but the project was dogged with political and financial difficulties, and by 1843, with only the towers completed, the project was abandoned. Brunel died aged only 53 in 1859, but the Clifton Suspension Bridge was completed as his memorial. Designed in the early 19th century for light horse drawn traffic, it still meets the demands of 21st century commuter with 11-12,000 vehicles crossing it every day.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge’s spectacular setting on the cliffs of the Avon Gorge has made it the defining symbol of Bristol, drawing thousands of visitors a year just to stroll across for views of the ancient Avon Gorge, elegant Clifton and the magnificent city beyond.
Situated next to Clifton Suspension Bridge is the unique Clifton Village with its eclectic mix of shops, cafes, dining experiences, picturesque passageways, beautiful architecture, gardens, walks and secret hideaways.
Why not come and explore the village? Be careful though, discovering Clifton Village might keep you occupied for hours!
What's more, a Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre can be found on the Leigh Woods side of the Bridge, which opens daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm.
FREE guided tours run at 3pm every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday from Easter to October. You'll find your volunteer guide by the Clifton Toll Booth (Bristol side of the bridge) wearing a high vis jacket. Tours last 45 minutes to 1 hour, finishing at the Visitor Centre on the Leigh Woods (Somerset) side of the bridge. Along the way, you'll find benches to sit on although you will be outside for the duration of the tour, so please dress for the weather! All are welcome, although if you are bringing a large group (e.g.: school, club or society) please book your own private guided tour.
Guided Tours for Groups
If you're planning on bringing a group to the bridge, you can book a 45 minute - 1 hour guided tour for £3.50 per head (minimum fee £70, including VAT) led by knowledgeable staff at any time by arrangement. You will have a chance to learn the story of the bridge. You’ll hear about the competition to design the bridge, a project plagued with problems and how the end result differed from the original design. We’ll tell you about Brunel and his family, explain how a suspension bridge works and how people crossed the gorge before it was built. You’ll hear some amazing stories about the people who used and maintained the bridge and the things we do in winter to keep it working!
They are used to providing tours for groups with specialist interests, so please talk to them before your visit about the aspects of the bridge or Bristol that you are most interested in. They'll also ensure that the tour suits your pace: there are plenty of places to sit along the way, but please let them know in advance if there is anything they can do to make your visit more comfortable. (For those who do not wish to cross, there is a fine view of the bridge from nearby benches of Clifton Downs and Observatory Hill).
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- Accessible to Wheelchair Users
- Guide Dogs Permitted
- Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
- Ramp/Level Access
- Cater for groups
- Printed Material in Foreign Languages
- Toilets - Toilets 50m away on the Clifton side
- Free Entry
- Celebrity connection
- Film or TV location
- In town/city centre
- Of historic, literary or architectural interest
- Open by appointment outside normal opening times
- Outdoor Attraction
Parking & Transport
- On Bus Route
Tours and Demonstrations
- Educational Visits Accepted
- Guided Tours Available for Groups
- Guided Tours Available for Individuals
Map & Directions
Tel: +44 (0)117 974 4664
|Open (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)|
* Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre is open daily from 10am to 5pm