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Clifton Observatory and Caves

Clifton Down | Litfield Road, Bristol BS8 3LT, England
+44 117 974 1242
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Review Highlights
Great view - disappointing Cafe

The lookout provides a fantastic view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and beyond. There is a Café... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Rob C
,
Bristol
Amazing transformation

My last visit to the Clifton Observatory was many years ago and the attraction was somewhat basic... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Ed S
,
Bristol, United Kingdom
via mobile
Read all 378 reviews
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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 artist 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.
  • Excellent42%
  • Very good39%
  • Average13%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible3%
Travellers talk about
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 10:00 - 16:00
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
LOCATION
Clifton Down | Litfield Road, Bristol BS8 3LT, England
CONTACT
Website
+44 117 974 1242
Top Selling Tours & Activities in and around Bristol
US$22 per adult
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US$21 per adult
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US$2 328 per adult
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Write a ReviewReviews (378)
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All reviews
"viewing platform"
in 34 reviews
"suspension bridge"
in 86 reviews
"camera obscura"
in 13 reviews
"steep steps"
in 13 reviews
"darkened room"
in 4 reviews
"avon gorge"
in 24 reviews
"unique view"
in 5 reviews
"sunny day"
in 16 reviews
"worth the effort"
in 6 reviews
"short visit"
in 4 reviews
"per adult"
in 7 reviews
"unique experience"
in 5 reviews
"great fun"
in 13 reviews
"lens"
in 9 reviews
"clifton"
in 33 reviews
"climb"
in 27 reviews
"tower"
in 27 reviews
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1 - 10 of 354 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

The lookout provides a fantastic view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and beyond. There is a Café on the roof but this will disappoint those wishing to coffee or lunch. The menu is restricted to a few cakes and some sandwiches. It was the sandwich...More

Thank Rob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

My last visit to the Clifton Observatory was many years ago and the attraction was somewhat basic. Over the last few years this has been taken over and renovated in an extraordinary manner. It now has a rooftop cafeteria and many exhibits, as well as...More

Thank Ed S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

What a fantastic view of the surrounding area and the bridge from up on the top. The camera obscura is an interesting piece of equipment, I have never seen anything like it before. It was quite a climb up to the top, but on every...More

Thank shazzzalongley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

On a recent holiday in Wiltshire we decided to visit the Bridge and whilst in the area called in here as well. The parkland round about gives great views of the bridge and the gorge. We visited both the Obscura and the cave. I have...More

Thank Peter J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have lived in Bristol for years and have always wanted to visit the cave beneath the camera obscura. My parents were visiting, and taking a tour of the Suspension Bridge, so I thought it was a good idea to round the afternoon off with...More

Thank Spatrick87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Thankfully really sunny day so Obscura was good. No actual telescope anymore, just the camera Obscura. Still amazing views from this point though. Could do with a little cafe there.

Thank helene4562018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The Observatory is well-placed for viewing a large part of the city plus a part of Somerset across the bridge. Many of the familiar landmarks are visible, including the suspension bridge, Leigh Woods, the river, the old tobacco warehouses and Christ Church spire.

Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2018 via mobile

Visited on a beautiful sunny Sunday well worth a visit stunning views Beautiful scenery not to miss if in Bristol

Thank Scooteraande
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2018

We went to see the suspension bridge and happened across the camera obscura. What a really interesting visit.the only disappointment was there was no gift/souvenir shop. As we like to buy a postcard from all the places of interest we visit. But well worth a...More

1  Thank lisa c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2018 via mobile

The observatory was good and had a great view. The cave was a steep walk down and I didn't make it down all the steps as was too steep for me. The rest of my family went down but they felt the view was it...More

1  Thank Lorraine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
HayleycUK
19 February 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Beth B | Property representative |
Hi HayleycUK, Generally dogs are not allowed into the Observatory, except assistance dogs. We believe the narrow and steep staircases are unsuitable for them. Fortunately the Downs just outside the Observatory is a lovely... More
2
Votes
gordongalway
2 May 2016|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Martin R | Reviewed this property |
Sorry no but should be able to find out on website. I have been in winter and its been open.
0
Votes
SHARON M
31 August 2015|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from Beth B | Property representative |
Hi Sharon, Apologies for the delay in response. As others have already posted, here are the prices for the Observatory: Camera Obscura & Viewing Platform – Adults: £2.50 | Children (Under 14): £1.50 Giant’s cave... More
3
Votes
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