We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Clifton Observatory and Caves

Certificate of Excellence
Improve this listing
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Clifton Down | Clifton, Bristol BS8 3LT, England
Phone Number: +44 117 974 1242
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Description: The Clifton Observatory and Caves sits above the Avon Gorge offering...
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 only two 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 obscuras, 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 Ghyston's / 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 - 4pm.
read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 128 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 53
    Excellent
  • 49
    Very good
  • 19
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 4
    Terrible
Exploring the caves

£2.50 per person just to walk down and back up the cave was a little pricey but stunning views on a lovely day made up for it. Now on to walk over the bridge.

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 2, 2015
Pete V
Add Photo Write a Review

128 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Rate and write a review
Roll over, then click to rate
  Click to rate
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2015 NEW

£2.50 per person just to walk down and back up the cave was a little pricey but stunning views on a lovely day made up for it. Now on to walk over the bridge.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2015

I'd heard of the observatory many times but never actually visited before, despite living in Bristol all my life. I was out Shaun the sheep spotting when I stumbled across the observatory. After taking a picture of the Shaun I was about to walk on when I spotted a sign advertising the caves. Despite living in Bristol all my life... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Redditch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2015

The caves are reached by a steep stone set of steps and a low chamber. Those with dodgy knees or tall of stature will find this a challenge. The views out across the gorge and towards the bridge are worth the hardship - as long as you are not afraid of heights. Heading back up the (many!) steps you can... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Rachel T, Manager at Clifton Observatory and Caves, responded to this review

Thanks for your feedback 68Wallace - we're currently working through plans to do exactly as you've mentioned. We hope you can join us again once we've made our updates! All the best, The Clifton Observatory More 

Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2015

Sat up here after a long day walking around Bristol. Fab views, cool observatory and caves. Great ambience on a sunny day with loads of adhoc BBQ's on the go.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2015

We went here a little while ago. The view over the river is amazing and definately a must see if you visit bristol. The two negatives that i could think of were 1. There is a fair amount of graffiti in the caves (or was when we went there) which wasn't so nice and 2. The stairs and floor down... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Buxton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2015

Visited the cave but not the observatory. As long as you can manage the steps, it's well worth the £2 to descend to the viewing platform on the cliff face for the view of the gorge and of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Rachel T, Manager at Clifton Observatory and Caves, responded to this review

Glad you enjoyed the experience - hope to see you again soon. More 

Cobham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
119 reviews
111 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2015

I visited the cave not the observatory which was pretty fun, a long line steps (quite atmospheric) descends to a cave in the Avon Gorge with a nice view enjoy.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Plymouth uk
Level Contributor
108 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2015

We have been to Bristol many times over the years and always noted the Observatory overlooking Clifton Suspension Bridge, and today we decided to visit it The observatory stands orotund atop a hill, commanding beautiful views over Bristol and the River Avon The climb up to the camera was winding, but manageable and the camera a beautiful example of Victorian... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015

We visited today and paid the £2 entry fee for adults - not too bad. The lady behind the desk was not very friendly and rather grumpy it seemed. However the "Camera Obscura" was amazing and the roof terrace was decent as well.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2015

Best tourist site in Bristol. £2 for wonderful views and fortunately we met a physics teacher there who told us how it works.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Clifton Observatory and Caves also viewed

 

Been to Clifton Observatory and Caves? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Clifton Observatory and Caves

Address: Clifton Down | Clifton, Bristol BS8 3LT, England
Phone Number: +44 117 974 1242
Location: Europe  >  United Kingdom (UK)  >  England  >  Bristol
Open Hours:
Sunday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Average Prices: USD 3 - 3

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Clifton Observatory and Caves staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?