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Clifton Observatory and Caves

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Address: Clifton Down | Clifton, Bristol BS8 3LT, England
Phone Number: +44 117 974 1242
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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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.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Interesting out of the way curio

It's worth a visit if you are in the area. Great views of the gorge and bridge. Lots of green space for kids to run around but not much else once you've climbed the tower and... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 8, 2015
NickyNoosta
,
Christchurch, New Zealand
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114 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
625 reviews 625 reviews
359 attraction reviews
334 helpful votes 334 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2015

Above the Gorge and suspension bridge you can either go up the tower or descend below to get good vantage points for viewing and photographing.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
36 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2015

The Observatory is located hidden off a track in Clifton there you will have the most incredible view of our Suspension Bridge you will not want to miss this location. A cafe for light refreshments and an inside cave .

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Christchurch, New Zealand
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2015

It's worth a visit if you are in the area. Great views of the gorge and bridge. Lots of green space for kids to run around but not much else once you've climbed the tower and descended into the cave. The camera obscura works best in bright sunlight, and the rest of it is covered so is still a good... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Bristol, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2015

went there today 2nd april 2015 was not open... not happy mummy or 4 year old, so walked around for 15mins, then looked at the suspension bridge, then went home

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Gosport, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015

A pleasant place to visit if you are in the area, but not worth going out of your way for. We combined it with a visit to the Suspension Bridge information centre.

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new zealand
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015

Went for the bridge which by itself is a must visit in Bristol. Caves and observatory added bonus, cost next to nothing great views, highly recommend.

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Gosport, UK
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
21 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

Great day out, beautiful scenery, great playground, lots to see, would highly recommend. This is a good cheap day out.

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Redditch, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
41 attraction reviews
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015

Wanted to find a unique thing to do in Bristol,and found the observatory with the camera obscura,and cave.Recently been brought by a private owner and the price was reduced on the day as the weather was very bad,We paid £2 to enter them both instead of £2 for each,and the camera did not reveal it's lovely views so maybe choose... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Warwickshire
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2015

we walked the bridge first, and then spotted the Observatory straight to the side! we paid two pounds for adults and one pound for children to go down the cave . It doesn't take long to get down, but the kids loved it! stunning views at the end. Great tunnel, dark, winding, low, and fun. A great addition to a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015

Obscura was great, gives you a birds eye view of the surrounding area including the bridge and the caves were also great fun, a long way down and very steep stairs and limited head room but made it all the more exciting and the view from the bridge when you get down is amazing... Both the Obscura and the bridge... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3

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