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“A must visit”

Clifton Observatory and Caves
Ranked #32 of 215 things to do in Bristol
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed February 28, 2013

With stunning views of the bridge and the surrounding area it is a must see. The caves are a good visit very educational and interesting for both adults and children alike.

1  Thank girliegirl123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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299 - 303 of 353 reviews

Reviewed February 22, 2013

I love it here and never get bored as the surroundings change with the seasons. We have always managed to park along Lady's Mile with a 5 minute walk to the observatory.

The views all around are stunning and natural, particularly over the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The observatory itself is small and quaint but very entertaining for all ages showing a panoramic view of the surrounding area displayed on a huge white dish (and everyone can take turns turning this to scan the outside area).

The caves are dark and would be difficult for young children or those less than able, its steep humid/damp, but holds a mysterious excitement as you reach the bottom onto a small balcony the views are superb - don't forget your camera.

Its a few quid for each thing and well worth it, there are walks and a small children's park around the corner and the famous slippery rocks to slide down, which we as children played, then our children and now our children's children! (take some old clothes)

Clifton village is about 10-15 minutes walk away with a variety of eating places.

Would recommend for the views alone

Thank Phyllis23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Situated on the Bristol Downs alongside Brunels suspension bridge it is in and ideal spot. The observatory is really interesting and the caves, although not very big, lead you out onto a platform which is hundreds of feet up the Avon Gorge. The views are truely breathtaking and should not be missed.

1  Thank geronimo1049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Only went up the observatory to have a look at the camera obscura, since our youngest is too little to visit the caves. Great for children of all ages, as long as you don't mind confined spaces. Really interesting, historical place with a fab view of the area.

Thank NRMadelin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2012

This place is rubbish went there today its all boared up no signs sayin when its reopening very disapointing trip

2  Thank James P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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