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Clifton Observatory and Caves

Clifton Down | Clifton, Bristol BS8 3LT, England
+44 117 974 1242
Review Highlights
Worth a Visit

We went to the Clifton Bridge and took the grandsons to the caves and observatory centre, great... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Julie P
Exeter, United Kingdom
History in Real time!

We bought the combined ticket for the camera obscura and tha caves. Fabulous self-operated camera... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Cheshire, United Kingdom
via mobile
Read all 335 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.
  • Excellent43%
  • Very good39%
  • Average13%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible3%
Travellers talk about
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:00 - 17:00
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
Clifton Down | Clifton, Bristol BS8 3LT, England
+44 117 974 1242
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Reviews (335)
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1 - 10 of 312 reviews

Reviewed 5 days ago

We went to the Clifton Bridge and took the grandsons to the caves and observatory centre, great views,well worth the steep steps

Thank Julie P
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We bought the combined ticket for the camera obscura and tha caves. Fabulous self-operated camera obscura, if you ask friends/relatives to wave from outside you can 'pick them up' with the camera obscura. The down below ground for the cave, which emerges half way up...More

Thank John-boyUK
Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a great attraction near to the bridge but its worth noting that it is not suitable for disabled visitors who cannot climb stairs (Obvious really but I forgot) so my wife couldn't enjoy the view still a great attraction though and well worth...More

Thank butch808
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

You come to Clifton to visit the bridge and marvel at the views of the gorge. The Observatory (actually a camera obscura) and caves are close by. The caves are reached by a long, narrow stairway and offer a different view of the gorge. The...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This location is superb at the best of times, with its wonderful views of the bridge. The camera on the top of the tower is amazing to get 360 degree views (but do go in the sunshine to get the best effect). The cave is...More

Thank Maggie S
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

So long as you can climb stairs this is a good attraction. Set on the hill above the bridge itself. Very informative & offers different views of the bridge.

Thank Joggy58
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

On a sunny day this place is a real treat to chill out and enjoy the magnificent views of the bridge and clifton. Also great place to people watch.

Thank Patrick B
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

One of the most beautiful places in Bristol! Highly recommend a visit! The Gaint's cave is one of my personal favourite! It provides great views of the Clifton suspension bridge and the cliff side. It feels like a small adventure on its own and I...More

Thank AyshJoff
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The 'camera obscura' is great, a fascinating history lesson. The tunnel to the balcony..amazing although a nightmare when it gets busy as the cave/tunnels are so small you will take ages to get down and back. Nice cafe with breathtaking views of Mr Brunels bridge,...More

Thank Mark S
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Having lived in Bristol all my life, I have visited the Observatory and Caves many many times and I always love it. I went there this weekend with some friends who have never been and they were blown away. The old Observatory has been re-vamped...More

Thank lisajwathome44
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Questions & Answers
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
3 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.
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