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Clifton Observatory and Caves

Clifton Down | Clifton, Bristol BS8 3LT, England
+44 117 974 1242
Review Highlights
£4 well spent!

Lots of interesting information on the way up the tower and the camera obscura was brilliant even... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Wokingham, United Kingdom
via mobile
Caves are a must to see

This was something else on our list to do (see previous review Cabot Tower) finally got there and... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Bristol, United Kingdom
Read all 353 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 AM - 4:00 PM
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
Clifton Down | Clifton, Bristol BS8 3LT, England
+44 117 974 1242
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1 - 10 of 331 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Lots of interesting information on the way up the tower and the camera obscura was brilliant even on a slightly overcast day. I was lucky to be in there with some local people who were able to point out the sights. And the sun came...More

Thank 767Jean
Reviewed 4 days ago

This was something else on our list to do (see previous review Cabot Tower) finally got there and were amazed at the views from the top. I am a bit claustrophobic but decided that as I had made it to the top I really should...More

Thank mikeandjaneemery
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is not for the infirm or folk with any form of physical disability or , perhaps, claustrophobia. Stairs up to the camera obscura are fine . Great views shown by the camera. Historic CCTV really but no permanent images. It's all real time and...More

Thank Lilythomp
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We didn't visit the camera obscura due to cloud cover. The £2.50 down to the cave is not a lot of money but it is still too much!! Steep stairs in narrow tunnel to minute cave and the same view as up top - save...More

Thank Brian1106
Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

Visited on a sunny day just to see the camera obscura showing a view of the bridge and gorge - it's beautiful and fascinating. The cave has a great view of the gorge, with a somewhat terrifying platform sticking out from the cliff, and a...More

Thank nitere
Reviewed 10 January 2018

The observatory is a nice addition the the suspension bridge, but not essential. You get the same views from the bridge for free. Some history behind the observatory is quite interesting but you wouldn’ be missing out if you don’t go. I expected the views...More

1  Thank gdavies84
Reviewed 30 December 2017

In two minds about going but really glad we did, went down the cave really interesting you come out to a viewing platform to great views it’s not expensive, the cave is narrow and does not a have a great head height for the 6ft...More

1  Thank Skel2014
Reviewed 4 December 2017

Went into the observatory and viewed the scene outside through the 'camera obscura'. Fascinating. Do not try the caves if you are claustrophobic and/or suffer from a heart condition as the steps down - and more importantly- up, are very steep and long. When I...More

1  Thank RUTH033
Reviewed 28 November 2017

Having been in Bristol for four years (albeit many years ago), I didn't even know the caves existed! This is a great little attraction and provides great views of the suspension bridge and ravine below, especially from the cliff edge cave viewing platform. There are...More

Thank Rich C
Reviewed 12 November 2017 via mobile

We went to visit the caves (only cost £2) and includes a very steep and tight walk down 200 metres to a speculative viewing platform. Please note: It is very steep with very few if any passing places except the very bottom and some parts...More

Thank Stumpy12345
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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