Established in 1766, Clifton Observatory is an iconic landmark and an integral part of the Bristol landscape. The observatory has had a long and varied history, but one thing has remained consistent over the centuries: the spectacular and unforgettable views of Bristol, Avon Gorge, and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The observatory has a rich history and is home to many secrets. Explore the history of the site in our museum, marvel at the engineering genius of the Camera Obscura, and embark on an adventure down to the Giant’s Cave to learn the legend of Ghyston, Goram, and Avona.
The Bristol Camera Obscura allows the viewer a 360-degree marvellous view around the tower across the Downs and the suspension bridge. A box on top of the building contains a convex lens and sloping mirror. Light is reflected downwards onto a table giving a true image of the surrounding area onto a white surface inside a darkened room.
The 360 glass café currently offers takeaway options and outdoor seating, providing visitors with views of the Downs, the City of Bristol, and the Suspension Bridge.