When construction of the Clifton Suspension Bridge began in 1831, the eyes of the world were on Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his bold plan to build the highest and longest bridge in the world.
The ambitious young engineer encountered many difficulties with the project and many of the bridge’s secrets were lost when he died before the project was complete. In 2002 an intrepid team of engineers and construction workers rediscovered Brunel’s hidden vaults. This is your chance to take a look inside.
Join volunteer guide and historian, Gordon, who will explain how the design of Brunel’s bridge was shaped by the influence of others, and how the young newcomer was able to make his name. With the help of Gordon’s ever-expanding bag of props and artefacts, you’ll hear all about the people who built and rediscovered the vaults before donning a hard hat, descending a ladder and taking a look for yourself.
Please note: Tickets are released in batches. Please subscribe to our e-newsletter to be notified of new releases.
Please ensure that all members of your group are aware of the following restrictions. For safety reasons, we may not be able to allow members of your party to access the vaults if they have not complied with the following:
- Tours are suitable for age 7+ and under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. For school and youth groups we’d recommend a ratio of 1:5, but if you’re planning a friends and family trip parents/guardians should be responsible for the safety of their own children. Ideally a ratio of 1 adult to 2 children is preferred.
- There is a minimum height limit of 1.2m.
- Please wear sturdy shoes with good grip such as hiking boots or trainers. You will not be allowed to join the tour in heels or open-toed shoes.
- This tour includes climbing a vertical ladder and passing through a low corridor. Please ensure that you are physically capable of doing so. Find more information at www.cliftonbridge.org.uk/vaultsbooking
- Please ensure that any camera, phone, or device you bring will fit in your pocket or bag so that you have two hands free to climb the ladder.
- Only small rucksack type bags worn over both shoulders or bags with cross-body straps will be permitted inside the vaults. Large bags, handbags, umbrellas and so on can be stored securely at the Visitor Centre during your tour.
- Be aware that the vaults can be wet and/or muddy inside, particularly after heavy rain. Please wear suitable clothing and ensure that cameras or mobile phones are protected from the calcite saturated water which may fall from the ceiling.
Covid Safe measures:
- Hand sanitiser is available for all participants
- Face coverings are strongly encouraged inside the Visitor Centre.