Book an Underground Vaults Tour
Did you know the Leigh Woods tower is built on top of 12 massive vaults? Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the chambers were lost to history until their accidental discovery in 2002.
The tour begins on the red sandstone abutment above, but once you’ve climbed inside, your guide will share some of the most interesting features and explain why it took so long for the Clifton Suspension Bridge vaults to be rediscovered.
This exciting trip is your chance to experience the Clifton Suspension bridge like never before!Book online now!
Follow our Audio Trail
Smartphone users: look out for the QR codes on the south (city side) footway, where you’ll be able to hear about the history, engineering and unique features the bridge and the surrounding views.
Try our Children’s Trail
Our Children’s Trail is packed with activities which help our younger visitors learn about the bridge, Bristol and Brunel. It has plenty of useful information in it to help with school projects and comes with pencil crayons, stickers and a tear-out postcard. Pick one up for £2.50 from the Visitor Centre shop.
Feel the Bridge Move
Suspension bridges are designed to be flexible and our bridge is always on the move! Look up and you may see the hangers (the long iron poles which hold the bridge deck) vibrating. Look down and you may see the bridge deck moving up and down as cars enter and leave the bridge under the tower arch. Stop in the middle and close your eyes – or line up a building in the distance with the safety rail – and you may experience the bridge swaying!
Discover the rare plants of the Avon Gorge
The Avon Gorge is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. An SSSI is an area of particular interest to science due to the rare species of fauna or flora around.
On the Clifton side of the bridge you’ll find the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Trust’s award-winning flowerbed planted with some of the rare plants that grow in the Avon Gorge. Venture further afield to explore the Downs which are acres of Common Land filled with wildflower meadows popular with walkers, dog owners and kite flyers.
Watch the Peregrine Falcons
The Avon Gorge is home to Peregrine Falcons. In the summer months you may spot them hunting or their new chicks fledging and learning to fly. You will find the peregrine watchpoint and information board on Clifton Down.
Climb Observatory Hill
There is a spectacular view of the bridge from Observatory Hill, just across the bridge on the Clifton side. Follow the footpaths to the top – and if you’re feeling brave zoom back down on the Rock Slide, polished smooth by Bristolian bottoms over hundreds of years! You can also visit the Camera Obscura and Giant’s Cave at Clifton Observatory.
Watch the River Rise and Fall
Don’t worry if the river is nearly empty; the River Avon is a tidal river, rising and falling by 13 metres twice a day. When you cross the bridge, look out for the wooden jetties on the bank of the Clifton Side, which the White Funnel Paddle Steamers used to run regular pleasure trips to Newport in Wales.
See the bridge from Below
The Avon Trail is a popular route for walkers, joggers and cyclists. Strap on your hiking boots and ramble through Leigh Woods, or stroll along the riverside underneath the bridge, then climb back up to the bridge through Nightingale Valley or continue following the river to Portishead. You can pick up directions from the Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre.
Stay for the Illuminations
The bridge illuminations occur every night – beginning half an hour before sunset and finishing at midnight. 3,072 LED bulbs provide an award-winning display. They have also been designed to reduce energy consumption and minimise light pollution. Enjoy spectacular views of the bridge from the White Lion Terrace at the Avon Gorge Hotel. On a long summer’s evening, this is a popular spot to relax with a cold drink or cream tea while you watch the sun set.
Explore the Nearby Attractions
Planning a Longer Visit?
See what else is happening in our area:
If you’re planning a trip from the US, take a look at England 101, who offer assistance in planning trips to trace your ancestry.