Nestled upon the River Avon in the southwest of England sits the beautiful city of Bristol. Bristol is known for its abundance of rolling hills, Georgian architecture, and huge parks spread across the city.
The city’s hilly geography means that there are several great places to take in some spectacular views in Bristol. With so much to see and do in Bristol, sometimes it’s good to just slow down and marvel at the city’s wonderful views.
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From the splendid vistas of the Cabot Tower to uninterrupted views of Bristol from a rooftop bar, here are some of the top places to take in the best views of Bristol.
Set beside the imposing cliffs of the Avon Gorge stands one of the most impressive pieces of Victorian engineering – the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Spanning 412m in length and 101m in height, it is the largest bridge in Bristol.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge is one of the most instantly recognisable landmarks in Bristol. Built in 1864 by English civil engineer Isambard Brunel, it has been a prominent feature in Bristol’s skyline for over 100 years.
The bridge is open daily, and once you make it there, you’ll be treated to some of the best views in Bristol. During the day, you can gaze across the Avon Gorge, surrounding countryside, and rooftops.
While the Clifton Suspension Bridge viewing point is a great place to hang around during the day, it’s worth visiting at night when you can watch the city light up after sunset.
No day trip from London to Bristol would be complete without visiting the Clifton Observatory. Built in 1766, it is one of Bristol’s most iconic landmarks and can’t easily be missed. The observatory is a short distance away from the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The views at the Clifton Observatory are unrivalled to anywhere else in the city. From here, you’ll get unforgettable views of the nearby Clifton Suspension Bridge, Avon Gorge, and Bristol.
In 2015 a major project was launched to restore and revamp the observatory. Today it is one of the most unique attractions in Bristol that is as unique as its views.
It is home to the 360 Cafe and a museum that features a special Victorian-era Camera Obscura.
The views from the observatory’s cafe are to die for what better way is there to spend the afternoon sipping on a cup of coffee while gazing out across the most picturesque views of Bristol’s surroundings.
While you do have to pay to enjoy the views at the top of the Clifton Observatory, it is well worth it to spend the money. You can, however, get some pretty amazing views from the lawn in front of the observatory for free.
It is best to go on a clear day when you can see for miles beyond the city.
Giants Cave Bristol
The magnificent Giant’s Cave is located on the same plot as the Clifton Observatory. Its views of Bristol are equally impressive as some of the other attractions in the surrounding area.
According to local legend, the cave was home to two giants named Goram and Ghyston. After making your way down 200 steep and narrow steps to get to the cave, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of the Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Giant’s Cave is said to have some of the most unique views of the bridge and is definitely worth checking out despite the long walk down.
Situated on the outskirts of Bristol sits Leigh Woods. It is a two square kilometre woodland area near the Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge. Leigh Woods is popular with families and people looking to get outdoors.
While it is known for its excellent walking and biking trails, it has some of the greatest viewing points of Bristol.
One of the best trails to follow is from the car park, which leads you to a signposted viewpoint of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Throughout Leigh Woods, you’ll find various viewpoints that overlook the Avon Gorge and surrounding landscape. You’ll also get some incredible views of the city itself.
It’s a great place to visit all year round and meet up with family, friends, or even by yourself if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.
Narroways Hill is not the flashiest attraction in Bristol, but it is one of the nicest places in Bristol to take in some fantastic views. It is situated next to a railway line just north of the centre of Bristol.
Known as “The Mound” by locals, Narroways Hill is steeped in history and fiercely protected by the people who live around the area.
Back in 1997, the British Railway threatened to sell the land around Narroways Hill to property developers, which was met with a mountain of opposition by locals.
Around 800 people protested, signed thousands of petitions, wrote letters, and raised money to save Narroways Hill from becoming a developed piece of land. In the end, it worked, and today Bristol’s residents have a place to escape to where they can enjoy stunning views of their city.
In 2016 it was designated as an official Local Nature Reserve. Narroways Hill is open all day, plus it’s free to hang out here.
It’s worth visiting towards the end of the day when you can simultaneously watch a gorgeous sunset and watch Bristol light up in the evening.
If you’re looking for the best Bristol views, pay a visit to Brandon Hill Park. Located just off Park Street in the West End, Brandon Hill is the oldest park in Bristol.
It is undoubtedly one of the best parks in Bristol and is not far from the city centre. The park offers undisturbed 360-degree views of the Bristol skyline, Cabot Tower, Harbourside area, and beyond.
Brandon Hill Park covers two hectares of land and is divided up into two sections. The upper part is a steep hill split up into a small nature reserve, open grassland, and informal gardens.
At the lower end of the park, you’ll find the St George’s Church on Great George Street, the Berkeley Square, and the Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital. All in all, it’s a lovely place to spend the day.
Situated in the gorgeous Brandon Hill Park is the 32 metres Cabot Tower. It was built back in 1897 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of explorer John Cabot’s discovery of Canada.
The Cabot Tower boasts some of the best views of Bristol but getting to the top of the tower is no easy task.
Visitors first have to climb up around 100 narrow steps that twist around the tower. Once you get to the top, it will be well worth it as you’ll enjoy splendid views as your reward.
The best part is it’s free to visit the tower, so be sure to visit on a clear day or at sunset when you’re in Bristol.
Part of the Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin, the White Lion Terrace and Bar is a popular hangout amongst the locals. It offers incredible views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, nearby Somerset Hills, and Avon Gorge.
The White Lion is one of the best places to combine great views with great food. It offers a wide selection of gastro pub food and thirst-quenching drinks throughout the day.
The best part is they have a heated terrace so you can sit outside all year round and take in the views of the surrounding area.
The M Shed Museum is a dedicated space that allows visitors to discover the history of Bristol for free. It’s not an attraction that people would normally associate as a viewpoint, but it actually offers breath-taking views of the city.
You can make your way up to the rooftop terrace balcony where you can gaze across the Bristol Harbour.
Here you’ll see ferries whipping across the water, cranes in the quayside, and a replica of one of John Cabot’s ships, The Matthew.
It’s a great spot for watching the people of Bristol get on with their daily lives and also great for seeing some of the city’s top sights from above.
Just 15 minutes outside of the city centre, lies Victoria Park. It is one park that is known for having some of the greatest Bristol city views.
If you want to enjoy some great views of Bristol’s skyline and landmarks, then this is the place to be. It also boasts some of the best views of Bristol’s iconic colourful houses.
Victoria Park also boasts numerous play areas with a ton of play equipment, where kids can run around to the heart’s content.
We The Curious is a great space to explore the world of art and science. It offers over 300 exhibits and a 3D Planetarium that encourages people of all ages to get in touch with their creative side and discover the answers to questions asked about our environments.
While the science centre is pretty impressive on the inside, it also offers some great views of the city from its rooftop balcony. It offers some unique views over the Millennium Square and of the city skyline itself.
If you do, make a stop here while in Bristol don’t forget to head up to the rooftop to be amazed.
One of the greatest places in Bristol to take in views of the city is the Bristol Cathedral. This historic and beautiful church situated on College Green has a tower where you can climb up and admire the city from its rooftop.
It offers some of the best views of Park Street, the River Avon and down to South Bristol.
The best part is it’s completely free to visit the cathedral and it’s opened all year round.
Dundry Hill is an expansive area of land with an elevation point of 223 metres, just north of Bristol. It is a geologically significant area, because of its limestone cap which is believed to have formed during the Jurassic Period.
The area is known for having breathtaking views of Bristol, the Severn Bridge and the Chew Valley which lies to the south. It’s a great place to catch a break from busy city life.
Park Street is known for having a large number of boutiques and other interesting shops. Located a short distance away from Brandon Hill Park, Park Street is often dreaded by locals who have to trek up and down this steep hill.
But, once you get over the steepness of the hill you’ll find that it’s actually one of the best viewpoints in Bristol, so if you’re a keen photographer this is a great place to capture some great Instagrammable pictures.
Park Street is so cool that it once hosted a giant water slide event for a day. After trekking up the hill you can always stop off at one of the bars or restaurants to grab something to eat and drink.
Royal York Crescent is one of the most prestigious areas in Bristol. Spanning 390 metres, it is said to be the longest crescent in Europe.
Perched along the Clifton hillside, it features a range of expansive Georgian buildings. What makes Royal York Crescent so unique is that it is an unlikely viewpoint.
The area overlooks the Bristol Harbour Docks and most of the city, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
It is safe to conclude that Bristol is a pretty special city. What makes it even more special is all the places in and around the city that act as incredible viewpoints to take in some of the most stunning views of the city.
From towering bridges, observatories, hills, parks, and a range of rooftop bars Bristol really does have a multitude of viewpoints that can help you take advantage of the city’s views.