Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre

Clifton Suspension Bridge
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The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a world famous icon of the city of Bristol. Designed in the 1830s by the Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it was not completed until 1864. Remarkably it still copes admirably with the 11,000 vehicles which cross it every day. Locals and visitors alike come to marvel at its sight and the views from it. The Visitor Centre tells the story of the Bridge from Brunel up until today.

Venue Type:

Industrial heritage site, Heritage site

Opening hours

A visitor centre containing information about the history, construction and maintenance of the Bridge is situated on the Leigh Woods side of the Bridge. Entry is free (donations welcome) and it is open 10.00 to 5.00 daily throughout the year.
Guided Tours for groups and schools are available at any time by arrangement.
Free Guided Tours are operated by volunteer guides at 3.00pm on weekend afternoons Easter to end of October (NB these tours are not suitable for large organised groups for whom separate arrangements apply)

Closed: 24th & 25th December

Admission charges

Entry to the Visitor Centre is free - although donations are appreciated at the door.
Guided tours for groups and schools are charged at £4.50 pp (minimum total charge £70.00)

Getting there

See a map and public transport information on our website:

Collection details

Architecture, Archives, Design, Inland Waterways, Science and Technology, Social History

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
The Vaults

Hard Hat Tours - Leigh Woods Abutment: Summer 2018

  • 2 July — 31 August 2018 *on now

The Clifton Suspension Bridge Hard Hat Tour is a two hour experience which begins at the Clifton Toll Booth on the Bristol side of the bridge. During the first half of the tour, you will learn about the construction and discovery of the huge red brick abutments which support the bridge towers before donning a hard hat and high vis jacket and exploring two of the twelve vaulted chambers inside the Leigh Woods abutment.

Visits must be pre-booked online - follow the links below
Tours are suitable for age 7+ and under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.
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. For more information read our Access Guide.
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 the second part of 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.
Please call us on 0117 974 4664 before booking if you are concerned about claustrophobia or vertigo.

All participants will be required to fill in a form prior to taking part in the activity to acknowledge they:

Are aware of the potential risks involved.
Confirm they are physically fit.
Will follow the instructions given by the guide.

Staff and volunteers at CSBT are not medically qualified and so are not in a position to assess the capacity of participants to undertake an activity. It remains your responsibility to undertake such an assessment prior to participation. If you have any of the following medical conditions we strongly recommend you consult your doctor prior to participation: Heart disease or any cardiac condition that may require immediate medical attention; neck or back injuries; recent, reoccurring or existing injuries; severe allergic reactions; haemophilia; epilepsy; asthma; diabetes; currently taking any blood thinning medication.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+
  • Family friendly


£14 plus booking fee


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Interactory Online Resources and Tours

Building the Clifton Suspension Bridge was one of the hardest projects Isambard Kingdom Brunel ever undertook, demanding major Victorian technical ingenuity. But beyond what you can see lie the secrets that have kept the bridge upright for almost a hundred and fifty years.
Take a tour through this website to discover the bridge's history; construction; and its setting, the Avon Gorge wildlife haven. You can also watch or download video and audio tours and podcasts onto your phone, PDA or computer.

Public Guided Tours

Guided tours of the Bridge by knowledgeable staff are available at any time by arrangement.
If you are a group leader or organiser why not make a visit to the Bridge more interesting? There is more to admire than just the view. Tours are in English but we are used to welcoming visitors of all ages from all over the world for whom English is not their first language.
Free guided tours are provided for the public every Sunday afternoon from Easter Sunday to mid September. Meet/start at 3.00pm at the toll booth at the Clifton end of the Bridge.

How to obtain

Contact Mr Mike Rowland on 0117 974 4664 or email

School Curriculum Guided Tours

We welcome everyone from Year 1 through to A2 Level. We can support the curriculum in various ways including
KS1 - the study of significant individuals in British History.
KS2 - Victorian Britain.
KS3 - the study of Britain 1790-1900.
There are also opportunities for cross-curricular and non-curriculum work in science, design and technology, mathematics, geography, ICT, art etc. We are limited only by the imagination!

How to obtain

Please allow one hour from arrival to departure.
Prices are £2.50 per person with a minimum charge per group of £50.00. There is no charge for adults accompanying school groups with pupils aged 16 years and under.
Contact Mr Mike Rowland on 0117 974 4664 or email to book.

Getting there

See a map and public transport information on our website:

Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre
Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust
Bridge Road
Leigh Woods
City of Bristol

logo: Heritage Open Days 2014




0117 974 4664


General Enquiries

+44 (0) 117 974 5255

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.