Clifton Suspension Bridge – visit all year round
Clifton Suspension Bridge
If it’s a beautiful (or at least nice) day in Bristol, I always try and make a point of going out somewhere locally. Whether that is to the harbourside for a few bevvies, a stroll in Queen’s Square, Ashton Court or even around Clifton Village.
Whatever I do, without fail, I have to at least catch a glimpse of Clifton Suspension Bridge. Out of all the icons associated with Bristol, this is the one landmark that is forever etched in the minds of all (or most) Bristolians. Definitely mine, and I’m not even Bristolian.
If you’re coming into Bristol from its airport, this will be one the first noticeable landmarks you’ll see while crossing over the Avon. If you fly into Bristol, chances are you’ll probably see it below, if you’re coming in from the right direction. And if you’re in Clifton Village having a few drinks on the terrace behind the White Lion, you can’t help but look at it.
You probably can’t avoid it.
And it’s easy to see why.
On this particular summer’s day, I was out with mum, dad and my brother. We all decided to go for a walk around Clifton Village. The weather was good that day. The sun was out. As we slowly made our way up the incline to Clifton Observatory, we could everyone out and about sprawled on the public grounds. Having picnics and barbecues, making the most of a glorious day.
Once we reached the top of the incline, we stood together looking over the Avon Gorge. This was our reward…..
The bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel – one of the great engineers of the Victorian Age. Sadly, he never lived to see it finished in 1864.
Work began on the bridge in 1831. However, the project fell victim to political and financial difficulties, and the bridge was abandoned by 1843, with only the towers completed. It took Brunel’s death in 1859, aged 53, to bring the project back to life where the bridge was completed as a memorial.
Visiting Clifton Suspension Bridge
You can visit all year round, but spring until autumn (April – October) are the best times.
Clifton Suspension Bridge has a Visitor Centre which is open every day from 10.00am to 5.00pm. You can find this on the Leigh Woods side of the bridge.
There are also free guided tours that run at 3pm every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday from Easter to October. You don’t even need to book – just turn up.
For more information, visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge website.
Have you been to Clifton Suspension Bridge? What are your thoughts?
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