Bristol Clifton Observatory

Famous landmarks in and around Bristol

If you are travelling to meet us at our Bristol office, here is some useful information about famous landmarks in the local area.

Bristol is a vibrant University city located in the South West of England. Boasting a rich history, thriving arts scene and bustling waterfront, the city is famed for its stunning architecture and the iconic landmarks that dominate its landscape.

Here are our top picks of famous landmarks in and around Bristol to help you make the most of your time in this remarkable city.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

The world-renowned Clifton Suspension Bridge is one of Bristol’s most recognisable landmarks.  Designed by famous engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the bridge is a grade I listed building and hosts a year-round programme of tours, events and exhibitions. Visitors can take a free weekend tour to learn about the structure’s history and architecture or join a hard hat tour for behind-the-scenes access to its hidden chambers.

Bristol Cathedral

Variously described by visitors as ‘beautiful’, ‘awesome’ and ‘splendid’, Bristol’s Cathedral is an outstanding example of a medieval church. Dating back to at least the 12th century, the Cathedral showcases a stunning mix of architectural styles including Norman, Gothic and Victorian.

The Cathedral remains a place of worship for locals and visitors alike, and hosts an impressive programme of events, including regular live music. It is free to visit, and you can join a guided tour or simply take some time out for quiet reflection beneath the spectacular stained-glass windows and vaulted ceiling.

SS Great Britain

Within walking distance of the Cathedral stands the iconic SS Great Britain. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, ‘the ship that changed the world’ was the first ever ocean liner, a testament to Bristol’s rich maritime heritage.

Now a living museum, prepare to be transported back in time to the Victorian era as you explore the ship’s luxurious first-class cabins and cramped steerage, take in the engine rooms and stroll along the promenade decks. The more adventurous can scale the ship’s rigging and marvel at the unparalleled view across the city.

In addition to the magnificent ship itself, the complex boasts two museums and a historic dockyard. A variety of events take place throughout the year, including concerts, barbeques and murder mystery evenings.

Clifton Observatory

From its vantage point atop the picturesque Clifton village, the Clifton Observatory offers visitors spectacular views of Bristol, the Bristol Channel, Avon Gorge and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The observatory is home to a Victorian camera obscura, one of just three remaining in the UK. The historic optical device projects live, panoramic images of the outside world into the darkened room.

Located inside the observatory is access to the home of Bristol’s infamous giants, Goram and Ghyston. Descend, if you dare, into the Giants Cave and learn about the legend of these larger-than-life characters before heading to the viewing platform to enjoy a unique vista of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Avon Gorge. With a fascinating museum spread over three floors and an impressive glass café, Clifton Observatory is a fantastic day out for visitors of all ages.

Bristol Harbour and Bristol City Docks

An ever-present reminder of Bristol’s status as a leading international port in the 18th and 19th centuries, Bristol Harbour and Bristol City docks remain a lively hive of activity. Nowadays, the sailors and merchants have been replaced with locals and day trippers soaking up the atmosphere and exploring the museums, galleries, bars and restaurants that adorn the water’s edge. Strolling along the waterfront, visitors can admire the colourful boats bobbing in the water, marvel at the magnificent SS Great Britain and watch a street performer or two.

Often called the ‘Floating Harbour’ due to being unaffected by tides, the water offers perfect conditions for water sports enthusiasts, who flock there with their kayaks and paddle boards, or to row with one of the local rowing clubs.


Sometimes overshadowed by the allure of neighbouring Bath, Bristol is a vibrant city bursting with history, culture and innovation. The largest city in the South West, Bristol offers visitors a wealth of historic landmarks and impressive architecture alongside a lively contemporary arts and music scene. The prominent student population and waterside location give the city an exciting, unique buzz, making Bristol the perfect choice for a day trip or city break.

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