Brunel’s world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge is the symbol of Bristol – but how and why was it built? Cross the Avon Gorge 75 metres above the high tide mark and find out why the design of the Bridge changed so many times, how daredevil bridge builders managed to get the suspension chains from one side to the other, the impressive secret discovered 140 years after the bridge first opened - and what the mysterious Latin inscription ‘Suspensa Vix Via Fit’ really means.
Our Visitor Centre is situated at the Leigh Woods end of the bridge. It contains information about the competition to design the bridge, its construction and completion and how it is maintained today. You can watch a DVD about the bridge, see objects from our collection (including stereoscopic images and original souvenirs) and browse our shop, where you'll find books, postcards and souvenirs. Although we do not have a cafe, we sell luxury ice cream - and you can visit our Coffee Cart during the summer season or find plenty of places to eat and drink in Clifton Village.
Entrance is free and we are open 10am-5pm daily throughout the year except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. We are open reduced hours on Boxing Day from 11am-4pm. (We may not be able to accommodate large groups unless a timeslot has been booked in advance. There is a charge if £1 per person for a self guided visit.)
Free Wifi is available to all visitors.
We provide free tours from the Clifton toll booth at 3pm every Saturday and Sunday from Easter Sunday to October. There's no need to book, simply meet your guide at the Clifton Toll Booth on the Bristol side of the bridge.
Bringing the children?
We always have fun activities for you to try! Design a bridge or a new hat for Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Find out how many footballs, elephants or guitars the bridge can hold using our interactive weighbridge. Try labelling the parts of the bridge on our magnetic 3D map!
If you're researching a school project, we stock historic postcards (50p each), an Information Leaflet filled with useful facts and figures (60p), paper Brunel Hats (£1.00) and a Bridge guidebook (£4.95) - and don't forget to quiz our knowledgable volunteers!
We are members of the Children's University, so if you're planning a visit don't forget to bring your passport and get it stamped!
We also support the Max Card, making great attractions across the UK more accessible to looked-after children, their friends and family.
Our free tours, which run from Easter to October every Saturday and Sunday at 3pm start from the Clifton Toll Booth and are suitable for a family audience.