|Bristol - Top Attractions
Clifton Observatory and Caves
Built next to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Clifton Observatory
houses a camera obscura, a rotating mirror in the roof that reflects
panoramic views of the city down onto a dish-shaped screen.
You can walk down to the adjoining giant caves to have a different
view. A narrow passage with steep steps gets you to the Giant's
cave at the end. Here you can stand on a platform, suspended over
the gorge and enjoy the bizarre view.
Cheddar Caves and Gorge
Cheddar Caves and Gorge is a stunning natural wonder that has spawned
quite a mini-industry around its attractions. Littered with cafes
and roadside shops etc outside the caves you can step in for a coffee
on your way back from the visit to the cave. The caves are quite
spectacular - the two show caves, formed in the Ice Age, are festooned
with stalactites and spectacular rock formations. Look out for Cheddar
Man, Britain's oldest skeleton and learn all about how our cave-dwelling
The gorge is equally attractive. You can board a bus to the gorge,
and if you health conscious you can walk it to the caves and have
a wonderful experience. The three-mile round walk (including cliff-tops
- bring good shoes and be sensible) is sign-posted and offers some
fabulous scenery, plus Jacob's Ladder - 274 steps leading to an
observation tower, from which there are great views over Somerset
and even away to the sea.
Bristol, home for the hot air balloon fiestas, if you've got a head
for heights, then you better take a balloon ride to see the city
and surrounding areas by air. The flights last about an hour (allow
two-three hours for the whole experience) and you are given a bottle
of champagne to ease your journey and help with any nerves! When
you land, the ground crew brings you back to the starting point.
Flights cost approximately £130 per person and are available
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Designed by Brunel and completed in 1864, the foundation stone was
laid in 1831 but the project was dogged with political and financial
difficulties and by 1843, with only the towers completed, the project
was abandoned. Brunel died prematurely aged 53 yrs in 1859 but the
Bridge was completed as his memorial and finally opened in 1864.
Today it has become the symbol of the city. Therefore, if you happen
to be in Bristol, then it is a must for you to visit this bridge.
You can learn all about its troubled history in the nearby Suspension
Bridge Visitor Center, take a walk across it, and look down into
the spectacular gorge and beyond. Make sure you see the bridge at
night as well; it looks truly amazing lighted against the night