There are so many places to take in spectacular views of Bristol.
The city is very hilly, and while this can mean burning thighs, but also has immense panoramic vistas of the beautiful city.
Bristol boasts a giant bridge, a beautiful harbour, the River Avon snaking through the city and historic buildings; and these viewpoints in Bristol take in the best of them!
So here are all of the best places to catch an epic vista of the West Country’s biggest city – complete with Google Maps links!
Best Views in Bristol
Here are a few to check off your list!
Cabot Tower at Brandon Hill Park
Brandon Hill is one of the best places to take in the beautiful city.
I used to just climb to the top of the hill, where trees slightly obstruct the views, but recently I climbed to the top of Cabot Tower.
It’s around 100 narrow winding steps to reach to the top, but the incredible views are worth it.
Cabot Tower was created to commemorate the 400 year anniversary of John Cabot’s sailing to North America, where he voyaged from Bristol to Canada and “discovered” Newfoundland. (Of course, native people had been living here for much longer.)
The incredible views from the top of the tower include vistas of Bristol Harbour, Clifton Village, the Suspension Bridge and even the rolling Mendip Hills.
I felt a bit emotional when I climbed up to the top. Bristol is an incredibly special place to me – it’s where I lived from the age of 18-22 and then again aged 27-28, so it’s somewhere where I had incredibly formative experiences.
However, I’d never quite seen panoramic views like that before. You can make out the cathedral, Wills Building, the harbour and the Clifton Bridge.
As someone who spent her main formative years in Bristol (I lived here from the age of 18-22 and then it was the first place I properly lived with my boyfriend), this view, taking in a panoramic vista of the centre, was quite emotional!
Clifton Observatory boasts incredible views of the suspension bridge.
You can either take in the vistas from the roof terrace area by the cafe (it’s not technically a beer garden, but it’s one of the best in Bristol!) or enter the observatory itself.
At the observatory, you’ll learn a little more about the building and see the Victorian camera obscura, and of course, take in immense vistas of the bridge and the rest of Clifton!
Your ticket to Clifton Observatory also includes a visit to Giant’s Cave.
Situated in St Vincent’s Rocks, the cave was allegedly home to some of Bristol’s most legendary characters – the three giants Goram, Ghyston, and Avona.
For years, it was only accessible by scrambling up the rocks of the Avon Gorge, but nowadays it’s visitable from the observatory.
This cave is a steep and slippery decline to a balcony, which you can stand on and enjoy epic vistas.
Look out over Avon Gorge and take in this unique view of the bridge.
Standing on the metal grate, above the Avon Gorge with cars roaring beneath you, is a bit adrenaline-boosting but good fun!
Clifton Suspension Bridge
While many of the best Bristol viewpoints take in this incredible bridge, one of my favourite places for amazing views is on Isambard’s creation itself!
A feat of Victorian engineering, the Clifton Bridge was made by the famous Isambard Kingdom Brunel and spans from Clifton Village to North Somerset.
Enjoy a view of the River Avon snaking through the gorge, with a view of Bristol City Centre on the horizon.
You can walk over the entire bridge and take in the views as you go – it can be quite busy, but you
The White Lion
Take in fantastic views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge from the White Lion, one of the most popular beer gardens in Bristol.
The White Lion is attached to the Hotel du Vin Avon Gorge, and it boasts stunning views of the bridge and the gorge.
The food and drinks selection here isn’t incredible (I had an awful oat milk cappuccino recently which had absolutely no foam!), but you’re paying for the viewpoint!
The M Shed is one of the best museums in Bristol – but as it’s right on the harbourside, how does it have impressive views?
Well, on the top floor, you can walk out to an outdoor terrace, which boasts an impressive panorama over the water.
M Shed is completely free to enter too, and it’s a fascinating exhibition all about Bristol’s history and people.
SS Great Britain
The SS Great Britain is one of the most popular things to do in Bristol, ideal for a family day or an attraction for keen historians, but it also boasts some of the most picturesque views of the harbour.
Take in stunning vistas of the water by heading up to the decking, which has some of the features of when it was a Victorian migrant ship.
For an extra-special view, you can climb the rigging of the SS Great Britain!
I did this last summer, and although I’m not a huge adrenaline chaser, I loved the views as I climbed up and enjoyed the vistas from the top!
Ashton Court Estate
While Ashton Court is more known for its woody walks and deer than views, there’s one spot in particular with a beautiful view of the centre.
To find this viewpoint, take the route above Ashton Court Mansion and walk along this road.
You’ll take in a shot of Bristol harbour and some of the historic buildings of the city centre.
It’s not the clearest view of Bristol City, but it’s worth checking out while you’re here!
One of the best views in South Bristol, Victoria Park is a large park located close to Redcliffe and Totterdown.
From here, you can take in views of Bristol city centre’s main landmarks and the brightly-coloured houses.
Also sometimes called Windmill Hill, Victoria Park is a popular place for sunset!
Dundry Hill is located a 15-minute drive out of the city (in Dundry, a Somerset village) and is a popular place for dog walks near Bristol.
From the top of the hill, take in panoramic views back to the city of Bristol and the beautiful Somerset countryside, including the Mendip Hills and Chew Valley.
You can walk up the steps to the tower of Bristol Cathedral, a majestic ancient building right in the heart of Bristol Centre, next to College Green.
The cathedral is free to enter, but several tours – including tower tours – take place throughout the year.
From the top of the tower, you can take in immense views of the harbour!
Wills Memorial Building
Sitting at the top of Park Street, the Wills Building is one of the most historic in the city.
The building is 68 metres in height, and from the top you can enjoy the view of Park Street and the Clifton Triangle.
The tour is a fantastic insight into this building, which is owned by Bristol University and was opened by King George V and Queen Mary in 1925. It was also damaged during the Bristol Blitz.
Hot Air Balloon Flight
Of course, possibly the best viewpoint of Bristol is from a hot air balloon!
Bristol is the hot air ballooning capital of the UK, with the Bristol Balloon Fiesta taking place every August in Ashton Court.
But you don’t have to wait until August to go up on a hot air balloon.
You can book tours most times of year; many of these are sunrise flights, where you can enjoy a beautiful spectacle of the sun ascending over the city and its surroundings.
You can even finish your trip with a glass of bubbly!
Bristol is a beautiful city, and now you know the best places to take it in.
With surreal views from elevated suburbs like Clifton and the Mendip Hills and plenty of places in the city centre to take more detailed views of specific buildings!