Once a separate village, actually a medieval town that was damaged by prince Rupert in the 17th century during the civil war, in our days Clifton village is a beautiful district of Bristol. We loved walking around and admire the pretty Georgian houses and we stroll around several small stops with nice but expensive items. There were also many art galleries around, deli shops and some upscale restaurants and cozy cafes.
Don’t miss the Royal York Crescent, a half circle of Georgian houses (pic 3). From there you can have a great view of the York Gardens (during sunset it was so beautiful, check my main photo on my Bristol page).
Clifton is up a steep hill so maybe you want to take the bus up the hill but you can easily walk down in 15’ or you can visit the Suspension Bridge and from there you can walk along the side of the gorge over the Clifton Downs …
The Royal York Crescent is the highlight of Clifton's urban planning. This is apparently the longest Georgian crescent in Britain, although the one in Bath is probably more famous. The terrace houses are built on the hillside and offer majestic views over the steep drop of the Avon river.
The building began in 1791, but the crescent was not completed until 1820, due to money problems brought on by war with the French. The front doors of the houses open out on to a raised pavement with basements and garages underneath. The designs of the houses vary slightly as different builders were involved but all in all the ensemble gives an impression of harmonious urban complex.
Clifton Suspension Bridge is a must see attraction in Bristol, but I am not sure how many people know that Clifton itself is a must see. It was once a separate municipality from Bristol, one of the oldest and wealthiest areas of the city. Much of its wealth came from profits from tobacco and the slave trade. It was also known as a spa area but later this function was better developed in nearby Bath.
Walking around this hilly area you can enjoy the various housing typologies - from grand houses, to detached and semi-detached properties as well as terraces. Many times between the houses you can see a beautiful view of Bristol that lays downhill from Clifton.
As I was walking around a small squirrel popped from one garden to say hello to me and welcome me to this peaceful neighborhood. She even posed until I took a picture of her.
The Avon Gorge starting at Clifton reminded me of the Rhine Gorge in Germany but in a smaller format. There is even the road and railway built in the same way as there. You can walk in the observatory park as mentioned above, but also go much further to study the unique flora of the gorge. There are information signs here and there, telling you what you see, but also the problems the gorge face today with invading plants from elsewhere and such. If you are a rock climber, you can also climb some of the steep cliffs but for that, you'd better ask the tourist information as I don't know which ones you are allowed to climb.
Bristol's almost unique in the ratio of parkland owned by the city to the size of the population. The "Downs" (meaning "open upland") is just one part of a vast network of open space - adjoining the Downs is the Ashton Court Estate (it's separated from the Downs by the Clifton Gorge, and as a result is in a different county - but is owned by the people of Bristol) Just a short walk over the famous suspension bridge (once the highest/longest bridge in the world) and there are several hundred acres more woodland and open spaces to wander in and explore.
Put it this way... a soccer pitch is an acre of land. To play, you need two teams of 11, a referee and two linesmen - 25 people. Divide the population of Bristol by 25, and you get the amount of parkland, in acres. So (in theory!) the whole town could play soccer at the same time (some pitches interrupted by cliffs... but it adds interest to the game!) Result, you can walk a few hundred yards (up Park Street, a fairly steep hill) from the city centre and look out on rolling acres of green fields. There aren't too many largish cities that can make the same claim. And that walk up Park Street (and a left turn into great George Street) takes you into Brandon Hill, which (you guessed it!) is yet another park. - with a view over about four others, incorporating several hundred acres. London? Eat your heart out!
Bristol flower show held on Durham Downs in August. The show also has displays involving bee keeping, birds of prey and of course lots of flower displays. Also traditional jams, preserves, cheese, breads and biscuits made by local farms are also available to purchase.