Explore

It makes sense to make straight for the Clifton Suspension Bridge – something that dramatic demands to be seen. The best approach is to walk onto it from the Clifton side and cross on foot to the visitor centre on the west bank. Schedule two to three hours to explore and try to time your visit to coincide with one of the free bridge tours.

The Clifton Observatory, complete with a rare camera obscura and gorge-side viewing platform, are worth dropping by on the east bank.

Clifton's other great attraction, the Bristol Lido will occupy half a day – time your visit carefully: its pool, sauna and spa are open to nonmembers on weekday afternoons only. At weekends you have to book a spa or eating package.

Clifton's other great delight is the village itself – make sure you allow at least half a day to discover its ornate Georgian and Victorian terraces and browse in the ranks of independent shops. Night time brings an opportunity to explore the many pubs, eateries and bars.