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Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre

Attractions, Historic buildings and sites Clifton
Suspension Bridge, Clifton, Bristol

Small but enlightening information centre packed with facts about everyone’s favourite Brunel-built bridge

Gone are the days when you had to cram yourself into a tiny kiosk in order to satisfy your curiosity about a famous bridge. Opened last year, the new Visitors Centre offers a potted history of this much-loved Bristol landmark, with interactive displays about the bridge’s construction as well as its composition and maintenance. 

There are intriguing stories aplenty here, from the discovery of hidden vaulted chambers, to first-hand accounts from the men and women who worked the bridge during its 150-year history. Not to mention facts: did you know that that they have to use crystallised cow urine as deicer, because salt would cause corrosion? No? Well you do now.

See the sketches for Brunel’s winning proposal, alongside competition from the likes of Thomas Telford and the future Gothic Revival architect William Butterfield, who was only 16 when he submitted a design. (Bet he wouldn’t thank them for dredging that up.) 

It’s not extensive, but it’s a diverting way to spend half an hour.

By: Laura Hounsom


Venue name: Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre
Address: Leigh Woods
Static map showing venue location