Climbing the winding 108 steps to the top of the tower is no easy undertaking, especially following the steep ascent up Brandon Hill, but any thoughts of fatigue will be banished by the sight of Bristol stretching out beneath. Any breathlessness is more likely to be brought on by the view than the effort. It’s free to enter and climb the tower and there is no better place to get a view of the entire city, which places it firmly at the top of the list of free things to do in Bristol. Brass tags around the parapet of the tower identify the buildings and landmarks that you can see, also telling you how far away they are from your position.
From the magnificent Bristol University buildings to the SS Great Britain in her dry dock in the harbour, it’s possible to take in so much of the city and its wonders from this brilliant vantage point. It can also be a great place to see Bristol’s wildlife from and the tower is popular with birdwatching groups due to the varied species that call the park home at various stages of the year. Keep an eye out from the tower in the early evening and you might be lucky enough to spot some of the park’s pipistrelle bats flying by.
During the winter snows, Brandon Hill becomes a haven for intrepid tobogganers, hurling themselves down the steep, white slopes with abandon. The tower can be a great spot to watch all the fun, so long as you remember to wrap up warm. At night, you can look up from the city and see the beautifully lit tower looking down on Bristol, a constant reminder of one of the city’s best and most beloved sights.