The Venue

Clifton Pavilion

From the moment you see the Clifton Pavilion you’ll know you’ve found the perfect venue for your unforgettable day.

The Clifton Pavilion at Bristol Zoo Gardens provides the perfect setting for your wedding ceremony, reception and evening party. Built in the 1920s for grand occasions, the building’s graceful architecture offers elegant rooms with beautiful views overlooking the west lawn and flamingos.  With its high vaulted ceiling and chandeliers, the Clifton Suite offers a stunning backdrop for both the wedding ceremony and wedding breakfast for up to 120 guests. The Garden Room is light and airy with a patio leading out in to the gardens; a great space for your reception drinks and evening party for up to 150 guests.  There are fabulous photo opportunities within the 12 acres of award-winning gardens, creating the perfect venue for the most memorable day of your life. Your guests are welcome to explore the Zoo and see a host of animals ensuring that your wedding will be a unique event to be remembered.  We look forward to hearing from you soon and on hand to assist you with planning your perfect day.

Here at the Clifton Pavilion at Bristol Zoo we offer exclusive hire, coupled with the ability to host your entire day from the wedding ceremony through to the wedding breakfast and evening party.

Chiavari Chair Wedding Venue Bristol
The Clifton Suite

Adorned with creams, greens and golds, high vaulted ceiling and chandeliers, the Clifton Suite offers the perfect setting for both your ceremony and wedding breakfast. The floor to ceiling windows flood the room with natural daylight creating a truly memorable atmosphere for your perfect day.  Prior to your ceremony your guests can take in the fabulous views across the Zoo from the balcony of the Clifton Suite.

The Clifton Pavilion Venue Bristol Zoo Gardens
Garden Room

We then welcome you down to the Garden Room where you can celebrate with your guests and enjoy drinks on the terrace.  It is then time to explore the delights of Bristol Zoo, set within award-winning gardens.  From intimate shots of the happy couple through to group shots taken from the balcony, we can offer extraordinary photo opportunities within a truly unique setting.

Once the sun sets, the Garden Room is the perfect location for your evening party where you can relax with your family and friends and dance the night away!

The unique and elegant rooms within the Clifton Pavilion coupled with the opportunities for stunning wedding photography in the beautiful grounds really do make Bristol Zoo Gardens the perfect venue for your special day.
From your initial enquiry through to your wedding day, the dedication, flexibility and friendliness of our whole team at the Clifton Pavilion will work to exceed your expectations to help you achieve your dream wedding day with everlasting memories for both you and your guests.
Our History

Bristol Zoo is the fifth oldest zoo in the world.
Our Zoo was founded on 22nd July 1835, by Henry Riley, a local physician, who led the formation of the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society. Riley, and a number of other prominent local individuals, gathered with the mission to facilitate ‘the observation of habits, form and structure of the animal kingdom, as well as affording rational amusement and recreation to the visitors of the neighbourhood’. Shareholders at the time included several famous Bristolians, including Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
The Society purchased 12 acres of land in Clifton and appointed a landscape gardener to design the zoological gardens.


The Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society open the Zoo’s doors to the public for the first time. Bristol Zoo’s situation within a port greatly helped with the acquisition of animals when it first opened. Zebi, the Zoo’s famous elephant, was here from 1868 to 1909. She was quite a character, renowned for removing and eating straw hats!


Alfred. On 05/09/1930 a young lowland gorilla arrived at the Zoo, Alfred. At the time there was only one other gorilla in a Zoo in Europe. Alfred was a huge success at the Zoo, he had learned how to make snowballs and it was common practice to lead him around the Zoo on a lead. Throughout the Second World War Alfred grew not only in size but also in popularity, still remaining one of the most popular animals in Bristol Zoo’s history.
Many species have been successfully bred at Bristol Zoo Gardens over the years; the first chimpanzee to be conceived and born in captivity in Europe was Adam at Bristol Zoo in 1934.


The 1980’s and 1990’s saw the Zoo start to become the Zoo it is today with the opening of several large, new exhibits including the Reptile House in 1981, the Monkey House in 1983 and the re-designed Aquarium in 1986. As the century drew to a close, Seal and Penguin Coast was opened by Professor David Bellamy.


2000 – today In the early noughties we opened two new exhibits, Zona Brazil and the Livingstone fruit bat enclosure. In 2009 ZooRopia, a high ropes course opened in the Zoo. The course allows guests to climb above some of the most popular exhibits at the Zoo. The £1million re-development of the gorilla house took place in 2013 and has more than doubled the size of the exhibit for our growing family of gorillas and added a mind blowing 180 degree guest viewing area of these six magnificent animals! Using heavy duty toughened glass, 32 stone silverback male gorilla Jock and the rest of the gorilla family are able to move above the heads of guests.

Since its opening, Bristol Zoo Gardens has educated millions of school-aged children about the value of nature and has given more than 90 million guests a great day out. Today, it cares for more than 450 species and has helped to save over 175 species from extinction.

The Society can now boast two attractions, Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project, which opened in the summer of 2013 and is home to some of the world’s most exciting species such as cheetahs, wolves, okapi and many more.