Overlooking the Severn Estuary and only ten miles from Bristol is the coastal town of Portishead. Portishead became well-known after a popular Bristol band named themselves after the town in the 1990s. 

Over the past few years it has grown substantially with new homes, restaurants and shops. If you want a change from Bristol, or you’re looking for somewhere to stop off along the M5 motorway, here are a few reasons why you should add Portishead to your list to visit this year!

Portishead Quays Marina

If you want to stretch your legs then the Portishead Quays Marina is great for a walk. We like ambling around this area and looking at all the yachts. There are loads of places to grab a bite to eat too.

If you’re after something for brunch, try Café Marina - they offer a fab breakfast menu! If you fancy something more, AQUA, Hall & Woodhouse and La Marina are also close by.


The Lake Ground

The Portishead Lake Ground area is the perfect spot to chill out and relax. It has ample free parking, a fun playground, a café, tennis courts, and plenty of space to run around. If you want to feed the ducks you can pick up some bird seed from the café. During the summer months you can hire rowing boats to take on the lake too. 

If you want some great views, take a walk along the river estuary where you can see Wales and Avonmouth Docks in the distance. If you walk up to the pool, you can then climb to Battery Point for even better views. Battery Point was actually built to defend the Severn Estuary and used during the English Civil War as well as World War II. You can also walk out to the Portishead Point Lighthouse which my son loves doing!


Portishead Open Air Pool

Portishead boasts it’s very own open air pool. It’s actually one of the last remaining outdoor pools in the whole of the UK too! Don’t worry, the water is nice and warm and perfect for a dip. The pool is heated using green energy and maintains a heat of around 28C.

There’s plenty of space next to the pool to sit, relax and soak up any sunshine. You get some great views across the Bristol Channel too. If you’re feeling peckish, there is a café and a small tuck shop.

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Over recent years, Portishead has undergone a lot of development and change. Popular retail names have settled in Portishead, but if you’re after more local, independent shops then the High Street is best.

Nestled just behind the main high street is Ebb & Flo, a small independent shop selling gifts and bits for the home. A personal favourite is Carey's Home and Garden, which has been on the high street for over 50 years. You’ll find an eclectic mix of goods, ranging from DIY and garden accessories, to arts and crafts.

Treat the kids to milkshakes and cake at Shanicatti Shakes, or you can stop for a coffee after a busy morning shopping at Impero Lounge.

>>> Read more on shopping in and around Bristol

Further Afield

My absolute favourite place for a drink and a bite to eat is the The Windmill Inn. It’s less than a mile from the lake ground and offers amazing views over the Severn Estuary and Wales. They have a huge beer garden and it’s lovely to sit there on a sunny day, watching the ships pass by.

It's also worth exploring Weston Big Wood just outside the town - it's particularly pretty in springtime when the bluebells are out!

About the author

Emma Dowey writes local family blog Me and B Make Tea.

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Portishead guide