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portishead quays marina from abovePortishead Quays Marina Walk

Safety First

Whilst this is one of Portishead's most popular walks, please remember Portishead Quays Marina is a working dock. The water is deep and the sides are not fenced. Please keep children safe and note that, in places, the camber is such that a pushchair may roll into the water if unattended.

Getting There

Get There By Car

There are several car parks nearby, but most are restricted in some way.

Supermarket car parks: across the road to the south of the Marina, some big stores include Waitrose, Lidl and Home Bargains, all have car parks with 2-hour time limits. Their entrances are on Harbour Road, one by the Travelodge, and the other has Majestic Wine on the corner.

Parish Wharf Leisure Centre car park entrance is on Station Road, next to Portishead Primary School. It appears to be free but don't park in the bus spaces.

Outside working hours you can park in the small Marine View office car park on Martingale Way.

The official Marina car park is right at the end of Newfoundland Way. It's pay-and-display: 15 minutes free, thereafter £1/hour.

Get There By Bus

The Bristol buses, X3, X4 and X5, which also serves Clevedon, Nailsea, and Weston-super-Mare, stop on Harbour Road opposite Waitrose Plaza.

Get There on Foot

Find the Shell petrol station at the bottom of Cabstand and follow the big silver spheres. These form a work of art, "Timelines", by Marianne Forrest. They'll lead you to the bus stop where you can start your walk around the Marina.

If you find yourself on the Esplanade, walk up onto Battery Point and head east for the woods. There you'll find a path leading north that ends up on Woodlands Road. Follow this to end and locate a flight of steps next to the Royal Inn entrance. They lead down to the RNLI In-shore Lifeboat station and on to the Marina.

click to see marina walk on open streetmap, opens ins a new window A Suitable Start Point

Where you start will depend on how you get there. We'll start our description at the bus stop on Harbour Road. Click this map to follow your route on OpenStreetMap.

  • Walk slight left, north, towards the Parish Wharf Leisure Centre to the West of the water. Down this side you'll pass a number of artworks.
  • Portishead Primary School is on your left, the public landing stage to your right. Usually, you'll see the Portishead Pilot Gig Club's boats moored there. Note the school's fence, designed by artist Matthew Fedden. He also designed the school gates which are worth a visit, at the entrance to the Parish Wharf car park.
  • Keeping the water on your right, you'll pass more artworks, marked with a small, pylon-like symbol on the map. Fedden also designed the grills on the car park windows, the lowest floor of the apartment buildings.  
  • About two thirds of the way along you'll reach an artwork called, "Echo" by Rick Kirby. It really is an echo - of his "Arc of Angels" in Jubilee Park, to your left. To see it, detour left at this point and then return to the dockside.
    View from the air, courtesy local resident Ray Shakman.
  • Continue down the side of the dock, passing two more sculptures, "Capstan" and "Energy" by Mark Merer.
  • Soon you'll arrive at the lock gates and your first restaurant, La Marina. The lock used to be much bigger, and you can see one of the old gates near the "Capstan". The dock used to handle coal boats delivering to the power stations on the side you just walked. Bigger ships, designed to be a tight fit in the old lock, brought phosphorite, phosphoric rock, to large silos at Albright & Wilson on the other side. Closely linked to the Power Stations across the dock, they used huge amounts of energy to extract phosphorus from it. 
  • If you carry on to the end you'll find our brand new lifeboat station and RNLI gift shop. There are great views of the two Severn Bridges, too. On clear days you can see vehicles moving on the M4 in Wales.
  • Cross the lock gates, where during COVID times a one-way system operates. If you time it right, get a great value bacon bap and mug of tea at the Captain's Cabin caravan as you're about half way round, now.
  • portishead quays children's crabbing pontoon Continue along the dockside and you'll pass cafes, pubs, restaurants and a Coop store. Opposite the Sea Rock Cafe down in the water, is Somerset's only purpose-built crabbing pontoon.
  • A little further round you'll see another artwork, "When Shall We Three Meet Again", by Robert Stuart Clamp, commemorating the phosphorus factory which closed in 1968.
  • About half way down this side is a crane that lifts boats out of the water for servicing. Next to it is Hall and Woodhouse's architecture award-winning pub, made from shipping containers.
  • Continue to the end where there's a final artwork, "Flying", by Lucy Glendinning, two Italian restaurants, and return to your start point.

For more about the the artworks, click Art Trail below.

About the Pilot

Ray Shakman is an amateur drone pilot and a proud NHS general surgeon living in Portishead for a year now. "Do not think I will leave this amazing place, " he says. You can find more of his work here, on Instagram.

Related Pages

Art trail

Porishead Quays Marina