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Our Day Out at the Beach in Portishead Near Bristol

Free Portishead Outings - Portishead Beach


Yesterday we decided to go exploring and went looking for a beach in Portishead where our children could play. Some friends had mentioned a beach by Hillside Road, off Nore Rd. I remembered seeing one several years ago from the coastal path, but wasn’t sure how to access it from the road so together with some friends we packed up the car with a picnic and buckets and spades and headed to Portishead seafront hoping to find somewhere for our children to let off steam for an hour or two.



We found an access point at the bottom of Hillside Road, off Nore Rd in Portishead.

The walk to the beach is only a matter of a few yards but the entrance is fairly steep and muddy. I wouldn’t want to attempt it with a pushchair, very young children or any mobility problems, but our children aged between 3 and 8 bounded down the muddy slope and then, after a moment of contemplation, us Mums attempted it somewhat more cautiously!

Portishead Beach Access

The beach itself is quite large. To the right are some flat rocks which we spread our picnic rugs on and set up base. After a couple of guidelines for the children about not going down to the mud towards the shore line, avoiding overhanging rocks and staying within our sight, all four children went off to play. Out came flasks of tea and coffee and J and I had plenty of time for a catch up while the children amused themselves. We had a great view of ships in the channel and if you squinted a bit you could almost imagine the water was blue like the sky!

Portishead Beach View


The children played independently. They enjoyed rockclimbing, throwing pebbles, inventing in an imaginary ship, hide and seek and playing with sticks. There was nobody else on the beach all the time we were there.

Rock Climbing on the beachApart from a couple of gentle reminders to throw pebbles well away from eachother and not to wander off too far, they played happily all afternoon.

playing on Portishead BeachBoys playing on Portishead Beach

We had brought a couple of flasks and several drinks for the children. It turned into a very warm day so once we ran out of fluids after about five hours, we decided it was time to call it a day! There are no facilities on the beach, so we collected up any rubbish from our picnic in a nappy sack and took it home with us.

Steep Access to Beach in Portishead

I found the route back up the slope a little easier and the children rushed on ahead with no problems.

We hadn’t really known what to expect, but the amazing weather and the pleasure our children found in just being left to their own devices, made it a very pleasant and stress free escape – without even leaving Portishead.


Drive up Nore Road nearly to the top and turn right into Hillside Road. Follow the road round until you reach the picnic bench where the road is about to start going up hill. The access point to the beach is via the lane just beyond the picnic bench on the right hand side.

Have you visited any of the beaches in Portishead? If so let us know in the comments below. And why not check out some of the other Portishead things to do in the links below!

Portishead Beach


Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

Top Free Family Outings: Bristol Cathedral

Portishead Youth Centre


Our Top Ten Places to Eat in & Around Portishead

Backwell House Hotel

5 Top Places to Eat and Drink at Bristol’s Wapping Wharf


11 comments… add one
  • Anonymous 08/11/2023, 17:26

    There is actually a less steep entrance to this beach too…at the top of the steps off of the beach you’ll see that straight in front of you is the rope swing then if you walk to your left a less steep path back up to the road. Might make it a bit easier next time (I’m a very adventurous outdoor mum but I don’t like walking down steep muddy slopes especially with my dog pulling on the lead!!) – hope to see you at this beach sometime (p.s. don’t tell *everyone* about it…it’s a well kept secret 😜😜

  • J B T Walters 29/09/2012, 08:09

    There are others. By the Lake Grounds Swimming Pool, look for interesting geological rock formations.
    At the bottom of Belton Road by the Sailing Club who do not own this beach, another accessable through the Royal Hotel, and the one using the iron steps below the Hole in One off Nore Road.
    But if wandering away from the access points do watch the tide! It comes in fast.
    Barry Walters

  • Lisa 28/08/2012, 18:37

    Sounds like ‘my’ kind of day! Bet the kids LOVED it!

  • HonestMum 24/08/2012, 08:07

    Looks totally fab and makes me miss Brizzle lots!

    • Jane 24/08/2012, 08:17

      Thanks HonestMum. Sounds like you a due a visit to the West Country soon.

  • Lara 23/08/2012, 08:45

    Oh, to have a beach so nearby! Looks like they had a ball exploring.

    • Jane 24/08/2012, 08:14

      They did. They also made up fantastic adventures about living on desert islands and visiting eachother by boat.
      It’s not the sort of water I’d want to go for a swim in though!

    • Samantha 02/06/2013, 23:10

      What was the name of the imaginary ship?!

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