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Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve is open 24/7 and access is free. Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve is a popular place for walking, cycling and running, as well as wildlife watching. We hope you enjoy your visit here.

The paths are flat or gently sloping and walking shoes are usually adequate. Though, if you plan to head down the seasonal or salt marsh tracks you might need boots if conditions are wet and muddy.



Nestled between Royal Portbury Dock and Portishead this 150 acre nature reserve is 7 miles west of Bristol on the Severn Estuary.



On foot:

The nature reserve is not far from Sheepway, Portishead Marina and the Village Quarter.  See the map below for approximate distances.

 Because of the pylon and cabling work for the Hinkley Connection Project there are restrictions to access from Sheepway. The car park by the bridge is closed until 2025. Please see the February 2020 update for details about the restrictions and closures here. 

By Bus:

There is a bus stop at the end of Wharf Lane in Sheepway. See the X3 and X3A bus service for info

By car:

From Junction 19 of the M5 motorway, take the A369 to Portishead.


1. Portishead Marina at the end of Newfoundland Road (pay and display).

2. There is limited free parking at the end of Wharf Lane. From the A369, The Portbury Hundred, take the first right into Sheepway by the pedestrian bridge and the second right into Wharf Lane.


There are 3 hides on the reserve.

Two hides overlook the North Pool; the North Pool Hide which has wheelchair access and the Tower Hide pictured below. There is also another hide overlooking the South Pool.

There are no toilet facilities on the reserve and the nearest cafes and bars are in Portishead Marina.

Wildlife only areas:

It is important to give wildlife room to feed and rest undisturbed. People and dog free zones include the Sanctuary, a gated area surrounded by a moat, the pools and the rhynes.

In other areas following the countryside code is always the best approach. If you walk your dog here and would like some wildlife friendly tips, check out Walking the Dog.


Countryside Code:

These are the headline points. To see the full countryside code please see the full Countryside Code on the Government’s website:

Respect – Protect – Enjoy

Respect other people:

  • consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
  • leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available

Protect the natural environment:

  • leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home
  • keep dogs under effective control

Enjoy the outdoors:

  • plan ahead and be prepared
  • follow advice and local signs