I always remember the good times of being taken to Portishead as a child and thought I would share a part of my history with my girlfriend, who is not from the Bristol area. Although it is not quite how I remember it, it still proved to be a nice visit on a hot summers day.
We found getting to Portishead straight forward by car, but did struggle to find the way to the lake grounds as the local road signs do not seem to make it clear how to get there. In the end we opted for a sat-nav and googled the postcode to the lido, which is in the nearby vicinity. The positive part of the car-travel is the ample free parking.
There is a cafe selling drinks, ice creams and hot food, but also plenty of open space to bring along a picnic if that is more appealing. There is a large lake, whereby many model boats are seen to race on its waters, ducks/swans/geese glide over the surface and boat hire (£5 for 20 minutes, which is pretty reasonable!). My only gripe is that you are slightly penned in with small bollards which you can row through, but for an inexperienced rower, I had great difficulty getting out into the main lake. There is also a very shallow pond in which young children can hire hand-pedalo - which looked a lot of fun! A small playground is also available.
There is a stretch of good views and the nearby battery point is worth a look for the panoramic view of the Severn estuary. The popular lido also is found in this area.
As we visited on one of the hottest days of the year, we did feel there is a lack of shady areas, with the few trees near the main attractions already being taken by shade hunters and picnickers. This may not be a problem for some (or many for most of the year) but remember to pack some water and wear sun cream on hot days!
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