The town of Portishead lies on the south side of the Severn estuary, and has a few 'beaches'. The upper shores consist of sandstone and mudstone shingle, backed by low cliffs. Lower down, it's thick mud. Signs warn against swimming due to strong currents.
Sugar Loaf beach (above) is probably the best of the beaches, and is backed by the Portishead Sailing Club. Access is down a slipway, and parking is available on the unmade section of Nichol's Road - just a short walk away. At the centre of the beach is a tidal boating pool, which has seen better days. To the south-west of Sugar Loaf is Black Nore beach, which has a lighthouse. The main seafront beach (Woodhill Bay - last photo) lies further north-east, and west of the lighthouse on Battery Point. Seafront parking is available here. Also at this location is a boating lake and a 33⅓ metre heated outdoor swimming pool.