Parish Wharf Leisure Centre

Morning swim at local pirate themed pool.

After the roadworks hassle of my commute from Bristol city centre to the office via Hengrove Park pool yesterday, I decided to pick another destination for my early morning swim. I’ve previously added the Portishead Lido to the list but have been keeping the indoor leisure centre pool for a rainy day. This definitely isn’t a rainy day, but seeing as a week has passed since the last new pool on the list, time to swim somewhere new!

Arrive at a busy car park adjacent to Portishead Harbour, pass the pirate-themed splash area and go out to the pool deck. The four lanes are very busy - and separated with … ropes! Jump in the fast lane and make a start. The lack of wave breakers, pool design and fast lane against the wall make this a choppy swim.

Finish up a slightly frustrating 3km swim. Difficult to do anything at pace or distance with narrow, busy lanes and lane buddies that don’t know lane swim etiquette.

Lane swim hours are reasonable, and the entry cost is a reasonable £5.60 / $7 / €6.50.

Swim Stats

  • 3000 meters total swim
  • 1:30 pace / 100m
  • Garmin Swim 2 Watch



The pool deck and water cleanliness are on the lower end of acceptable. The pool floor is covered in sand or some other sediment, and on several occasions, I had to clear long hair wrapped around my goggles! There is plenty of signage around the changing area encouraging steps to keep the pool clean, but I feel these highlight the issues more than solve the problems. The requirement to remove outdoor shoes at the changing room entrance is good - but the changing room floor looks worse than pools that don't enforce this requirement. Have they imposed these rules and messaging to reduce their cleaning routines rather than improve the cleanliness of the pool?

Pool Details

  • Length 25 meters
  • 4-lane pool
  • Indoor

Parish Wharf Leisure Centre
Harbour Rd, Portishead, Bristol BS20 7DD

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