Bristol Barrows

The Bristol Barrows are part of the Bristol Water Portfolio of angling reservoirs. The Barrows consist of three concrete lined reservoirs known locally as “The Tanks”. They are numbered One, Two and Three. Number Three is on the Barrow Gurney side of the A38 at roughly road level, the other two tanks sit above the road level on the other side of the road.

Finding the Barrows

There are two car parking areas,one is accessible immedaitely before the traffic lights heading towards Bristol Airport,on the A38 at the Barrow Gurney Junction. if you reach the lights you have gone too far, the access is across the separation lane inthe middle of the road before the lights.

Access road: Fine- bit of a tricky turning into the car park near the lights but other than that fine.

Public Transport: Not sure but on a busy main road (A38) so should be plenty of Buses.

Contact: 01275 332339 (Bristol Water Fisheries)

Species: Rainbow and Brown trout.

Other Species: Lots of small fry but not sure what kind


Barrow 1: 25 Acres
Barrow 2: 40 Acres
Barrow 3:  60 Acres

View Bristol Barrows in a larger map


There is an honesty box for permit collection and payment to the left as you turn into the car park beside a fishermans hut.

Do not be tempted to fish without a permit as more often than not in my experience you will be asked to produce it by a water keeper from Bristol Water.

In general the Fishery is not the most aesthetically pleasing stretch of water but on its day in the right spot it can be an awful lot of fun for little expense. At the time of writing I beleive the rod average is 1.0,, my own experience suggests its an all or nothing sort of place.

Facilities: Anglers hut beside payment kiosk ( I assume its for sheltering in if it rains) and a couple of chemical tolet cubilcle around the tanks which seem to be very clean to be fair.

Personal Opinions:

Lets be honest you don’t go to the Barrows for the views or the tranquility. Its right beside the busy A38 and its a bit ugly to be frank. However as somewhere to cast a line in some fishy water cheaply, its fine. It does seem to be a bit weedy and on ly last visit in fact it was positively radioactive looking with algal bloom so it was not that pleasant, but if you can find a suitable spot or method its tolerable.

Personally if they would do a bit harvesting of the weed round the edges- maybe thin it out a bit or remove the top couple of feet of weed it would be much better. It does seem fairly deep and very very clear (algal bloom not counting) and the secret seems to be to locate some fish first- harder than you would imagine.

Any method of fly fishing is allowed so- the classic reservoir staple of fishing boobies and bungs will not be frowned upon. I have to admit not my favourite method but as a means to an end on its day hard to beat.

Value for money: You can hardly complain when an afternoon ticket costs only £12  and a full day is £14- Bargain!

Catch and Release Policy: Good Not actually known- I have not seen anything that says its forbidden but nothing that says its allowed either. The bag limit is 4 fish of an evening (afternoon ticket) and 8 for a Day ticket. However I seen other anglers release fish so assume its OK.

Website: The Bristol Water Website is well maintained and kept up to date with regular fishing reports. Prices are also well displayed.

Bristol Water Fishing

Overall: GoodTaking all things into consideration I rate the Barrows a comfortable 4 stars. Its not pretty, its a bit weedy but its well stocked with some tremendously strong rainbows, access is easy- its only 20 mins from the city centre, and parking is easy.