The small village of Pill lies on the southern bank of the River Avon, adjacent to Easton-in-Gordano and opposite the Bristol suburb of Shirehampton.

The village's unusual name means 'inlet' or 'creek' off a river or channel.

This area has provided some of the earliest evidence of human occupation in the British Isles. Palaeolithic tools, uncovered in gravel terraces above the River Avon, have been dated back some 250-400,000 years.

Pill was traditionally the residence of the pilots who guided vessels from the Bristol Channel through the Avon Gorge to the Port of Bristol. Once boasting 21 public houses, the village was notorious for drunkenness and wild abandon. Pilots were no longer needed on the River Avon when the Port of Bristol was relocated to Avonmouth and the Royal Portbury Dock in the 20th century.

A small rowed ferry once operated between Pill and Shirehampton but this closed owing to lack of trade once Avonmounth Bridge (on the M5) opened in 1974.

The village still has a yacht club.

Tourist Attractions in and near Pill to Visit



Bristol River Trips - Bristol Packet 4.0 miles The Bristol Packet offers regular boat trips around the harbour and also offer river trips upstream along the River Avon to Bath and downstream to Avonmouth.

Bristol Cathedral Tours 4.1 miles Guided tours of Bristol Cathedral take place every Saturday, May to October.

SV Tangaroa Trips 4.1 miles This beautiful wooden sailing ship is moored near the ss Great Britain.  SV Tangaroa offers public and charter trips around the Floating Harbour and along the River through the Avon Gorge to the Avonmouth Bridge.  Longer trips explore the upper reaches of

Bristol Blue Glass Factory 5.9 miles Bristol Blue Glass is world famous. The Romans brought glassmaking to Bristol and the city became one of the most important glassmaking centres in Europe.

HorseWorld 7.8 miles HorseWorld is 3 miles south of Bristol. Formed in 1952, HorseWorld is a charity dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing horses, rnponies and donkeys in need.



Bristol Castle 4.5 miles Built by the Normans, Bristol Castle stood in a strategic position to the east of the town between the Rivers Avon and Frome.The River Frome was partly diverted to form the moat.Originally a motte and bailey fortress, the castle was rebuilt in Caen Stone



St Marks, The Lord Mayors Chapel 4.1 miles A church has stood on this site since 1230.The Lord Mayors Chapel is all that remains of the Gaunts Hospital, founded in 1220, to feed 100 of the city poor.

Bristol Cathedral 4.1 miles Bristol Cathedral is best seen floodlit across College Green.  Although the exterior of the cathedral is mostly undistinguished, its great glory is its magnificent interior.

St Stephens Church 4.2 miles Founded in the 11th century, St Stephens is the official parish church of the city. Until the River Frome was diverted in 1247, its site was marshy ground outside the city walls.

St John the Baptist Church 4.3 miles This striking church, now redundant,dates back to at least 1174 but was rebuilt the late 1300s.

St Nicholas Church 4.3 miles Near the original quayside, this Georgian church is dedicated to St Nicholas,the patron saint of sailors. The first church on this site was founded before 1154, with its chancel reaching over the south gate of Bristol.

John Wesleys Chapel 4.3 miles Dating from the early 18th century, this preserved chapel is the oldest Methodist building in the world.

Temple Church 4.6 miles Temple Church stands on the site of a church built by the Knights Templar.

St Mary Redcliffe 4.6 miles St Mary Redcliffe, a masterpiece of English Gothic, stands high above the River Avon.  From its red cliff the magnificent cathedral-like 14th century church has welcomed home Bristol adventurerors for centuries.

Art Galleries

Art Galleries

CREATE Centre and Ecohome 3.6 miles CREATE is located in a former bonded warehouse on the Cumberland Basin at the entrance to the famous Floating Harbour.The vibrant environment centre showcases art, events and exhibitions to promote sustainable living.

Royal West of England Academy 3.6 miles Bristols first art gallery is housed in a splendid Grade II Italianate building, erected in 1858 and financed by a legacy from Ellen Sharples and artists known as the Bristol Society.One of only five Royal Academies of Art in the UK.

Spike Island Art Centre 3.9 miles Spike Island, between Bristol Harbourside and the River Avon, was an island until the Bathurst Locks were sealed up.  Located in the former Brooke Bond tea building, the Centre is the UK's largest art studio complex-rnto the production and exhibi

Arnolfini Gallery 4.3 miles Arnolfini, an international centre for contemporary arts, at Bush House, a 19th century Grade II listed tea warehouse.  Arnolfini has become an important venue for the city's social and cultural life.

Paintworks 5.7 miles Paintworks is Bristol's new creative quarter.Located in former paint factory, the site is home to a number of artists,jewellers, designers and architects. A new gallery and event space hosts a programme of exhibitions and events.

Historic Houses

Historic Houses

Kings Weston Roman Villa 1.5 miles Kings Weston Villa was discovered in 1947 during the construction of the Lawrance Weston housing estate. The villa, built towards the end of the 3rd century AD, probably stood at the heart of a farming community.

Tyntesfield 3.1 miles A very popular, and unique, 19th century mansion to visit.

Westbury College Gatehouse 3.1 miles This 15th century gatehouse was the entrance to the College of Priests, founded in the 13th century.

Bristol Records Office 3.5 miles The Bristol Records Office is located in a former bonded warehouse on the Cumberland Basin at the entrance to the Floating Harbour. Housed in this vast building are the city historic archives, detailing 800 years of Bristol history.

Cabot Tower 3.8 miles This Victorian landmark is set high on Brandon Hill, 260 ft above Bristol Harbourside. Visible from many parts of the city, the 105 ft Tower celebrates the 400 year anniversary of John Cabots historic voyage in 1497 to Newfoundland in search of Asia.

Wills Memorial Building 3.8 miles Also known as the Wills Memorial Tower, this is considered to be one of the last great Gothic buildings constructed in Britain.

The Georgian House 3.9 miles An elegant six storey house built between 1788 - 91 for John Pinney, a wealthy sugar merchant rnwho retired from the plantations of the West Indies in 1783.One of the most complete 18th century town houses in the country.

The Old Council House 4.3 miles The elegant, neo-Classical Old Council House was built 1824-1827 by Sir Robert Smirke,architect of the British Museum. A Grade II listed building, it is on the site of the old St Ewan's Church, one of the most important historical locations in the city.

Llandoger Trow 4.4 miles This historic public house, dating from 1664, is near the old city centre docks. The pub takes its name from a 'trow', a flat-bottomed barge once constructed at Llandogo, a village on the River Wye in South Wales. 

Black Castle Public House 5.9 miles A striking black and white building constructed between 1745 and 1755 as a sham castle and office for William Reeve, a Quaker and businessman. Its architect was either James Bridges or William Halfpenny.  



Blaise Castle House Museum 3.0 miles Blaise Castle House stands in parkland of the Blaise Estate. The Georgian house, set at the end of a carriageway, was built in 1796 - 98 for John Harfod,a wealthy Quaker merchant and banker.

City Museum and Art Gallery 3.8 miles This major museum and art gallery is housed in Edwardian baroque building beside the Wills University building.Collections of international,national and regional importance.Archaeological and natural history displays and a fresh water aquarium.

ss Great Britain Maritime Heritage Centre 3.9 miles Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the ss Great Britain was the first iron-hulled, steam-powered ocean going ship.The revolutionary vessel was built in 1843 at the Great Western Dockyard in Bristol.

The Red Lodge 4.1 miles The Red Lodge, with its red stone Georgian facade, conceals a historic Tudor building. rnDating from 1590, it was one of the two lodges of the Great House that once stood on the site of Colston Hall.

@Bristol 4.2 miles A great place to learn about science.

The Architecture Centre 4.3 miles The Architecture Centre is housed in an 18th century building once used by sail-makers. Founded by the Bristol Centre for the Advancement of Architecture (BCAA), the independant organisation aims to expand public understanding of the processes in creating

M Shed 4.3 miles An exciting new museum opened in 2011, shows the history of the city.

Bristol Empire and Commonwealth Museum 4.8 miles This National Museum illustrates the dramatic 500-year story of the rise and fall of the British Empire and the emergence of the Commonwealth.State of the art presentations, including interactive displays,


St Nicholas Markets 4.3 miles St Nicholas Market lies in the Old City quarter, close to the historic Bristol Bridge. The market complex has three market areas: the Covered Market, Exchange Hall and Glass Arcade.


Out & About

Avonmouth Bridge Opened in 1974, the Avonmouth Bridge carries the M5 motorway over the River Avon near Bristol.

Avon Gorge Nature Reserve 2.2 miles Take in the views, visit the nature reserve and enjoy a walk.

Blaise Castle Estate 2.6 miles Blaise Castle Estate,five miles from the city centre, includes Blaise Castle, an 18th century country house now a Museum and Art Gallery ( see Museums ).

The Bristol Downs 2.8 miles A 400 acre public park, to the north of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Ashton Court Estate 2.9 miles Ashton Court, two miles from the centre of Bristol, was once the home of the Symth family. Since 1959 it has been owned by Bristol City Council and its park is now a recreational area.

Clifton Suspension Bridge 2.9 miles The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a most famous landmark. Stretching 702 ft across the beautiful Avon Gorge, it links Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset.

Clifton Observatory 3.0 miles The Clifton Observatory stands 338 ft above the River Avon overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Brandon Hill Park 3.8 miles Brandon Hill Park, set between the city centre, Clifton and Hotwells, is one the few city centre parks set 260 ft above Bristol Harbourside, offers wonderful views over the city rnand the Avon Valley.

The Matthew of Bristol 3.9 miles The Matthew, on the same site as the ss Great Britain, is a replica of the square-rigged sailing ship in which John Cabot sailed from Bristol to Newfoundland in 1497.Built in 1997 by Bristol shipwrights to celebrate the 500th anniversary.

Christmas Steps 4.1 miles Christmas Steps, a short but steep thoroughfare in the city centre, is a great place to browse.

Millenium Square 4.2 miles This recently created open space is a welcome respite for pedestrians in this bustling area of the city.Part of the rejuvination of Bristol Harbourside, Miillenium Square is also the location of @Bristol.Dominating the square is the huge silver globe of @

Peros Bridge 4.3 miles A stunning new footbridge spans St Augustines Reach to link Queens Square with Millenium Square. Designed by Ove Arup & Partners, the bascule bridge comprises two fixed spans and a central 11m lifting span. This leaves a 9m wide channel for navigation. 

Queen Square 4.4 miles Queen Square is one of the largest Georgian residential squares in Europe. Completed in 1727, the square is in the heart of Bristol, just south of the shopping centre and near the redeveloped Bristol Harbourside.

Bristol Bridge 4.4 miles Spanning the Floating Harbour is a Grade II listed Georgian bridge. Built in 1763 - 68, to the designs of James Bridges, this toll bridge replaced the original medieval wooden bridge 

Castle Park 4.5 miles Castle Park lies beside the Broadmead/Cabot Circus shopping centres and Bristol Harbourside. The park was the site of a Norman castle-destroyed after the Civil War by Act of Parliament of 1650.

The Shot Tower 4.6 miles A feature of the city skyline, the Shot Tower was built to replace the very first shot tower in Redcliffe Way, Bristol.Willam Watts, a Bristol plumber, invented a system of producing perfectly round lead shot for shotguns in the 18th century.

Arnos Court Triumphal Arch 5.9 miles Constructed from Bath stone, this Gothic arch was built in around 1760 for William Reeve,a wealthy Quaker and businessman. The architect, James Bridges, was also responsible for the new Bristol Bridge.


Theatres, Cinemas and Venues

Redgrave Theatre 3.0 miles The Redgrave Theatre, part of Clifton College, is named after Sir Michael Redgrave (an Old Cliftonian) who opened the building in 1966.One of the country's first purpose-built school theatres, the theatre seats 323 and stages around 40 productions a year.

Victoria Rooms 3.5 miles The Victoria Rooms (the Vic Rooms) is one of the city landmarks.The neo-Classical building was created by the architect George Dyer in 1842.Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde both gave readings here.

Queen Elizabeths Hospital Theatre  3.7 miles This strikingly modern theatre is an intregal part of Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, Bristols famous Bluecoat school. Opened in 1990, the theatre has recently undergone refurbishment.

Picture-This 3.9 miles Located on Spike Island on Bristol Harbourside, Picture-This is a moving image projects agency. The agency commissions contemporary visual arts works and arranges exhibitions, publications and touring initiatives.

St Georges Bristol 3.9 miles Originally a church, St Georges was built in the early 1820s by Robert Smirke, architect of the British Museum.Its west front has a Doric portico surmounted by a cupola,the first building in Bristol designed in the Greek neo-classical style.

Wickham Theatre 4.0 miles Part of the University of Bristol, the Wickham Theatre is one of the best equipped studio theatres of any university in the UK.  Used for a wide range of activities including student and professional performances.

The Tobacco Factory  4.0 miles In part of the old Wills Tobacco site.Saved from demolition by the architect George Ferguson, the red-brick building now has offices,apartments, a restaurant,Sunday morning market,a cafe, performing arts school and a performance venue.

Bristol Academy 4.0 miles Part-club, part music venue, the Bristol Academy hosts hundreds of gig nights and club nights every year.These feature top live bands and internationally acclaimed artists.

Colston Hall 4.1 miles For 140 years the people of Bristol have been enjoying music at Colston Hall-the largest concert hall in the city.The arcaded facade, with its Byzantine-style brick and tile work, is all that is left of the original concert rnhall dating from 1867.

Bristol Hippodrome 4.1 miles Opened in 1912, the Bristol Hippodrome was designed by Frank Matcham, the foremost theatre architect of his time.A unique feature is a dome in the roof above the stalls which can be opened to reveal the sky above.

Watershed Media Centre 4.2 miles Opened in 1982, the Watershed is one of a network of independent cinemas supported by the British Film Institute. Housed in a disused warehouse at the gateway to Harbourside, the centre offers a programme of independant films, digital media and events.

Bristol Old Vic 4.4 miles In the cobbled King Street in Bristol Harbourside.Established in 1946, the company is an off-shoot of the London Old Vic theatre.It includes the Theatre Royal, a 1970s studio theatre, and the 18th century Coopers Hall,used as the theatre foyer. 


Zoos and Wildlife Parks

Bristol Zoo 2.9 miles Opened in 1836, the award-winning Bristol Zoo is the worlds oldest provincial zoo. In the 1960s the Zoo became famous when it was used for the BBC programme Animal Magic, with Johnny Morris.

Noahs Ark Zoo Farm 2.9 miles Take the kids to the zoo for the day.

Towns Near Pill To Visit - straight line distance:

Abbots Leigh (1.67 miles) Wraxall (3.19 miles) Portishead (3.55 miles) Bristol (4.46 miles)
How to get to Pill
Pill, Junction 19 M5 then small road off next to Gordano Motorway Services.
Pill Weather
Thursday 7th August
Day :Sunny skies23°C Sunny skies
Night :Clear skies13°C Clear skies
Friday 8th August
Day :Sunny skies24°C Sunny skies
Night :Moderate or heavy rain with thunder12°C Moderate or heavy rain with thunder
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