• Water sports

Best fishing spots in Britain

By Environment Agency

Published on 4 min read


Fishing locations near you

Eight million people in England and Wales live within five minutes’ walk of somewhere to go fishing. We take a look at some of the best fishing spots near you and offer some advice on how to enjoy them year round.

Fishing is a great way to relax, be close to nature and have fun in the great outdoors all year round. What’s more, many people are closer to a fishing spot than they think, so it’s quite possible you have an angling opportunity just around the corner.

other and son fishing

Where to fish?

Over the summer, the Angling Trust been offering Get Fishing events to help people try it. Some of these are still running, so check out their events page to find see what’s taking place near you. If you’re keen to give it a go, angling clubs and venues around the country will be happy to help you.

Here are some of the best places to fish in England and Wales to help you get started.

best fishing locations 

Get Hooked on Fishing – Ealing, London

At this custom-built beginner fishery you’ll find six ponds which are all well stocked with a variety of different species. They run regular ‘have a go’ and family days which are perfect for anyone wanting to try the sport for the first time.

Hilton Lakes – Stockton on Tees

This two-lake fishery has lots of carp and a variety of smaller species to keep a bend in the rod all day long, providing fantastic opportunities for all ages and abilities.

Sefton Park Lake – Liverpool

Best known for its carp, but there are also plenty of bream, tench, roach and perch to add an interesting range of options.

Sefton Park Lake, Liverpool

Sefton Park Lake, Liverpool

Walsall Arboretum – Walsall

Bream and carp will be your target species here, and you can also find regular ‘have a go’ events and activities which make a perfect introduction, or help you get back into it after a break.

Corby Boating Lake – Corby

Corby Boating Lake is a town-centre fishery offering fantastic angling including huge carp plus plenty of roach and perch too

Victoria Embankment – Nottingham

This part of the River Trent has level concrete steps providing a nice easy base and there are loads of species including dace, roach, perch and chub.

Victoria Embankment - Nottingham fishing

Victoria Embankment, Nottingham

Northlands Park Lake – Essex

Located right in the middle of Basildon, Northlands Park has two fishing lakes full of roach, tench, perch, bream and big carp. From about October onwards, there’s also good pike fishing for more advanced anglers.

Bristol Harbour – Bristol

Be sure to visit the council website first to check out the excellent map showing exactly where you can fish at the docks, as some places are reserved for boats and wildlife. Bristol is also host to a number of other venues both in and around the city.

Walthamstow Reservoirs – London

These 12 reservoirs offer something for anglers of all abilities, from night fishing for big carp, coarse fishing for whatever comes along or fly fishing for trout.

Walthamstow Reservoirs London Fishing

Walthamstow Reservoirs, London

These are just a handful of options, but there are lots of places across the country. Here are three useful websites that can help you discover other excellent fishing spots:

· Angling Trust

· Canal and River Trust

· FishBuddy

Fishing in the autumn and winter

When the weather starts to change some ‘fair-weather anglers’ pack away their rods and stay at home – but they are missing out on so much!

Not only are the colours and sounds of autumn so beautiful, but some species of fish become more noticeable and in better condition over autumn and winter. Pike, in particular, spend the colder months fattening up ready for spawning in the early spring, which means they can be easier to catch and in great condition too.

Chub and perch also put on an appearance and their condition at this time of year makes for some very impressive catches. Carp and other fish in commercial fisheries are also available and, although they feed a bit less frequently in cold weather, they can still provide good sport for those willing to try.

family catching a big fish

Tips for angling in autumn and winter

  1. Fishing in colder weather requires a bit more preparation, including how to stay warm and comfortable. Layering up is essential as is a flask of hot tea, coffee or even soup. You may want to try hand warmers or other devices to help keep you warm.
  2. In England and Wales, if you’re 13 or older, you must have a fishing licence to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel. Children aged between 13 and 16 need a junior licence, but they are free. You can buy a licence online.
  3. Safety is important when fishing at any time, but in autumn and winter it is even more crucial. The risk of being near water increases and there are likely to be fewer people around to help if you get into difficulty. Rivers carry extra (and colder) water this time of year and banksides can become slippery. Ideally you should avoid going fishing on your own and let people know where you’re going and what time you plan to be back as.
  4. Finally, you may need to adjust your fishing tackle. Fish are cold-blooded animals and reduce the amount of food they eat in colder conditions. The best approach is to feed small amounts of loose feed or ground bait, perhaps a bit more frequently than you would in the height of summer.

Once you are safe and warm on the bank of your favourite water, with your fishing ‘licence to chill’ and your flask, you can relax. It’s time to enjoy nature in some of its most spectacular conditions, and experience fishing with all of the thrills.

Liked by 0 users

By Environment Agency


Digital Maps

Use OS Maps to see more detail including footpaths, bridleways, cycle tracks and rights of way.

Use world-renowned Ordnance Survey mapping with unlimited use of every OS Explorer and OS Landranger map for the whole of Great Britain. That’s instant access to 607 maps to view, print, or download to your phone – all included in your subscription.

Launch OS Maps


OS Shop

Use OS Maps to see more detail including footpaths, bridleways, cycle tracks and rights of way.

Go to the shop