The council ward of Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston is as drawn a simplified name as it includes Shirehampton and the western end of Lawrence Weston.
Historically in Gloucestershire, Avonmouth is approximately rectangular, its length favouring the Severn shore and sits on the same bank as the city centre from which it lies west-north-west — at the mouth of the River Avon and on the eastern shore of the dredged, at this point highly saline Severn Estuary. Both rivers in shallow valleys by this stage have been defensively embanked primarily to allow the construction of the large port Avonmouth Docks which occupies most of the western part. The related Royal Portbury Dock is across the Avon (in Easton-in-Gordano). Avonmouth is home to chemical manufacturing plants, and north of the Avonmouth Docks is the gas-fired Seabank Power Station. Its light industrial and warehouse companies include Nisbets.
Its long-established residential area in Avonmouth is between the industrialised zone and the M5 motorway, uniquely for Bristol west of the M5 motorway. Avonmouth Bridge of the M5 motorway forms the connection with Somerset, specifically with Easton-in-Gordano. The Wales-connecting M49 motorway runs between the M5 near Avonmouth and the M4 motorway at the Second Severn Crossing. The old Severn Bridge and the M48 motorway are linked to Avonmouth by the A403. The Welsh cities of Newport and Cardiff are both clearly visible from Avonmouth's coastline.
The Portway, part of the A4, connects Avonmouth to the centre of Bristol. Avonmouth is also served by a usually hourly train service to central Bristol from Avonmouth railway station on the Severn Beach Line.
A new deepsea container terminal is planned in Avonmouth.
The 10-hectare (25-acre) Avonmouth Sewage Treatment Works is managed as a nature reserve by Wessex Water. The man-made lagoons and a pool provide a feeding and resting area for many birds including ducks such as pochard, tufted duck, teal and shoveller. The rough grassland provides a refuge for voles, Northern crested newt and other small mammals, which are preyed upon by kestrels and barn owls.
Avonmouth is home to the largest single footprint warehouse in the United Kingdom, a 1,250,000 sq ft portal frame building operated by The Range as a distribution centre. The enormous building occupies 55 acres of land and is part of the Central Park project located close to the Severn estuary shoreline. Previously, the largest single footprint warehouse in the United Kingdom was a building operated by Amazon in Dunfermline, Scotland which covers 1,000,000 sq ft.
Avonmouth is part of the Bristol North West constituency, which elects a member of Parliament (MP).
As a ward of Bristol City Council which has local elections in three of every four years, Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston June 2016 to May 2018 three councillors:
Apart from Avonmouth itself, the ward includes Shirehampton and part of Lawrence Weston. Shirehampton is a part of Bristol which has a medieval-founded village nucleus and contains buildings dating more than a century earlier than the earliest examples in Avonmouth. Today the pre-1893 mother parish of Shirehampton has definitive boundaries and c. 6,867 inhabitants. Shirehampton railway station provides travel to the city centre. The western end of the Lawrence Weston area crosses the boundary into the Avonmouth ward, however the majority of the area falls within the Kingsweston ward. The combined area is separated from the rest of Bristol by a small amount of green land, see buffer zones.